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Old Jan 1, 2011, 8:22 PM   #11
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Like Mark said always and I mean always have backups, a second camera of good quality, extra memory card for simple session and many for a wedding and extra good quality lenses and have a good cleaning kit just in case something gets sprayed on tossed into the camera lens by accident (I got a piece cake accidentally shoved into my camera when a guest got pushed into me at the last family wedding I did. Had to change lenses for a minute till I had a chance to clean it. Missed a few shots but better than be out of commission for 3 or 4 minutes cleaning off the lens.

Even as a news photographer every where I go I have at least 2 extra memory cards, 2 extra sets of batteries, cleaning kit and a second camera with me. In fact the spare gear always stays in my camera bag unless it is needed for shooting.

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Old Jan 1, 2011, 11:16 PM   #12
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I feel the advice you are getting from these gentlemen is some of the most valuable I have seen on this subject. I would like if I may, to give you something to compare it to.

I am a carpenter by trade. When just starting out I would ask what everyone else was charging for the same work. I immediately felt like I wasn't worth the money others were charging because I had never had the experience they seemed to have, so I opted to work for a couple of friends for about 1/4 what was expected. Thinking this was OK until I realized it was costiing me more to go there, set up, do the work, clean up and go back home, than what I was making. I was loosing money by trying to make a name for myself, and gain experience. I soon realized that this approach would not work so I ultimately had to bring up my prices to break even, and maybe make some profit. The problem was, every one had already got the word that I would do the job for less money than others, so I found myself constantly having to dicker with customers about pricing. They would say things like "well you did the same thing for John for half as much", and things like that. I would have to go through the whole explanation of how materials cost more, price of gas is more, and anything else I could think of to justify my rate increase. Finally I got on even keel and things worked out, partially because I really am a good carpenter, and partially because I finally realized that I am worth what I am asking for. I am competitive with my price but always strive to do the best job, or at least a better one than my competitors will commit to, that in itself gives me business. You must establish self worth, and confidence in your ability, to justify in your own mind that your skills have value.

Profit is not a dirty word. We, no matter what our chosen profession, are expected to make some money. After all, we are in it to put food on the table for our family, and pay for all the incidentals that a family uses or wants includiing our own. I have found that people WANT to pay you for your work (if it is done correctly), and you will find out that people respect you for charging appropriately for what you do. Selling yourself short is failure in the making to start off with.

If you are not comfortable charging your friends as you should, I would suggest working a while longer under someone in your area that will give you the inside track on what is involved in a shoot, and what can and does go wrong at the most in-opportune times without costing yourself an arm and a leg for the experience.

One last thing some times I will start out charging a friend full price, and then after it is done, give them some kind of discount that is comfortable to both them and myself, so they appreciate the break more and realize what a bargan they are actually getting...and doing business with your friends is one of the hardest things to do in a real business.....Good luck Frank
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Last edited by hkmp50; Jan 1, 2011 at 11:26 PM. Reason: spelling and things
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Old Jan 1, 2011, 11:31 PM   #13
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That was a really good piece of advice thank you very much
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Old Jan 2, 2011, 12:36 PM   #14
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Just spotted your recent thread with your fiance and the dog. I would say looking at the edit, pose and lighting that it is best to keep on for a bit longer before charging for shots. Keep on reading, practising and posting and you will get there.
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Old Jan 2, 2011, 2:41 PM   #15
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Well I plan on keep pracing before I do the shoot I got offered to be paid on im not doing that till spring/summer but the lady im doing her sons senior pics of really liked that pic I did of my finace but im still gonna keep working to get better
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Old Jan 2, 2011, 6:38 PM   #16
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I'm not sure if you look at other places for inspiration and to see what other people are producing, ranging from pretty new to seasoned pro.

We don't really have anyone here shooting seniors to any standard so this isn't always the best place to learn. I look to a few other sites when looking for more of this type of work as well as inspiration for wedding/portrait sessions.

These show the sort of level I would be aiming for to do a paid job justice.

http://www.dgrin.com/showthread.php?t=182860
http://www.dgrin.com/showthread.php?t=181608
http://www.dgrin.com/showthread.php?t=184916
http://photocamel.com/forum/portrait...momma-mia.html
http://photocamel.com/forum/portrait...ah-senior.html
http://photocamel.com/forum/portrait...ss-2010-a.html
http://photocamel.com/forum/portrait...on-2011-a.html
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/957174/0
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/955049
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/949907
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/949184
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/948616
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Old Jan 2, 2011, 6:40 PM   #17
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thanks for the links
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