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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 09 Nov 2009 (Monday) 21:06
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Need Some Mentoring :)

 
Cash
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Nov 09, 2009 21:06 |  #1

I will try to keep the story short and details specific.

I friend of mine is a distributor for a company that makes kayak and he inited me to attend a kayak fishing tournament, that he and the company that he sale for were one of the sponsors. Well, when I found out that my buddy picked up ALL of the expenses, I told him that I would bring my camera and take some shots of him fishing in the kayak for him to use on his web site. When he got the photos he was very excited, up until my photos, all of his were with his blackberry and whatever photos the kayak company gives their distributors. Well, he posted them to the company blog page, and shortly after that the marketing director calls him and ask who took the photos. He called me and ask if it was OK to give my contact info to the company, I said sure! Last week I get an email for the marketing director stating that they loved my photos and would like to work with me to get some more photos the next time me and my buddy got together. I email him back and give him a short description of my equipment. I also told him that it would be more cost effective for him to send me the product, that way I could shoot whenever the weather was nice and not have to meet my buddy somewhere just to have it rain out. The company would get no photos and there would be travel cost. The next day I get an email back saying he would like to talk this week.
Do I volunteer that this would be my first product shoot? I am leaning towards just telling him straight up that this would be my first pain gig. They have seen my photos and the like them. My problem, and I guess most new photographers come from pricing that first job. Where to set the price? I have a full time day job all ready, I have no expenses other than time. Do I asked him what he is willing to pay and then counter a little higher? Do I tell him I will only charge expenses not to exceed a certain amount,l then the company would have to pay a licenses fee per photo base on the use of that photo?

I hope that i am not just rambling! Any advice would be great!!!!

I am thinking about telling him that I will charge for expenses associated with the shoot and then he would get to pick the photos he likes and then we would work up a price per photo based on the use of the photo. I would try to come up with a high


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tim
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Nov 09, 2009 21:34 |  #2

Your post isn't very clear. They'll want everything for free, don't do it. Charge for your time otherwise they'll take advantage of you.Maybe charge for image use too, it depends on your hourly rate. Or trade - offer your time/images for one of their products :)


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Cash
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Nov 09, 2009 22:26 as a reply to  @ tim's post |  #3

i am sorry that I am not being clear in my post! I was afraid that would happen! I would certainly do ONE shoot for a kayak, but all other shoots will be for green backs. I am just trying to come up with a cost.


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tim
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Nov 09, 2009 22:30 |  #4

I don't really know about commercial rates. Personally i'd probably charge something like $400/hr including rights, or $100/hr plus usage fees.


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amfoto1
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Nov 10, 2009 09:56 |  #5

So, you are asking for them to give you a product (not provide it to you for the period of the shoot) in lieu of payment?

Have you even asked them what their budget is? If not, I'd sure do that first!

Okay, so you've shot some spec photos and gotten the right people to see them and caught their interest. Don't assume anything. Ask lots of questions first.

Go directly to Amazon.com and buy books on the business of assignment/product/com​mercial photography... Get them shipped fastest possible and read them quickly. "Pricing Photography" and "Negotiating Photography" and "Good Business Practices for Photographers" are all search terms you might use. You need to ramp up very quickly, to respond well to this situation. Otherwise you could well give away the farm and ruin from the outset what might otherwise be a really good and lucrative client, with excellent future sales potential.

Normally with this sort of thing, there is a set shooting fee. That's often based upon a day rate. A relatively unknown, unestablished photographer might only be able to ask a lower rate, say $1000-$1500 a day (half day $700-900). In addition, they will need to provide product for you to photograph.

The day rate doesn't include expenses or post-processing, your written quote to them for the job should show those and any other items additionally. Nor does it include the licensing of usage of any images or any transfer of copyright. It will usually include a proof sheet or disk of images for their review and selection.

There may be some negotiation first, but let's just assume for now that they do contract with you (in writing) and you do handle the shoot. You post-process, send them the images for their review. Once they have selected some images they wish to use, then you negotiate the final licensing fees with them based upon their intended use. (Actually you might start the licensing process up front, they are unlikely to want to hire you to shoot without some pretty good idea what their licensing costs are going to be later on.)

You really, really need to have some of those books as guides in this process, to help you establish fair and reasonable prices (most photographers who try to do this without some guidance massively underprice because they have no good idea of the cost of doing business)... and to help you put together written forms and contracts you will need to put this deal together. We might be able to help here with some fine details and specifics.

