Chuck Espinoza Photography

Los Angeles Based Freelance Photographer.
head shots and portraits

It costs how much for one photo?

March 18, 2015

I get random calls from prospective clients that find me through a local search. This particular caller needed a photo for her business card. In photographer’s parlance, a business head shot. I have a minimum rate that it takes me to book a shoot. That minimum is based on my cost of doing business. It also takes into account my opportunity cost.

Regardless of whether you book the shoot or not I have fixed costs. My insurance, photo equipment, computers, accounting expenses, advertising, utilities, cell phone etc…all remain steady costs regardless of whether I book a $500 shoot or a $5000 shoot. My opportunity cost takes into account what I stand to lose by taking the job.  If I book your $500 business head shot and I get called for a more lucrative job for the same day I’ve lost that opportunity.

This caller thought by telling me that she only needed “one photo” would reduce the cost of the shoot. “ It costs how much for just for the shoot? But I only need one photo.” One photo is your drivers license, one photo is a passport. The image you use to market your business should take some time and consideration.  Creating that one photo is a process. Wardrobe, hair, makeup, lighting, what’s your best angle, how much of a smile should you go with? Should you wear a tie or no tie? Does the photo convey the message you want to convey to your prospective clients?

I wish it was as quick you walking in, me snapping one frame and you walking away happy but that is never the case. I’m here to help you with the process and to explain that a head shot is more than just one photo. If you think a photo shoot is just one photo then you’re not a client for me.

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