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  • Would you pay for these photos?

    Hey, I'm a student and at the moment I'm going around Melbourne offering photography services for free (all occasions, ranging from a few product shots to an entire wedding, to expand my folio and experiences, I have an ad on this on Gumtree)

    However, seeing I don't drive...getting around is tedious and it usually takes a lot more time travelling than the actual shoot, and also having to spend hours editing photos it's becoming harder to justify doing this for free.

    Though...the upside is...I get to do things my way and with my own style because "I'm not getting paid", and usually they like it.

    But I would like some income from this as well..I'm contemplating charging very little as a start ($20/hr? for the shoot only), but I'm not 100% confident that my photos are worth this much.

    I have set up a Facebook page (http://www.willchaophotography.com) to display some of my work, can someone verify whether these are paid-gig worthy? If so, how much would they worth and how much should I charge? (I know..annoying question :P)

    Thanks a lot!

    Will

  • #2
    I can't wait to see what the pro and semi pro members here respond with.
    .

    Comment


    • #3
      I don't shoot for money either so I guess I can't really comment in that regard other than to say that value is likely in the eye of the beholder. However I can say I'm not a huge fan of your processing (you've got a sort of retro lomo feel going on there with everything (incl the food shots which I don't think fits that)) - but it is your style and I can appreciate that.

      Comment


      • #4
        there is little correlation between being able to take stunning photos and doing well in a photography business.

        a good business-person will do well with even mediocre images, and conversely, a poor business person will probably fail even with sh$t hot images.

        Small business of any kind is a tough gig - photography small business is probably even worse than a average small business.

        if you charge $20 per hour now to some clients, how do you expect to charge $80 per hour (more reasonable rate) to the same client in 12 months time? If you set a precedent people will baulk at increased prices later on.
        gerry's photo journey
        No amount of processing will fix bad composition - trust me i have tried.

        Comment


        • #5
          The above posts pretty much cover everything...
          Richie
          www.richardgrainger.com.au | Facebook Page | Flickr

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Remorhaz View Post
            I don't shoot for money either so I guess I can't really comment in that regard other than to say that value is likely in the eye of the beholder. However I can say I'm not a huge fan of your processing (you've got a sort of retro lomo feel going on there with everything (incl the food shots which I don't think fits that)) - but it is your style and I can appreciate that.
            I like the fact that you are are developing your own style. It can be a selling point that your different from so many offering the same main stream images.

            It is also important though to know your worth and working free is not something you can maintain and you will also find that clients won't value work work or time if you don't charge something.

            good luck

            Comment


            • #7
              Will, if, as you say, you are offering you photography services to people, doing work which potentially could/should be paid for, you should be charging for those services. If not, step aside and let another "pro" have the job. Are there plumbers and electricians going around offering services for free? Doctors, lawyers, pilots, labourers? Not likely. So why photographers?

              This may sound harsh, but look at it this way.

              How else is the profession of photography, the skills of the photographer going to be valued by people, by society, if we don't charge a fair rate for our services. Sure, everyone has a camera and everyone can take a photo. But a skilled "pro" has more to offer than a happy snapper, and if we "pros" don't stick together and support each other, it's going to make things difficult for those "pros" who are trying to make an honest $$.

              Now, your stuff looks good. You have something to offer. Any client seeking to employ you would realise what they are in for, as they will have looked at examples of your work.

              So value your work, your skills, your creativity, your time and the rest. Start charging a fair rate. People will value you and your work more if you charge a fair rate. I mean, if I give you something for free, you won't value it as much as something you paid $$s for. Add a zero to the $20 and start from there. Yes, $200. Sure, be prepared to offer a discount. Include the DVD for free for this month only. Do 2 hours for $300. Whatever it takes to get the job, but don't sell yourself, and your fellow photographers, short.

              We need to stick together on this. If you're doing the work of a pro, behave like a pro. If not, butt out and let others have a go.
              Charles

              My indecision is final, I think.


              Comment


              • #8
                I would at least be trying to cover your expenses - or the other option is to offer to shoot for free and if they like the images, they can buy them off you for a set price (I did that for a little while - I never left without selling something). This might be a bit hard, though, for a set event or a wedding!

                Don't sell your self short there - I think the images on your face book page are good building blocks.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Others have echoed my initial thoughts.
                  My 16yo son gets paid $15/hour for washing dishes in a restaurant. $20/hour for a professional of any sort is an insult to that profession. If you are not confident of your abilities find one or more professional photography companies and see if you can get a job as an assistant and build your skill base and contacts that way but don't insult the photography profession (of which I am not a member) by claiming to be professional and then charging such a ridiculously pitiful amount. You will not gain work at $20/hour but what you will do is cause real professionals angst and money because people will use such stupidly low rate against them when they are quoting work.
                  .

