After casually showing people my work month after month, shooting soccer games, karate classes, school events, etc., and posting the pictures, I suppose it was inevitable. Someone asked, "Where did you take that?" Someone later asked, "You took that? Nice."
A few months later it was, "Could you take our Christmas card photo next year?" and "My daughter's birthday is coming up, can you do pictures like Sears can?" Or, "Can you take a picture for me sometime?"
Still later, it's become, "Are you free this weekend to shoot ____? How much?"
This was really hard for me. How much? "I'll do it for free because I love taking portraits!" Then, "Oh, whatever you think it is worth." Poor self image? Maybe.
Now, many months later, I'm up to: "I charge $X for a sitting, which does not include the prints. I'll post the images and you can order any prints, t-shirts, mugs, whatever you like. These are the prices."
I'm still charging less than I want to, but I'm not busy with jobs. If I ever get busy, I'll assume I am good enough to charge more. In the meantime, I am having the time of my life, and learning more and more every day.
The photo above is my favorite from yesterday's shoot. I love it. (Yes I know there is a tiny bit of tree growing out of her head. I made a mistake. I wish I'd bent my knees one more inch. But I love it anyway.)
Sky: 55mm f/9 1/250 sec.
Subject: SB-600 in an umbrella above camera, full power, aimed down onto subject's face.