What would you charge?

Started Apr 9, 2013 | Discussions thread
(unknown member) Senior Member • Posts: 1,974
Re: What would you charge?

The cops may be "the good guys" but they work for state and city governments and in most cases are much, much better paid than the average photographer. Mid-level police in Austin are nearing the $100K per year mark and that doesn't take into consideration the generous retirement at age 50, the total healthcare and other perks. The departments have budgets. My friend works for the Texas State Dept of Transportation as a photographer and he is well paid. They bill between departments and his department bills out headshots for Texas state officials and office holders at $250 per with no travel involved. So why the F**** are the professional, freelance photographers the only ones who either shouldn't get paid or get paid something that approaches zero?

The man said he had the tools and expertise to do the job. He's not using this as a learning experience. He's providing a service. And as I understand it the noble cops are not coming out of pocket, the department they are associated with will pay for this with your (and my) tax dollars. So, the OP should charge the going rate. The client probably isn't even looking for a freebie and might even see this as a way of rewarding an old colleague. Right? Right?

So, the low average for a headshot in any major metro area I know of (in studio) is $125.  Multiply that by the number of people to be photographed. Add in all costs, including travel, time spent traveling, meals, hotel and incidentals. Don't forget to include mileage. That's the basic cost of the project. Nothing less.

No sane company thinks that all photographs and photographers are the same. This man's colleagues think that he adds value to the equation and he should be compensated for it.

If the OP is not working this job in a first world country (he didn't say) then his charges per head might be different. I don't know what the going rate is in a socialist country but here we expect people to work in a capitalist system and not have to give stuff away for free. We don't owe the government any more than to abide by the rule of law and pay taxes. To treat them as a charity is morally abhorrent. And bad for your business.

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Austin based advertising and portrait photographer, and author of the book series, Minimalist Lighting, and the books: Commercial Photographers Handbook, Photographic Lighting Equipment, and, LED Lighting for Digital Photographers. www.kirktuck.com

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