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by K1W1 View Post
                    Others have echoed my initial thoughts.
                    My 16yo son gets paid $15/hour for washing dishes in a restaurant. $20/hour for a professional of any sort is an insult to that profession. If you are not confident of your abilities find one or more professional photography companies and see if you can get a job as an assistant and build your skill base and contacts that way but don't insult the photography profession (of which I am not a member) by claiming to be professional and then charging such a ridiculously pitiful amount. You will not gain work at $20/hour but what you will do is cause real professionals angst and money because people will use such stupidly low rate against them when they are quoting work.
                    I cop that all the time down here K1W1..................quote a shoot at $330 for a 2-3hr shoot inc PP and disc and get told I'm too expensive because Fred Bloggs will do it for $80. Not only that he will burn a disc on the spot and give me all the images.
                    Usually turns out that Fred Bloggs is a high school student with an entry level twin lens kit borrowed from Mum, Dad or the School, hasn't a clue about post, doesn't pay taxes or GST, doesn't have insurance, hasn't invested thousands in websites, advertising, kit, etc; but is quite content to stuff things up for people trying to make a living.



                    (EDIT....Sorry, cranky old fart moment)
                    Last edited by aslan; 05-07-2012, 03:56 PM.
                    Andrew

                    (Grumpy old fart with some Nikon stuff)
                    www.aslanimages.com.au https://www.facebook.com/AslanImagesPhotography

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I will be completely honest with you Will - you have a lot to learn and please don't take that the wrong way, I can definitely see potential in your work.
                      The absolute best thing you could do right now is find a professional that is willing to take you under his/her wing and learn as much as you can about:
                      1. Photography - this needs to be your passion - and if you are passionate about it then you would be happy to do it for free - what I mean by that is that money shouldn't factor every time you turn the camera on - start some personal projects, you will learn more about photography and yourself by doing so.
                      2. People - you could be the best technical photographer with amazing vision but if you don't know how to deal with people you will fail. People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care.
                      3. Business - number 1 & 2 don't mean squat if you can't run a business successfully. - If you want to do this long term - consider enrolling in some business courses.
                      4. Marketing - number 1,2 & 3 don't mean squat if you can't successfully market your business. You might be the best photographer with amazing technical skills and vision and can run a business but that alone will not attract customers. There are a million other photographers out there fighting for the same work you are, so what makes you different...YOU and only YOU. Marketing will set you apart from your competition, it's not price people are interested in, it's value - work on creating value in your work - that might be as simple as the relationship you offer with your services, it might be what services you offer in addition to photography....the list goes on.

                      You have a long and exciting journey ahead of you Will.....don't try and catch the express train as you might miss some of the scenery along the way...
                      Cheers
                      Darren
                      website

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                      • #12
                        Darren....that has to be the best bit of advice I have read in a long long time
                        Let's hope young Will grasps on to it.
                        cheers
                        tim

                        BTW...I concur with all the other posts as well.
                        flickr

                        on the web, www.timmography.com

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Firstly Will; I generally like the your photos Maybe not what many would call "professional" but then it's the "clients" that really matters. Looking at the photos I feel you have a connection with the subject/s; so that is a good start.

                          Would I pay for these photos? No; but then I don't have a personal need for the photos. But that does not mean those in the photos will not be prepared to to pay for the photos.

                          professional photography as a business (no matter how small) is often more about people skills than the actual photography; and different types of photography require different people skill. Having said that; you will need to have a good grasp on photography as photography. I have seen some real [email protected] pro photographers do very well just because they were brilliant with people; and I have seen some great photographers with all the very best gear fail totally and lose everything.

                          pricing your work is one of the hardest thing to do; and most "pros" did not charge enough.

                          So what now? IMO keep doing what you are doing to get the experience. I reckon you are having fun so whats the harm

                          Prices: ask the "clients" to pay you what they feel is a fair thing. But be warned their "value" maybe a little insulting at times

                          Another approach could be to set a one price to fit all (most) jobs.

                          seeing you don't have transport ask the client to cover the taxi costs or ask them to transport you as part of the deal. What ever you do you must cover costs incurred to do the photography (i'm not thinking camera gear at the moment)

                          The $$ you get in may be well spent on some photography training.

