The age of digital photography has changed the industry immensely. No longer are great portraits the result of the work of a select few professionals, but now amateur photographers are regularly making the leap from recreational photography to professional work. The more affordable and available high quality digital cameras are largely responsible for providing the ease in this transition, along with photoshopping programs such as those produced by Adobe. However, there are still many hobbyists who wish to keep their photography as a recreational pastime, with the possibility of doing a few “for-pay” photography sessions a year. This can put many recreational photographers in the awkward position of presenting their services for a fee for the first time, and here is some advice for anyone who finds themselves in this position.
First of all, it is important that your occasional client understands that you are not a regular professional photographer. This does not mean that you need to put down or belittle your work; it simply means that you are honest with your client about the lack of professional expertise in your work. Since your client will most likely be a friend who has seen your photography, this should not deter them from using your services. However, if you feel that this may present a potential problem with them trusting your skill, then also refer them to a collection showcasing your high-quality recreational photography work.
Additionally, it is important that your price is set at a proper range for your services. Don’t charge your clients the amount that a regular studio fee who cost; you are not a professional and should not charge your clients as such. Instead, set you fee at a modest amount-not too low (as to make it appear that you believe that your work is not worth much), and not too high that it competes with local professional fees. The exact fee proper for your work will depend largely upon the length of the session, as well as the average price of professional fees in your region. Research these professional fees and adjust your own sitting and editing fee accordingly.
Finally, remember to do your photography research. Look online for poses and ideas for whatever type of photography session you’ll be shooting (engagement, wedding, senior, etc.). Find ideas, noticed things that you like or don’t like, and have several photo ideas ready for the shoot. Your clients will expect you to come prepared, and prior research should afford you the confidence to arrange your subjects properly. Even if you don’t have the experience with this particular area of photography yourself, your research should prepare you to do a quality job.