View Full Version : Question on automobile shoots
24th of January 2006 (Tue), 00:31
I'm probably going to start offering photo shoots to some of my peers on one of my local automotive enthusiasts forums. this will be my first time ever doing anything for money, so i want to be sure i am offering up a solid package when i do start up.
my thoughts were to basically take them out with their car/truck/etc and take all kinds of photos, from every angle, different settings, etc. of the vehicles, interior and exterior, then put all the photos on disk, one folder for original file sizes, and another folder for edited pics. i would charge two different amounts, basically looking at about $20 for just the shoot and disc, and $30 for the added folder of edited pics.
1) do you all think the pricing is fair, being as how i'm just gettting started? i am offering to go out and shoot some at our weekly get together this coming weekend, for free, just to give these folks an idea of what i can do.
2) is there a checklist, or an agenda, that any of you follow when doing a shoot of someone's vehicle? for instance, do you make sure you take photos of the wheels, headlights, guages, or anything of that nature?
i'm just trying to be as well prepared as i can before i go out for my first shoot.
Thanks for reading and thanks for any help/guidance you can provide! :D
24th of January 2006 (Tue), 07:31
24th of January 2006 (Tue), 08:27
1) I think you're way under priced & will end up doing two things:
You'll forever establish your price at $20 a shoot.
You'll end up making about $5 an hour, or less. The kid who says "Do you want fries with that?" will make more than you do. Plus he gets a free lunch.
There are only about 20 minutes in some evenings when the light is "Just right"! (See the link at the bottom). Learn how to use it & don't sell anything that doesn't meet your standards as a GREAT shot, or you'll become just another "wannabe snapshooter". That doesn't mean that you can't take other shots before that. It just means if you're going to sell them, you need to reserve that particular time window for a paying customer.
BTW, my prices below are low. I'd never charge a commercial client that price.
Most of the car guys here are retired & unlikely to pay a "proper" price for a shot to put on their wall because,
1. They are living on retirement money.
2. They spend all their "extra" money on their cars and,
3. They have a ton of pics already, most of which they got for $20. You should try to upgrade yourself from that $20 category.
Re: the car guys that will see the images on the web: See Post #9.
I don't sell small prints, only 12" X 18" prints of one view for $150. An extra $50 for each anything other than a simple gradient in the background.
They sign a property release & the invoice shows my © info & spells out what they can use the image for (Nothing but their wall or personal website).
I repeat, I don't sell 4X6", 5X7", 8X10" prints for less. One price. Take it or leave it.
In a very few cases (3) I've given away a 4X6" print just to "chum the pool". When offered money for them I turn it down telling them, "I can choose to give a print away, but I don't cut my already low prices for any reason. In fact, next year they will be higher because I'm getting more work than I want." ;)
I suggest that you give a friend who puts his car where you want it when you want it there a large print & a few wallet sized shots. He'll show it to everyone he knows & a lot of people he doesn't.
Here's a few buyers from last year:
I did give them a CD with the 12X18" pic file, the 4X6" proof files, & a 4X6" 3-up wallet sized print. I also tell them where to take it to get it printed 'cause if they just take it to the local drugstore & make a crappy print, it becomes your crappy print & you don't want that, do you?
I also include a folder of web sized images because I don't want them using some one-step app to resize the profiled print files before they post them online. So I do give them both printable files & web images, but I try to reduce the opportunities for them to screw them up. ;)
2) is there a checklist, or an agenda, that any of you follow when doing a shoot of someone's vehicle? for instance, do you make sure you take photos of the wheels, headlights, guages, or anything of that nature? Shoot what looks interesting. You never know what will look good to you when you're making up the proofs.
Don't confuse them with quantity either. Ask them what they think is the best angle for the car & show them 2-3 variations on that view, + maybe 1-2 others. You can always drop another view into what you've put together if they decide that's what they want.
Above all, good luck, have fun with it, & get paid a fair price.
Seen this? A few Car Lighting Tips (http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=70290)
EDIT 3/7/08: Last year I bumped my price up to $200 for the basic package. One guy said, "It was only $150 last year!"
