How much to charge as an amateur photographer?

posted 6 years ago in Photos/Videos
  • poll: How much should I quote a friend for my amateur photography and a 2nd shooter?
    $600 & $300 : (7 votes)
    8 %
    $500 & $250 : (18 votes)
    21 %
    $400 & $200 : (9 votes)
    10 %
    $300 & $150 : (14 votes)
    16 %
    Other...please explain below : (39 votes)
    45 %
  • Post # 3
    1314 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: May 2006

    As someone who does this for a living I am always a bit baffled as to why people want to jump into photographing a wedding with no experience.  At the very least I’d suggest you assist or second shoot for a wedding photographer before you consider taking on such a huge responsibility.  ESPECIALLY for a friend.  Shooting an engagement session is NOTHING like shooting a wedding.  It’s not even close.  You can pause and rewind an engagement session to your heart’s content.  You can completely screw the entire thing up and at worst you have a miffed couple and few lost hours.  You can always do it over again.  There are no do overs in weddings, and the action moves very quickly at times.  You really have to know your craft inside and out.  Do you have business insurance, do you have a complete set of back up gear? Do you have a contract?

    The short answer is this might be a fun experience for you, you might find that you like it, and maybe you’re offering your friend the best scenario for her budget.  The long answer is that if something goes wrong even the most laid back and friendly relationship can turn sour when something goes wrong with documenting the most important day of their life.  AND you are talking about charigng her too, which makes it a business relationship.  Money, friends, zero wedding photography experience?  That would make me very very nervous.

    I would not be willing to pay any amount to a wedding photographer with no wedding experience.  And this is coming from someone who believes very strongly in compensating artists for their time and efforts.  It’s too big a gamble for me. I don’t mean to discourage you from photographing weddings.  By all means do it if it’s an interest of yours, but do it the right way, don’t practice on a friend.

    Post # 4
    667 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2012

    you should do it for free because you have no experience 

    Post # 5
    853 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2012

    $1000 – $300 to your 2nd, and $700 to you (main photog and editor). Consider it a wedding present to her that you’re doing it so cheaply. Draw up some kind of basic contract that states what she’s paying you and what that includes. Kind of a bummer for you that you won’t be able to really enjoy her wedding, though.

    Post # 6
    4803 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: August 2012

    If you really have no experience and she is willing to have you take her photos, I would do it for free.  You are not just building your portfolio, you are actually just starting it off.

    Post # 7
    1046 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: April 2012

    I would say ask her to find someone who is willing to do it very cheap (a budding wedding photographer maybe?) and offer to go as a second shooter for free.  

    Post # 8
    2440 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: March 2012

    I’m with the others, considering this is your first wedding I would do it for free.  Does your second shooter have experience with weddings? or is it really just a hobby? Maybe if the 2nd shooter has done weddings before you could ask for a couple hundred for her, but offer your services for free as a wedding present.

    Post # 9
    1798 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: August 2011

    I’d be wary of doing this with no experience because it’s very likely that you could miss some essential shots and disappoint the bride and groom. I think you should definitely at least make sure they have realistic expectations for the photos you can take. I also think you should charge as little as possible to emphasize that you’re not a professional

    Post # 10
    3947 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: October 2011

    I’ve been doing photography for about 3 years now and have a lot of experience doing enagements, family shoots, newborns, etc., but I would NEVER EVER think about shooting a wedding until I was the second shooter for 5 or more weddings. And then I’d think about it. This is a huge deal and i personally don’t think it’s the best idea that you do it with little to no experience.

    If you do do it, do it for free.  I don’t think you don’t have the credentials yet to charge anything.

    Post # 11
    1695 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: March 2012

    A professional photographer with a more limited portfolio who only does it part time agreed to do my photography for $250. A HUGE discount, I realize but she has even done weddings before. Just a thought.

    Post # 12
    1844 posts
    Buzzing bee

    I agree with previous posters that you should offer it as a gift to her. and do not go without a second shooter. My father runs a small photography studio and was incredibly nervous about getting in to wedding stuff because people make a big deal out of it. There are certainly things to be nervous about, but I think as long as you have your gear and your second shooter and a backup I really woudln’t be too worried. Get a complete list from her of what shots MUST be taken before during and after. Also make sure you know what style shots she is looking for. 

    And do have a basic contract written up for sure. 

    Post # 13
    1145 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: December 2011

    I would do it for free, or maybe just 25$ for the cd of images. I would do it as a wedding present to her, and portfolio building for you.

    Max I would pay you both would be 200$, 50 each for the day and 50 for edits.

    I however would also never even consider not having a professional. She can find someone for 1000 who has done weddings who would likely produce better images. If you decide to charge your friend maybe you could post a craigslist ad and offer free services to someone else whos getting married as a trial.

    Post # 14
    1810 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: May 2012

    I would do it for free as well…and honestly? $1000 seems a bit much for a photographer that has never done a wedding…ever. I think she should continue shopping for someone else. I’m paying my professional photographer who does it FULL TIME and for years, $2000 and I’m getting her and a second shooter for UNLIMITED time. There are deals out there and she should keep on looking.

    Post # 15
    7771 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: July 2010

    If you have no experience, do it for free.  My friends did mine for free- and I was helping THEM get experience as photographers.

    Post # 16
    130 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    Isn’t she your friend?  It’s not like you do this for a living.  Why would you even consider charging her?

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