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Pricing, Payments, Getting Gigs and Backup. My progression as a photographer

(Originally this post was going to be only about pricing & payments, but I felt it wouldn’t be complete without the background story – if you want the hardcore stats of where I’m at now, just scroll to the bottom) PROGRESSION When I first started out doing photography, I SUCKED. Big time. Imagine all the […]

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Erin Oveis Brant - I’m catching up on all your posts and I am seriously blown away! I feel like a better photographer just by knowing you (and having access to your brain). Please keep the posts coming!!May 31, 2011 – 9:32 pm

The Payment Process Challenge | Tim King Blog | Tim King Photographer - [...] Pricing, Payments, Getting Gigs and Backup. My progression as a photographer [...]May 10, 2011 – 10:14 am

Deals, Discounts, and how YOU, the client, can get the BEST out of your photographer | Tim King Blog | Tim King Photographer - [...] Pricing, Payments, Getting Gigs and Backup. My progression as a photographer [...]May 10, 2011 – 9:30 am

Maria - I have an important question about backup. Do you have a back up feature on your blog?? You better! I’ll have a heart attack if something happens to this thing, honestly! If not I’d better start copy-pasting all your informative posts and saving them at some secure place. :)April 26, 2011 – 10:07 pm

Shelean - So, again great pictures! Here is a question for you that many may want to know as well…. When you are taking pictures of people, at bars or at weddings…. do you have to get any “permissions” to post their pictures? (am I opening a can of worms here?) Hope not!April 22, 2011 – 6:24 pm

John Payne - Loving your blog posts, man. Very forthcoming and honest and great info!April 20, 2011 – 9:01 pm

Tim - @Matthew – awesome man, he has another book called “The Thank You Economy” I’ve been meaning to pick up & read. You just inspired me to get on it!

@Ashley – she actually kept it all in a dining room drawer and spent it slowly…said it actually was pretty nice not ever having to go to the bank! lol

@Justin – I just added nightlife shooting to the list of how-to posts…look for it next weekApril 20, 2011 – 10:23 am

Justin Douglas - I enjoyed the post Tim, I’m also into the night life photography but non of my shots are as great as yours. Very motivational to know at first your work was crap but than developed into what I see today. Thanks for the sweet blog post!!!April 20, 2011 – 10:14 am

Ashley Goodwin - Lisa, you are a great Mother. :) Personally I would have tacked on a teller’s fee, but that’s just me.April 20, 2011 – 8:05 am

Matthew Kunce - Picked up “Crush It” based on what you mentioned Time. Finished it in one night. Between the CreativeLIVE class, your blog and the book I have lots of thinking & things to work on thanks. Thanks for sharing such a great resource.April 20, 2011 – 3:03 am

Mark - Hey Tim,
Would love you to talk post production. What do you use to edit and get the look you’re after in your photos. Photos that are so dang sharp I must add!

MarkApril 19, 2011 – 8:13 pm

Lisa - Well, I did curse him a few times, but the money paid in $1 bills was an upturn in our relationship! :)
Love, MomApril 19, 2011 – 7:57 pm

Tim - Thanks so much guys! Your comments keep me motivated to keep posting, and I really appreciate the feedback!

@Ashley – she actually was laughing pretty hard when I did it!

@Marissa – good to hear from you! I’ve seen some of the work you’ve been doing with chaz lately – looks awesome!April 19, 2011 – 7:16 pm

Shelean - As always… You deliver the goods!! Thanks!April 19, 2011 – 6:08 pm

Marissa Rodriguez - Great post! Loved reading about how you got started, I had no idea! Definitely doing a great job, I remember quickly meeting at a shootout in 2009 I think and I’m so happy to see you are doing so well for yourself!April 19, 2011 – 2:39 pm

Sarah - Fantastic post Tim with great “insider” info!April 19, 2011 – 2:08 pm

Scott - Nice post Tim. Would love to work together on an event shoot sometime. Keep up the good work and thank you for all the inspiration.April 19, 2011 – 1:00 pm

Deborah - Great insights and incredibly helpful information… Thanks!April 19, 2011 – 12:34 pm

Steve C - I saw you on Creative Live and I been reading your blog everyday. Thanks for all the great advice and honesty and you attitude ROCKS. GREAT WORK—-THANKS!April 19, 2011 – 9:00 am

