Amazon Music Unlimited Offer: 3-Months For FREE!

Business Advice

Debbiee 14 136 6 United Kingdom
11 Aug 2011 9:31AM
In a bit of a Dilema, I have quite a few friends asking me to do some images for them after seeing some of my pics on facebook, now I don't want to establish myself as a cheap photographer, but I also don't really have the equipment/expertise to put myself out there as an established photographer. They obviously like my images which is why they are asking for them and they are willing to pay, but if I start out with cheap prices now that would become my reputation, but then how can I justify charging top prices for my images?
Also I was thinking about doing these images to raise the money for better equipment but then for tax purposes I would be classed as earning, or would this be offset as the money earned would be going to fund equipment needed to earn.
Really in a dilema as I would love to be a professional photographer one day, just don't feel I'm ready, yet friends and people I don't know that well, really want me to take images for them, personally I was hoping to spend a couple more years at least building up my confidence, knowledge and equipment before even thinking about taking the leap, but then should I turn down work? any help guidence would be gratefully appreciated.
User_Removed 11 4.6k 1 Scotland
11 Aug 2011 10:30AM
Hi Debbie,

As long as it is just for friends who ask you, then no harm in charging prices that are on the low side. But make it clear that you are aiming to go professional at some time in the future and, when that happens, you will have to start charging professional prices.

In the meantime, contact your Local Enterprise Company (or whatever they are called nowadays) and enrol for one of their business start-up courses which will teach you most of what you need to know about taxation, marketing, pricing, and all the other "boring" sides of running a small business.

Most business start-ups fail because of lack of business expertise rather than lack of professional ability.
Snapper 16 4.5k 3 United States Outlying Islands
11 Aug 2011 10:45AM
Never actually got round to doing it myself, but TFP (Time For Prints) or CD has been a well established route for photographers and models wanting to improve at minimum cost, so a good way of explaining to your sitters what the basis is. A quick look at your PF tells me you'll be more than competent at telling them the look that you're after, and that's a big thing because many might just want "nice" photos rather than anything stylised. If you take a business start-up course as suggested, that's a good way of bringing in a finishing date limiting the TFP option timewise. Good luck!
rambler Plus
12 1.0k 17 England
11 Aug 2011 10:52AM
I think the way to approach this is to charge friends a little less than you may if it was for someone you don't know. Your portraits are certainly eye catching and you do have talent, the only way to develop it further is to practice and experiment. Free models are a real bonus for you so put the reduced price down to training expenses. Don't forget that when they show other people your images it is all free publicity for you.

If you work out what time you spend taking and editing the photo's and the cost of production that will give you a base to work from on pricing. To be on the safe side keep a record of all this so that earnings may be declared at a later date if necessary. At the moment they can be off set against your set up costs, eg. lighting, camera etc.

You may find that business clients may be more exacting and critical so building your confidence with friends etc is well worth any sacrifice you make now. Never turn down an opportunity you never know where it may lead.

Good luck, be confident because you have talent, enjoy it.

Big Bri 20 16.7k United Kingdom
11 Aug 2011 12:14PM
Charge them "full price", but give them a discount code for X% off Smile
Debbiee 14 136 6 United Kingdom
11 Aug 2011 11:42PM
Thank you guys, couldn't get my brain into gear when they asked me to do the images. I will be taking up your suggestions and I really appreciate your advice Smile

Sign In

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join For Free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.