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What's a reasonable rate?

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  • What's a reasonable rate?

    I've assisted at one wedding and have the opportunity to work with the same photographer again next month. She would like to compensate me, as would another photographer who has graciously allowed me the chance to work with her.

    I have minimal experience with wedding photography, but a great deal of experience with portriat photography. I have all my own gear, Fuji S2; Mamiya RB67, N-80 for back up, and a very wide range of lenses and flash units.

    Any ideas on what a fair 'apprentice rate' would be?

    In total honesty I said I would work for knowledge alone. After having my wife remind me that I spent 8 hours working on a wedding that I received no payment, I'm thinking the compensation angle over pretty hard.


    I'd love your thoughts.

    Sincerely,
    TB

  • #2
    Whew, Todd.....I'll help you, here, and stick my neck out for criticism from the group.......if you were working for me in this situation, and had previously agreed to do it for the experience, I would expect you to uphold your commitment.

    I would also expect you to learn my equipment and my ways, leaving yours at home.

    ..........and then.........


    After you had proven yourself in my estimation, I would ask you to bring your equipment at your risk, and be a backup photographer, with access to the images you create. During the first few opportunities of doing this, I would pay you a minimal amount.....expect 20-40 bucks/hr of shootiing time.

    Still around after one season? I'll be trying to book you under my business name......expect 60-90 per hour, again with your equipment/your risk.


    What do the rest of you think?

    Comment


    • #3
      Kim,
      You misunderstood me. I've done the 'work for free' already. Now I've been invited back as a 'paid' assistant by one photographer, another photographer I will shoot for free as well and then she would like me to assist. So, one free shoot, and then I could start collecting a modest pay check per gig. I hope that makes my thinking more clear.

      Thanks Kim for the thoughtful questions and input.


      Sincerlely,
      TB

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Kim Wise
        ..........and then.........


        After you had proven yourself in my estimation, I would ask you to bring your equipment at your risk, and be a backup photographer, with access to the images you create. During the first few opportunities of doing this, I would pay you a minimal amount.....expect 20-40 bucks/hr of shootiing time.

        Still around after one season? I'll be trying to book you under my business name......expect 60-90 per hour, again with your equipment/your risk.


        What do the rest of you think?
        Ok, Todd.....then this is where I would start with you......though maybe a little earlier than after one entire season........

        Comment


        • #5
          To add to the above...
          I would want copyrights to any images I shot. And credit for taking them. If any were ordered that would have to be discussed as well. You sound like you have invested alot of time and money already in learning. There was another posts this morning about an assistant and that person wasn't even familiar with f-stops.
          Obviously these photogs like your work and are not afraid to present it to tier clients. So that says alot in itself. I shot weddings for several years and found it to be too exhausting. Knowledge is great payment...but don't cut your own throat either.
          Just my thoughts, Martha

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          • #6
            if your shooting for me the copyrights of course are yours as the artist that created them (that is the law) but I would be assigned rights of use on anything you shot while on the clock. (this is the way news papers have it worded)

            these rights would allow me to use the images in any manner I see fit to promote my studio, as long I never deface or attempt to destroy or undermine your image in the profession with any of those said images.

            I would pay you $20 per hour shooting time and you would have to present me raw image files archive on CD rom disks within one two days of the shoot.

            You would NOT be allowed to hand out any of your own business cards or literature while "on the clock"

            If asked for info by a client you just refer them to our published phone number
            NOT yours.

            Comment


            • #7
              Todd~ I have photographed weddings on my own, and now I have gone to assisting a few friends. I am getting paid $250 plus mileage. At this point I could care less what happens to the images after I edit and send them the best ones.

              You could ask for commission? What is it that you are wanting to gain out of this experience? Knowledge, to go out on your own? I think that is a little different story rather than just going along to be a second shooter.

              Comment


              • #8
                I know someone who pays $50 an hour.

                Comment


                • #9
                  This is of interest to me because I have confronted this a couple of times recently. Many of our area photographers have a assistant as second camera at weddings (some are spouse or part-time studio employees.) so of course I have an occasional bride want me to hire one. What I finding is though will someone COMMIT a full Saturday for $20.00 to $50.00 an hour or even $250.00? Or , when another wedding or a family group wants to hire that person do they leave you high and dry. After all they can make a lot more on they own if the opportunity arises.


                  I hope this isn't too off topic.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks everyone for the responses.
                    I hope I answer the questions asked.

                    First, my goal has been, first and foremost, to figure out if I like weddings and if so what does being a wedding photographer look like? Then, if I liked it enough to try it again as an assistant or second shooter, I wanted to learn as much as possible through hands on practice.

                    I did present the images to the photog. on a CD and she has complete rights to the images, but so do I. Steve said it well, I made them, they are mine. However, it is on her clock so she can use them however she wants.

                    I am in no way trying to cut into the other photogs. business, so I'd never even think of giving out cards or literature; that's just dumb.

                    After one successful wedding, I have decided to continue assisting. I've read the excellent feedback here and feel comfortable asking for a moderate fee; $25- $30 for each hour of shooting.

                    The part I have no clue about is the post production wedding album assembly process. I have just never had any opportunity to view or learn wedding albums or proofing albums for that matter; I proof on-line only as of now. So, I'd like to glean a little of that information from the photographers I'm working with.

                    Bill, I'm not sure exactly how to answer your question, but I think it's worthy of some more discussion by our colleagues.

                    Thanks again for the great feedback!

                    Sincerely,
                    TB

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Todd, I have a pool of talent to call on. What I might pay is NOT what they can make on their own booking for the day. For that reason, I wait until 4-6 weeks before the event to make the call......they are less likely to be booked, and may want to trade a few hours for what I can pay them.

                      AND this works the other way, too! I am a member of this pool of talent, and if one of the others wants some help, what goes around, comes around. If I'm not booked, and the event is only 4 weeks out, I am unlikely to book an event that close. Gives us all the confidence of having the support of a large organization, without having the payroll and overhead.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Kim,
                        Sounds very good. I am slowly learning about other photographers in my area and I can see something similar developing here. Continued good fortune to you. Kim, do you have a 'studio?' I do not and thus need to 'come to the client.' That would be one of the most challenging aspects of taking these on my own in the future. Oh well, I'll take one small step at a time.

                        p.s. I really appreciate your response and your willingness to have your thoughts critiqued by others on the forum. I think that professional dialogue is exactly why I joined, and will be 're-upping' very soon.

                        Graciously,
                        TB

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