Ashley Goodwin - I am sure your mother was cursing the son that she raised when you waltzed in with two thousand ones.April 19, 2011 – 8:56 am

Emilia Jane - Thank you so much for all of your insight! I really really appreciate your honesty and openness :-)April 19, 2011 – 6:31 am

Matthew Kunce - Once again your blog post knocks it out of the park Tim. Your honesty, transparency and attitude help others starting out or even just thinking about starting out being a professional photographer.April 19, 2011 – 4:13 am

How much money I make as a photographer

So I shared this on facebook the other day, and while I wasn’t planning on releasing it on the blog, I figured it would be a good idea to be able to point someone to it in case the topic came up in the future. I got a lot of feedback (almost all positive), and […]

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Billy Smith - Tim , until today i thought i was stuck in my routined life working nights and thinking of how depressed i am because i cant get out of my continueing life. i love traveling i want to have a comfortable life, and im willing to grind the one thing thatll give me everything i want until i cant grind anymore. Ive never tried photography and never experienced it but i know that i have a extremly visual mind and memory, and it about the only way i learn. I just wanted to say thank you for the information. You’re probably going to be my new inspiration. I can no longer do what i am doing its killing me one day at a time. Please continue doing what your doing here in this blog because im willing to learn everything i can to put myself in the lifestyle you have. :DJuly 28, 2012 – 7:12 am

Show me the money!! « Anthony Quesada..Photographer..Filmmaker..Fun Seeker - [...] marked the last of many recent Craigslist transactions that had me rolling in the money-money, Tim King style.  Unfortunately, unlike my friend to the sunny-sunny south, this wasn’t income earned [...]April 26, 2011 – 9:13 am

Kelly Douglas - I love that you included that hoodrat. I work full time at a youth development organization and my kids say that all.the.time. Have you seen “hide yo wives hide yo kids”? If not, you need to google that!

oh, and great video :)April 21, 2011 – 7:19 pm

Shana - Tim, you are a crack up! I can’t believe I had to wait 2 minutes before I got to hear the theme song for the day. Thanks for sharing this post. I am in a totally unrelated field, but really want to get into photography. I can’t imagine being where you are. Would love to hear about how you first started. If it was as a second shooter, how did you make connections?April 21, 2011 – 8:10 am

Bombchell in Atl - woot woot, found my sugar daddy for the next 2 months before i switch continents.

lol but jokes apart love the openess it helps a lot.April 20, 2011 – 10:24 pm

Deborah - Thanks for your openness… It’s nice to come across a photographer who’s willing to help the little guys ;).

I am very curious about what types of shoots you do each week, as well as how you book your clients/shoots. It seems most of your work is commercial –do you advertise or rely on word of mouth? How did you gain clients when first starting out?April 18, 2011 – 10:04 pm

Ashley Goodwin - OH. MY. GOD.

xoApril 18, 2011 – 7:59 pm

s h e r r y - I really appreciate what you are sharing with everyone! :) Thanks a lot, dude. I’m still working on transitioning into full time P:

PS. Omg. Has anyone ever told you you look like Jimmy Neutron? The resemblance is uncanny, and it’s KILLIN’ me.April 18, 2011 – 7:52 pm

Lizzie - Ha ha… I like you and your knowledge sharing videos! I am dreaming for the day where I can book one shoot a day let alone two! But how long did it take you to get to the point where you are making this kind of money… what’s your life story Tim?April 18, 2011 – 4:15 pm

Tami - Great video!!! Love all the great advice and posts…I appreciate so much the photographers that are open books. Loved the sugar daddy joke…hilarious.April 18, 2011 – 12:56 pm

Why I have gone crazy….


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Bombchell in Atl - mikew covered a lot.

1. what’s your video blog lighting set up
2. what do you use to collage your pictures side by side
3. Nightlife photography tipsApril 21, 2011 – 1:09 am

Emilia Jane - TIM!**** not time, apparently I fail at typing today.April 18, 2011 – 10:47 am

Emilia Jane - Time! I forgot to ask this also! Do you use Shoot Q? Pictage? How do you manage everything?April 18, 2011 – 10:46 am

Dana Laymon - multiple stones with a bird eh? :) sorry, i had to say it! you’ll be a great resource to the community! your stuff is awesome and i loved watching you guys on CL- felt like i was there!April 13, 2011 – 8:03 pm

Caitlyn H - I want in on post processing…and workflow :)April 12, 2011 – 7:50 pm

Ashley Goodwin - Yep, I want in on the post processing too! Looks awesome.
xoApril 11, 2011 – 10:38 pm

MikeW - I read your James Law interview a few weeks back. Consider this a mix of that with some business questions.

