Lets address pricing first,


Lets address pricing first, then good business practice. You should never, ever, base price on the length of the finished product. Pricing must be based on time and cost. What are your actual costs? These should include out-of-pocket costs as well as some fraction of your annual costs — e.g., rent, insurance, amortization of equipment expenditures, etc. Then what is your time and expertise worth? You say you have worked in the industry for 13 years: how much have you been making per hour in that capacity? You should be billing for at least that much on jobs you take on. I charge for the shoot and separately for the edit. As I have no idea beforehand how much time will be involved in either, I give the client an estimate, with the understanding that both the shoot and edit may cost more or less than estimated.

To put your situation in perspective, my company would have charged between $800 and $1000 dollars for your project, based on the time involved — half-day charge for shooting plus the time involved in the edit.

As for business practice: never start on a job without a well-written contract. Haggling over price after the fact is a one-way exercise in disappointment and aggravation. The contract should spell out exactly what you are expected to do and how much you will be paid for doing it. It should also spell out what is expected of the client: e.g., access to the venue, promptness of client’s talent, etc.

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