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Thread: A good way to start??

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    A good way to start??

    Hi All,
    Just want some opinions. I am looking at trying to turn my photography in to a little money making hobby (to fund my expenses if nothing else). I am probably going to start by approaching local accommodation businesses to see if I can take photos for their web sites etc. I run an accommodation business myself and have a good idea of what to look out for and have had some good feedback on some of my accommodation photos.

    To get started, I'm thinking I will offer to take photos for businesses, time is free, any photos they like I will sell to them for $5-10 each or something. This way it's not costing them anything unless they want the photos, it gives me good practice doing what I'd like to do, and also help me build a portfolio & experience.

    I'm currently setting up my own website dedicated to this.

    Sound like a fair deal and good place to start???
    Pentax K20D - Sigma 10-20mmf3.5 - Sigma 18-55mm & 50 - 200mm kits - Pentax A Series 50mm f1.7 - Hoya CPL Filter & Hoya ND8 Filter & Dodgy tripod that does the trick for now!
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    Shoot for free to build your portfolio

    When you can demonstrate your ability through experience and portfolio charge (properly).

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    Member SRR33's Avatar
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    ^ I agree with the above comment.

    But no harm in trying to sell your photos. See what works and doesnt work. Experiment a bit with your marketing and go from there. Perhaps just do a quick survey for yourself and see if they actually want photos in the first place.

    gdluck.

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    Charge like a wounded bull...if you shoot for free or for little no-one will ever pay you again
    Darren
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi View Post
    Charge like a wounded bull...if you shoot for free or for little no-one will ever pay you again
    Nah, I disagree.

    It's easier to progress from free to charging well than it is from cheap to charging well.

    Be up front that you are taking on limited amount of free assignments to build a new segment of your portfolio. Most businesses will be agreeable to that scenario, assuming they have a need.

    When you can represent a professional portfolio, charge accordingly.

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    I dunno, they might be sitting there willing to pay well, you never know until you ask.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi View Post
    I dunno, they might be sitting there willing to pay well, you never know until you ask.
    And if the photos (that you're inexperienced in capturing) suck, you look like a chump.

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    So what do you think you are Gav1n, a chump or a champ?!

    Not that I make any money from my photography, but to me $5-10 sounds very low for what could be a valuable marketing tool for the client.

    Andrew.
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    If they buy 20 or so pics from me, I'd be happy with $200 for a few hours work to start with. Once things get moving I would obviously change my pricing structure. If I can get paid anything while I build a portfolio I'd be happy....

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    what about insurance and stuff incase you fall over trip and cannot work for a period of time, or someone trips over your camera bag and hurts themself, not trying to put a dampner on your idea,
    insurance may be a pita, but, having been on the out of work scenario myself due to someone elses negligence I can attest to its need.

    One day I'll take some serious photos, just not today
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeke View Post
    Nah, I disagree.

    It's easier to progress from free to charging well than it is from cheap to charging well.

    Be up front that you are taking on limited amount of free assignments to build a new segment of your portfolio. Most businesses will be agreeable to that scenario, assuming they have a need.
    When you can represent a professional portfolio, charge accordingly.
    Every week you hear about some poor chump that's been sprung for not paying insurance/government fees complaining he couldn't afford it because he only charged $5/$10 for the job. Doesn't carry any weight if there's an accident or someone dobs you in.
    Much better charging nothing and when you're ready set up your business properly.
    Photojournalist | Filmmaker | Writer | National Geographic | Royal Geographic

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    While I completely agree with Zekke, Redgum and others, I'd get some public liablity insurance anyway. An annual policy isnt too expensive.
    William

    www.longshots.com.au

    I am the PhotoWatchDog

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    yep cover your bum first if you are charging anything at all. Ask me how easy it is to put your tripod leg thru a glass fronted cabinet.....

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    Just on this, whether you charge or not is to me irrelevent reharding liability is it not ? In this case youd still be liable I would have thought regardless if you charged $0 or $100000

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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi View Post
    Just on this, whether you charge or not is to me irrelevent reharding liability is it not ? In this case youd still be liable I would have thought regardless if you charged $0 or $100000

    Absolutely right Kiwi

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    Yeah I wouldn't think it would matter what you charge in terms of liability.

    Also, I would decide what you want to charge for your services ideally (i.e. once you have your portfolio, make sure you don't undersell yourself here though, and factor in all the hidden expenses and then take in to account how much you value your time and what you want to make out of photography) and then offer a discount to whatever clients are willing to take a "risk" with you to allow you to build your portfolio. That way you are upfront with what you would normally charge, and that you are offering a discount now due to the fact that you are still building a portfolio to represent your work. The benefit with this is that once you want to start charging at a "normal" rate clients are aware that you haven't just hiked your fee for no apparent reason and shouldn't feel like you are ripping them off.

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    Discount vs free

    I've have always stuck to the rule of free or full rate (nothing in between). If I am going into a new area without any experience (and I need to obtain that experience before charging clients I try and find a job to do where there is no pay and no responsibility).

    Once I am happy with the results I will charge clients the full rate. Over the years I have found it never works to start out by offering your services at a discount to what you really want to be paid (let alone working on the basis that you will be paid only if the clients want to buy some of the images). Every return client or refferal from a discount job will expect the same discounted rates forever (i.e. no matter what you have said to them the cost of the first job will be what they expect every job to cost).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Longshots View Post
    While I completely agree with Zekke, Redgum and others, I'd get some public liablity insurance anyway. An annual policy isnt too expensive.
    Absolutely... as an OH&S professional, I can't stress the importance of this enough! My policy cost me a little over $400 per year for $10m cover.
    Living the dream...

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    Jasevk, is that specifically for a professional "photographer"?

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    Red, thats correct - photographers public liability for personal injury, property damage & advertising injury.

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