There are various discussions on how much to charge for photo assignments and there are various hidden costs like depreciation and maintenance of equipments, transport, post-processing time, manpower etc etc. The general advise is to consider properly before providing budget photography service to their clients before charging dirt cheap or even free photographer service for the purpose of "building of port folio".
As we know, new professional photographer charges their service at a low price and starts building up from the bottom and increases their price. In my definition, professional = charge for photography service.
We tend to see things from a photographer's point of view. Let's now discuss in another point of view - the consumer. If you are a consumer, and you need someone to take photo for an event. Let's say a friend's 30th birthday party.
Knowing this photographer owns two mid-range DSLR (one main and one spare), and he uses lenses like 35mm F1.8 and maybe a Tokina 11-17 F2.8. From his port folio, his photos are rather decent and proper. All technical aspects were achieved but needs more experience for creativity. Let's assume he charges for 3 hours of service, returns all photo in soft copy, rights remain with the photographer, and basic post process are to be done. What is a reasonable rate to you (as a consumer) and what is the maximum rate that you are willing for fork out for his service?
Will you engage his service if he charges $800 for three hours of service? Note that he is very very new in paid photography service.
The reason why i'm asking is, i once helped a friend to shoot a fun shoot for his pre-wedding. I'm doing it for free because we'd known each other for a long time. His wife and himself is satisfied with my work. However, when i asked whether will he engage me for $60 an hour, he said that he will not, because my opportunity cost is low.
Opportunity cost is defined by the potential amount of money that you can earn for the same duration if you took up an assignment elsewhere, which is $0 for me.
Does this means that your client will judge you based on your experience and profession instead of purely the end product? When you are new, they will tend to pull down your charging price because you are "not there yet".
So, let's see if we can have a gauge of what is a reasonable price so that you will engage a newbie photographer for a novice assignment.
Please do not say things like "pay peanut get monkey" or "i will not engage a newbie photographer" kind of comment as that is another point for discussion already.
Thank you for your time!