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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 27 Dec 2012 (Thursday) 01:32
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How much should an amateur photographer charge?

 
RDKirk
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Dec 31, 2012 10:52 |  #31

OhLook wrote in post #15420143 (external link)
The discussion here allows only two categories, pro and amateur. Folks are leaving out commercial. Why? A photo can be of commercial quality--that is, good enough that someone will buy it--without having been made so expensively and with so much knowledge and skill as to be called truly professional work.

You're talking about the work itself.

The work itself is neither "professional" nor "amateur," it's either "salable" or "unsalable," and that's a matter of how it strikes a prospective buyer--the all-important point to consider.

Anyone with a camera can produce a work that is "salable" to someone somewhere at some time for some price.

A professional photographer must produce salable work regularly enough at a high enough price to stay in business and meet his profit goals. That is a match of business planning, marketing, and technical capability.


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OhLook
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Dec 31, 2012 11:32 |  #32

RDKirk wrote in post #15427430 (external link)
You're talking about the work itself.

The work itself is neither "professional" nor "amateur," it's either "salable" or "unsalable," and that's a matter of how it strikes a prospective buyer--the all-important point to consider.

My intention was to argue against the idea that no one but a pro should charge at all.


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RDKirk
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Dec 31, 2012 13:15 |  #33

OhLook wrote in post #15427577 (external link)
My intention was to argue against the idea that no one but a pro should charge at all.

Yes, anyone can charge for salable work.

If some casual amateur happens to capture a highly salable newsworthy shot on his cell phone, darned tootin' he should charge as much as he can get for it.


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Lonnie
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Jan 01, 2013 09:15 |  #34

Can you tell me more about how and why you were bracketing all those photos?


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_aravena
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Jan 01, 2013 13:33 |  #35

LBaldwin wrote in post #15411557 (external link)
Here is a quick quiz,
define reflectance, diffused, point and direct light sources.
Learn about edge transfer, shadow detail, highlight detail and the inverse square law.
Shoot a still life using nothing but an open window and a reflector.
Learn about plane of focus, and depth of field.

Not quite. Focus and DOF is a given but seriously? I'm sure there are pros that never professionally shot still life more than sitting around at home and getting creative which I think is one of the biggest activities here.

Aside from that, this looks like questions from the stupid CPP a buddy is about to take.

if you know your work isn't at 2000 don't charge that...charge what you would pay for your services

Problem with this is that one of my friends that I taught a few things to took it upon herself to start a "business" and has been producing portraits like crazy and lately simply doesn't care about the out put. At first they were nice and she was charging like $10 for going somewhere and taking decent photos. Meh...at least she took the time to edit and correct mistakes. now she's lazy and people still pay her and they're horrible but the problem is, when it's friends and family, anything looks "amazing" with a DSLR.


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Jan 04, 2013 12:41 |  #36

glumpy wrote in post #15418150 (external link)
They shouldn't charge anything, They are amateurs.

I wouldn't go that far. The word professional is such a grey line now. Before digital came out, it was much easier to distinguish. I charge for my prints and calendars, but I am not a professional by the true definition...

People have to start somewhere. Personally, 60 out of 400 is not good. I don't even bracket my shots when shooting landscapes. I would just get out and practice or take a class or two.


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Jan 04, 2013 16:23 |  #37

Don't charge like a pro. It is the amateurs that kill the biz. And at the same time maintain it by buying alot more gear than the pro's do.
Take some cash, don't expect to do a wedding for 2000 USD. I did one wedding for 500 USD, trip and housing and suddenly all their friends expected fair prices. **** that. Second and last wedding I am ever shooting. I put in hours worth 1500 USD on that thing, because they were family of a good friend. Told them that if you want anything more they would pay full rate.

And I am trying to earn a living on shooting. Heck my mentor who is a working freelance photographer still sleeps in the office to save money. The pro's don't earn enough as it is. Then again, there is always ****ty professionals out there who earn a living by peoples stupidity.


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Jan 07, 2013 11:39 |  #38

Hey, OP here, sorry I didn't have time to answer some statements made here, so I'll clarify some things:
A. I've been shooting and filming for about four years now. Because I'm still in school, I gain my knowledge from books, and yes, I can answer most of the question on that ridiculous 'test', and question I couldn't answer I will after I do some learning.
B. I said I was an amateur because I'd never taken pictures for cash, I did that for free. Also, I said that because I'm simply modest.
C. I'm not looking into having a professional business, I want to be a director, but there's still a long way to it. I take photos mainly for art purposes, and I wish I had time for a decent part-time job with all the finals on the way, but I don't have time, and taking photos at parties seemed something that settles good on my schedule and it's something I like doing, because I like taking pictures, and especially pictures of people. And I think, that with my creativity, I could also make party photos more than four people standing next to each other smiling.
D. I asked how much should I charge because I was asked to get payed, and I didn't know how much should I ask to.
E. I don't expect to get paid much, I pretty much know it'll be between 200-300$ (1000-1500 NIS), the purpose of this thread was to know if I'm making a fool of myself or not.
F. "To family and friends, everything looks professional with a DSLR" true, and sad, because I see the amount of kids that go with a camera and call themselves pros, and they don't know even half of what I know, which is not a lot at all, and they don't look for any creativity or true purpose in photo shooting.
G. I used bracketing because I'm still not acquainted enough with the camera, which now I am. Also, I don't have a good flash, so some pictures came out blurry. I got about 60 out of 450 pictures not because the others were bad, but because I'm very selective, and I pictures that don't have any artistic/personal value went right to the trash.

