In This Article: Instead of offering free shoots, this is how I used to charge clients when I didn't know what I was worth yet and was still paying my dues. | Article by: That Toronto Photographer
Hello! Lots of times I get questions from people like "What should I charge for my photography?" or they tell me their clients ask them "How much does a promo video cost to make?" - Assuming you can't quote at market value because your portfolio is not yet up to par, well--you still wanna get paid so here's what I used to do:
When I used to be uncertain about what would be fair to charge I would often just ask clients what they need done, and based on that I’d ask them what they think is fair.
These questions are helpful for two reasons: 1. Having them explain everything out in detail makes them realize just how much work they’re asking for, and then 2. when they say what “they think is fair” they’ll be more likely to quote a higher price if they just told you they needed a lot of work.
To make sure they mentioned as many of the possible things that they'd need for their photo or video, I liked to ask them “what else do you think you'll need?” then they explained, and I asked again "what else?” and “Is there anything you think you missed?” etc.
From there I walked them through the shoot process and try to explain as MUCH of the work as possible that I’d be doing on my end so that they'd understand just how much work was involved to get their project done. (You'd be surprised how many people think a video is as simple as a light, a camera, 30 minutes, and worth only $100 -- funny enough, some of these same people would treat me as if I had no overhead and that they were the only ones with expenses).
Then from there, if I still didn’t know what to charge based on the amount of work I was doing, I’d ask… “Alright, based on all of that, what do you think is fair?"
So, finally we come to your rate. I suggest never offering to do anything for free. My advice is to always AT THE VERY MINIMUM, get your expenses covered. Start off with a price that you think is fair for both of you, and if the client doesn't agree, ASK THEM why they don't think that's fair based on all of the work you're providing and the benefits your work has to offer them.
More on benefits-based selling later, but for now I hope that helped anyone who is curious about pricing and has no idea where to start.
If you found this helpful, maybe you can help me too! Please share this post with my studio link down below so I can keep writing free articles with tips for you.