About Me


My Rates are very affordable when you consider this before you ask about my Rate:

David Bickley explains; "As with any other job, we get paid for our time—but not just the time behind the camera. Truth be told, that’s only a third or so of what we put into a shoot.
You have to consider that a shoot of three to four “looks” can take anywhere from 2 to 10 hours, depending on stylists, makeup artists, travel time to different locations, and so on.
That’s not considering the time we put in before and after the shoot—which we will address in a minute.
Let’s say, for example, you are paying $500 for a shoot where you get four looks, no stylist, no MUA. Just you and what you bring.
Five hundred dollars and 5 hours of shooting (just to keep our math simple), works out to be $100 per hour. Not a bad gig, right? Right—kinda. It would be stellar if our work began and ended with the shoot.
Before the shoot, a photographer may spend 20 minutes planning out locations, or he may spend a couple of hours.
If you’ve met with the photographer beforehand to discuss the shoot, factor that in as well. Let’s keep it simple again and say that you and the photographer meet for an hour (in person or on the phone) to discuss outfits and the general plan for what you two will set out to create. You are going to shoot in the studio, so there are no locations to plan out.
Now we’re at six hours of work for a five-hour shoot.
After the session, we have to go through the images and not only select the best out of hundreds of shots, but also edit them. Editing doesn’t always consist of spot-removing blemishes, often times it is more about alterations in color and exposure of the shot. Those things are vital. I will say things like “basic edits” throughout this article and when I do I’m generally referring to things like proper retouching techniques that preserve image integrity not a system of plugins or actions. Automated systems of image manipulation often leave damage that render the file unusable for high-end commercial work. Proper basic retouching does take longer and there aren’t many good shortcuts. We won’t even address the advanced methods, I don’t believe there is an accurate way to break down the time involved.
That said, I usually spend at least another 4-5 hours selecting and performing basic edits. So again, to keep things simple, let’s say five more hours of work.
Now we are at 11 hours of work for a shoot that took half as long. This brings the rate down to about $45.50 per hour. That is still a nice paycheck but definitely a hefty cut.
Now let’s consider the fee the photographer has to pay for the studio that you get to enjoy the comforts of. For the rent and utilities in a small office, $1,500 per month is a generously low statement. At that rate, in an average month of 30 days, it would cost $50 per 8-hour day just to open the door of the studio. That takes out another $6.25 per hour, putting us at $39.25.
Basically, the photographer has made $450 and given up 11 hours of his day. But wait, he had to hire an assistant for 5 hours at $10 per hour. Make that $400. If we work that out really quickly, we see that $400 for 11 hours of work drops our rate down to just under $30 per hour. We can plug that into a standard 40-hour workweek over the course of a full year, and it brings us to an annual salary of $62,400.
At first glance, it seems like a lot. Honestly it is… before self-employment tax, health insurance, liability insurance, and equipment insurance. In 2011, the self-employment tax is 13.3%. That instantly takes $62,400 down to $54,100. Nearly a $10,000 hit just for being our own boss!
Taxes and general business expenses are well beyond the intention of this post—so let’s end there with them.


Published in Daily News & New York Post in March 2010.