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02-15-2012, 07:44 AM   #1
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how much to charge with only a kit lens?

OK. Although I've been a member here for some times already but my knowledge is not that much when relating to fees and charge for shooting.

The thing here is my college asked me to help take photos for a graduation and it will be during a weekend - Friday to Sunday. I will most probably only take photos half day. With only a Pentax K10D and a 18-55mm kit lens, how much should I charge?

Thanks for your suggestions, comments and advices in advance. I may have to tell the person in charge by the end of this week though.

02-15-2012, 08:19 AM - 4 Likes   #2
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It's not the equipment but the person behind it that matters

See my title, to some extent it is not the equipment but the person who generates the results.

Sure you could have (ill keep it in family so to speak) a K5 and a DA16050/2.8, but just because you have a newer and / or more expensive lens and camera you will automatically deserve more?

I don't think so.

If you can take the necseeary photos, with the necessary quality, specifically sharpnes, lighting, and composition, you should get paid what you think your time is worth.

are you doing group shots, class shots, portraits, are these to be artistic, or more classical in approach. what background do you have / need, and what lighting equipment do you have? many of these points are much more important than your lens and camera. Some, however, might determine what lens you should use, but for the camera, the K10D at low ISO is pretty good, and can deliver portraits up to 13 x 19 without difficulty
02-15-2012, 10:24 AM   #3
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@Lowell Goudge very well said sir
02-15-2012, 11:22 AM   #4
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I'll agree with Lowell as well. If you're going to buy a print made by Ansel Adams (or fill in your own choice), the price doesn't depend on the make, style, or type of paper that it's printed on.
Get paid for your time and trouble at artistic prices (or journalistic prices depending on your style).

02-16-2012, 03:54 AM   #5
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I believe what @Lowell Goudge said is true. It's not what the equipment that counts but the person behind the camera.

I do get the point here, it's just that I'm still not sure how much I should offer the cost of my time for taking the photos. Should I rate hourly, per day (half day) or other specific things?

To explain more, I'm taking photos for the graduation service, such as the graduates marching down the aisle, and group shots out the church probably. As I said, I only have those two equipment. No external flashguns used. I'm willing to invest in a 50mm but I doubt it because I don't have the money right now.
02-16-2012, 05:58 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxboy Quote
To explain more, I'm taking photos for the graduation service, such as the graduates marching down the aisle, and group shots out the church probably. As I said, I only have those two equipment. No external flashguns used. I'm willing to invest in a 50mm but I doubt it because I don't have the money right now.
If I understand what you're planning the shoot to be like, a 50mm is probably not what you want. I've done similar shoots for nephews and nieces using my Sigma 17-70 (my "kit" lens) quite successfully. I think a 50mm would be too limiting unless you're planning on changing lenses along the way. It's more of a head and shoulders, formal type, portrailt lens in my opinion. If you really have no respect for your 18-55, I would suggest more like a 35mm - 24mm range.

As far as what to charge is concerned, don't undervalue your time or skill level. (Nor over value it.) There's a reason they're asking you to do this. It sounds like you'll have the better part of a day between preparing, shooting, and knock down / clean up. Then don't forget there will be a second day in post processing, preparing for and printing. What is it you are expected to deliver? Just digital files on a memory card (include the cost of the card)? One set of prints (include printing costs)? Put the files on line for others to use as wanted (intellectual property forfeture cost as well as posting costs)? Is there a possibility of continuing sales to other participants and/or relatives of others (added value and revenue)?
02-16-2012, 07:09 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxboy Quote
I believe what @Lowell Goudge said is true. It's not what the equipment that counts but the person behind the camera.

I do get the point here, it's just that I'm still not sure how much I should offer the cost of my time for taking the photos. Should I rate hourly, per day (half day) or other specific things?

To explain more, I'm taking photos for the graduation service, such as the graduates marching down the aisle, and group shots out the church probably. As I said, I only have those two equipment. No external flashguns used. I'm willing to invest in a 50mm but I doubt it because I don't have the money right now.
Ok, given what you plan to do, and the type of shot, I assume you want to take a shot of each person (in full graduation robes) as they walk up to recieve thier diploma, and that this will be Indoor, and also poorly lit. You need a flash, with a difuser head, and this flash needs a good recycle rate.

Outdoor group shots, unless you have a high overcast day, will also need flash. this time for shadow and highlight control.

On camera flash will leave you with serious red eye issues in the church, making all your subjects look possessed. Even new bodies with high ISO will leave the church shots a little wanting in my opinion.

Sorry, but I just don't see getting this done without flash. Lens and camera are ot your limiting factor here.

If you have time, I would suggest going to the church and request the lighting be set as it would be during the graduation. Get a friend to dress in something close to the color of the graduation robes, (or get one from the school) and do some test shots, better to know before hand the issues you will have to deal with.
02-16-2012, 10:06 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by calicojack Quote
As far as what to charge is concerned, don't undervalue your time or skill level. (Nor over value it.) There's a reason they're asking you to do this. It sounds like you'll have the better part of a day between preparing, shooting, and knock down / clean up. Then don't forget there will be a second day in post processing, preparing for and printing. What is it you are expected to deliver? Just digital files on a memory card (include the cost of the card)? One set of prints (include printing costs)? Put the files on line for others to use as wanted (intellectual property forfeture cost as well as posting costs)? Is there a possibility of continuing sales to other participants and/or relatives of others (added value and revenue)?
If I remember, there will be some other friends who will accompany me during the graduation. If I'm not mistaken, the organizers will ask us/me to put the files in a USB pendrive or DVD and give it to them.

In short, they will hire me just to take photos using the equipment that I have right now and only give the photos that I will take to them.

02-16-2012, 01:27 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxboy Quote
If I remember, there will be some other friends who will accompany me during the graduation. If I'm not mistaken, the organizers will ask us/me to put the files in a USB pendrive or DVD and give it to them.

In short, they will hire me just to take photos using the equipment that I have right now and only give the photos that I will take to them.
How will you keep the names of people correct? you will need to at least catalog some how the photos to the roll call
02-16-2012, 11:09 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
How will you keep the names of people correct? you will need to at least catalog some how the photos to the roll call
How can I make a catalog about the photos? I think about keeping the names there will be other people who will help identify the names of the people in the photos, if I'm not mistaken.
02-17-2012, 01:36 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxboy Quote
How can I make a catalog about the photos? I think about keeping the names there will be other people who will help identify the names of the people in the photos, if I'm not mistaken.
If you have an assistant or someone with you perhaps have them check off each person in the program who attends, and occasionally note what photo you took beside a name in case.

You may also wish to reset your image counter before tou start, but that is your option.

If there is more than one class, or perhaps in a large class you could also use custom file names, if that is possible on your camera. Start the file name based upon letters of the alphabet, for example
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