Beginner Photographer Pay for School Events

by Amy Marin
(Hackettstown, NJ, United States)

Hello! My name is Amy. I'm a senior in High School and last winter is where my passion for photography began.

Couple days ago, I got the idea of creating a video and photo montage for my graduating class. It's a surprise. I've been learning by watching videos on youtube and trying new techniques.

So I'm good to go on that part, the only thing that I need help with is that I will be going to all the events and as many of the home games to take photos and videos. I mentioned this idea to my older sister (photography doesn't interest her but money does when it comes to things like this.)

Basically, she just told me that I should talk to the principal about it and see if I can get paid by doing these things since I will be sacrificing a lot of my time to be able to finish this project of mine. It's my goal to make it as amazing as I can.

My friends know that I am a photographer and they all love my work. So they also want me to take personal photos of them and I know I shouldn't do it for free so I told them that I would give them an estimate but since I'm new with this pricing area, I'm not sure where to start off.

Thank you for your time!

Comments for Beginner Photographer Pay for School Events

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Sep 20, 2018
Settle In
by: Scott

Hi Amy, settle in. The question of how much money to charge for your skills will follow you for the rest of your life. That is if you are serious about making money with photography.

If all you want to make is some extra gas money let your friends pay you with what they have or get a favor in return for a headshot. But if you want to make money taking and making pictures you need to let people know upfront that you are supporting yourself by offering this skill of yours.

Your sister is right, ask your principal if there is a way you could turn your project into a few dollars. But if this is meant to be a surprise be careful. If your principal starts talking the surprise could get ruined. Something to consider, your project really isn't your principal's concern...approach him with a service attitude. An attitude that shows you want to meet his needs (not make him meet yours). Is there a need for photos from these events? Does your school have a photographer that will already be there? Maybe your photos could be put to good use through the schools marketing/social media budget?

As far as asking your friends for money, at this point in your career, I would not ask for money (from your friends). I would consider every friend-shot you make a lesson. Make sure you are learning or trying something new every time you share your skills for free. Friends can't complain (much) about a free photo and you are gaining skills that will justify you asking for money from strangers (who will complain) if something isn't right or if it's not fantastic enough. Friends make for great practice. Use them to up your skills.

Once you've created a strong portfolio that proves to people that you take pictures worth paying for you can begin asking for more money.

Also, have someone film you as you shoot these events. A behind the scenes video lets people see you work and builds trust. A good behind the scenes video can open as many doors as your pictures.

Have fun with your project - above all.

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