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Thread: how do i start out?

  1. #81

    Default Re: how do i start out?

    Hart,

    Any suggestion on how many hard copies and soft copies to give and how much to charge friends for a studio photography session with humble set-ups ie. 3 to 4 changes of backdrop and some props? My friends have been bugging me for a session for their kids, but I don't know how much to charge. I read from another thread that we should never charge dirt cheap or free - does that apply to friends even?

  2. #82

    Default Re: how do i start out?

    Quote Originally Posted by ashreis View Post
    Hart,

    Any suggestion on how many hard copies and soft copies to give and how much to charge friends for a studio photography session with humble set-ups ie. 3 to 4 changes of backdrop and some props? My friends have been bugging me for a session for their kids, but I don't know how much to charge. I read from another thread that we should never charge dirt cheap or free - does that apply to friends even?
    Generally, my friend will pay my full fee - 10%

    I m running a business and have cost to cover and my friend generally understand that. Those so call "friend" but expect free shoot, I don't do them.

    I may sometimes do for free if there is something of my interest (commercially or personally).

    Hope it helps.

    Hart

  3. #83

    Default Re: how do i start out?

    Hart,

    Thanks for the reply. I am sure you are talking about you having a business that's up and running already. How about when you have not fully ventured out? I'm sure your friends would have noticed that you were taking photographs even before you started running a business officially.

    I haven't decided if I want to take the dive. In fact, even if I want to, I don't think it'll be so soon. But I do not want my friends to see me or even recommend me as 'the cheap photographer' in time to come if I should venture into it. On the other hand, I don't think I'm professional enough to be charging the market rate - 10%.

    Were you totally confident of your shots before you started up? I have this niggling feeling of 'what if they are disappointed and don't dare to say?' It's horrible feeling this way. Did you never doubt yourself?

  4. #84

    Default Re: how do i start out?

    Quote Originally Posted by ashreis View Post
    Hart,

    Thanks for the reply. I am sure you are talking about you having a business that's up and running already. How about when you have not fully ventured out? I'm sure your friends would have noticed that you were taking photographs even before you started running a business officially.

    I haven't decided if I want to take the dive. In fact, even if I want to, I don't think it'll be so soon. But I do not want my friends to see me or even recommend me as 'the cheap photographer' in time to come if I should venture into it. On the other hand, I don't think I'm professional enough to be charging the market rate - 10%.

    Were you totally confident of your shots before you started up? I have this niggling feeling of 'what if they are disappointed and don't dare to say?' It's horrible feeling this way. Did you never doubt yourself?
    Oh... if you are talking a first few portfolio, I am happy to do them free of charge for my friend and give them the CD with a set of proof prints printed at my choice of lab, but make sure they know that you will be using the images so it is TFCD if you want to think about it. Even that, I will specify a value and have it as a contract so everyone understand and you are covered.

    For example, my earlier work, first 2 clients I did, I say, my charge is $250 and will give them CD but as they engagement as model, I waived it off, but I get full control of the images.

    So that is you are saying, you are charging $250 for your service, which is not a lot but should be nice to cover some bases.

    Yes, certainly I always doubting myself... it is a good thing... (I even wrote about it on my blog in April 2010, http://www.tomato.sg/blog/?p=88)

    As Cheryl Jacob Nicolai says, A Style is not something that you can borrow, steal, copy, and it is something that has to come from inside you.

    I was doing that without knowing it. I like to be different, I don't like to follow but prefer to do my own thing. So it was a nightmare working in a corporate world.. too opinionated as my MD would describe me...

    My father's friend who is an entrepreneur says I am an artist and I should really be more "commercialised" but unfortunately, didn't work well for the commercial part within me. But I am glad that I made it far enough to support my family.

    Sometimes, you have to just do what your gut feeling tells you... somehow, it was the right path...

    A lot of times, my decision on what I do things don't makes a lot of sense (business wise), many would questions it... even my wife... but gosh... I love and hate that kind of feeling...

    What makes me happy is doing something I thought it is right and give it all... but if I am wrong... I am always happy that I did try to make it happen.

    Photography is my life and I am glad that it put food on the table. There you go... I digress again.

    Regards,

    Hart

  5. #85

    Default Re: how do i start out?

    Thanks, Hart, for sharing, even your insecurities and uncertainties.

    Charging $250 for the first two clients ... wow, I find that exorbitant. There are studios out there charging just $100 or even $80. I wouldn't see myself charging such a rate at this moment.

    Thanks for sharing just about everything you know, and feel. When you see successful individuals, it's difficult to imagine they made bad moves too.

  6. #86

    Default Re: how do i start out?

    Quote Originally Posted by ashreis View Post
    Thanks, Hart, for sharing, even your insecurities and uncertainties.

    Charging $250 for the first two clients ... wow, I find that exorbitant. There are studios out there charging just $100 or even $80. I wouldn't see myself charging such a rate at this moment.
    Some will start cheap to get clients in an resort to hard-selling to get more money. I prefer to charge enough so I don have to sell. I don't see a proper professional studio charge this little.

    Sometimes initial high price seems too much to pay, but if it offers more value then Say the $80-$100 type... I don't see why not. I always stress the Value vs Price equation.

    The reason why I retain 85% referral rate is my approach of "no selling" but I allowing my client to "purchase" so most clients seem to find that I provide "value" although I am not "cheap" in comparison. They can choose to buy nothing and they won't be given that "cold" feeling. They can spend as little as they want but they will get no less then those spend a lot from me.

    It's a difficult model in the beginning but great for long term. Always think about long term, never just short term gain.

    Regards,

    Hart

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