- What are your favorite focal lengths and why?
- If you could only take one lens on a trip, which one would it be?
- Do you ever get model releases?
- How much do you think you have invested in your business?(Ballpark)
- Do you prefer to use flash or natural light/high ISO/F stop combo for your event work (Gala/Dinner/Club) at night?
- What is your set up for your photo booths?(softbox size, Butterfly Lighting?, etc)
- What type of lighting do you use? (#of lights, Softbox, etc)
- What’s the best score you have had on the golf course? (or at least best shot/hole)
- You mentioned a psychology background. Ever take the Myers Briggs assessment?
- What’s the worst thing about being a full time photographer?
- Biggest mishap while shooting?
- Favorite city that you have traveled to?
- When doing travel work (engagements etc) do you just charge more to make up for the additional expenses(Airfare/hotel)?
- Describe your workflow. (shoot, backup, LR3, PS CS5, export)
- How much time do you usually spend processing?
- What is your favorite thing to shoot?
- Person/place/thing that you would love to shoot given the opportunity?
- Describe the day/moment that you decided to do Photography full time instead of a “regular” 9-5.(I read the earlier post but it’s always good to hear someone say it)
- What are your 3 favorite images and what do they convey about you/your style?
- I consider you to be really good, but do you still wake up with self-doubt or dislike for your photos every now and then?

Thanks for taking the time to do something like this.April 11, 2011 – 7:44 pm

Tony - found you through creativelive awesome stuff. one thing I did not hear being discuss is how do you process payment, form clients is it when they hire you do you use a paypal like system for half when they hire you online and then you get the rest in person? and also when shooting lets say a wedding or engagement session in a place do you have permits to photograph there or do you just go and shoot. by the way your photographs are awesome.April 10, 2011 – 10:01 pm

Boris - Hi Tim,

I discovered you @creativelive this week-end. Like other i want to know your process and workflow. You have a very great style and eye.
I downloaded some of your pics to see the exif info so i could see that you have several great lenses (24 1.4LII, 50 1.2L, 85 1.2LII, 16-35 2.8L…) and also you use very hight ISO.. i’m always in two minds to use hight iso (i have a MKII as well) Are you using a specific software for your raw files ?
i’m looking forward your next post ! Thanks for sharing.

BorisApril 10, 2011 – 8:54 pm

Mark - Hey Tim,
Would love to learn more about how you process your photos. They have a great feel to them.

MarkApril 10, 2011 – 5:54 pm

Jen - Found you through creative live. I’m in San Diego as well…hoping to start second shooting this year. Just curious how you got started second shooting?April 10, 2011 – 1:26 am

CJ - Awesome photos Tim! My question is- for your wide angle landscape shots do you photoshop the people out? I love the ones from your Europe trip but I noticed that there are never any people in the way.April 9, 2011 – 5:59 pm

Karolina - Another subscriber, thanks to CreativeLIVE! You had some really great questions, by the way. I enjoyed the entire two days, and I’m sure being there in person was even more amazing! Just like Catrina, I’d like to know what’s in your camera bag, prices, how long you’ve been shooting for, and if photography is all you do for a living… Thank you in advance, I appreciate it! :)April 9, 2011 – 5:26 pm

Justin - I also enjoyed your questions at CreativeLIVE both days and love your work already… New Subscriber !!!!!April 9, 2011 – 4:52 pm

Kate - I really enjoyed hearing your questions and comments on the Jasmine Star CreativeLIVE workshop! I’ll be following you from now on :)April 9, 2011 – 4:45 pm

Emilia Jane - Awesome! Can’t wait :-) Loved our questions on Creative Live yesterdayApril 9, 2011 – 6:58 am

Tim - @Emilia – I’ll hit your question in a FULL DETAILED explanation in a post on Monday. Sound good?

