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What to charge for headshots?

  
 
showtm490
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · What to charge for headshots?


I've been asked to take around 160 headshots for a company. I was told they want the headshots but I'll return once monthly to do new hires and promotions. For those who do this, what should I charge? I've asked some non-photo friends what they would pay and I've gotten between $800-2500. I just don't want to under or over charge. A local photog that use to do headshots years ago said he charged $15-30 a head.


Mar 11, 2024 at 08:11 AM
tcphoto
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · What to charge for headshots?


What is the size of the company, small business, Corporation or Forbes 500? I would ask exactly how the images will be used, time with each person and degree of editing. My general range would be $250 per person down to $75 especially if you will be returning on a regular basis. After thirty years of shooting professionally, I know to approach it as a business, not a hobby.


Mar 11, 2024 at 02:02 PM
showtm490
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · What to charge for headshots?


Thank you, it's for the sheriff's department. They want to use the pictures for their id badges, any advertising, etc He said they'll take care of all of that while I provide basic headshots. I figured I'd take 2-3 shots of each person then choose the best.


Mar 11, 2024 at 02:28 PM
RoamingScott
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · What to charge for headshots?


You should definitely take more than 3 per person. Nothing worse than realize you had a setting wrong/missed focus and not having enough to pick from. Storage is cheap, and do-overs ain't.


Mar 11, 2024 at 02:41 PM
story_teller
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · What to charge for headshots?


There’s a headshot and mugshot. What do they really want? If they want attractive headshots of people, you’re going to do more than 3 shots of each to get genuine expressions. Find out what their budget is and work to that.


Mar 12, 2024 at 08:14 AM
jlafferty
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · What to charge for headshots?


I wouldn’t go below $75/head at this volume and I’d make sure I’m shooting 160 in two days minimum, ideally three.


Mar 13, 2024 at 05:49 AM
Craig Gillette
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · What to charge for headshots?


There should be a "time" element to this. They are going to have to wrangle them all to the camera and that can mean them dealing with duty schedules, other obligations, maybe court and jail duties, and maybe 3 if not 4 days to accomplish it. Maybe suggest a "time per person" and let them determine how they are going to get them to you and when?


Mar 13, 2024 at 10:51 PM
showtm490
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · What to charge for headshots?


They said $650 and yet get a cost on each month after. It'll take about fours days (3hrs/day) they plan.


Mar 14, 2024 at 12:53 PM
 


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kenbennett
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · What to charge for headshots?


Having done photos for a police department, it is a giant pain to schedule everyone due to the shift work.

You'll spend 12 hours shooting (3 hours a day for 4 days), plus an hour set up and tear down each day, plus at least 3 hours a day editing, then have to deal with half the officers complaining and wanting a reshoot. $650 for all that is about 20 bucks an hour.

I would nope all over that but of course your mileage may vary.



Mar 14, 2024 at 09:25 PM
sungphoto
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · What to charge for headshots?


showtm490 wrote:
I've been asked to take around 160 headshots for a company. I was told they want the headshots but I'll return once monthly to do new hires and promotions. For those who do this, what should I charge? I've asked some non-photo friends what they would pay and I've gotten between $800-2500. I just don't want to under or over charge. A local photog that use to do headshots years ago said he charged $15-30 a head.


I'd suggest contacting your local APA or PPA, and seeing if you can pick the brains of photographers in your area that have done something like this. Outside of commercial projects, pricing varies a ton by region. Generally though you'd charge based on number of people and/or the amount of time required to photograph all of them plus editing and file delivery.



Mar 15, 2024 at 11:48 AM
jlafferty
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · What to charge for headshots?


sungphoto wrote:
I'd suggest contacting your local APA or PPA, and seeing if you can pick the brains of photographers in your area that have done something like this. Outside of commercial projects, pricing varies a ton by region. Generally though you'd charge based on number of people and/or the amount of time required to photograph all of them plus editing and file delivery.


This is great advice. No way you should do it for $650! Another way to attack the pricing issue - at the very least - is calculating your CODB, “cost of doing business”, for a single day of work. Generally this establishes your absolute minimum you’ll need to be paid as a guide to know when to walk away from anything that falls below that figure. Look around, there are CODB calculators online, even specific to photography. In it you identify all your costs of operating a business in a year, and then that figure is divided by a realistic number of working days, e.g. 40-70 days/year. Some examples of costs:

- average yearly outlay of gear purchases
- pro insurance
- essential software licensing fees - e.g. photoshop, capture one, accounting & invoicing app
- average yearly allocation for repairs/replacement (e.g. if you buy a laptop every 5-7 years, divide a laptop by 7 and add that as a figure here; same w camera bodies)
- living expenses
- medical expenses
- yearly minimum to save for retirement
- advertising costs
- remote file storage and transfer services
- website/web domain
- cell phone and internet services

So you get this big, fat figure and divide it by 40-70 and you’ll get a clear sense of what you need to sustain yourself.

Even setting all the above aside, a super easy way to figure this out is simply identify your desired annual salary if you were paid like an employee somewhere, then divide that by working days. Dept of labor in the US says most photographers make less than $60k annually - 4 shooting days per month at $1250 gets you there :/



Mar 20, 2024 at 05:19 AM
tcphoto
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · What to charge for headshots?


I would pass on that budget, they want quality results for minimum wage.


Mar 20, 2024 at 08:50 AM
MichaelFrederickPhoto
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · What to charge for headshots?


160 is a lot of people, thats a 2-3 day job as others said about getting schedules aligned.

My on site rate is $400 setup/1st person then $150pp for 2-5 people, $125pp up to 20 people and $100pp 20+.

I just did a corporate shoot 2.5 weeks ago. I had 90 mins to do 18 headshots. I allocated up to 10 mins PP with the hope to be 2-3 mins. This group was fantastic, I spoke to them all before we shot and said “We need to be the model of efficiency”. They came in 2 at a time, we whipped thru the first 10 then the final 8 all came in together, all older men and they were ripping on each other’s pose. We all laughed so hard. At the end of the group, I did all 18 in 43 mins!! They were so awesome to work with.

The big thing that was really nice to hear, they loved how comfortable I made them so that is a huge help in getting the shot and NEXT. If you aren’t proficient in posing/engaging, you are in for a long day!



Mar 24, 2024 at 07:40 PM
mdude85
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · What to charge for headshots?


Photography is the kind of thing where there's no real standard, it all depends on who you are, where you are, your expertise, equipment, turnaround time, retouching, transportation, etc.

I think your idea of asking local photographers what they charge is a good one.

$15-30 a head is $2400-4800.

If the client's budget is $650, you either take it or leave it. Maybe you can squeeze another few hundred dollars out of them, but I doubt they're "able" to pay over $1k.

In NYC it would not be uncommon for a competent corporate headshot photographer to charge $20k for this job. But that's NYC not middle Georgia



Apr 16, 2024 at 09:13 PM
bocaminus
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · What to charge for headshots?


With that volume and amount of work required at the site (2-3 days minimum) and image processing at your home/office, my minimum would be $75 per person....not a penny less. I had a similar (law enforcement) client few months ago with a total of 72 people. My rate was $80 per individual. We spent two full days onsite, put approximately 20 hours of post-processing work and burned two tanks of gas (travel expenses). With budget of $650, the client might as well get mugshots instead of professional headshot images.


Apr 18, 2024 at 05:00 PM







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