Something just came to my mind and I thought I'd ask around here.
Noticed there are a few rates/how much do you charge threads here and would just like to ask those who shoot professionally, even freelance, how did you come about with the fee you currently command? i.e. How you learnt how much to charge?
I think this probably doesn't apply to just photographers but web designers, graphic designers, illustrators and so on in a similar creative industry. I was a digital media student and am going to be an arts student and I just can't help but feel that this basic survival know-how isn't imparted to students or rather professionals-to-be.
Yeah there's still the option of putting up a good portfolio and apply for a job at some studio and get a fixed monthly salary. But what about freelancers? Especially to those just starting out. I feel that due to the lack of market knowledge, they either get "jiak" by companies looking for cheap source, or they price themselves higher than competition.
I understand the concept that you charge what you think your works are worth but I'm sure there should be some sort of a standard market rate out there isn't it?
I also remember a person told me that if you charge a certain fee when you're starting out, people will see you at this certain rate and how much you can increase will be limited and not too far off from your initial rate. In that sense, you wouldn't want to start out with too low a rate for it would impact your further growth. How true is that?
So what was your learning process like? How did you learn about the market standards? Did you have like a magical formula to calculate your rates? Ask people what are their rates directly (like some threads here)? Learn the hard way (either kena "jiak" or no jobs due to high rates)?
I'm looking forward to the various responses. In a way, I'm keen to learn more about this basic survival skill.