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DPChallenge Forums >> Business of Photography >> Another 'how much to charge' thread...
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02/04/2015 04:01:03 PM · #1
"We work with the local Anheuser-Busch wholesaler for SE KY and we are looking to hire an outgoing photographer to frequent area hotspots."

These guys really like my portfolio and they say they need someone twice a month (an hour away) for a couple of hours in one bar or another. Photos going online. They're gonna call me early tomorrow and I have no idea what to charge. I do shoots like these all the time, but for my portfolio only. Now's my chance to cash in on that and I have no clue what to charge.

Any ideas?

Also, any questions I should have for him? I'm a little nervous.

Message edited by author 2015-02-04 16:03:48.
02/04/2015 04:35:50 PM · #2
2 hrs travel, 2 hrs shooting, at least 2 hrs processing.

As an independent artistic professional you should probably be charging $60/hr or more (maybe less for the travel time?). ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/31.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/31.gif', '/') + 1) . ' Skip is the best resource for this -- maybe check links on his profile or the past few threads he's posted to ...
02/04/2015 04:41:26 PM · #3
What the general said. I don't know about the specific hourly amount, which would be specific to your area.

You might also consider a monthly retainer, if they're thinking long term. Specify the number of shoots you'd do per month for that amount, plus travel, plus processing, and a certain amount for each additional shoots above the agreed number.
02/04/2015 05:19:17 PM · #4
I would be careful of charging travel. I get asked to do shoots in downtown Chicago (for companies) quite a bit. When I wanted to charge the 2 hour (round trip) travel, someone mentioned "There has to be someone closer that we could get". I charge a flat rate, per shoot, and don't break out travel. Sure they could get someone cheaper but at least my travel isn't sticking out on the invoice, especially for someone who might use you a lot. (Yes, for family shoots and appointments I will break out the travel).

I would however make sure that they cover expenses such as parking, and you'll need to provide them with receipts.
Credentials - See if they can provide you a temp ID, getting hung up in security sucks.
Since it's for AB, try to get their product, poster, neon, etc. in the shot.
I try to get a list of images (or people) ahead of time that they would like.

My .02, good luck.

02/05/2015 09:47:44 AM · #5
I got the phone call soon after I posted this. It's not at all what I was thinking. It's basically for photos to go on social media, like this one. He wants to start me out at $15/hr including travel time. He said it would go up considerably as soon as I prove reliability and timeliness. No editing required. I'll have a media pass and cards to hand out so they can "like" their photos.

I'm thinking why not?
02/05/2015 10:15:09 AM · #6
That's pretty low but I suppose you could bail if his statement about the rate going up after a while proved false.
02/05/2015 10:17:19 AM · #7
Originally posted by cynthiann:

I'm thinking why not?

If it sounds interesting to you, then you might as well try it out. You will get experience shooting certain situations, and you get your name out there. It may lead to something else that is more money and/or more interesting. If not and you get tired of doing it you can move on.
02/05/2015 11:04:01 AM · #8
I guess I'd want to know by how much it would go up, and how long the trial time would be. Also, keep in mind that depending on the situation in which we hand out cards, your potential clients will associate you with that type of photography.

After factoring in expenses such as wear and tear on your car, gas, etc., if you still feel I is a good idea, then why not ideed.
02/05/2015 11:22:24 AM · #9
All true. It's not much money and quite a bit of driving. I guess I like the idea of working for a marketing company (BLOC Marketing). If I can go in there and get some great shots (they also want product shots) right out of the camera, then maybe it'll pay off. Things are certainly slow for me right now.

The other half of me thinks it's going to get real old real fast, and that's OK too.

ETA: I asked how long it would take to go up from $15. They said they'd shoot it up to $18 after the first shoot if all goes well, then they go from there.

Message edited by author 2015-02-05 19:13:48.
02/05/2015 11:23:14 AM · #10
Originally posted by markwiley:

Originally posted by cynthiann:

I'm thinking why not?

If it sounds interesting to you, then you might as well try it out. You will get experience shooting certain situations, and you get your name out there. It may lead to something else that is more money and/or more interesting. If not and you get tired of doing it you can move on.


Well said.
02/08/2015 01:10:40 AM · #11
if i was where you are right now, i wouldn't do it. what are you really going to get out of it? you put 4 hours into this, of which only 2 are shooting, and from all appearances, it's almost drive-by, smartphone-ish type shooting. do you really need experience in doing that? are you going to get any portfolio shots?

keep in mind, even for social media, you'll have to get model releases if there are identifiable individuals in the photos. if you could use some experience with that, it might be worth it to do it once or twice, just to get a feel for what's involved.

when evaluating this type of work, you have to be very realistic about what other types of work this could lead to. of course, anything could lead to something else. it's just a question of how likely and what could it lead to. more of the same low-to-no paying work that just about anybody could do? contact with other individuals that don't have a budget? you *might* be able to turn something like this into a real opportunity to build on, but that will take a committed effort from you; it is not going to happen simply by your doing this work.

another thing to consider is whether or not there is anything else you could be doing for those four or eight hours that could serve you better? could you be polishing your workflow and post-production skills? could you be updating and polishing your portfolio? could you be contacting other potential clients that could pay better? could you be practicing with different lighting set ups? could you be shooting something more in line with the type of work that is your bread-and-butter? could you be studying more about the business of photography and polishing your business and marketing plans? bottom line, can your time be put to better use?

if i was just starting out, i'd leap at something like this, at least for a trip or two. lucky for me, i learned really quickly that i could make more per hour shooting a sporting event just long enough to get the local paper's sports editor the single photo he was going to print in the paper than i would if i spent 2.5 hours shooting, 30 minutes traveling, and another 2-4 hours working through 600 photos i shot just to get to that single photo. you only have so much time and you owe it to yourself to figure out how to maximize it, both in terms of experience and profitability.

just my 02, your mileage may vary ;-)

Message edited by author 2015-02-08 01:12:15.
02/08/2015 09:20:04 AM · #12
Originally posted by cynthiann:

I got the phone call soon after I posted this. It's not at all what I was thinking. It's basically for photos to go on social media, like this one. He wants to start me out at $15/hr including travel time. He said it would go up considerably as soon as I prove reliability and timeliness. No editing required. I'll have a media pass and cards to hand out so they can "like" their photos.

I'm thinking why not?


Frankly, I don't believe it will go up. Looking at the photos from the link, they look like anyone with a camera with a flash can take what they are looking for, so I don't see why they would ever pay more for them.
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