I think that's all for now, I'm going back to my math *sadface*.


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Jan 07, 2013 15:24 |  #39

If it sells it sells, it sells. Pretty much all there is to it.

Personally I don't care how many shots it takes to get that, whether they are "pro" or not. If someone is prepared to buy something then why not let them?

Some folk still can't come to terms with the fact that just about anyone can produce saleable work now. It is a sliding scale for many as to how consistent you have to be to "pro". By some people's reckoning my throw away count from the last few years would put me as a non "pro".


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Anthony ­ J
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Jul 26, 2014 20:39 |  #40

[QUOTE=LBaldwin;154115​57]Amateurs, don't charge. Professional means you get paid. Has nothing to do with the quality of your gear, how many years of experience you have etc.

As an amateur myself I say that there is no way to make it on your own in this business without charging something to recover costs of equipment among other things. Photography is an art just like painting and music, and they all get paid. If you show your work to them and are uo front about prior experience the client will make the decision of whether or not they want to hire you.

I will say this, be confident and take pride in your work. The quality of your shots need to improve before you charge larger amounts. Also, don't try to drain one client of the total costs you are trying to recover. One of the reasons people hire amateurs is because we cost less than pros. I'd say that the price range you are in is fine for a small amount of photos maybe $200 or so at the most.




  
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Jul 26, 2014 22:42 as a reply to  @ Anthony J's post |  #41

I think you summed yourself up quite well and there were some very good suggesstions as to estimate your prices, my personal favourite was the post in regards to telling your clients about your capabilities with some examples of your work and ask them what they are comfortable paying.

As for Amateur vs. Pro, I understand where the confusion comes from (i.e, pros get paid), however amateurs do get paid, I have gotten paid. Technically that would make me a pro, but I'm not and I bet I wouldn't make many friends here if I presented myself as such. Now I don't have a mk. iii yet, but my time has a price for those who are not family. I also have skill, even though I'm still learning. Every one on here is still learning (Tell me you haven't learned anything new even after you've turned pro).

I'm not sure if I've articulated myself well as I have trouble conveying my thoughts, but I believe that some of the posts on here are also narrow minded. Very few things in life are black and white like my favourite cooke.

P.s. I truly hope I haven't upset anyone here, but these are my thoughts, please feel free to disagree


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Jul 26, 2014 23:12 |  #42

Charge 7 bucks


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SuffolkGal
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Jul 31, 2014 17:05 |  #43
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LBaldwin wrote in post #15411557 (external link)
Amateurs, don't charge. Professional means you get paid. Has nothing to do with the quality of your gear, how many years of experience you have etc.

I hate to be harsh, but most likely you are getting requests to shoot, not beacuse you are good, but because you are cheap and inexperienced in the BUSINESS end of photography.

If you are only getting 63 decent shots out of 450 then you most certainly should NOT be charging anyone. Owning a camera, does not make you a photographer. You need to get with a local pro and assist him or her for at least a year or so before you ever take someones money. It is not about bracketing, gear or style. You have not had your hands wrapped around a camera long enough to understand exactly how it works in every situation.

Choose one lens, and one subject matter and work you butt off to get good images of that subject. You need to learn all the properties of light, and how it behaves.

Here is a quick quiz,
define reflectance, diffused, point and direct light sources.
Learn about edge transfer, shadow detail, highlight detail and the inverse square law.
Shoot a still life using nothing but an open window and a reflector.
Learn about plane of focus, and depth of field.

All of these subjects apply daily in the life of a professional photographer. How?? What is the best way to shoot a group shot in low light and get everyone sharp??

You might want to look at his work before running him down as a noob? It's actually rather good.




  
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Jul 31, 2014 18:12 |  #44

SuffolkGal wrote in post #17068954 (external link)
You might want to look at his work before running him down as a noob? It's actually rather good.

Yes, but we don't know what it was like in 2012 when the comment you quoted was written. He may have done a lot of learning and practicing since then, and grown into a much better photographer than when he started the thread.




  
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Wyche ­ Studios
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Aug 06, 2014 13:25 |  #45

This all great information I just joined the Forum and look forward to contributing and learning from everyone.


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How much should an amateur photographer charge?
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