What to charge...

#1
I get paid to do some running event photography (a series of evening races and a couple of day time ones), where I reckon I've charged them far too cheaply. All the events are local and each probably takes about four hours, with another four-or-five hours editing the images. I get £120 per event. Which is okay. And it is my hobby. But it seems like a lot of work for not a lot of dosh.

And just recently I've done a spate of dog photography for friends, and once I do two more, the rest I plan to charge for; since I'm feeling fairly confident at producing some decent results:

IMG_5863
by Whey-Aye-Banzai, on Flickr

Or

IMG_7021
by Whey-Aye-Banzai, on Flickr

But what to charge? I reckon the shoot, including travel time, takes about two hours. Then there's probably about two hours editing in Lightroom. I don't print; I just give them the images in a folder in facebook and the JPEGS on an SD card.

£100 to go towards the next bit of camera equipment?

Any help would be much appreciated.
 

MrBane

LE
Moderator
Kit Reviewer
Reviews Editor
#2
Whatever you charge, I suggest highlighting the hours spent on post. Amazing how many people think you click and jobs done.
 
#3
True that

Although event photography, if you're doing it for someone else rates are normally rubbish

The money is made selling prints direct to punters, but that's a competitive market

It's damn hard work to make money from photography in general as thanks to the internet everyone thinks they're an expert, it's easier to make money teaching other people how to take photos....
 

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
#4
I would be inclined to charge by the mile , that a fair way of doing it especially if you have to travel some distance
I usually add half an hour to my first hour to cover local travel
my mechanic charges me 55 per hour
my plumber 70 pounds per hour
I charge 15 pounds per hour for general labouring work and 40 per hour for electrical work
its probably better if you have a set charge, that way you will get more work
a ton sounds fair
how much do the SD cards cost you
and how much is insurance on your kit in case you drop a camera ?
 
#5
I get paid to do some running event photography (a series of evening races and a couple of day time ones), where I reckon I've charged them far too cheaply. All the events are local and each probably takes about four hours, with another four-or-five hours editing the images. I get £120 per event. Which is okay. And it is my hobby. But it seems like a lot of work for not a lot of dosh.

And just recently I've done a spate of dog photography for friends, and once I do two more, the rest I plan to charge for; since I'm feeling fairly confident at producing some decent results:

IMG_5863
by Whey-Aye-Banzai, on Flickr

Or

IMG_7021
by Whey-Aye-Banzai, on Flickr

But what to charge? I reckon the shoot, including travel time, takes about two hours. Then there's probably about two hours editing in Lightroom. I don't print; I just give them the images in a folder in facebook and the JPEGS on an SD card.

£100 to go towards the next bit of camera equipment?

Any help would be much appreciated.
Another couple of cracking good photographs. Well done.
 
#6
@theoriginalphantom might be able to help. He's got a camera. One of those dirt cheap disposable ones.
 
#8
Back in the good old days when I worked as an assistant the punters would be lured in with a low day rate,Back then the going rate for corporate stuff was around a grand, one unscrupulous git that I worked for charged £500.
Then when the invoice came they would see hat they had been charged three times that for d&p, you would have thought that would deter repeat business but it didn't strangely enough.
It largely depends on the client, if its a big company then the skies the limit, but for individuals I think what you are charging sounds about right.
 

MrBane

LE
Moderator
Kit Reviewer
Reviews Editor
#10
This has reminded me of my wedding photography. Cracking company, paid £1k. Guy they sent tipe up, hungover, says he's not a wedding photographer but does advertising.

Pictures were shit, they ended up with me in their office doors opening the next day going fuuuuuuucking mental.

Got my money back, can't ever get the moment back though.

Cuuuuuuunts.
 
#11
You need to decide if it is a hobby, or a part-time occupation.

I worked closely with the army phots a lot and some of the civvy's employed by the army. They always seemed to have jobs going on the side from unit photos, regimental photos, wedding photos and dinner night photos. Their prices are dated nowadays but, they set their prices firmly and stuck to them - you can spend forever "doing a favour", or "doing it cheap" and the bottomline is it will cost you money.

My daughters, mate's dad, is a well regarded phot in the southern UK, he does anything commercial. He has a couple of contracts with posh end estate agencies and does the phots for the 'spensive houses, farms and mansions. 5 years ago he told me he used to get around 250 for a half days work for one of those - so nowadays you can up that a bit now. He also does work in London at the Mansion House and at other big functions when they are running the big dinners. I know for those he has a minimum cover/attendance charge for the official pics where he sends them a CD with watermarked photos, they choose which ones they want and he gets X per photo - plus he picks up extras from photos of couples and groups at the events. He also does stuff for Vogue and some of the top end fashion firms, but they are all by individual negotiation and can be fahsunds for a days work.

