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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 03 Aug 2011 (Wednesday) 15:31
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Product Photography - pricing question - long term project

 
dessoir
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Aug 03, 2011 15:31 |  #1

So I've been approached to do some product photography and I'm sort of lost as far as how much to charge them.

This will be an ongoing project for several months. I am to be paid bi-weekly and have been asked to provide them with a number $.

Over the course of the project, they will provide me with their product, I will shoot it, return the product with the shots and pick up a new batch of product.

I am to sign a non-disclosure agreement as well as give them the absolute, complete rights to the images. I may not even use them for promotional purposes.

The photographs will be used for any purposes they see fit, ranging from product packaging, website, to images used on banners for conventions.

I have been offered this opportunity because the person running this show wants to save on cost by avoiding an agency and in return offer me this side gig.

What is something like this worth?
Any help would be much appreciated!




  
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Matthew ­ Patrick
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Aug 03, 2011 16:59 |  #2

It sounds like this is worth a lot, if they want a copyright buyout for each image then you're getting into the five figure range. Of Course, chances are they are not willing to pay that much, they may be looking to exploit someone who is unfamiliar with pricing for image licensing on this scale.




  
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Nightstalker
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Aug 03, 2011 17:00 |  #3

Where are you - USA, UK or other?


  
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ssim
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Aug 03, 2011 17:03 |  #4

I don't like that "they can do anything with them that they want". If you are taking images of some small regionally sold product is one thing but what if this goes national or even international and your picture is on the packaging. Would you really be pleased if you gave the work for less than what you think you should be getting.

I think you should come up with a charge for the photography services and deal with licensing as a separate item based on what they want to use them for. It sounds like they are trying to cheap out by going direct and hoping that you won't drill down into the licensing costs. This could conceivably be thousands if not tens of thousands if they get wide distribution across several distribution types.

I can't begin to tell you how much to charge for the product shot itself as this is driven by other factors such as are you required to have special backgrounds and other handling specifics. If they are any distance away I would also add something in for mileage if you are having to make a couple of trips a week to their facility. You must have a set hourly or day rate now and I would employ that. If each article/product take about the same amount of time you can break that down into a per item cost.

If this is a national or international company that is just trying to cheap out by avoiding an agency (which I feel is a mistake on their part) then maybe you should be talking to a third party to negotiate on the licensing component of this.


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dessoir
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Aug 03, 2011 17:58 as a reply to  @ ssim's post |  #5

I'm in US.

The company is thinking they'll bring in Benjis north of the seven figure mark.

The person offering me this gig is doing so because we know each other. Sort of a 'scratch my back and I'll scratch yours' favor. Let me (young dude with a photo degree and a baby) earn some bread .

Whatever I charge should be lower than an agency, for him to save some greens and make it beneficial both ways.

The photo process is fairly simple, shoot product on white background. There may be 5-10 items in each batch. I'll be responsible for it's "creative arrangement" and will work back and forth to make sure it's looking correctly to them.

No significant travel is involved.

So far, I've never had a serious job involving photography.
All my previous jobs have paid an hourly rate which allows for a 'paycheck to paycheck' lifestyle. These numbers are almost mind numbing.

I'm unfamiliar with a pro pay rate and as such I'd love to take advantage of this opportunity but need a respectable figure.

Previously I've asked for a $25/hr rate. I was brought into another meeting and had everything re-explained to me, to make sure I understand it. So either $25/hr is too much for this person, or I'm an idiot.




  
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Nightstalker
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Aug 03, 2011 18:02 |  #6

dessoir wrote in post #12872733 (external link)
I'm in US.

The company is thinking they'll bring in Benjis north of the seven figure mark.

Sorry, what or who is Benjis - never heard of them before.

BTW - whoever the client is $25 per hour is crazy low.

Have you asked them for a budget?

Check out http://www.productphot​ography.com/pricing.ht​ml (external link)


  
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Moppie
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Aug 03, 2011 18:20 |  #7

Learning about cost recovery is one of the most basic things to understand before going into business.

You need to sit down and work out what it will cost you to take these photos.
Are you supplying paper for the background? Buying or renting equipment, lights lenses etc?

How many hours per week will you be working on this, including processing time?

What is your time worth?


If it's only a small company with a small market distribution then don't get too hung up on them wanting full usage rights.
I do that for a lot of small companies. The images are useless to anyone but them.

I usually charge either per image, or per hour to do the shoot, with a minimum charge to cover my time and travel.

Don't be afraid to ask if they have a budget either.
If they have done this before they will know what it cost them.


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PhotosGuy
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Aug 04, 2011 09:24 |  #8

Moppie wrote in post #12872867 (external link)
Don't be afraid to ask if they have a budget either.
If they have done this before they will know what it cost them.

And if you called an agency, you'd know what it would cost in your area, too? That's called "Marketing research". ;)


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Product Photography - pricing question - long term project
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