4 Things I Look For When Hiring a Photographer, Part 3
When I rate photographers who contact me to determine if they’re worth hiring or not, my first criteria is how good their NGO photos are, the second is how good their captioning is, and the third is…
CRITERIA 3: HOW AFFORDABLE IS YOUR DAY RATE?
You’re a freelance photographer, and you’re probably scraping the bottom of your budget barrel. You need to get paid as well as you can, especially since you don’t know when you’re next job is coming up.
I understand. As a freelance photographer, I’ve been there too.
I also know that NGOs like the one I work for have a limited budget, so we’re trying to find ways to cut costs and get as many photo shoots as we can on our limited budget dollars. And so the day rate dance begins…
The bottom line is, if you have great photos and great captioning but we can’t afford you, that’s pretty much the end of the line. I’d encourage you to be flexible on your day rate so that you don’t price yourself out of too many jobs.
What’s the going day rate for NGOs, you ask? The answer to that depends on who you talk to, and can vary substantially from NGO to NGO. I would probably cause a stir among photographers if I posted the rate that my NGO pays, so I won’t do that here. It’s best to contact a number of NGOs and see how they respond to your day rate. Before long, you’ll know what the sweet spot is that gets you paid enough to make a living but is still within a reasonable price range for NGOs.
Ultimately, each photographer needs to decide what she or he needs to charge. I simply encourage you to not price yourself out of the market. Enough said.
That leads us to the last of my four criteria. To me it’s very important, and it might surprise you.