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Taking Care of Business
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Old December 9th, 2008, 08:19 PM   #31
Inner Circle
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Arlington, TX
Posts: 2,231
You are not incorrect!

I just think that the learning curve to produce what I think of as professional work is a lot longer than most want to think.

Doing some freebee jobs and then hanging your shingle so to speak, in my mind is not enough to charge pro rates.

You know it literally takes years of interacting with clients and finishing projects to get a firm grip on producing something of professional caliber.

I come from the point that I meet a lot of people/clients that have been burned by camera owners that charge their rate first and don't back up the results with any customer service, ethics or expertise.

So to me, it is o.k. to charge less if you are going to offer less.

But you are correct as well in that we need to stand up for what we do and charge for it. It is not easy to do this stuff at a high level.
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Old December 9th, 2008, 08:39 PM   #32
Inner Circle
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Brooklyn, NY, USA
Posts: 3,841
Tim, every client I know looks at a demo. They immediately know what they're getting. What I find is the clients who DON'T KNOW will look at a good demo and ask for $25/hr. Well they're going to go out and get the newbie if that's the price they want.

I've seen dishonest newbies rip off clients with someone else's demo. That's another story. It's rare though.

The other aspects of experience not shown in a demo are ability to problem solve, meet budgets etc, happen when you meet with the client. That's SALES. Some clients don't know to ask those questions.

I find the biggest problems are newbies who charge TOO LITTLE, NOT TOO MUCH and clients who expect unreasonably low rates.

I've honestly seen very few shingle hangers who have little experience and charge too much. Look at the posts on this forum. Many newbies with low rates asking questions. I don't see anyone posting "I charged the client $250/hr and he's PO'd cause I charged too much."

I have certainly gotten my share of fix it jobs that were botched by newbies but that's because the newbie was charging very little and the client price shopped . . . and got exactly what they paid for.

Last edited by Craig Seeman; December 9th, 2008 at 10:56 PM.
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Old December 9th, 2008, 10:11 PM   #33
Inner Circle
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 6,609
I guess I have to ask, at what point are you not a 'shingle hanger' and become a 'pro'?

I like many here on the board have been doing this for over 25 years and did 12 years before that as a professional still photographer. When did I become a professional still photog? After 2 years, 3 or 10? after I shot 100 weddings, sports and news for the newspaper or after 2 years doing contract work for a product studio and doing 364 pages of a 366 page catalouge? When did I become a professional video cameraman? How many years or jobs does it take. Am I 1 today? 1600+ weddings hundreds of commerical/corporate jobs, TV shows, TV commericals? When did I qualify?
If you really want to stay true to the definition of professional it is as soon as one recieves compensation for a job. It has nothing to do with a specific amount of money time or quality of work.
I'm not arguing semantics just trying to understand one concept of professional.

Remember, some people know the cost of everything and the value of nothing. Those people usually get what they pay for and deserve.

Just one professionals opinion.

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Old December 9th, 2008, 10:40 PM   #34
Inner Circle
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Arlington, TX
Posts: 2,231
You guys are on the money.

I will admit that I can be non traditional with my view of money and charging as I can see the consumer's point of view as well.

To me professional means experience and talent along with the aptitude to make your sole living from your craft.

Professional is a state of mind - always get the job done, have a backup plan, 100% attention to quality, serve your customer...

I don't think you qualify, it is how you act and execute.

It is all subjective, but I will stand by my idea that each person needs to decide for themselves what rate they are worth.
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