                          Finally; I'm so happy to be out of the working photography scene. It's a tough job at times and one I don't recommend to too many to take on theses days as a full time job. Most full time pros have gone bust or are really battling; but are some are doing very very well out of it. You maybe one of those to do very well out of photography so keep wondering around the edges and wait to see where the journey takes you.
                          Cheers for now, IanB.
                          Photos by Ian Browne on Facebook

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Im no pro dont get me wrong.
                            Establish feelings in your photos. thats the only way to become a professional photographer.
                            You can have the best gear in the world, the best technical skills, But if you cant capture a moment then your not going to make it.
                            Underpromise and over deliver. never go into an event thinking oh well im only doing it for free. imagine your charging $5000 dollars for every event you do. Every client of yours should only receive your best work.
                            Only give them your best work. Only the best work. The best work doesnt have to be the best photo, but maybe even just the best emotional event of the night. You were there on the night you know what made the crowd scream. laugh . cry. use that.
                            Dont feel bad charging $20 an hour. Once your week is booked out at $20 an hour raise it to $25 and keep going for one month, if its still booked out raise it to $30. continue in that fashion.
                            Its not paranoia if everyone is actually watching you
                            MY Flickr
                            Scotty's Place

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Scottymc View Post
                              Im no pro dont get me wrong.
                              Establish feelings in your photos. thats the only way to become a professional photographer.
                              You can have the best gear in the world, the best technical skills, But if you cant capture a moment then your not going to make it.
                              Underpromise and over deliver. never go into an event thinking oh well im only doing it for free. imagine your charging $5000 dollars for every event you do. Every client of yours should only receive your best work.
                              Only give them your best work. Only the best work. The best work doesnt have to be the best photo, but maybe even just the best emotional event of the night. You were there on the night you know what made the crowd scream. laugh . cry. use that.
                              Dont feel bad charging $20 an hour. Once your week is booked out at $20 an hour raise it to $25 and keep going for one month, if its still booked out raise it to $30. continue in that fashion.
                              Thanks Scott, will try the $5000 trick Cheers!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                For me I really don't see anything I would actually pay for.
                                I am saying this because I can do what you have got up on show.
                                But my hat is off to you for giving it a go.
                                And if it takes off well done and I do hope it does for you.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Hi, I'm new and my opinions are just that - mine. They may not fit you.

                                  1) If you want to work for free I'd suggest you do that for a working photographer who's work you admire and from whom you will learn things you don't yet know.
                                  2) If you feel offering your time free to customers is something you want to do, then do so but charge a proper price for any printing or image downloads you provide
                                  3) If you think your work or time is worth $20 / hour you either don't value your work hence no one else will or you

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Would you pay for these photos?

                                    Encouragement goes a long way.

                                    What a shame that the first thread I opened in this forum had some unhelpful and underlying nastiness dig as one of the first replies, with no real value in the reply to improve the skill level.

                                    OP: Give it a red hot go, and find a mentor. Good luck.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Welcome to the forum.
                                      This section of the forum is about photography as a business and I thought a slightly more honest and frank expression of views is more suitable here than it would be in other places. Any small business is tough to make a go of and giving people less than frank advice is not going to be beneficial to a budding business person in the long run.
                                      .

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Would you pay for these photos?

                                        Sure, but it's all about the delivery, as well as what value there is in your feedback.

                                        For a new member, seeing digs and no constructive feedback doesn't look good and reflects upon the forum, not just yourself.

                                        Just being frank and honest.

                                        Comment


                                        • #21
                                          If you are referring to my the second post in this thread (my first one) I was being completely honest. They was no sarcasm intended and if you or anybody else took my post that way I apologise. I am not a professional photographer and never have been and I was genuinely interested in the views of people in the business. Yes I had an opinion which I expressed later in the thread but what I wrote in that first post was 100% honest and my meaning was exactly as the words said.
                                          .

                                          Comment


                                          • #22
                                            What I see in this thread is some excellent advice from a range of people.

                                            I'd say that that reflects well upon the forum.

                                            I have yet to read a thread in this or any other forum where I find myself agreeing with every comment by every member and I sincerely hope that never changes.

                                            To the OP, I rake leaves and pick up palm fronds for $35ph...and I'm not very good at it because I hate gardening with a rare passion. Nuff said.

                                            As suggested above, find yourself a pro tog prepared to take you under their wing. Stuff up somebodies wedding day because your camera dies and you don't have a backup (or some other trivial equipment failure) and you will quickly learn that the old adage "hell hath no fury like a woman scorned" has more than a kernal of truth to it.

                                            Being inside a dark church on wedding day with difficult lighting situations is no time to discover that your lens isn't fast enough or that your zoom ain't long enough, you will be dead meat and saying sorry will not cut the mustard.

                                            I did a wedding for friends a few years ago. It was a very small and casual affair held on a beach with only about twenty or so people present, there was no budget for a pro so it was me or nothing. I shot the entire gig with my 100-400mm bird lens and a crappy point and shoot that was about the size of a matchbox. Let your imagination run wild when you wonder how professional the final images were. My friends were happy, more than happy in fact, but I look at the images now with a few more years experience under my belt and I cringe. I do nature photography btw...and I'm not all that good in that field lol.

