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Thread started 25 Mar 2013 (Monday) 18:36
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scored a metal band photog job - pricing???

 
ExplicitSnow
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Mar 25, 2013 18:36 |  #1

So out of about 20 or so emails, a local metal band chose me as their photographer for rehearsal pics, promo shots & events/

Typical band plays for 45min-60min during shows
Rehearsal for 2hrs every sunday
Promo stuff periodically

Whats a fair pricing chart to present to the band "manager"

Is an hourly rate or 'by the show' rate better?

Obviously there will be a contract of some sort explaining ownership/rights of photos, so in the future a label or manager cant sue me for using the photos on my personal site or additional advertising

This is my 1st, legit, paying photography gig, so i want to get it right & fair for me & the band
Thanks




  
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JacobPhoto
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Mar 25, 2013 18:39 |  #2

I'd definitely go for the hourly rate (with a 1 hr minimum). Be sure to include expenses in case they start traveling.

Also, things like album cover shoots and other stuff should be priced accordingly (and separately) to include distribution.


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skippix
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Mar 25, 2013 19:25 |  #3

way cool! congrats!

band rates tend to scale, depending on the band's success. established, signed bands have money, the rest don't have as much. if you're working with a band that doesn't have much money, YOU will have to manage how much time you put in. the trick is to plan a shotlist ahead of time and shoot to the list.

for example, if there are four people in the band, you'll need no more than 20 images total (3 individual shots, 5 group shots, 3 misc shots). sure, you could deliver a ton more, but what's the point if you aren't getting paid? focus on getting your shots and then turning off your camera. what you don't want to do is go and shoot 500 images in an hour and then spend 4-5 hours going through them, selecting, and editing them, and then giving them a disk with 300-400 images and getting paid $50.

so, you come up with a list of what you're going to deliver before you start shooting.

with this list, you can get an idea of how much time you'll have to put into the whole project. take into consideration travel, parking, hanging around, shooting, processing, archiving, preparing deliverables, and then delivering.

next, you find out how they want to use the images. this should be fairly easy and straight-forward. then you use a stock photo price calculator to determine a base value for the usages. keep in mind, these usage prices are just starting points. depending on the situation, you might have to slide the values down.

once you have all the numbers straight on your side you can see how they match up to the band's budget. you might have to get them to accept less if you can't justify how little they might be able to pay you.

now, there are other considerations. you might shoot more to build your portfolio. you might take less because you're getting into a place you otherwise wouldn't get into. you might hang around a little longer just to make more contacts. all of this is ok, starting out, but you don't want to make a habit of it and you don't want to establish a reputation of being one of those cheap shooters who deliver a ton of stuff for no money.

the most important thing (besides getting paid) is ownership. you will own your images outright, unless you sign a contract transferring ownership to someone else. as you own the copyright, you control the licensing, which means you can dictate how the images can be used. if the band doesn't have much money, give them a license to only use the images on their website. if they want to put one on a poster, negotiate a price for that. if they want to use one on a cd cover, negotiate a price for that. you do want to make sure to spell out that the band can only use the images for self-promotion and that the rights are non-transferable (meaning that if they get signed by a label, they can't give the label the images...the label will have to come to you to get their own license!) you also have to decide if you want to give them permission to put your images on anything else they sell, like t-shirts (you shouldn't do that unless you are going to get paid, too).

you will need to get model releases from the band members in order for you to use them to promote your services, as well as if you want to license the images to others (like magazines, music labels).

hope this help, good luck!


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cory1848
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Mar 25, 2013 19:32 |  #4

How did you score the gig without agreeing on pricing first? I am guessing once you give them pricing info, they will say they can't afford you. Unless they are being financially backed by someone, I wouldn't expect much of a paycheck from them.


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ExplicitSnow
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Mar 25, 2013 19:42 |  #5

cory1848 wrote in post #15755234 (external link)
How did you score the gig without agreeing on pricing first? I am guessing once you give them pricing info, they will say they can't afford you. Unless they are being financially backed by someone, I wouldn't expect much of a paycheck from them.

I was paid $100 last night for roughly 1.5hrs...in the rehearsal room & then outside for a few group shots...last night was our 1st meeting...i had been in contact with the guy that seems to be handling funds for a few days

Im using the tips & feedback from this thread to draw up official paperwork for the band to look over

They are a startup band, that was dorment for the past year & now have a couple different memebers, so theyre getting everything synced & revamping the band




  
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Thomas ­ Campbell
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Mar 25, 2013 22:46 |  #6

As much as you can get. Bands are pretty notorious for not paying much. Especially startup bands.


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tickerguy
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Mar 26, 2013 09:14 |  #7

Startup bands typically have no money and their members are living six to a house where the beer is the most-important budget item (note: that's ahead of rent!)

