Opinion on charging for photos

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ChubbieOwl's picture
Joined: 02/04/09
Posts: 191
Opinion on charging for photos

Not me of course...I freely admit that photography is a relaxing hobby for me, not a business goal.
But a friend of mine purchased her first DSLR camera a little less than a year ago with the hopes of eventually becoming a professional photographer. She took some lovely materinty pictures of a friend of mine and I casually mentioned that I would like to have some materinity pics made. Well, I never really mentioned it again and never pursued it. Then she started asking me when she could take pics and really kinda bugged me until I agreed to do it.
It was fun and I am glad I will be getting some nice memories of my pregnancy, but I was not expecting to pay for them.
Well, I should say I didn't expect to pay MUCH for them. I figured she was just using me for practice and I would be willing to pay something for her time and materials, but she is wanting to charge a LOT (she wants me to buy a "package" and pay per picture).
This is of course my own fault because I should have asked my friend what she paid for her pics and I should have asked up front what she would charge. Now I feel guilty because she is my friend and I don't want to tell her that I don't want the pics and I feel obligated to buy them from her.
I am just looking for opinions about what I should say or do...
(And if you think I should just quit complaining and pay the women, then please say so, I can take honesty.)
If you read all of this - kudos to you!

Joined: 01/16/07
Posts: 951

hmmm I prob would buy one or two (depending on costs) and say sorry with a baby coming you can't afford to buy more. I'd also make a comment that she should have told you all this upfront.

good luck

AmberBella's picture
Joined: 02/15/07
Posts: 1831

I'm so sorry this happened to you. This is what contracts are good for. Even among friends...just so everyone knows what they're getting and no one gets mad. I'd explain to your friend that you didn't know that she was charging...you thought this was a "time for prints" situation and that you just can't afford to purchase any images and ask that she delete the files and let her know that she does not have permission to use them for her portfolio. Tell her that if she'd like to use any images for her portfolio, you'd like a copy of those digital images. It is my understanding that without a contract (your permission) she does not have the right to use the images. (Someone correct me if this is wrong ...I've gotten conflicting information on this issue.)

Would you mind disclosing what she is asking you to pay...it might help and we could help tell you if that's a fair price for a PB client.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

That sucks! And I would be completely honest with her. Tell her what you thought and suggest that she use a contract in the future, like Amber said.

'ren's picture
Joined: 04/15/05
Posts: 239

I always thought you could use you own images in a portfolio you just couldn't sell them for someone to use to advertise a product (and even then the person has to be recognisable) but that might just be here, I know the US has more complicated copyright laws and even still there is a serious ethical issue in using images without permission. I think the catch here is what is "a lot", the costs of a professional print lab could be considered "a lot" by someone who doesn't know what they charge compared to the local 15c a print place and I see nothing wrong with charging to cover costs but she should have told you that up front. I just took some maternity photos for a friend (and a newborn to come at the end of august! yay! how fun Smile ) but I have told her up front that if she wants prints I will let her know what they cost and I'll give her a disc of web sized images in return for a signed model release form. Tell her you didn't expect to pay so much and see what she says? maybe she has an explanation you'll be okay with or maybe you'll then feel more free to tell her where to stick them Wink it can't hurt to be honest and see what she has to say.

ChubbieOwl's picture
Joined: 02/04/09
Posts: 191

She has different packages and prices for them. I can pay $7.00 per picture or I can buy 10 pictures for $50.00 or 15 for $80.00. She has more package options for more pictures as well. And she said that she can't give me a CD because she doesn't want the pictures reproduced.
She is going to print the pictures on her photo printer on high quality photo paper.
Do you guys think this is a lot?

AmberBella's picture
Joined: 02/15/07
Posts: 1831

No, that's really pretty reasonable for a PB client....but I understand that if you didn't know upfront it sounds like a lot. I charge my PB clients $15 for each 4x6 and $25 for each 8x10's. My close friends get pictures at cost for about $1.00 for 4x6 and about $2.00 for 8x10.

I sell a disk to my PB clients as well...it costs $195 for a disk of all the images.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

It does sound very reasonable. I would just buy a $7 picture and call it a day. I do question her ability to print a really good quality print at home though.

ChubbieOwl's picture
Joined: 02/04/09
Posts: 191

Thanks for the input ladies Smile
I appreciate the honest advice.

tokidokikashikoi's picture
Joined: 01/30/07
Posts: 38

"ChubbieOwl" wrote:

She is going to print the pictures on her photo printer on high quality photo paper.

She is going to print the $7 pictures on her home printer??? In that case, it sounds like a lot because the quality of the prints isn't going to be very good.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

"tokidokikashikoi" wrote:

She is going to print the $7 pictures on her home printer??? In that case, it sounds like a lot because the quality of the prints isn't going to be very good.

That would be my concern, too. She could have a great photo printer and paper, or it could be sub-par and you might not get good prints.

EL2
EL2's picture
Joined: 12/05/07
Posts: 1665

I agree about printing at home. If she was sending it off at a lab then price would sound more reasonable.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

"EL2" wrote:

I agree about printing at home. If she was sending it off at a lab then price would sound more reasonable.

Agree. $7 for an image printed at home is overpriced.

AmberBella's picture
Joined: 02/15/07
Posts: 1831

Oh, I didn't get the impression that she was printing at home. Printing at home...unless she somehow has a lab quality machine (I know some photographers that do) should come free...or virtually free.

ChubbieOwl's picture
Joined: 02/04/09
Posts: 191

Holy crap - she just informed me that whether I purchase pictures or not, I am expected to pay a "Session Fee" which is $100.00!!!
And since I am a friend, she waived the $50.00 booking fee and the price I was given for the pictures is a friends only discounted price.
She says she has a very nice photo printer that her mom bought her that cost like $500.00.
And she told me to call her when I go into labor so that she can take photos of the birth...I have not mentioned at all that I wanted anyone to take birth pics, let alone hire her (or anyone) to do it.
I'll just have my husband take them for free...she's not gonna trick me into another "Session!"

AmberBella's picture
Joined: 02/15/07
Posts: 1831

Oh, absolutely NOT! If you don't have a contract, she can't charge you. There clearly was no meeting of the minds here, thus there was no contract and you owe her NOTHING. I'd insist that she delete the files and that she not use them for her portfolio.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

Uh, wow. I'm with Amber- tell her to delete the files and be done with it. That's pretty presumtuous of her to be expecting you to pay all these "fees" without any prior communication about it. Lame-o!

Joined: 12/10/06
Posts: 200

Wow. I agree with everything Amber said. That's really lame of her... sorry your friend is being like that.

Joined: 01/16/07
Posts: 951

agree with Amber 100% I can't believe she's telling you about a session fee after the fact.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

Wow! That's unbelievable! I guess that is one way to get customers...trick them. I'm sure they will want to come back. I agree with Amber though. No contract, don't even think about paying and make sure she deletes the pics!

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