@Yuliya – You rock, tweet me if you have any you want me to pass along – @timkingphoto

@Catrina – I’ll do a post on this next Wednesday, but to give you the jist – a bunch of primes and a 5d mk ii, pricing I’ll hit in a post the following week, but it’ll be a GOOD ONE – (I’ll share how much I actually make per month to give the best idea of how my strategy is working)April 9, 2011 – 12:41 am

catrina - What’s in your current camera bag? How are you able to market yourself in San Diego and Denver? Where did you start out pricing wise?April 8, 2011 – 6:41 pm

Yuliya - Love your video and it was also nice watching you on creativeLive today, I liked all the questions you asked. So keep asking Jasmine for me, lol ;)April 8, 2011 – 5:46 pm

Emilia Jane - YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You have that “it” factor on your images! Tell us about your post processing. How do you do it?!April 8, 2011 – 8:56 am

Searsucker Gift Card Contest

  In honor of one of my favorite holidays, I’ve decided to throw a little “April Fools” contest to win a $150 gift card to Searsucker restaurant in downtown San Diego. If you haven’t been there yet, do yourself a favor and check it out – amazing date spot, right in the heart of the […]

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Umair K. - Check this Tim… So my buddy Birdman fell asleep one day and we happened to have super glue with us. And we couldn’t help but…..
Enjoy the production:

We got so many views on youtube that we had to follow up with an encore performance: 3, 2011 – 11:38 am

Maria - To see the best prank ever please follow the link:

PS I think I should get some extra credit for embarrassing myself! ;)April 3, 2011 – 6:00 am

Scott Thompson - Aight Tim I tryed to do my best to deliver a straight live vid of my april fools joke. Threw some siricha into our coffee pot at work.My bro fell right into the trap.I kinda blew it at the end cause i started bustin up but i told you I was going for the attempt.!/profile.php?id=100000228708145

dont know if this link takes you to the vid but its on my facebook page . HahaApril 2, 2011 – 5:14 pm

Katie Bane - My former teacher pulled this prank this year when taking 45 students to San Diego on a field trip.
She told them on the bus on the way back from seaport village that the hotel found illegal substances in one of the rooms. That when we get back to the hotel that everyone is packing up and we were going home tonight! She was so harsh. The disappointed tone, followed by angry. She let them stew then yelled April fools!!

Dont care if I win. Just thought this was too funny.April 2, 2011 – 1:33 pm

Kristina - A friend forwarded me this link saying I HAVE to share my April Fool’s prank from yesterday considering how well it went. To put it simply, I created an event on facebook for a fake celebrity-studded event to be held @ XYZ in the W Hotel in San Francisco for the LS Foundation (Lurpa Sloof Foundation). Celebrity appearances included: Lady Gaga and Kim Kardashian…as well as Giants’ Buster Posey, Robin Williams, Alicia Silverstone, and former SF mayor Gavin Newsom (since they’re from SF).

It was to be hosted by Opaque, an actual company (I included the link to add realism) that holds events where you dine in pitch black darkness. Attire was to be any kind of sleepwear from footie pajamas to sexy lingerie to…nude.

This event got much more attention than I had expected. I received endless messages of people trying to RSVP by the midnight deadline. Just after the deadline hit, I broke the news that “Lurpa Sloof” is April Fools spelled backwards and it was all just a big prank.

I ended up pranking 71 people (# who RSVP’d “yes”), after only sending invites to 9 friends in San Francisco. One of my friends (whom I did not send a direct invite to) actually bought a plane ticket from Seattle to SF and ended up having to return it! Needless to say, I had a lot of “I hate you” texts/messages this morning, but it was all worth it. ;)

Here’s the event: 2, 2011 – 11:29 am

Emily - I also share an affinity for April Fool’s day, particularly because my mom joked about going into labor with me while my dad was out of town (my birthday is tomorrow, so I never forget April Fools).

Today, my co-worker and I wrapped every item in my boss’ office with aluminum foil. From her chair and desk to her phone, keyboard and computer monitor. She had to literally unwrap everything before she was able to start working. Foiling is the new TPing! (picture from this morning)

Obviously I couldn’t stop there, so I also put small post-it notes under everyone’s optical mouse. Our office was freaking out that their computers were frozen and they couldn’t figure it out. They were trying to restart and unplug everything, until I finally told them.

