View Full Version : How much should I charge for this?
3rd of February 2005 (Thu), 14:33
I got this email sent to me today
I'm contacting you on behalf of the ****** **** Special Events
Committee - we are holding our annual Christmas party on Saturday,
November 26th at ********** - we are looking to having a
photographer there for perhaps a couple of hours to take a picture of
each couple who would like one.
Could you please provide me with any info that you would have on this -
example if you are available that date/if pictures can be available that
evening/price per picture and any other relevant information you feel
would be useful.
I have never done a job like this before, but I would love to give it a shot. I assume I would have to look into getting a faster printer than my Epson R300, if I was going to be able to offer pictures on site. How much would be a reasonable charge be?
Should I offer to do this for a minimal charge and just keep the profits from the prints being sold?
What kind of lighting would I need to pull this off? Would a 580EX and 420EX be sufficiant?
Thanks for all your help.
3rd of February 2005 (Thu), 15:47
you need to establish a few things first.
what exactly are they hoping you will do... something like prom pictures as people walk in, and then pay you per photo - or do they want you to cover the event and provide X number of photos in an album a few weeks later?
3rd of February 2005 (Thu), 17:14
I would provide a price for being at the event taking pictures, cost at per hour rate.
Then I would provide a cost per print. For that you can do a search here for price info provided by others here or just look at what others in your area are charging for prints.
Don't know what type of prints you get out of the Epson R300 but I would be very reluctant about agreeing to a print tonight deal as this will give you a lot of work to do that night. But if it is a deal breaker just as for more to include this feature.
3rd of February 2005 (Thu), 18:07
I agree with Steven. Get one fee for the event, based on a per-hour time basis, and get an understanding of what time to start and who says when your time is finished. Then, get an agreement of the per shot deal. For example, you get to keep 100% of all print fees at $x for a 5x7 print or $Y for some other size.
Then, when you go, take a packet of number slips with you. As you shoot person #1, you hand them a slip that says #1, with your email address. Tell them to see you later at the event or 20 minutes later. Then on your notebook, beside #1, you write the camera's file number. Later, when you have a break in the activities, you dump your CF card into your laptop computer, fix up the image as necessary, and store it ready to print. If person #1 stops by, you show them image #1 on the screen, and if they like it they can pay you money for the print size they want. But tell them you cannot accept credit cards.
As it turns out, you will be running back and forth between shooting and processing/printing at the computer, and you will be tearing your hair out over this. So, if at all possible, take an assistant along to staff the computer tasks. You might drift over there to look official, but you may want to apply top priority to shooting.
Be prepared that somebody might wait until the next day to follow up on the #1 slip with your email. So, they might contact you then. You send them a small thumbnail image with your copywrite words across the center of the image (so they can't easily use it without paying), and you state your fees for print sizes, plus some small fee for snail mail.
By the way, if it is some kind of "black tie" affair, then expect a black tuxedo to disappear into the shadows unless you use a good flash unit with proper flash compensation for black clothing. It is not trivial, but it isn't that hard, either.
3rd of February 2005 (Thu), 18:57
If your doing prints at the event, then perhaps invest in a Canon i9900, which I find to be the best printer (and carry and extra set of ink in case, and lots of photo paper). Depending on how much people want pics, you can pay off a lot of the cost of ur printer and so the cost to you will be slim. Also if ur gonna be doing such a thing depending on the # of people, you prolly wont have much time to do any processing, so let the camera do it for you, so i dont recommend RAW unless you make arrangements to send it via snailmail (which u can charge a bit extra for shipping).
I did an event like this last week and I got 50 people who purchased pics, at about 15 bucks average a person worth of prints. At the end of the night I had just a bit over $700 bucks from prints and I charged 50 bucks an hour, and the event lasted 6 hours. So total I got $1000 dollars for the entire job. I used the Canon i9900 which i bought days before the event, and I had 3 sets of ink (bought 1 extra and already had 2 other sets, one of which was free with the printer). So I spent about $125 for a full 8 cartridge set. I had 6 different types of paper on hand all of which was purchased before the event (kodak, canon, staples, Ilford, and Epson) to give people a choice both between brands but also type of gloss/finish, longevity, size, etc.... The paper costed me $200 bucks, and I had a lot left over for personal use, which left $675 left of pure profit. My printer costed me $715 after taxes, so altogether I only paid $40 for an excellent Canon printer, and I had ink and paper left over for personal use, so it was a highly positive experience.
The shots could have been better if I had did them RAW and had time to properly post process them, however the lack of time prevented this. But The cam does a decent job making them look good and there very high resolution so regular people dont notice such imperfections. I used a 20D for 95% of the shots, and then I had to switch to my sons Powershot Pro1 for maybe 12 shots (luckily all 4x6 so quality loss hardly noticable) because the camera ceased to function near the end for some odd reason lol.
My son accompanied me as an assistant because he just got into photography (the pro1 was my gift to him) so he wanted to watch me work, so I stuck him on the laptop and printer :P. Now he gets to share the free printer and supplies for doing something we'd normally do for cheap as its only a hobby.
Edit: Canadian Currency, so prices/inflation/taxes/etc may be slightly different based on geographic location.
4th of February 2005 (Fri), 08:47
Thanks for the detailed reply, what lighting did you use?
4th of February 2005 (Fri), 20:35
I was using a novatron lighting set that I bought off my friend last year. I have no idea about the model numbers or specifications as he forgot and the model identification was worn off due to heavy use.
It is pretty close to the Novatron 61-V600-3C kit, so i think this is what he sold me, with the addition of 2 other lighting units, however they are unmarked as well. I only bought the kit for 400 bucks so it was a good deal, and ive only had to replace one bulb since i got it.
6th of February 2005 (Sun), 11:30
Why not just take their contact details when they pay. Then print the photos at your leisure and pop them in the post?
I've known many photographers to do this before. After all, who wants to carry a photo around with them at a party?
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