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How to Price your Photography

Jared Polin November 19, 2010 24

One of the top questions I get asked is “how do I charge” for my photography. We all need to be making some sort of money from our work. You can not go on for ever doing work for FREE or as a “portfolio builder”. Sure the odd job here or there for charity is a great way to find new work and get your name out there. The mechanic gets paid to fix your car, the dentist gets paid to clean your teeth you need to get paid to take photos.

Now that we have an understanding that you have to make money to keep on keeping on lets figure out what you should charge. I like to go by my gut, I used to say “that sounds and feels right” and most of the time my pricing was spot on. That did not mean that the client wanted to pay that or was willing to pay that. You will face times where people want EVERYTHING but want to pay nothing and you have to decide if its worth doing or not. If you get stuck in the rut of always cutting breaks to people they will see you as the pushover who cuts them breaks. If someone is looking for a “student” to just take some pictures here or there you may not want to work with them because they will always be looking for someone who can do it cheaper.

Lets break down the process of figuring out what to charge. First what is your time worth, what do you make at your day job per hour? Does your hourly rate at a regular job seem reasonable to you or not? I use the example of a 5 hour total shoot. This would include travel, editing, your creative fee which is your skill to capture images as well as some sort of usage rights. To me for someone starting out to say it will be $225 for a session to photograph your family in the park that sounds reasonable. You will figure 2 hours of shooting, an hour of travel time, two hours of editing and than deliverable. When you break that down you are at $45 an hour. That money can go a long way to towards anything.

Always remember to over deliver, sweeten the pot any way you can without killing your bottom line. If spending a few bucks on 5 8×10’s that you include in the package gets you the job than don’t you think its worth it? You spend the $10 to make $240, you have to make the client want to work with you. If you are easy to work with, offer a great service and deliver quality work you will be on your way to making a nice living at doing something you love.

Take a listen to the audio below to get some more inside information. A lot of this information will be expounded upon in my upcoming courses and books.

The Fro and His Grandma Lil #26 Finger Cuffs

Jared Polin November 18, 2010 5

Look at the SMILE on LIL’s face in this video, its huge!!!!! I thought it would be fun to see how Lil would react to the “Chines Finger Toucher Device”.

First she didn’t know what it was than she couldn’t put the right finger in it but she finally got it. I got a little worried that if she pulled to hard she just might pull her finger out.

Take a look at this weeks video below.

Wedding Photography Composition Discussion

Jared Polin November 18, 2010 11

For this weeks Flickr Photo of the week I got on a call with NYC based Photographer Daniel Krieger . Daniel is a photographer that I met this year at Photo Plus Expo who added this really eye catching shot to the Flickr Photo Group. What caught my eye about this photo is the low angle, straight lines and overall quality of the image. Of course it is a cropped image but in this case it works for what he was trying to accomplish.

I love who symmetric this image is. Everything is just perfectly even from left to right and the fact that the top and bottom are not equal makes this image even more striking. It is amazing how much the subjects pop out at you. They were captured with a Nikon D3s and the Nikon 70-200 2.8 VRII shot at 2.8.

Take a listen to our conversation to hear more about this photo. Be sure to submit your images to the flickr photo group as well.

Boardwalk Wedding

I Shoot RAW HOODIE

Jared Polin November 17, 2010 5

The first HOODIES have started to arrive to their new homes. Here is a picture of JOE showing his OFF!!! Get yours TODAY, click the FRO STORE

I Shoot RAW Hoodie

Lightroom Crop Tool & Other Tips

Jared Polin November 17, 2010 7

Crop tool. We always want to avoid it but sometimes we just can’t. Our photo might be a little off kilter or the client wants the photo cropped. Other times Mom wants it to fit in a regular 8×10 frame, ruining our perfect 2×3 in-camera composition. I show you how each part of the crop tool works plus a bonus keyboard shortcut to switch from vertical and horizontal.

Keyboard shortcuts have been around in Photoshop forever. Now Lightroom has its own set of them…if you want to cut down the time you spend editing your photos you should learn them. The best way to learn is one at a time. Refer to the shortcut list (Ctrl + /) and keep using each one until it becomes habit.

The flag status (X for reject) allows me to sort through photos much more quickly. Until recently I didn’t know how to turn off the rejected flag with the keyboard. There are two ways, either with the backtick ` (top right of your keyboard, under the tilde ~) or Ctrl + Up / Ctrl + Down.