I said,"That was last year." All his friends laughed & he bought anyway.
Some shots of Jim's '68 AMX (http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=393917)
EDIT: I did some more of Jim's new toy here:
UBNXOUS Beast! part #2. (http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=747170)
I've also add the option for inclusion in the Detroit IRON (http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=324620) book.
24th of January 2006 (Tue), 12:58
$20 is dirt cheap.
a buddy of mine just took me out to a good lunch to take 1 rolling shot of him on the freeway on the way to work. We aren't talkin about a quick burger joint, we're talkin sit down, shoot the **** for awhile with a waitress and beers.
If you need to practice, borrow your friends cars (or your friends parents cars ;) ). But once you get good, price yourself well. Anyone working for less than $50 an hour is wasting their time, IMHO.
24th of January 2006 (Tue), 13:20
Awesome! Thanks Guys! That's an awesome rundown and very useful links!! You both definitely have me reconsidering my pricing!
Just thinking out loud here... i am a member of that local car forum, and that's where i am getting my biggest and only interest from right now. what i am thinking is, could i offer a special rate to the members of my site, then pass out business cards or flyers for them to refer potential customers to me? then those folks would see the revised pricing... ?
24th of January 2006 (Tue), 16:57
I dont know what kind of pics you take, so maybe you should provide some examples so we can get a feel of what you are capable of.
Then after that, I would try to make sure that your pictures are not what someone with a little Point and Shoot and some extra time can do.
An example of a very successful automobile photography is a dude that used to be on an old forum I used to frequent. His namy is Wynn. He started taking shots for free at the meets for the forum, and now that he is much better charges a pretty hefty bit for some shots of your car.
24th of January 2006 (Tue), 18:28
that guy's pictures are absolutely perfect! That is what i aspire to be able to accomplish one day!!
here are a couple of threads i have here...
and here's one for a larger site i am a part of - all of these pictures were taken with my old kodak, nothing too impressive as far as quality is concerned, but a few of the shots should give you an idea of what i am capable of at this point.
i don't want to mislead anyone, i'm certainly no professional at this point, but i think if i practice and work at this hard enough i will be able to do some great things with photography. i'm looking at taking a few classes once i get back from my deployment this summer (and i plan on taking plenty of pictures over there, too!)
but for now, i'm working with my very stock 300D with the stock 18-55mm lens that came with it. i still have to learn all the settings, as you can probably tell by looking at my latest pictures, with the white balance and such.
like i said, this whole idea/venture is meant to basically get my foot in the door. if i ever achieve half the success of your friend Wynn i will be more than ecstatic!!
Thanks for that link!
27th of March 2009 (Fri), 10:57
sorry that i'm digging this thread up from the dead. but i wanted to know, the guys that are giving out cd's with web size images on it. what resolution of pic do you give them?? 800 on the longest edge maybe?
27th of March 2009 (Fri), 19:23
If they're just for the web, I put 72dpi in the print resolution box, then 700-800 in the longest edge, depending what size they ask for. If they've paid for a shoot, I also give them printable images on CD, so I don't worry that they'll try to print the web images.
Re the car guys that will see the images on the web: They will try to print them, & I've had people tell me that they took a 600px web image & made a "Great looking!" 8X10" print from it! I tell them to please tell people that I didn't make it for them.
To make it hard to get a good print that way, I'll use a non-standard format crop that the printer will try to stretch to fit & keep the file size around 90KB, too. I'm thinking about putting a bigger © on the POTN images, too.
27th of March 2009 (Fri), 20:46
and 72dpi is good enough for web??
27th of March 2009 (Fri), 21:42
It's the older monitor resolution, & works just fine.
27th of March 2009 (Fri), 22:10
ahh, good to know! thx :)
27th of March 2009 (Fri), 23:07
Here's a few examples:
'55 Chrysler 300 in "Cop Catcher RED"! (http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=664046)
vBulletin® v3.6.12, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.