artemisn wrote in post #14663226
Head to Google and do a search on "headshots photography --wherever you live--." Check out what everyone else is charging and see what their quality of work is compared to what you can put out. After that, price accordingly. It'd overall be one of more accurate solutions. That's the route I went with, and I've had no complaints.
The danger of this approach is that it assumes the competition actually knows their cost to produce a professional headshot. My experience they all look around to see what everyone else is charging and then try to price a little under. The end result is the public thinks headshots (or anything else for that matter) should be cheap. The photographers complain that even if they could get 10 sessions a day they couldn't make money.
The first question to ask is are you a pro or a hobbyist? If you are a hobbyist doing it to make money for gear then use the above approach.
If you are a wanting to make a living at this you need to know your costs. Pure and simple. What many don't know is what actually their costs are.
For instance you need to make a guess (optimistic or pessimistic) about how many sessions you hope to shoot. Then you need to determine how much money you need to make annually AFTER all expenses are paid. That gives you a rough estimate of revenue needed per session.
As for costs that is far more comprehensive than just the cost of gear and rent. It includes your labor (you don't work for free do you?) health insurance, business insurance, depreciation on gear, transportation, utilities (electricity and gas are not free)rent or house payment (I know, the whole payment is not a deductible item but you still pay cash for it), food, internet and web costs,advertising, phone etc. And do not forget your profit. After all, the point of a business is profit otherwise it is a hobby.
I have only outlined some of the issues involved.One must also take into account your local conditions. What I see are two types of headshot photographers in my area (L.A.) Some meet you at the park and shoot for an hour or two and hand you a disc of SOOC JPGs. Others set up a more formal shoot in studio with hair and makeup and charge you per image. Varying levels of retouching are available with option 2 but seldom with option 1.
I suggest becoming a PPA member and reading some of they literature in running successful photo businesses. Membership also gives you insurance against gear theft or damage and liability protection.
At bottom, if you price wrong you will regret the error for a long time. Good luck