HAPPY APRIL FOOL’S DAY!April 1, 2011 – 5:23 pm

kia - I’m not sure if it falls into the category of prank or not. but it worth reading it.
As you may remember I come from a Shi’ite Muslim country. There is a famous month in Islam called Moharam. In this month many people go to mosques every night and they mourn and moan for the loss of one their Imams who was killed 1400 years ago!!! ( This is not a joke,The whole country wears black for that! ). Every night in mosques they turn the lights off and a clerics (Mullah) starts to dramatizing about the moments where the Imam was being murdered by infidels and he encourages the crowd to cry out loud for that. So you can imagine that it is a very serious situation and everyone is crying. usually while the lights are off and people are listening to cleric and crying, a servant from the mosque would come and pour a little bit of rose water on the palm of the hand of each mourner and the mourner rubs it on his face. (It is kind of serves like the holly water in Christianity and people believe that it washes their sins). Now imagine that someone :D :D adds a little bit of ink to the rose water container. since it is dark no one can tell the difference between colors but they can only smells it which of course smells like rose water. after the lights are on almost all the people in the mosque ( sometimes over 1000 people) are entirely have their faces colored. now you can imagine that how pissed they are. :D :D this actually has been done and it is very effective way of mass pranking.April 1, 2011 – 1:51 pm

Summer Werner - This morning my bus driver picked up the last of the kids and continued towards school. All of a sudden the bus stops and Ken, my bus driver, has to pull off. He looks really annoyed and makes a phone call the the bus office. Every one shushes so he can talk. He says he thinks the engine has dies. As soon as he gets off the phone, he tells us that we have to walk the rest of the way to school, which is five miles, and the weather is not nice. As everyone unhappily grabs their stuff he shouts APRIL FOOLS! He got us all pretty good. Hope you had a great valentines day Tim. Love ya.April 1, 2011 – 11:25 am

CJ - Remember when pet rocks were popular? My dad had a gigantic rock delivered to his brother and left it in the front yard with a note that it was a pet rock. The best joke was what happened next: his brother had a load of pea gravel dumped on our front lawn with a sign that said “Your pet rock had babies.”March 31, 2011 – 7:19 pm

Tim - @ Christopher – wow that’s awesome. definitely an A for effort & originality. I’d say you have a strong case for the card so far

@Rachel – make a video of you turning it in – even though it’s not a prank it wins huge points to see someone take charge in life & get out of it what they want. if it’s not working, onto the next!

@olivia – that is COLD BLOODED! i would be scared to be your friends tomorrow haha!March 31, 2011 – 3:54 pm

Alykhan Piredina - here are two links of pranks I have pulled on my room mate in lieu of April fools last year. The first link is a video of me super gluing his fingers together when he was passed out. The second is a video of me pieing him in the face as he is stepping into an elevator.


PIE 31, 2011 – 3:37 pm

Christopher Park - In the old days of Myspace, embedded content was allowed for comments on your friends pages. As a flash web developer, I knew that I could make something to post that was harmless but once changed I could redirect a page to whatever I wanted to. Since comments were on everyone’s profile page, I knew it wouldn’t take long for this prank to spread. A few days before April fools, I posted a comment on every one of my friends pages a comment which was a flash embedded file which consisted of a simple smiley face. To my friends, it was just a smiley face that did nothing, but this file was hosted on a web server of mine, which I could change on the day of April Fools. Once changed, a simple action redirected their page to a page that I made.

So enough with the nerd talk, on April Fool’s day, I changed that file to something that redirected to a mimicked page of Myspace that looked exactly like the page you get when you want to delete your Myspace account that asks if you’d like to delete your account with a big yes or no. No matter what you clicked, it took you to a successfully deleted your Myspace account page. Right below that a button that says, if you’ve done this in error, click here to reinstate your account which then took you to a page that said April fools from me. I had a counter on this page which got into the thousands. I of course implemented a way that set a cookie that if it was set, it didn’t redirect you so it only happened once to someone.

Of course this concept was caught on by others on the web to phish for account information which sucks but was shortly fixed from Myspace, but it was a very creative April Fools joke for me to my friends.

April Fools your account has been deleted! Imagine that in the Facebook era, people would lose their minds :)March 31, 2011 – 3:28 pm

Rachel - Turning in my letter of resignation tomorrow. The real prank: It’s not a joke.March 31, 2011 – 3:03 pm

Olivia Pugh - PUtting some liquid in there drink thats has too make you go #2 then gluing there toliet seat shut so couldnt go bathroom…It was too funnyMarch 31, 2011 – 2:23 pm