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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 14 Jun 2016 (Tuesday) 19:00
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Question about photographing model/singer for personal use and possible album artwork

 
ProwlingTiger
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Jun 14, 2016 19:00 |  #1

I'll try to make this short and sweet. Basically I started out in both video and photo production, went to university on scholarship for video. My dream, besides writing and directing for Hollywood, and far more realistic, is to create music videos. I've been working on how to build myself up and recently have begun negotiations with a rising model/singer. It began as I wanted to hire her to continue to build up my portfolio. But as it turns out she is releasing her first album in September and being an opportunist, I'd like to make a play to provide her album cover and artwork (granted these may already be done at this point). So my questions are:

1. Should I be successful in negotiating either the shoot, or both the shoot and the album artwork, what is the best way for me to work with her manager to promote myself? They actually have asked "what kind of advertising I have in mind" in terms of how I would advertise myself using the photos, but how can they also help me?

2. This is entirely new territory for me working at this level of management/star. What should I know going into this? Any do's & dont's?

3. I have a fairly large budget for this shoot. How much is reasonable to offer?

I know this is a very specific scenario, but I really need help here as it is another stepping stone on the path of living my dream. Yes, I am paying her, but the goal is to do a few high profile shoots with several rising stars to build up my brand. Maybe this is foolish, but that is my battle plan.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and possible assist me.


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nathancarter
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Jun 15, 2016 09:10 |  #2

Since nobody has responded yet, here's some lousy advice from someone who doesn't do this professionally:

If you're hiring her as a model, with the intention of shooting photos to promote your business, then you should be paying her. If you want to break it down, it would be one fee for her time modeling, and a separate fee for commercial use of her likeness.

If she's using your photos as the cover/insert art for her album, then she should be paying you a usage licensing fee. Likely based on how many copies of the album will be printed and circulated, or (for digital distribution) how many views.

If you're both benefiting equally - that is, your business promotion is equal in value to her album promotion - then no money changes hands. Instead, spend your budget on production, set, wardrobe, etc.


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JacobPhoto
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Jun 15, 2016 15:56 |  #3

nathancarter wrote in post #18040079 (external link)
Since nobody has responded yet, here's some lousy advice from someone who doesn't do this professionally:

If you're hiring her as a model, with the intention of shooting photos to promote your business, then you should be paying her. If you want to break it down, it would be one fee for her time modeling, and a separate fee for commercial use of her likeness.

If she's using your photos as the cover/insert art for her album, then she should be paying you a usage licensing fee. Likely based on how many copies of the album will be printed and circulated, or (for digital distribution) how many views.

If you're both benefiting equally - that is, your business promotion is equal in value to her album promotion - then no money changes hands. Instead, spend your budget on production, set, wardrobe, etc.

Agreed.

As a side note, make sure you get a contract AND release for a shoot like this, that expressly lists all details. Who has the rights for the images, for how long, what the payment (or trade) is, etc. This can turn into a very ugly situation if either you or the artist "makes it big".


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ProwlingTiger
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Jun 15, 2016 18:21 |  #4

nathancarter wrote in post #18040079 (external link)
Since nobody has responded yet, here's some lousy advice from someone who doesn't do this professionally:

If you're hiring her as a model, with the intention of shooting photos to promote your business, then you should be paying her. If you want to break it down, it would be one fee for her time modeling, and a separate fee for commercial use of her likeness.

If she's using your photos as the cover/insert art for her album, then she should be paying you a usage licensing fee. Likely based on how many copies of the album will be printed and circulated, or (for digital distribution) how many views.

If you're both benefiting equally - that is, your business promotion is equal in value to her album promotion - then no money changes hands. Instead, spend your budget on production, set, wardrobe, etc.

Definitely agree, perhaps I'm too generous, but I think I'll still be paying her. I have definitely given this a lot of thought and the per album is the best idea I came up with as well, and optimal scenario. Speaking with her manager, if the photos match the style for her album, they'll definitely consider using them. I've already begun planning the shoot to match her style so fingers-crossed.

JacobPhoto wrote in post #18040436 (external link)
Agreed.

As a side note, make sure you get a contract AND release for a shoot like this, that expressly lists all details. Who has the rights for the images, for how long, what the payment (or trade) is, etc. This can turn into a very ugly situation if either you or the artist "makes it big".

Oh hell yeah, there will definitely be a contract and release. But thank you for reinforcing the idea of her making it big and the what-if. I didn't look at it like that but that is a great point. Others should take note.

Thank you guys for your advice. Any others care to comment?


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Alveric
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Jun 15, 2016 21:43 |  #5

I think you're going about this the wrong way. I concur with all of nathancarter's suggestions but the last one: whilst trading services and goods is nice and legal and doable, it does make it more difficult to pay the bills.

Personally, I think you should be charging them (singer and her team) for the imagery. It certainly makes no sense to give them photos with money on top.


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J ­ Michael
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Jun 16, 2016 06:10 |  #6

Both things have value, her use of images for marketing her album and the use of her image for marketing photography. The question of how much money changes hands has more to do with the relative value of each use. If the singer's use has greater value then she pays an amount equal to that value less the value of image use by the photographer.

As for advertising strategy, I've noticed a big uptick in the amount of Twitter marketing being done by musicians using some type of automated process to acquire followers and DM those new followers to offer a free song from an album. They need to find a vendor who knows how to create a meme using social media. You might shoot some BTS stills and video to support that effort, say for a newsletter or mailing list subscription the subscriber gets "exclusive bts video of (singer) producing latest album". Have fun with it.




