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How much to charge?

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Sean RyanHow much to charge?
by on Sep 10, 2012 at 7:49:50 pm

Hey everyone,

A friend/acquaintance of mine is a professional photographer, she had told me early in the summer she would like me to film her taking photos of people for promotional purposes for her business. Nothing was seriously discussed until today, when she sent me a link to a work she liked, and asked how much I would want to film and edit it for her.

Link to site:

She would like me to follow along for 2-4 photo shoots, then edit the footage I take. I have no idea what to charge, anyone have any suggestions for a starting point?


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Roger Van DuynRe: How much to charge?
by on Sep 11, 2012 at 12:29:11 pm

If you have a day rate or a half day rate that's where you start. Depending on how good a friend, or source of referrals she may be, you can offer a discount if you choose to.

Coming up with your standard rate is another question.


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David WheelerRe: How much to charge?
by on Sep 11, 2012 at 2:27:14 pm

Hi Sean,
You didn't mention whether you do this work professionally and have professional equipment to maintain. If your friend is a pro, she values her time and expertise, even though her equipment overhead may not be as high as a videographer/editor. If you are a pro, she should value your time and overhead as well. Every market and customer is different, but I would suggest $100 per hour for shooting and edit/render/compression time on pro gear. Friends and acquaintances tend to get in the way of normal business agreements, unfortunately. Of course, if you are starting out, why not trade services with some extra for you for the editing time?

David Wheeler
EX1R; EX3; FCP 7; 17" MBP, MacPro Quad, Matrox MSO2,CS5

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Denis DanatzkoRe: How much to charge?
by on Sep 11, 2012 at 3:05:16 pm

If you check around, you'll find a wide variety of methods used to develop rates. IMO, the most "fair" ones include:
- a flat "rental" rate for your equipment, i.e. how much would it cost for your customer to rent the camera (for a day/half-day) you'd be using for the shoot? The tripod/dolly? The lights? Mics? Other?
- an hourly rate for your service, i.e. I presume you're also providing the knowledge/experience about how to use your equipment without any unnecessary delay in set-up/breakdown.
- other costs you might incur, i.e. travel/tolls/parking, etc.
- an hourly editing rate, i.e. post production costs for editing, encoding, etc.
I've been led to believe there are folks who take on projects yet own no equipment; they rent what they need for every job, then add charges for their services.
Hope this helps.

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Sean RyanRe: How much to charge?
by on Sep 12, 2012 at 3:56:55 am

Thanks for the help everyone!

So I decided to charge 15 bucks an hour for the filming and 20 an hour for the editing. I know this is kind of low, but I am a student at the moment and havent been doing this long enough to warrant a higher markup.

The idea of the equipment plus an hourly rate as suggested above was what led me to this pricing. Plus, it is a friend.

Thanks again everyone for your help!


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Brent DunnRe: How much to charge?
by on Sep 12, 2012 at 4:34:59 pm

This is corporate work. Charge an hourly shooting and editing rate. It is the only way to get a true payment for your time. If you just quote a one stop rate, you may end up working 40 hours but only get paid for half.

$50 - $75 per hr. is a fair rate....more if you can get it.

Brent Dunn
Owner / Director / Editor
DunnRight Films
Video Marketing

Sony EX-1,
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 7D
Mac Pro Tower, Quad Core,
with Final Cut Studio

HP i7 Quad laptop
Adobe CS-5 Production Suite

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