Sounds like a tough situation to bid, no matter how you figure it as a Photographer...
- Assuming 1 minute per shot, that's 2500 minutes or 83 hours. Even at a very modest $25/hr, that is $2100 .
- Assuming you charge by item, even $0.50 per item is $2500
Compare that to 'day rate' pricing often used in commercial photography, those would be bargain prices paid by commercial clients for photography to be used on a web site. TWO WEEKS of commercial photography simply assuming 1 minute average per item shot.
But put $2000-2500 into the Grocery Store management point of view, and the slim margins on most items,
- how many items would they need to sell to break even on the expense?! A
- nd how much volume do they really think they would do via web shopping?!
- So how long would their pay-back period be, before generating net profit from the expense?
...big difference for a chain store vs. a mom-and-pop neighborhood store. Do you have any idea of the client's preconceived notion of cost to have the photography done? You might want to simply sit down with them, explain what you think what the consumed time would be on a day rate vs. a piece rate. They may not realize the magnitude of effort! In fact, YOU may not comprehend the magnitude of effort, and might want to do this little exercise for yourself so you have an idea of what it takes to photograph a variety of items taken from your own pantry shelves...
- Initial setup of lighting and camera and set
- time to shoot each item (average of 20 items taken from your own pantry shelves), adjusting light as necessary, for good web depiction of product
- teardown of set, and lighting and camera