For me, photography has usually been a pleasant experience… It’s certainly one of my favorite pastimes and helps relive stress. But lately I’ve considered refusing to take on any new projects.
Before all of this happened, my favorite rewards for photography were tradeoffs. Paid trips in exchange of family vacation photos. Headshots for an airplane ride. Snapshots for hand drawn portraits. Theater tickets, baked goods, art …
I used to never charge for taking pictures. In fact, all sorts of excuses would pop out in order to avoid the subject. Then one day, a stranger asked for a photoshoot. I said I’d do it for $35 but he was sort of insulted and handed me a $100 bill instead.
Since then– I decided to tell my clients to look up the pricing of photography and give me what they thought was appropriate. Somewhere between the normal rates and what they could afford. At first this worked out great. People, especially gentlemen, were very generous with the amounts they paid.
Girls on the other hand are a whole different story. Of course, on certain projects I’ll collaborate with makeup artists, hairstylists, modeling coaches – whatever it takes to get the images desired. When photoshoots are requeste, though, people often expect wardrobe, makeup, props, transportation….etc. to be provided for projects I never intended nor have the inspiration to do. Sometimes arrangements will be made for one person but friends and family will appear unannounced and expecting to get in on the deal.
During one particular incident, I spent 3 hours granting the every wish of two individuals who posed with their expensive clothing and accessories, often making comments about how well to do they appeared. One of these individuals was particularly rude, refusing to return my camera, deleting images without permission and hogging attention from the other during the session in general. I was paid a less than deserving amount and became slightly annoyed when others asked for photoshoots later on.
Summer was in. Senior pictures were in. The price of $65 per session, edited digital copies of all the best shots… not so much. I thought $65 was a fair price. Don’t studios do the same job for more? Extra charges for different cloths, editing, poses – whatever? After deciding that $65 was not a cool price – one senior decided take pictures of various classmates earning $25 for each session.
So now, I’m kind of annoyed and am not sure what to do about pricing. Too high, too low. I just don’t know