Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

What price should I charge for a photoshoot?


My wife and I were asked to take photos of a senior class from my old high school as they go on a weekend retreat to a local summer camp. It will be an overnight trip (all costs covered, food and sleeping arrangements). So I'm thinking about a day and a half of shooting off and on throughout the day.


We are new to charging for photography, but we have a few years of experience taking photos. So our pictures are very good, and we have good equipment. And we live in Oklahoma. 



We do a lot of these kinds of photo shoots - favors for friends or community service organizations.  Since you are getting free room & board, so to speak, you should probably not charge an hourly fee for the weekend.  That would entail keeping track of shooting time and down time - way too much work.  A flat fee for the weekend would be acceptable.  You should charge mileage for travel to and from the venue.  You should charge a reasonable hourly rate for the post-processing done after the weekend as well as any supplies/services you will be using.  Be sure to hand out business cards to the people attending; this will be a opportunity to develope contacts for future jobs.  I can't suggest dollar amounts because that depends on the area.  Meanwhile, enjoy the weekend.  Hone your skills in people photography and enjoy the great outdoors.




Pro bono.

Don't charge for it al all.  Some things you just do because.................Smiley Indifferent

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

@ebiggs1 wrote:

Pro bono.

Don't charge for it al all.  Some things you just do because.................Smiley Indifferent

Pro bono usually implies you're doing something that you could have charged for. Everyone understands that under different circumstances you would expect to be paid. Doing your first job pro bono puts you on a slippery slope; people will expect you to do your next job for free as well, even if the eleëmosynary aspect of the work is less obvious. So if you do the job for free, you want to get some benefit from it.


In this case a benefit is that you're now free to mention to the other chaperones that you're planning on breaking into paid photography and see if they have any suggestions. They may even know somebody who has a project coming up that you could do. At a minimum, they should get the point that if your name comes up in the future, you should be regarded as a paid professional.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA


(Edit: Robert, thank you for your comment as well. I agree with your process of free work resulting in future paid clients. This client is that paying client has already been referred to us by a free client.)

Thank you for your comment ebiggs1. I understand where you're coming from. We have done several shoots for free, and now it is time to start charging for them. Also the client organizing the retreat asked us to give them a price, so that's why I was asking here. 

We have invested in camera equipment and my wife is doing photography as a part time job now, along with another part time job. So it's part of her monthly income now.

I respect what you have to say. If you don't mind, I'd like to hear your advice on what to charge if we do charge for this one. Because I believe to not charge is not okay. Imagine I work as a cashier at Target and i choose not to clock in for 2 days, just give 8 hours each day of pro bono work to Target. Actually I don't think they even legally can allow you to do that. We should treat freelance work with the same mindset.

I am sorry I misread your question.

"...were asked to take photos of a senior class from my old high school..."

I thought you meant 'your' Senior class. If it is just 'another' Senior class it is totally a paid gig.  I am currently charging $50 per hour for this type work. Got one to do this Saturday, matter of fact.  It may be a pain to keep track of the time but get used to it. If you truly want to make a job out of it, that is part of the game.  I usually have a two hour minimum too.  I also charge mileage if it is over a certain limit.


I disagree, again, with B from B.  You will and should do some or certain jobs for free or no charge.  From what I now think I understand, this is not one of them.  The fact you do pro bono work has nothing to do with nor should anyone think it means all work is free.  That is ridiculous.


If you think keeping track of hours is too difficult, figure out a flat fee based on $50 whatever dollars per hour and offer that sum.  Keep in mind clients don't like it if they see you having a bunch of fun at their expense or not making a real effort to earn what they are spending.  if it is a job that is exactly what it is.

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

Thanks for responding again, this definitely helps!
Enter for a chance to win