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View Full Version : my daugter...

04-28-2012, 03:12 PM
Does some photography weddings and senior pics... she will be 18 soon... \
how do i make sure she doesn't short change herself?

04-28-2012, 04:21 PM
I would look at websites of other photographers in your area and see what they are charging. Pricing is always tough and you will get as many opinions as there are people on the planet.

04-29-2012, 09:46 PM
Does some photography weddings and senior pics... she will be 18 soon... \
how do i make sure she doesn't short change herself?

This is the hardest part that most photographers will face. Each person has different things they will need to consider along with the going market. If she is planning to go to college I would say to take some business classes. Even if she doesn't it wouldn't be a bad idea to take a few classes on business management, marketing, etc. at the local college. It will help out a lot.

In my area the average pro wedding photographer will earn about 2500 for a package. Higher end goes for about 5k, and lower goes for about 500-1k.

She needs to consider cost of her equipment (even digital cameras have a life span), computers, software for editing, storage space both on the computer and off site so clients photos are available if something happens to work computer, her time both at wedding, before for engagement, bridal shots, etc., any post processing time, will there be travel expenses, cost of websites (usually annual), and finally paying Uncle Sam.

Since she is just starting out and is only 18, lets say she wants to earn/charge 15 dollars and hour. If she spends say 15 hours for one wedding (8 hours day of, 2 for engagement, 2 for bridal, and say 3 for processing all). That comes to $225, not bad for an 18 year old for 2 days of work.

But now you need to take into consideration taxes, putting money aside for future expenses, retirement, etc. That $225 disappears quick. I usually set aside 20% for taxes so take out $45 dollars for taxes, then I take out another 10% for future purchases/expenses so there goes another say $25 dollars, drop 10% into savings or money for healthcare and another $25 goes. Prefer to do both so you are not shooting for rest of your life and have healthcare if you need to go to doctors. (She might still be on your plan, but its something she needs to think about as a business owner/self employed for the future).

That $225 now has dropped down to 100-125 dollars of actual pay. At first she might feel the need to give the farm away for $500 dollars per wedding. What gets learned quickly to make a good living at that rate she needs to shoot a lot of weddings (50 come out to 25k before you take out taxes, expenses, etc.) That's an average of 1 wedding per week, lots of work, and hard to maintain that kind of average of yearly bookings. Most weddings are spring/summer so you will have a busy season 6 months really working. The next few months living off savings, family portraits, senior shots, etc.

Best case is to figure out your expenses then add that to how much you want to make per hour and average time you spending shooting. So if you have say 250 in monthly expenses, you want to charge 15 an hour, that means an average wedding if you spend 15 hours working it you would charge about $500.

First few weddings at the that rate is good so she can get comfortable. After a few weddings, more experience, bigger portfolio, etc. then start increasing her prices. The first few weddings she does make sure she tells the couple not to tell others how much she charged them. She does not want to be known as the budget shooter and get stuck in that $500 dollar package.

She can continue to raise her prices till the demand for her services start to fall off. When that happens she can come back down some till she gets a happy medium, where she is getting paid what she is worth, but not so much that she is missing jobs. Also having different level of packages is nice to have. A low package, a high package and a package in the middle (this is your bread in butter that you really want to make). Give them reasons to upgrade from a lower package to something higher.

05-10-2012, 07:50 PM
Always price shop, ask questions and see how much you get for your money.

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