It's not unusual when a product is provided for a shoot, it's considered "used" and given or sold at a steep discount to the photographer or someone working for them at the end of the shoot. Not always, but sometimes. It will likely differ depending upon the value of the item(s), of course. But I would absolutely never bring up the idea up front, at the beginning of negotiations, that this might be acceptible as a means of payment.

Negotiations are a little like playing poker... Don't display all your cards to the other players before you look at them yourself and while still placing your bets! Gather info as much as you can, then tender an offer. Be prepared to respond to a counter-offer, as well as flexible in your thinking. This might go back and forth a few times, as you both sneak up on a mutually agreeable deal. Once everyone is satisfied, put it in writing and get signatures from everyone. Don't be intimidated by this or satisfited with a "handshake"... You are giving as much as you are getting and it's simply the professional thing to do, to spell out the details and responsibilities in writing.


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tim
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Nov 10, 2009 14:52 |  #6

I never really understood why photographer get to charge license fees, given they're already paid for their time.


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Zansho
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Nov 10, 2009 18:13 |  #7

Same reason software companies charge license fees per computer.

You're licensing the use of the image - time is a completely different thing. This is not a work for hire type shoot (I hope not!!).


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Karl ­ Johnston
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Nov 10, 2009 18:37 |  #8
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Zansho wrote in post #8992634 (external link)
Same reason software companies charge license fees per computer.

You're licensing the use of the image - time is a completely different thing. This is not a work for hire type shoot (I hope not!!).

and if it is HFH you can charge a bit more. A lot of places cover limited rights, depending on what it is and for how long is another key. Think about it; its ad sales. An advertising agency will charge a client based on time to how long they can display their ad in an airport. 6 months for 10 000$ or something like that, for example. A photographer charges the person hiring them (most often the ad agency, who in turn bills their client for the cost coupled into the quote).

Most often the time is agreed first by the ad agency > to their client.

A lot of photographers do RF licensing when working for hire, though, IMO you lose a lot of money if its done that way.

a recent license I wrote for x$ is charged every year they use it, and the client (ad agency) is invoiced at the beginning of each year thereafter. It seemed to work out okay for them. Most often they change their ads every year anyway, though, so it doesn't really have much merit but it does for some things (such as a logo...that's something I will have to do next month or so)


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PhotosGuy
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Nov 11, 2009 08:59 |  #9

I email him back and give him a short description of my equipment.

They could not care less? What they're interested in is what you can produce for them. For future reference, the first question I ask is "What are you going to use them for?"
The second is, "What's your budget?"

Do I volunteer that this would be my first product shoot?

How is that relevant? You've already said, "They have seen my photos and the like them."

I am leaning towards just telling him straight up that this would be my first pain gig.

I hope you have someone proof read the contract you supply them?

Go directly to Amazon.com and buy books on the business of assignment/product/com​mercial photography...

Until then, read these:

How to price commercial work?

Photography Rates

Sticky: How much Do I Charge? One of the most often asked questions

Editorial Photographers Price Estimator (external link)

License of Rights

I especially like this provision:
3. Grant of Rights. Upon receipt of full payment, Photographer grants...


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Cash
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Nov 18, 2009 09:36 |  #10

Thanks guys for taking the time to reply and voice your opinions. They are a really small company, all the photos that they are currently using on their web site, blog and on banners and in print ads are either from the dealers, owners, or the employees at the company. They are all low res images and just not that good. The marketing director told me that they have a very small budget. Looking at the photos they are currently using I would agree that there budget is small. There would be know way that they would be able to pay a full time pro photographer to shoot their product. They just don't have that kind of money. That is probably why they are interested in having me shoot for them. I already have a full time job, and even another part time job. I would have very little overhead cost. My cost would mainly be auto expenses, hotel, gas and food. I plan on using my friends and family in the shoots using their product, and they are all really excited to help me out. So, for the time being I would not have any model expenses. Of course, I told the marketing director that eventually i might have to get paid models if my friends and family get tired of me. I assume that I might be the first paid photog that they have ever contracted with. To me this sounds like a perfect match, they need some good images and I would like to start getting some experience as a pro photographer. I can charge very reasonable rates and would love to have a couple of their products to use. I am thinking about $300 per day a day where a hotel would be involved, minimum of two days and $100 a day for just taking the kayak out locally. I would charge a licensing fee for the photos that they want to use based on the use of the photo. They are also willing to trade for product and with 3 kids and a love of the water we certainly would love to all have canoes! I figure that for a shoot with a $600 charge that i would credit them $300 and then invoice for the remaining amount. I would do this until the item has been paid off. Now I have to figure out a licensing price and contract terms. Any ideas?


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