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Meryem Ersoz July 1st, 2009 11:04 PM

Portrait Photography Pricing
Hi stills people:

We have a very good health services client, the type of client for whom we have done enough (video) work, that we frequently run out the door without pricing the job or sending them a contract and they always pay promptly, without a fuss. A dream client in many ways.

We have shot a lot of video for them, but one of them asked me to shoot his professional portrait, which I did today.

The shoot turned out extremely well -- he looks very rugged and manly and trustworthy...

Can someone advise me on how to price this? What is the low, medium, and high end of portrait photography pricing? I tried to look this up online, but it was too varied, thought I'd look here for help.

The first guy I looked at only charged $70, but that doesn't even cover my hourly video rate...but I don't want to rip him off or seem unreasonable, either. The shoot took 2 hours, but reviewing is taking some time. And then will be some color adjustments to the preferred picture, etc. Would billing him hourly for five hours seem too high?

Thanks for any guidance--

Andrew Smith July 5th, 2009 08:10 AM

I'd run it on an hourly rate basis.

Anyone can sit down and have a quick-snap at some photography studio, but sometimes you'd rather have it done by someone (a) who knows your needs well and (b) is prepared to put in the time to make it the best it can be.

In the end, it's the relationship that is worth far more than this photo could ever be.


Dylan Couper July 14th, 2009 08:55 AM

Why not just charge your hourly video shooting rate (not including gear you didn't bring) for the shooting time, and your editing rate for the Photoshop time?

If he's a really good client, I'd probably eat some of the time rather than shock him. If it took two hours to shoot, he won't be expecting to pay for 5 hours, since photo clients never really get how much time you spend going through photos and Photoshop work. Maybe bill him at your normal hourly rate for 2+1 hours.

Richard Mather December 3rd, 2009 05:04 PM

A lot often depends on the usage. I know it sounds daft but often a personal portrait can be significantly lower in cost than one a company requires unlimited us of. Its not something I personally agree with or use, but it is how it is often priced.
My personal pricing varies based upon how much I like the job. If hes a great client, and you spent maybe 30 minutes shooting it, without too much specialist equipment, bill a token $100 and take the intangible benefits of keeping him happy. Without knowing what lenths you went to for the shot its hard to price accurately. If you spent several hours, with lighting etc then its reasonable to charge more.
As others have commented your hourly rate is a fair place to start, but factored into that hourly rate is the equipment you used and post processing.
Personally, if I did the reverse, shot some video for a photo client I would probably charge a token fee that was reasonable. I did something similar a few months back and simply asked what I reckon it would cost to take my wife out for a meal. Everyones happy.

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