  
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Scott ­ Spellman
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Jun 16, 2016 08:22 |  #7

ProwlingTiger wrote in post #18039565 (external link)
I'll try to make this short and sweet. Basically I started out in both video and photo production, went to university on scholarship for video. My dream, besides writing and directing for Hollywood, and far more realistic, is to create music videos. I've been working on how to build myself up and recently have begun negotiations with a rising model/singer. It began as I wanted to hire her to continue to build up my portfolio. But as it turns out she is releasing her first album in September and being an opportunist, I'd like to make a play to provide her album cover and artwork (granted these may already be done at this point). So my questions are:

1. Should I be successful in negotiating either the shoot, or both the shoot and the album artwork, what is the best way for me to work with her manager to promote myself? They actually have asked "what kind of advertising I have in mind" in terms of how I would advertise myself using the photos, but how can they also help me?

2. This is entirely new territory for me working at this level of management/star. What should I know going into this? Any do's & dont's?

3. I have a fairly large budget for this shoot. How much is reasonable to offer?

I know this is a very specific scenario, but I really need help here as it is another stepping stone on the path of living my dream. Yes, I am paying her, but the goal is to do a few high profile shoots with several rising stars to build up my brand. Maybe this is foolish, but that is my battle plan.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and possible assist me.

I have worked with many of the worlds top musicians and record labels. Your strategy only really works if you have established your social media, and gaining followers and likes from her social My recommendation is this:

1) Hire her as a model for the photo shoot for $50 to 100 per hour- a standard commercial model rate. Have her sign the model release, but give her no rights for usage.
2) If she approaches you about using the photos for her artist promo, then offer to sell them limited usage rights or trade for social media promo by her to her fans. I would either offer for them to buy limited usage rights for the photos for the same price you paid her as a model, or make an agreement to trade use of the images for $0 in exchange for her posting to her social media once weekly for 10 weeks with your photo credit.
3) When you post the photos from this shoot, make sure it has a logo so that all viewers see your photo credit.

Be careful of spending a ton of $$$ on any one shoot. It may be wiser to invest your money into a music website, work for an established music magazine, or trips to festivals to shoot multiple artists.




  
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ProwlingTiger
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Jun 16, 2016 10:29 |  #8

Alveric wrote in post #18040689 (external link)
I think you're going about this the wrong way. I concur with all of nathancarter's suggestions but the last one: whilst trading services and goods is nice and legal and doable, it does make it more difficult to pay the bills.

Personally, I think you should be charging them (singer and her team) for the imagery. It certainly makes no sense to give them photos with money on top.

True, and don't get me wrong, I'd love to make money off this, but keep in mind, she is putting out her first album. I'm not doing this one to get rich even if I wanted to. Furthermore, I don't have something like this in my portfolio yet. It would be one thing if I could say "Hey, here's what I've done for past musicians..." but I can't. That is why I would be hiring her as a model. However for her usage of them, for sure I'm more apt to charge now.

Scott Spellman wrote in post #18041064 (external link)
I have worked with many of the worlds top musicians and record labels. Your strategy only really works if you have established your social media, and gaining followers and likes from her social My recommendation is this:

1) Hire her as a model for the photo shoot for $50 to 100 per hour- a standard commercial model rate. Have her sign the model release, but give her no rights for usage.
2) If she approaches you about using the photos for her artist promo, then offer to sell them limited usage rights or trade for social media promo by her to her fans. I would either offer for them to buy limited usage rights for the photos for the same price you paid her as a model, or make an agreement to trade use of the images for $0 in exchange for her posting to her social media once weekly for 10 weeks with your photo credit.
3) When you post the photos from this shoot, make sure it has a logo so that all viewers see your photo credit.

Be careful of spending a ton of $$$ on any one shoot. It may be wiser to invest your money into a music website, work for an established music magazine, or trips to festivals to shoot multiple artists.

I am hoping to start small and grow with her and her record label, perhaps working with their other artists as well. I've worked for magazines in the past so I'm curious about the last part: Are you suggesting I pitch my photos to a music magazine or are you suggesting I apply to work for one again?

As for point #2, we discussed yesterday, her manager and I, social media promotion where she credits me and does some advertising on her part. Any photos I shoot will DEFINITELY have my new logo which I'm designing/having designed currently.

Finally, in terms of investing my money in a music website, are you meaning investing my money to recreate my website or is there some sort of website I should buy a membership to? If it's the former, my website is currently down as I'm relaunching it following our shoot which will be in August.


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ProwlingTiger
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Jun 16, 2016 10:30 |  #9

J Michael wrote in post #18040975 (external link)
Both things have value, her use of images for marketing her album and the use of her image for marketing photography. The question of how much money changes hands has more to do with the relative value of each use. If the singer's use has greater value then she pays an amount equal to that value less the value of image use by the photographer.

As for advertising strategy, I've noticed a big uptick in the amount of Twitter marketing being done by musicians using some type of automated process to acquire followers and DM those new followers to offer a free song from an album. They need to find a vendor who knows how to create a meme using social media. You might shoot some BTS stills and video to support that effort, say for a newsletter or mailing list subscription the subscriber gets "exclusive bts video of (singer) producing latest album". Have fun with it.

Thank you for reminding me about BTS shots! These are always a great idea. We did BTS shots for my last major photo gig, 12 models, calendar contract, etc. Incredibly useful and fun!


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mikeinctown
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Jun 17, 2016 10:43 |  #10

Completely agree with those who have said to hire her as a model rather than trying to negotiate payment and rights because she is a singer. Keep the two seperate. (the photos you gain, and any that she would gain) I think Scott nailed an appropriate course of action.




  
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