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My daughter is 16 and has a passion for photography and is quite good. Her friend asked her to take and edit pictures of flowers for her website and wants to pay her...

How would you go about determining a price for this service?

What are some elements to consider when transitioning from a hobby to a paid job?

closed as off-topic by Michael C, scottbb, Hueco, Blrfl, xiota May 24 at 23:58

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  • First time doing it or first time doing it for money? – xenoid May 24 at 11:24
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because pricing is entirely a localized question based on different market factors in different locales. – Michael C May 24 at 11:57
  • It might be not appropriate, and you can answer or delete np or point me in different direction...its more for my daughter , her friend asked her to take pictures for her websites and wants to pay her...my daughter is 16 and has passion for photography and is quite good...so if we can get some idea that would be appreciated if not no problem...tnx – Goga May 24 at 13:09
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    FWIW - I think questions about the business of photography are perfectly fine on this Stack, but right now, this is way, way too broad. What's the experience level of the shooter (professionalism)? What's the local area / competition rates? What's the target market demographic? What service is specifically being asked? – Hueco May 24 at 15:33
  • Goga, I've edited your question to include your comments, as comments on this site should be treated as transitory. I've also voted to put this question on hold because it's "Too Broad". Please see my comment above. I'd love to retract my vote and improve my answer, but it requires you to provide a bit more context. Cheers, – Hueco May 24 at 20:49
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How would you go about determining a price for this service?

Pricing is not only locale dependent but also target market dependent within that locale, among other things. For example, a city like San Diego supports a Chevrolet dealer, a Tesla dealer, an Audi dealer, and a Lotus dealer. There's also a healthy used-car market. The prices for all of these things are going to be different here than in, say, a small town in the midwest.

So, who are you in this analogy and who is your market? Without knowing more about the area and clientele and about the exact service being asked, it's impossible to give any meaningful advice on pricing.

I've linked below some questions on pricing for weddings - this can easily be adapted to your daughter's situation.

My daughter is 16...

My own first professional portraits experience also took place in high school - shooting portraits of a teacher's kids at the park. I didn't charge for time and charged nominally for prints (something like $7.50/sheet). At the time, I had very little portfolio and was trying to build myself up. I fell into the trap of shooting things for "experience." Do not fall into this trap! What little portfolio you have is obviously good enough to get you the gig - your skills are valuable.

Most amateurs going pro in any business feel guilty for charging for their skills. I would say that this is natural - how can I charge so much for something that comes so easily to me? If your daughter feels this, then figure out what the ideal price point is for her and put a plan together to get there over her first few gigs.

If your daughter has not yet held a job or participated in any other business activity - then now is the time to begin learning these things. The initial focus should be on operating a business - not on making profit. It really doesn't matter what she charges, as long as it's acceptable by the client and she doesn't lose money on the deal. Break-even is A-okay.

Instead of focusing on pricing, help her to understand her photography as a business. List her gear as assets with a depreciation schedule, list operating expenses, look at future gear as investments that need to be supported from the business coffers, list what she makes as income and deduct costs to show how profit comes to be. If she really wants to go it as a pro, she needs to develop keen business, sales, and marketing skills. Many a great shooter has washed out for lack of these skills. Many mediocre shooters are in business because they have them.

After this first job and going through a business building exercise, you should look at competitors in the market to see what they charge. Have her plan for being self-sufficient, paying for her rent, car, food, insurance, etc. from her photography money alone. What sort of income do you need to survive?

All of this will influence pricing. When you've come up with what you'd need to charge per session and the minimum sessions per month - determine if that is realistic within your market.


Please also review:

  • Thank you, those are very good points – Goga May 27 at 10:07

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