ART Did I charge too much?

robz

OT Supporter
Jun 12, 2005
17,049
A friends coworker reached out to me shoot her son's 1 year old birthday party.

I have never done any paid gigs, but I decided that I'm going to get started to buy some new gear. Well she said 3 hours and so I figured, 3 hours + 3 hours to edit so I made her an offer of $400.

Is that a lot?? She responded back 'sorry thats well over our budget.' Now I feel slightly guilty offering too much..
 
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robz

robz

OT Supporter
Jun 12, 2005
17,049
Do you feel your work is worth $67/hr?

ugh i guess it was too much then right? But I thought of it like this:

Camera Rental 5d.. $150
Lens/Flash Rental .. $50

Labor.. $200

?
 

MSIGuy

om nom nom nom!
May 30, 2005
4,705
Do you feel you're going to be able to guarantee $400 worth of quality?

$400 for a kids birthday party from somebody that has never shot anything professionally and is mainly looking to buy new gear? Yeah, that seems like a lot to me.
 

jared_IRL

OT Supporter
Feb 12, 2006
21,172
you would have to rent all the gear? You don't own anything?

Honestly, I don't shoot this kind of stuff because I have a conflict between how much my time is worth and how much people would pay (and also that I hate kids), so i'm completely worthless when it comes to judging whether or not you were over charging...
 

MSIGuy

om nom nom nom!
May 30, 2005
4,705
Let me put it this way... what kind of work do you have to show to justify charging $400?
 

Marix

OT Supporter
May 23, 2006
27,969
And thus you realise why a lot of photographers struggle to make a lot of money!

$400 to get some decent photos of your kids birthday party is EXPENSIVE. Think about it - hiring a room, buying the food and decorations etc is already expensive. $400 for some pics is a massive cost on top. And I can totally understand somebody not wanting to pay that.

But at the same time, if you need to rent equipment, plus 6hrs labour, it quickly becomes not worth doing unless you charge a decent amount.

Even if you didn't have to rent, you're still paying yourself $33/hr, so I still think you're overcharging unless you have a really nice portfolio.
 

Bukka

Active Member
Sep 14, 2009
3,137
Calgary, AB
What are you shooting with now?
Why do you feel you need to rent a 5D for a 1 year olds birthday party? what about your current gear do you feel is limiting you from being able to cover something like that?
 

charles foster kane

New Member
Feb 14, 2007
93,467
Croatia
3 hours for processing images from a birthday party?

I know this might sound harsh but if it takes you that long to do a quick batch colour balance and crop / export-at-web-res then holy fuck, your workflow must be retarded inefficient and if its that inefficient its not worth $67/hr.

I mean, it's not a studio shoot, post on that gig should be next to nothing. I'd even shoot it JPG.
 

charles foster kane

New Member
Feb 14, 2007
93,467
Croatia
I don't know you or your work, but from the general tone of this thread I really think you should shoot with what you have, for free, as practice for technical prowess with your camera, finesse in composition, and efficiency in post
 

Gvidon

New Member
Oct 22, 2006
16,796
Los Angeles, CA
A friends coworker reached out to me shoot her son's 1 year old birthday party.

I have never done any paid gigs, but I decided that I'm going to get started to buy some new gear. Well she said 3 hours and so I figured, 3 hours + 3 hours to edit so I made her an offer of $400.

Is that a lot?? She responded back 'sorry thats well over our budget.' Now I feel slightly guilty offering too much..

You charged what you think you time is worth. Someone other then you could charge $4000 and take worse pictures than you, and someone might charge $40 and take better pictures. In other words, no one can really judge. If that is how much you value your time/work, then be it.
 

Cicada

Abraham $LINK’in
OT Supporter
Sep 30, 2008
177,850
SoCal
For the event in question, yes. I'm willing to bet they were expecting a figure of under $100 :mamoru:
 

Gvidon

New Member
Oct 22, 2006
16,796
Los Angeles, CA
For the event in question, yes. I'm willing to bet they were expecting a figure of under $100 :mamoru:

People come to office expecting wedding pictures for $500, meanwhile they blown away $15000 on flowers, $5000 on a cake, etc. Shit is suppose to be simple job, point and shoot, whats so hard about photography I don't get it.
 

Idyfohu

New Member
Oct 29, 2003
4,460
Utah
People come to office expecting wedding pictures for $500, meanwhile they blown away $15000 on flowers, $5000 on a cake, etc. Shit is suppose to be simple job, point and shoot, whats so hard about photography I don't get it.

.
 

MSIGuy

om nom nom nom!
May 30, 2005
4,705
People come to office expecting wedding pictures for $500, meanwhile they blown away $15000 on flowers, $5000 on a cake, etc. Shit is suppose to be simple job, point and shoot, whats so hard about photography I don't get it.
Expecting $400 for a 1 year old's birthday party from someone who is established, has a background of work, and can be expected to perform well isn't a big deal. Asking $400 for someone who has never shot before, doesn't have a knowledge of the equipment being used, and has no potential results is a little much IMO.

I shoot stuff like this fairly often, not kids birthday parties, but usually the "oh, I want a couple of nice pictures from our family reunion," or "I'm not having a very big wedding and want a few basic pictures from our reception," type stuff. Most of it in the $100-500 range.

I don't try and work cheap because I'm some craigslist photographer undercutting the local market, my rate for these kinds of things are low because that's what the local market and clients can afford and there's really nobody else out there offering a high level of service and pictures for a reasonable price.

If I spend 2 hours on something and charge $100 for some quick reunion pictures it provides more experiences for me to get out there and work, lets me shoot in a variety of (usually) challenging locations, and forces me to get my workflow down to an efficient level so I'm keeping the pay per hour fairly high.

The thing I like about jobs like this is the pictures there paying you for are easy to get, I can usually crank them off fairly quickly and know I'll get a professional result, and the rest of the time I can work on doing some cool creative things and if they work out great, if not, well hopefully I learned something but I've still got shots to deliver.

Yeah, it can be a grind, but you also learn what works and doesn't pretty quickly. I don't understand photographers that automatically assume their time is worth $50+/hr just because they're photographers.
 

Professor Chaos

New Member
Sep 27, 2004
21,157
Hamilton, Ontario
Expecting $400 for a 1 year old's birthday party from someone who is established, has a background of work, and can be expected to perform well isn't a big deal. Asking $400 for someone who has never shot before, doesn't have a knowledge of the equipment being used, and has no potential results is a little much IMO.

This
 

turbodude

Just a photographer
OT Supporter
Jun 17, 2002
10,037
Las Vegas
i would charge 175/hr for a kids bday party. but that includes editing time. so my rate would be $525 for that job. But people know how much i charge and i do this for a living, you dont, so yeah you overcharged.


my event fees vary from 150/hr-375/hr depending on company, time involved, first time client, repeat customers, etc. I dont normally charge editing time on event photos, unless they want specific stuff. And the only extra fees would be a 24hr turnaround, which will cost them 150 flat fee. Or if they need the photos delivered on site, which then costs a flat fee of $350 for a runner/photo editor.
 
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robz

robz

OT Supporter
Jun 12, 2005
17,049
What are you shooting with now?
Why do you feel you need to rent a 5D for a 1 year olds birthday party? what about your current gear do you feel is limiting you from being able to cover something like that?

no i have a5d, i was trying to justify how i got to the price. I have no idea on prices..
 

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