Now perhaps you've got the one in a thousand that's different, but that's reality. If you want to shoot "on the come" and get paid little in the hope they hit something real, that's good. But -- be aware that you may get ditched if they do hit something real.

Second, if they're only playing covers and not their own work, they're going to be a bar-hopping wonder forever. Nobody signs covers for obvious reasons; there are a handful of ones that make a decent living playing cover concerts for formerly-big (and now-extinct or nearly-so) bands (e.g. Genesis) but they're the gross exception to the rule. If they're writing their own original material that's good, but it's only the first of many steps.

IMHO: Sign a contract, protect your distribution rights (VERY important in this instance as while it's 1 in 1,000 they hit a big record contract if so you want PAID for that image that goes on the cover of the album!) and get paid whatever you think is appropriate given the amount of time, effort, and enjoyment you get from the experience. Understand where your own uses of what you intend to shoot will intersect with the need for releases as well.


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Channel ­ One
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Mar 26, 2013 12:08 |  #8

Thomas Campbell wrote in post #15755873 (external link)
Bands are pretty notorious for not paying much.

Bands are pretty notorious for not paying their bills and tend to break up faster than trailer in a tornado.

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Channel ­ One
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Mar 26, 2013 12:12 |  #9

tickerguy wrote in post #15756957 (external link)
But -- be aware that you may get ditched if they do hit something real.

Once sucessful, control of the band many times moves to a manager who will bring in his own team and yes the photographer will be ditched.

Wayne


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Edshropshire
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Mar 28, 2013 19:33 |  #10

Channel One wrote in post #15757473 (external link)
Once sucessful, control of the band many times moves to a manager who will bring in his own team and yes the photographer will be ditched.

Wayne

While the chance the band will make it big is pretty low, you should make sure you have a release for all the images you create so if they do make it you can sell the images.


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ssim
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Mar 30, 2013 00:34 as a reply to  @ Edshropshire's post |  #11

How is that you have secured the gig without agreeing on a price. Musical groups as noted here do not have the best of reputations for having cash or paying their bills on time. I have worked with exactly two groups in my career, the first was great, paid their bills on time and threw me a few free tickets to some of their shows. The second one was a living hell to work with. I spent more time chasing them for what they owed me than I did taking their images. I eventually had to take them to court and thankfully we had a contract though they tried to convince the judge that they didn't understand what they were signing. These were both awhile ago and still in the days of film. I have no desire to work with the music industry again but if you do make sure you set your price according to what you feel you are worth or more. If you start out doing it for free for them they will try and hold you to that forever. There is only one winner in the free work arena and that is the person that got the product for nothing. Most bands will not help promote your name even though they may say so at the outset to get you to agree to shoot for free. Put everything in black and white. Even after you have a signed contract and you have a discussion with a member of the band I would follow it up in writing providing a summary of the discussion and what was agreed to under your interpretation of the conversation. I do this with all of my commercial clients and it has served both sides well.

If you are a music fan that just wants to attend some free concerts then by all means charge as little as you want. If you are genuinely interested in making this a career then treat it as such and be professional in your dealings with them.


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HappySnapper90
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Mar 30, 2013 17:25 |  #12

cory1848 wrote in post #15755234 (external link)
How did you score the gig without agreeing on pricing first? I am guessing once you give them pricing info, they will say they can't afford you. Unless they are being financially backed by someone, I wouldn't expect much of a paycheck from them.

Agreed! If they are choosing a photographer from a group of emails, they probably don't have much if any money to spend. And since this is your first paid gig, you probably don't know all there is about contracts, usage of images, duration of use, etc. that really does along with a paid commercial shoot. Unless you are happy with $100 and giving them all the JPGs on a CD to use however they want, no questions asked.




  
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jra
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Apr 02, 2013 22:29 |  #13

I would agree with much of what has been said. IMO, the biggest factor is going to be the budget of the band, which is usually related to just how popular they are. Many local bands in my area are lucky if they're getting $200 to split between 4 or 5 people for a 1 or 2 hour show......this usually puts their budget for photos right at pretty much non-existent. That said, if they're a better known group and getting paid well or if they have good paying day jobs and are willing to invest in some photography, you have a better chance of securing a reasonable profit.
As others have already mentioned, how could they have chosen you without ever discussing money? Considering that this is a start up band and that they are requesting a photographer with no prior business experience in band photography, I'm guessing that their budget is pretty slim.....but I may be wrong :)




  
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pyrojim
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Apr 07, 2013 19:36 as a reply to  @ jra's post |  #14

Lets not be too hard on new bands. Remember they have been practicing or rehearsing for a lot longer than most practice their photographic craft.

AND the pay. ohh man, in a new band you get paid if you are LUCKY.


For what its worth, to be hired for a reception and to play two, 1.5 hour sets, my 12 person band charges 3500, 4000 if there is no food or drink provided.


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