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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 02 Dec 2009 (Wednesday) 22:19
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I feel like I might be selling myself short...

 
Accessoire
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Dec 03, 2009 09:32 |  #16

you do some great work!
+1 more on raising your prices




  
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zachbreaux
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Dec 03, 2009 09:38 |  #17

Its quite clear that you should definitely be charging more than 100.


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Stan ­ Jones ­ Photography
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Dec 03, 2009 12:56 |  #18

So I haven't been dreaming haha, thanks guys/gals.

Now here's the tricky part, convincing the class of 2011 that I'm just as good as the competition!!!!

Next year will be $175 per shoot!


Your local, young, friendly, heavily-tattooed wedding/senior/portrai​t photographer... if you're from Lincoln, NE. ;)5Dii | 5D | 1Dii | 24-70/2.8L | 50/1.4 | 70-200/2.8ii (APO DG)
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KFormus
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Dec 03, 2009 13:22 |  #19

Stanley,

I haven't read the other posts, but in my opinion if you are not making at LEAST $400 per session on average, than you are doing something wrong, and it isn't your photos.

Good luck.

Kelly


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Chris215
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Dec 03, 2009 13:34 |  #20

$175 seems low, i would say minimum $200 just to even it up :D


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zachbreaux
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Dec 03, 2009 14:01 |  #21

I would second that. You can make business merely on the basis that your photography won't be a run of the mill, mediocre, senior session that charges out of the ass. I only wish i had been into photography when i graduated. There were so many people looking for a cheaper alternative. I would have raked in the business.


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tim
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Dec 03, 2009 14:57 as a reply to  @ zachbreaux's post |  #22

bigrob wrote in post #9126687 (external link)
I've only just realised that when the Yanks say they shoot seniors they mean college seniors.

I always thought they mean old folk. :lol:

It took me a while to work that out too!


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Ernst-Ulrich ­ Schafer
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Dec 03, 2009 20:40 |  #23

Stanley, Stop worrying about the competition, worry about what your doing. From what I'm seeing you won't be around in a couple of years, because you'll be broke! At $175 for a session & a CD your not thinking about all of your costs nor your talent and time.

Ernst


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Hikin ­ Mike
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Dec 03, 2009 23:31 |  #24

tim wrote in post #9129187 (external link)
It took me a while to work that out too!

And I'm a "yank" and when I first heard that term a few years ago, I thought the same thing! :lol:


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intrinsicvalue
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Dec 04, 2009 00:47 |  #25

Stanley,

I'm in the same boat you are... young, new and trying to get your name out there. Your work is great (better than mine hands down) and you certainly have more equipment and therefore shooting options.

What I've figured out is that I'm worth as much as I think I am. I don't want to over charge my clients, but when people start questioning prices I have to resist the temptation to cave simply because I'm afraid to lose the business. I have to stick to my guns. If there's room to adjust a package it's certainly something to consider, but what it sounds like to me is that you need to convince yourself that you're worth it. Convincing others is much easier when you believe in what it is you're offering.

I would also take the suggestion given above about covering any tattoos. The seniors may not take notice, but most of the time it's the parents that are paying the bills. You have to be able to impress Mom and still make your subject feel comfortable. You're selling yourself as much as you're selling your photography. Do that and more business will follow.

As a snarky side comment I'd say that when those seniors say isn't $50 enough, ask them if they'd work all day plus the hours you spend editing for $50, and then ask them if they could afford to feed themselves on less than minimum wage (because really that's what you'd be making).

Best of luck.

Stefanie


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S-Man
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Dec 04, 2009 00:56 |  #26

bigrob wrote in post #9126687 (external link)
I've only just realised that when the Yanks say they shoot seniors they mean college seniors.

I always thought they mean old folk. :lol:

It's actually High School Seniors...Unless you guys call grades 9-12 "College" :confused:

A senior in HS is grade 12...One of those American things where titles make people feel better about themselves :lol:

Edit: And yeah, dude, you should be waaaaayyyyy more than $100. Tim was more in the ballpark. Your work is awesome!
However, you can only go as high as the market will stand. Sure there's a niche or $500+ senior photos, but depending on your area and whatnot, most parents don't want to spend much on this stuff.
Tri-Coast is an amazing Senior Portrait machine. We're actually fortunate enough to have a couple of Tri-Coasters on a local forum here in Texas.




