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DPChallenge Forums >> Business of Photography >> "how much should I charge" & a Lightroom question
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09/26/2011 07:07:58 PM · #1
How much should I charge? I know, it's a really annoying question to ask, but it's under unusual circumstance so bear with me. I've worked at a new restaurant for a few months and they've had a couple of photographers come in, both of whom did sub-par jobs (it looked like HDR threw up all over the place) so much so that my boss refused to pay them. I had mentioned before that I was a photography major, but was ignored until the second photographer failed. I mentioned it again and this time he wanted me to take pics. I took some simple ones of the interior and the tables and he really liked them *whew!* He asked me in the beginning what I would charge and I told him that we could decide that if he actually like the photos (because he is very finicky). So he wants to use about 20-30 of the pics and I spent 2.5 hours shooting. So, how much would you charge or if you're someone in the restaurant biz, what would you want to pay for these? Keep in mind I don't have an external flash yet (be gentle!) but I'm ordering one this week. Also, this was my first time taking interior pics in a professional/commercial manner. He also wants me to take pics of the food (eek!) so any suggestions regarding that too would be appreciated.

Now the Lightroom question: I have Lightroom 2.0 and used the noise reduction in all of the images and then exported them at 720p since I thought that would be a good size for the website. Once I exported them, they looked like CRAP compared to the preview I saw in LR. There is a lot of red and green banding and the exposure looks at LEAST 1 stop darker after exporting. How do I solve this? Do I use a different noise program after the rest of the editing (or before?) and should I not downsize the resolution? And why the heck does it make the images darker?

Here are a few samples so you can see what I mean:

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p.s. a good external flash suggestion for a canon 40D under $300?
09/26/2011 10:54:18 PM · #2
there are two components to charging for work like this: your shooting fee and your licensing fee. if you've watched the video in the other thread and worked through the rate calculating exercise, you should have some idea as to what to charge for the shoot.

as to licensing, there are a number of online calculators like the stock price calculator or the stock photography price calculator. you can also check out pricing at getty and corbis.

it is also important to put your agreement in writing. simply detail what the client is allowed to do with the images you provide and that any additional uses will require additional licensing and fees.

you may have to negotiate, but the main thing is not to just give it away.

good luck!

nice work, btw!

Message edited by author 2011-09-26 22:54:59.
09/27/2011 02:37:58 AM · #3
thanks. evening bump
09/27/2011 07:44:46 PM · #4
really, no other advice?
09/27/2011 09:21:29 PM · #5
Originally posted by Blue Moon:

really, no other advice?

' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/31.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/31.gif', '/') + 1) . ' Skip has the best advice in this area of just about anyone here. Besides the video, read some of the other threads on the subject (he's posted to most of them) and check out articles on his site.

If you're going to start charging for photos on a regular basis, ypu might want to set aside some funds (probably at least $1,000) for books on business, taxes, accounting, and copyright, copyright registration fees, a separate checking account, fictitious business name license, etc.
09/28/2011 01:20:21 PM · #6
Yeah thanks I have a better idea on what to charge now, but does anyone have any info on my lightroom issues and my other questions?
09/28/2011 01:32:31 PM · #7
I don't really see banding...but your reds are pretty hot. Be careful with the saturate slider, if that's what you're doing. You can also use the profiles (calibraiton) at the bottom to try a more neutral look.
09/28/2011 01:33:00 PM · #8
not quite sure what's going on for you in LR, leah. most of my clients still need no more than 640px at 72dpi quality 65% out of LR. i don't see banding unless i've really pushed things too much. LR noise reduction is usually fine for me; if not, i use topaz.

as for an external strobe, i'd suggest stretching yourself another $150 and getting the canon 580 ex II. you can get it from amazon and, if you sign up for a trial prime account, you can have it in your hands maybe tomorrow for only $450 and the shipping is FREE! (i know because i ordered one monday night and it was delivered at 1pm the next day!!) it is a great strobe and should be good for a good 4-5 years with regular-heavy use. sooner or later you'll want to get an hot-shoe cord, as well as a light stand and umbrella. you'll probably also want some type of light modifier (like one of gary fong's), depending on what type of work you're using it for.

good luck!

thanks for the plug, paul - your check is in the mail ;-)
10/08/2011 10:50:48 AM · #9
As far as the lightroom issue goes - be sure to check what you are editing in: ProPhoto or AdobeRGB1998 - if the ICC profiles are off for what you are doing with the photo's eg. web - they will look a tad off.

I actually disagree with Skip regarding the 580 EX II - way too pricey for entry level and would (even though I know alot of photogs rely on it) avoid ttl and learn manual (trust me - it is so choice )

Get a Nikon SB-28 for $70 USED on ebay or Craigslist, Cactus v5 Duo Trigger set for $59, an umbrella swivel mount for $25, a light stand for $30, a TRANSLUCENT shoot through umbrella for $35, and for the interiors a stofen omni bounce to get the light into all the nooks and crannies for $11

You can get 2 of that entire setup for the cost of 1 Canon EX II - once the funds start rolling in from your gorgeous (well lit) and well marketed interior shots than spring for the more expensive flash.

Please oh please trust me on this one - get the flash OFF the camera in manual and it doesn't matter if it's Nikon, Canon, or a Vivitar 285 - light is light whether the source is new and shiny or dull and proven.

My setup includes sony a700, a100, 4 lightstands (cheapo ones), 2 sets of Cactus v5 triggers (over 200meter range and not one misfire since I purchased - plus you can use them as a shutter trigger as well), Vivitar 285, Sb-24,25, and 28, about 4 new umbrellas and 3 decrepits, 4 swivel mounts. The toughest part is learning the light, but strobist.blogspot.com can help with that.

PM me if you have any questions.
10/09/2011 05:50:24 AM · #10
Originally posted by Lonz:

I actually disagree with Skip regarding the 580 EX II - way too pricey for entry level and would (even though I know alot of photogs rely on it) avoid ttl and learn manual (trust me - it is so choice )

i actually disagree with skip, too, after thinking about it ;-)

i was thinking more about my situation, using lighting for shooting events rather than supplementing ambient lighting for architectural/studio type work. you are dead on that "light is light"; the client/buyer really doesn't care how you get to the end result, as long as you get there. (and for event work, as i can't afford to be caught short, i pay a premium for the peace of mind i have with my equipment ;-) )
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