                                            For my efforts I received a six pack of Jack Daniels cans. I considered this fair payment.

                                            Later, some other friends requested I do their wedding and I refused. The wedding was the full on formal church affair with about 200 hundred guests. My advice is to leave that stuff to the pros.

                                            If you are going to work for free or on the cheap that's fine as not everybody has the money to pay a pro but pick your mark or the consequences might be, for both you and the possibly not so happy couple, horrendous.

                                            Anyway, that's my 02c worth
                                            -----------------------------------------------------
                                            Question everything ~ Christopher Hitchins

                                            Comment


                                            • #23
                                              I have read right through this thread and to be totally honest it does come down to people with thin skins.
                                              If you want to stick your neck out, it is way better to get the right advice early rather than later as was said about a woman's scorn.
                                              You can't be too precious when someone has actually asked what their views were.
                                              I have been told what I have posted was crap.
                                              It is better to know rather than have the wool pulled over my eyes.
                                              Truth is way better than being lead blindly so you stumble later.
                                              And not once did I read that anyone has told them to get out of it.
                                              They got good advice as far as I could see.

                                              Comment


                                              • #24
                                                I have read these posts and I have found it very useful. I think if you are going to ask for advice you need to be prepared to have advice both positive and negative BUT it is all honest and that is what is so great.
                                                So many good points have been raised and although I am offering myself free services to increase my portfolio, I am only doing this for friends and charity events so that when the times comes that I feel I can offer photography as a service, people don't look at me as the "new chic trying to break the market" Charity events I find are great because you can really get the feel to talking to people thus building confidence.
                                                I have done a lot of marketing in my time for my own business along with businesses that I freelance for. It may not appeal to all, but it is better to "talk the talk." What I mean to say is that you need to sound like you know everything about the business. If someone finds cracks they tend to feed on this. I also think that if you are going to go down the path in offering photography as a professional service, you need to start where you are most comfortable. For me, animals are my zone and know I would end up with egg on my face if I went for something like portait or even worse tried to coordinate a wedding shoot.
                                                What I have taken from the advice is to get out there with a professional. Feed off their wisdom and experience and learn what you can. I have only taken to photography 3 years ago and I have to say for the first year I took a million and one shots and only about .5% of these were any good. The reason why is that I believe just because you have the equipment doesn't mean you know how to use it. I started going to workshops, jumping on to forums like this and asking people what they think and how can I improve. With all of that, my photos are excelling in quality. I am now stepping up a notch and trying to go to as many workshops as possible in all genres and also joining a local photography club. I do find that a photography community are made up of people whom are out to help each other - can't say my profession of working with horses are teehee.

                                                Comment


                                                • #25
                                                  Originally posted by Cat View Post
                                                  but it is better to "talk the talk."
                                                  Haha Cat, there's a good saying i learnt from Simon "Fake it till you make it"
                                                  Adrian

                                                  Gear List

                                                  Comment


                                                  • #26
                                                    Yo Will,

                                                    The question you're asking is a good one, and that's the photographer in you asking that question. A businessman in you, however, will ask a question which sounds similar, but has entirely different meaning:

                                                    "Who would pay for these photos?"

                                                    In other words, as a businessman you have to find your niche. I wouldn't buy those photos, but that's not a reflection of whether they're good or not. I have no NEED for them, which makes them NOT VALUEABLE for me.

                                                    I think the concept of VALUE is very important to understand as a businessman. What's valuable for me is not valuable to another person. Some of your photos, for example, remind me of those Asian cosmetics ads - and maybe someone in that market is ready to pay you thousands of dollars for them.

                                                    Think of it like this - you need to develop two kinds of skills - photographic and business.

                                                    I think that you're at a point of competency with your photographic skills and beyond this, you need to learn both because any advances in your photographic skills will be diminished by not knowing which questions to ask. Don't let that discourage you, though - it simply means you've stepped into a bigger paid of shoes and the game you're playing just got bigger

                                                    Steven

                                                    Comment


                                                    • #27
                                                      This online course here had excellent business education in it. Sure his photographic niche isn't yours but the underlying business approach would be very insightful for the OP
                                                      http://www.creativelive.com/courses/...y-sal-cincotta
                                                      Nikon D800 D300 D90 24-70 70-200 300F4 105 50 70-300VR 16-85VR SB900 SB600's MBD10, Tamy 90 http://sentimentalphotos.com.au/gallerys/index.html

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                                                      • #28
                                                        Well done Will Chao on AIPP accreditation

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