  
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Karl ­ Johnston
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Dec 04, 2009 01:04 |  #27
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In the meantime why don't you educate the rest of us on how to light like you do . ;)


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MarkAnthonyPhotography
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Dec 04, 2009 01:11 |  #28

I'll throw my 2 cents in lol.
Over the years I've searched for that elusive answer to "how much do I charge?" And I think I've finally found a "piece" of the answer. Its that dam disc you give out!! Once you give someone a disc of high res images, your no longer needed! You have to treat your images as...hate to say it, but "works of art". You spend just as much time tweakin' and brushin' on an image as a painter does on a painting.
The minute I learned that, my money showed up! Our Seniors pay for our time, then they spend their parents money on our products. Images, books, posters, yada yada. The more you offer, the more they want! An example. One of our Senior packages is $500. $200 goes to the photographer (me usually). The client gets $300 "print credit" to spend as they please once they see the images. Now, the trick is that even though you give them $300 "credit", it's not costing you $300! Unless your print prices are retarded! I know this sounds off the charts, but trust me it works! But you have to believe in it. Once you become a "pro photographer", meaning you charge, you become 80% salesman, 20% photographer. Even if you don't think your work is a good as "Bobs Senior Shack" down the road, make the client believe you are! You know your shots are good, even if you don't think so, because they came to you!! Confidence goes along way in this business. And stop giving your images away!! If you must, by all means give them a "proof" disc. But not the HR images. Honestly, we average about $500-$600 print orders from each session. thats before the print credit, but still. that credit only cost me like $40-50!!! We've had some upwards of $700! Why? Because they have to come to us to get their prints!! Mom, Dad, Grandma, other Grandma, Aunts, Uncles, cousins, and OHHH the boyfriends/Girlfriends​!!! It's like having 2 clients in 1!! A really good trick for you to use if the client asks why you won't give the images out. Get a print made at local labs. Walmart, WalGreens, CVS, etc. Then get that same image printed from your lab. (And I hope you use a good one! lol. Even MPIXs lab is good enough! ) Then lay them all out on a table with a label on each one that says where they came from. It will shut even the pickiest mom up in a heartbeat! The quality of the prints speak volumes. So you tell them, "I'm giving you a finished product of mine that I worked very hard on to get to this point. If I let you take that image and have it printed on a glossy piece of toilet paper to display in your home, well then thats doing me AND you an injustice!"
Okay, im rambling on, but this is a very sore subject to me when I see talented photographers having to give their images away because they fell like that is what they have to do to compete. Believe in yourself and your talent. It won't be an easy road, but like they say, nothing worth having is easy.


Mark Anthony
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MarkAnthonyPhotography
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Dec 04, 2009 01:16 |  #29

wow dude, i replied before looking at your Flickr page. Your way above my skills! Time to get paid brotha!


Mark Anthony
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Stan ­ Jones ­ Photography
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Dec 04, 2009 08:20 |  #30

Karl Johnston:
In the meantime why don't you educate the rest of us on how to light like you do

Hahah, most of the time I just bump up my 580exII all the way through a 33" white umbrella and adjust the distance from there now-a-days :D. It's simple, but it works, eh ?????


MarkAnthonyPhotography :
wow dude, i replied before looking at your Flickr page. Your way above my skills! Time to get paid brotha!

Haha, thanks man, this thread really really helped me out with my confidence.

Next year I'll definitely be doubling my rates, and if people are like "Why in the hell did you go up twice as much as you were at last year!??!".... my simply reply will be, "PoTN told me to!"


Your local, young, friendly, heavily-tattooed wedding/senior/portrai​t photographer... if you're from Lincoln, NE. ;)5Dii | 5D | 1Dii | 24-70/2.8L | 50/1.4 | 70-200/2.8ii (APO DG)
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I feel like I might be selling myself short...
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