View Full Version : Portrait Pricing
04-09-2006, 09:36 PM
I am just beginning to get into photography as a business and I am getting my second paying job, family portraits for mothers day. I have a friend who is getting out of photography to pursue painting and is sending her old clients to me. I am tring to come up with pricing structures but I'm not sure what to charge. My friend said she used to shoot 2 rolls of film, provide 4x6 proofs and negatives for $125-$175. I shoot digital so I wont have to pay for film/processing but of course I will be spending more time at the computer. I am not really excited about giving away a CD for them to print from. Any suggestions. I think I will probably shoot it the way she did in the past, since that is what they are used to.
04-09-2006, 11:11 PM
I had a similar problem when I started my website for sports photos. I didn't want to undersell my work, but I also didn't want it to be over priced as well.<BR>
What I did was do a little research on what other businesses were charging for the various items I was offering, and pricing mine slightly under them. It was kind of easy for me since most photographers that do "picture day" for sports teams travel to the teams and hand out literature to the parents.<BR>
Although I'm not offering the exact same product they are (I don't do "picture day" packages), it gave me an idea on what the current market prices were.
04-10-2006, 12:20 PM
I started doing senior portraits over the past several months and found it better to give them CDs than prints. Some local folks are charging $30 or more per 5x7 and parents don't like that. I figure my total time (usually under 4 hours), price it, then burn a CD and give the parents a model release. So far it has worked pretty well and I'm building up a portfolio.<BR>
Due to that I'm also now shooting Prom Pictures using a similar format. I shoot less pictures than for Senior Pictures, charge slightly less, and give them a CD. Have several lined up for this weekend (same location and back-to-back times). <BR>
Find a need then figure out a way to fill out.<BR>
04-12-2006, 12:12 PM
"I have a friend who is getting out of photography to pursue painting and is sending her old clients to me."<BR>
I would ask your friend this very question.<BR>
The other standard cautions apply here as well.<BR>
What is a proper charge depends on many factors including but not limited to<BR>
What area do you live in?<BR>
What does your compatition charge?<BR>
How much experience do you have?<BR>
Are you looking to work at the top end of the market?<BR>
Or are you looking to price your portrait fees so the average working class person can afford to come to you?<BR>
And the list goes on.<BR>
So start by asking your freind what they charged, compare those prices against your local competition and adjust as required.
04-13-2006, 02:22 AM
I also have started charging a single fee for business portraits, and deliver a CD with both screen and print resolution images. I <i>detest</i> the "portrait package" game. If they want a custom print, they can buy it seperately.
04-15-2006, 08:24 PM
I wouldn't just provide them a CD if they go and print it somewhere and it comes out looking like junk and people ask them who did it that looks bad on you.<BR>
What I've started doing this year and works great, but keep in mind that I live in a rural area, on all my portraits and senior packages I charge a $50.00 deposit upfront. Which is basically like a sitting fee but the fee goes toward any package that they want. I provide them with two 8x10 contact sheets which have about 16 pictures a piece on them. I also give them a list of packages and prices they go home subtract $50 from any package price and turn that back in to me.<BR>
People so far have loved it and I have made a lot more money from my portraits. It worked for me but it may not work for you.
04-16-2006, 03:12 PM
You've had some good advice in this thread, especially what graphics12 said. Do some local research and price your work accordingly. If you are going to charge topnotch prices, be sure you can deliver topnotch results to match your competition. Good luck.<BR>
04-16-2006, 06:34 PM
r the advice. Good points all around. From websites I've seen the on location sitting fees in my area (Birmingham, AL) range from $85-$150. I have little experience, and am still building my portfolio. Of course I want to be on the top of the market, but I understand that people won’t want to pay me for that right now. I really want to be able to provide people with portraits that tell something about them, not just everybody in a studio smiling pretty. I want to make this available to most people at different price points. Thanks for everybody’s comments.
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