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Charging for portraits

JanieB43 9 47 6 England
6 Apr 2010 7:54PM
Hi guys,

I've been asked to do some portraits for a relative of a friend of mine and they're willing to pay for my time & efforts !! I'm wondering if any of you good people out there can advise me as to what is a reasonable fee to ask. I'm assuming that this person is wanting me to provide prints of the shots I take - do I charge an "all inclusive" fee or a charge for time and an add on for the final product,bearing in mind my printer will only print up to A4 size. Here's hoping someone out there in Epz land can help me on this.

Jane Smile

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User_Removed 11 485 13 England
6 Apr 2010 8:39PM
i can't really suggest what to charge, but i think you need to decide whether you want to make your money from prints or whether you want them to pay for your time.

I have done a few child/family portrait sessions now and i have a fee i charge up front and that covers my time and includes 3 x A4 mounted prints. I don't charge a phenomenal amount just enough to make it worthwhile doing. For me charging 40 for an un-mounted A4 print just doesn't feel right for me so i rather charge for my time. Any other prints they want are provided at a small mark up and again if they want it mounted they pay for that too.

Not sure if it helps you or not

Jalapeno 8 127 2 Iceland
6 Apr 2010 8:49PM
Just have a sitting fee plus a small package. So, calculate the time it costs you to take the shots, process them, cost of printing and packaging etc and present them with a few simple options. Then, if they want larger photos that you need printed from a third party (or would that be 2nd party teehee), then factor in those additional costs as well as a small profit on top of that.

here is a link I found


Good luck!
Jestertheclown 9 7.7k 252 England
6 Apr 2010 10:24PM
I've never really considered how much a straightforward portrait might cost and I've recently been asked if I'd consider doing a couple.
Much the same scenario as you JanieB34, just people I know.
I wouldn't go asking those prices though. They'd tell me precisely where to go!
I shall be following this thread with interest.

Fishnet 14 5.0k 5 United Kingdom
6 Apr 2010 11:30PM
How about giving them a CD of the photos and no prints and suggest a good place to get them printed that way you only need to charge for your time and effort.

I'm taking photos of my friend's little girl for a model agency next week, she needs to give them 60 photos, so I will spend most of the day photographing her, in 3 different outfits and it must include indoor studio shots and outdoor.

I will also do a bit of PS work on them to make them look their best, I'll give her the 60 photos on a CD.

I suggested 100 all in and she was very happy with that as the studio photographer said 145 and they wouldn't be as 'different' as mine as they would have just been in a studio.

She's a good friend of mine so I didn't want to go over board charging her but I also didn't want to spend all that time and effort for pennies.

Find a fee that you are comfortable working for.
jken 12 1.7k 1 United Kingdom
7 Apr 2010 10:44AM
Work out a day rate or half day rate, for example 600 full day, split that down to the hours you work - 8 hours = 75 an hour, 10 hours = 60 etc, etc.

Don't forget you've got to process the RAW files, supply the CD or prints, all this needs to be charged for on top of your hour rate.

For commercial stuff i include the processing in the hour rate, get it right in the camera then it's just a case of transferring the files.

Apply a similar approach to everything you shoot, it works.....Simples.
Lawrence 15 195 1 United Kingdom
7 Apr 2010 5:51PM
The average salary of a photographer is about 10 per hr. If you charge double that for equipment costs etc that is 20/hr. How can you justify 60/hr
ray1 14 546 1 England
7 Apr 2010 6:24PM
The other things to consider are: Are you being asked because your pics are considered the best available or are you being asked as a favour or mates rates. You might also consider this as an opportunity for some publicity and then be able to charge decent rates for other people who might be interested after seeing the pics. If you do charge, is it money in the back pocket gov or for profit and tax payable.
ade_mcfade 14 15.2k 216 England
7 Apr 2010 6:44PM

Quote:The average salary of a photographer is about 10 per hr. If you charge double that for equipment costs etc that is 20/hr. How can you justify 60/hr

I think the reason is that not many photographers will have 40 billable hours per week - unlike most "salaried" jobs.

To make up for that, you need to charge more or starve.

I think here's a difference between making a few quid photographing people in your spare time, where 10/h for your hobby is quite nice to have, and paying your mortgage, bills and feeding a family, where you need to be billing out loads to make ends meet.

If you think of 1000/week grosses around 45K (taking into account holidays) - then take off expenses for prints, books, assistants, training, lenses, replacement kit, petrol, insurance and all that stuff..... you rapidly see what you need to be making to get a decent living.

So 60 /h ???

Does it seem so extortionate now?
Lawrence 15 195 1 United Kingdom
7 Apr 2010 6:57PM
Hi Ade
Yea I agree with your reasoning that 20/hr would be insufficient for full time . I was thinking more of fill in work.
As you say depending on how good you are and how many bookable hrs you can do does make a difference, but 60/hr still seems a bit high with the amount of competition that is around. Every body now seems to own a SLR camera and is happy with the results he gets.
Fishnet 14 5.0k 5 United Kingdom
7 Apr 2010 8:25PM
I have a really good link somewhere for photographers to give to clients who complain about their fees, I'll see if I can find it this evening.
BigRick 12 2.1k 3 United Kingdom
7 Apr 2010 8:47PM
For studio/portrait work, i charge 40 per hour, and the client gets to use whatever they want in the studio and use the time however they like, be it indoors or outside.

For the 40 they get 4 full resolution prints Photoshopped and on CD for them to use however they like. And if they want more prints then i charge up to 10 per extra picture on the CD depending on the quantity they require.

I dont give prints for portrait shoots unless they specifically ask for them as most people can get prints done online etc. but if the client does want an actual print then i use Loxley Colour and they send me them in the post, printed and mounted and framed if i want. Smile
Fishnet 14 5.0k 5 United Kingdom
7 Apr 2010 9:12PM
Here is the link I was shown on a photographer's network.
DT01 9 69
7 Apr 2010 9:50PM
Quality article Fishnet. Well done for finding and posting it!Smile
Phil1958 9 272 4 Wales
9 Apr 2010 9:49AM
Agree with DT01 - made very interesting reading - I've got a similar predicament where some close friends have asked me to do a family portrait - I think 40.00 would be fair for my time and 3 x A4 prints plus a CD.

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