He has his office at home, a couple of computers and a shelf full of hard disks, camera and photography kit coming out of his arrse, he uses his cameras so much he buys new ones every year along with replacing lenses. For that he flies to New York and goes shopping at B & H Photo - latest gear, best prices - where I went for mine.

Note: When I sold my house here last year the estate agent sent a phot along to do the piccies and he told me that his standard fee for my size house was $350 - and it used to take him around and hour, plus an hour post-production (and also remember driving time each way) so around $350 for three hours work.
 
#13
I've always worked in blocks of £40. Roughly based on an hour per block, making sure to let them know that processing time is longer than shoot time, especially if they want every spot touched in.

If I can have use of shots for my own purposes, then I will reduce the price, but the naughtier side is charged at a higher rate because I hand over all files.

I once had a lady who insisted that I do all the edits in her presence after the shoot. I charged accordingly, she questioned this, until she realised how long I was taking doing the edits on her sofa! She almost ran out of coffee.

If I can do it my way, with my style, I'll charge a bit less than I would where the customer has set ideas. I don't do weddings.
 
#14
I would be inclined to charge by the mile , that a fair way of doing it especially if you have to travel some distance
I usually add half an hour to my first hour to cover local travel
my mechanic charges me 55 per hour
my plumber 70 pounds per hour
I charge 15 pounds per hour for general labouring work and 40 per hour for electrical work
its probably better if you have a set charge, that way you will get more work
a ton sounds fair
how much do the SD cards cost you
and how much is insurance on your kit in case you drop a camera ?
In the early days of the business (OHS) i charged $850 for an 8 hour day. $1200 became an industry norm in the noughties and over time i moved up to $1600 for a six hour. Some consultants charge less and we do miss the odd bid based on price, but the business makes enough to get by.

I guess my point is, charge whatever the market will pay.
 
#15
Don't forget to charge EVERYTHING against tax. I used to do loads of portrait/function work. I got a self employed mate to help with my tax return and the result was a healthy cheque back from the tax man. 10% of the gross value of your kit. Clothing and cleaning allowance. Food bought on a job. Use your home computer for uploads? - 10%. Mileage at 42p per mile. Claim everything you can think of, then claim some more.
 
#16
Don't forget to charge EVERYTHING against tax. I used to do loads of portrait/function work. I got a self employed mate to help with my tax return and the result was a healthy cheque back from the tax man. 10% of the gross value of your kit. Clothing and cleaning allowance. Food bought on a job. Use your home computer for uploads? - 10%. Mileage at 42p per mile. Claim everything you can think of, then claim some more.
Agreed. Remember, to include use of vehicle for any trips related to the job, picking up supplies etc. Reasonable charge for use of home office for admin.

Why not build a "model invoice" to include all of these items. Maybe start with costs of time onsite, then add charges for everything relating to you delivering the end product.
 
#17
Pictures were shit, they ended up with me in their office doors opening the next day going fuuuuuuucking mental.

Got my money back, can't ever get the moment back though.
The photograhs are going to be the longest serving memory of the wedding (wife excepted) and you will remember them long after the food / venue / music / presents etc - going cheap is a false economy.
 

A2_Matelot

LE
Book Reviewer
#18
I get paid to do some running event photography (a series of evening races and a couple of day time ones), where I reckon I've charged them far too cheaply. All the events are local and each probably takes about four hours, with another four-or-five hours editing the images. I get £120 per event. Which is okay. And it is my hobby. But it seems like a lot of work for not a lot of dosh.

But what to charge?
Nice images on FLIKR. Charge what you're comfortable with. You've had some great advice here, just don't sell yourself short.
 

MrBane

LE
Moderator
Kit Reviewer
Reviews Editor
#19
The photograhs are going to be the longest serving memory of the wedding (wife excepted) and you will remember them long after the food / venue / music / presents etc - going cheap is a false economy.
I didn't consider £1,000 cheap for four hours of photography. The company were and are excellent, our friends had all used them with great results for the same price.

On the day though, their guy had phoned in sick and so they'd pulled someone else from another field to cover last minute, hence the hangover, hence the shit photographs.

Still didn't stop me from nearly flipping the owners desk. Full refund was more from fear than anything I think. We've got pictures but they're just not to standard you'd expect.
 
#20
You need to decide if it is a hobby, or a part-time occupation.
This has a bearing. You don't want an Inspector querying someone else's accounts amongst which there are lines naming you, and you haven't submitted invoices and all that good stuff; you could find yourself in a bit of bother. I used to do (as a hobby, but all expenses paid for by client) wedding, regimental, squadron etc snaps, and it was enjoyable, but there was no legal contract involved as far as I was aware, even when my snaps were used by local papers (or Barzilay's books; grrrrr).

When you accept accountability you can charge whatever rate you wish. Until then, it's a hobby.
 

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