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New Photography Business Advice - Rates & Easy ways to transfer image files

jesthepirate
Enthusiast

I recognize this isn't a question about my camera but you guys have been so helpful so I thought I'd get your take. (I use a Canon EOS R7).065A8011.jpg065A8264.jpg065A8371.jpg065A8448.jpg065A8754-2.jpg

As a professional, how much would you charge for these photos? This is my first client who's also my mom's friend. I didn't feel ready but she convinced me to give it a try before she left town. I didn't charge her for the session and she only wants the digital copies.

I'm also wondering. Are there any options to send high-resolution photos to clients for free? My budget is minimal right now.

Thank you!

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

ebiggs1
Legend
Legend

It is mandatory you get Photoshop and Lightroom. Not an option check out the Photographers Package from Adobe.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

View solution in original post

10 REPLIES 10

Danny
Moderator
Moderator

That is one absolutely adorable pooch!

He really was adorable! And he didn't bark once which just had my mind confused because he looks too much like a stuffed animal lol!

rs-eos
Elite
Elite

The best thing to do is to look up other photographers in your area to see what their pricing would be.  Additionally, look to having a mentor in your area.  They wouldn't need to capture photos in the same genre as you, but they could provide helpful details for local photography businesses.

Note: I'm not a professional photographer myself.  I've been tempted to perhaps do that in my retirement years, so I've been doing my own high-level fact-finding over the years.

There may be free trial versions or limited versions of things like DropBox you may be able to use.  Though longer term, you'd need to weigh the costs and potentially pass that off to your clients.  For argument sake, say you have 10 unique clients on average per month and you agree to store their photos for a year.   You can then work out the storage costs for the year and divide up amongst your clients.

--
Ricky

Camera: EOS 5D IV, EF 50mm f/1.2L, EF 135mm f/2L
Lighting: Profoto Lights & Modifiers

I've spoke to other photographers in the area. They're pretty private / don't like the idea of another photographer joining the community. I do have 3 photographer friends in another state that have been happy to answer my questions.

I've researched pet photographers in the area. I'll be the only one specifically catering to pets. I'm ironically in one of the wealthiest towns in the country. It looks like the average is about $300/hour session and then they double the cost of their orders.

I just don't want to overcharge as I'm unsure what the quality of these photos are. 

jrhoffman75
Legend
Legend

Dropbox has a free account with up to 2TB storage.

You wouldn't need to keep a client's images there all the time. Tell folks that they have 30 days to download the images and then you could remove them from Dropbox and store locally. If they want them again (meaning they didn't download and /or properly store on their computer) tell them you will upload again for a nominal fee.

Note that the basic plan my legally be limited to personal (non-business) use.

John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X Mark III, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, Pixma TR8620a, LR Classic

Smart move. Thank you!

wq9nsc
Authority
Authority

I have been using Smugmug for years for photos and it works easily and flawlessly in my experience.  They have multiple plans available based upon what features you want to make available for clients.  There is a significant discount for paying annually versus an ongoing monthly contract.  It is an easy way to provide access to customers for whatever time period you want to make the image available and print order and fulfillment is available via that hosting company.

I was a Dropbox user for years, primarily for sharing large research and other academic documents and data sets too large to easily email.  It was OK but it seemed like there were often annoying little changes/issues and I wouldn't want to deal with that for photo storage; particularly for paying clients.

I do photography purely as a hobby and plan to keep it that way.  But if you start getting into business, you need to familiarize yourself with the legal environment for your state, proper accounting for tax purposes, and protect yourself against liability especially if you plan to do weddings, parties, or other events where someone will be very unhappy if something goes wrong with the photography side of things.

For long term image storage, I archive to rotating mirror pairs of external hard drives.  One copy stays in my home office and the other in my professional office.  8 terabyte external drives hold a lot of images and are pretty cheap these days. I am not a fan of "The Cloud" for long term archival storage of valued images.

And now my standard marketing prof observation:  Starting a business is far more time consuming than it appears and the little costs add up very quickly.  Document everything or you will quickly find that you are effectively paying other people to order you to do things.  It is similar to how many people budget and are astonished that all of the little discretionary items they buy each month will quickly surpass major expenses like mortgage, utilities, etc. for those who don't exercise restraint.

Rodger

 

EOS 1DX M3, 1DX M2, 1DX, 5DS R, M6 Mark II, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video

jesthepirate
Enthusiast

This is really helpful. I wrote down start with Dropbox. Then once I have some money, try Smugmug and order an 8 terabyte hardrive. Then more hardrives. 

Thank you!

I've written out all my expences. My dad's a financial expert, he helped me out too.  I just don't want to offer too much as a beginner... I'd be happy just to gain $50 as a beginner. That's $50 more than I have lol!

ebiggs1
Legend
Legend

OK Kido form  a guy that did this stuff for a living. Dropbox or any file sharing inner web site is a bad idea. A very bad idea. This best way is the have a photo viewing session with the client. I use Lightroom and you should too if you are seriously considering going this route.

You need to select the top 10 or so not a huge number, just the top best shots. Never, I mean never show the bad ones!

Sit down with the client and show each one. They need to know they need to decide on which one(s) they want to purchase during the showing.  When you offer a purchase time that last for days, weeks or months the urge to buy decreases drastically and you will end up selling less.

You should have negotiated the price before you did the shoot. Most of us offer a package price for say 10 photos (whatever) with a session time limit of perhaps 1 hour (again whatever). It is difficult to now put a price on your work. At this point I would offer each one to her for ten bucks or so and learn from it. You need to watermark each one with your copyright logo. Probably not likely with a "friend" (you never know, however) but you need to issue a statement that the photos are for the clients personal non-profit use and are not for profit. This is called a limited use clause.

I got my niece interested years ago, she got in to the photography game and has been very successful. This is my niece's web site. Check it out and perhaps you can get some ideas from it.

Rachell Stierly Photography  

If you have any more questions I am always interested in helping new folks get started. For instance, I have legal forms that I would share if you like.

EB

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
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