Pricing & Negotiating: Employee Portraits for a Sustainability Report

Jess Dudley, Wonderful Machine

Shoot Concept: Employee Portraits

Licensing: Collateral Use in a Sustainability Report

Location: Client Offices in the Northeast

Shoot Days: One

Photographer: Northeast-based portrait and lifestyle specialist

Agency: Mid-Size, West-Coast Based

Client: A Large Consumer Brand

Here is the estimate:
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Creative/Licensing:  
I recently worked with a photographer to estimate a small corporate portrait shoot. The client wanted individual portraits of three of their employees and one group shot of all three together. All four shots would be captured against the same seamless background. The requested usage was limited — the licensing would be restricted for use in the client’s 2017 corporate sustainability report (generally speaking, a sustainability report’s audience is limited to investors, employees and internal stakeholders). With such limited usage rights and only a handful of images, the value of the licensing was going to have a relatively low ceiling, even for this recognizable consumer brand. I set the value of the first individual portrait at 1000.00 and each subsequent individual portrait at 500.00. Since the group portrait could stand alone, I valued it at the same rate as the first individual shot: 1000.00. This brought us to a total fee of 3000.00.

The client also requested a usage option to expand the licensing to include concurrent web collateral use. Again, we determined the value of the first individual portrait and the group shot at the same amount: 500.00 apiece. We set the additional individual portraits at 250.00 each, for a total expansion option of 1500.00 for all four images. I made sure to note that the option was for “concurrent” use to avoid any liberal interpretation of the duration windows.

Considering the limitation on the print collateral usage, these were pretty healthy fees for three reasons: First, the client was a large consumer brand, with lots of investors and interested parties eager to see the sustainability report. Second, their agency was eager to work with a photographer who wasn’t local to the client, in spite of the concept being straightforward and the local market being flush with comparable shooters. Lastly, the photographer had worked with the agency before, meaning that we had a bit of leeway to push for healthier fees, knowing that the agency would almost certainly come back to us with the opportunity to revise if the budget became a concern.

Client Provisions: I listed all of the important production elements the client and agency had agreed to provide, including the shooting location, camera ready subjects, post-processing, etc.

Tech/Scout and Travel Days: The photographer was based about 3-4 hours from the client’s offices and wanted to walk through the location in advance of the shoot to ensure she had enough space to set up the seamless and lighting for the group shot. We included one travel/tech day to cover the travel and scouting beforehand. Since the photographer wasn’t interested in driving back the evening the shoot wrapped, we included a travel day to cover her return time afterward.

Assistants: This was a pretty basic setup, so the photographer only needed one assistant, which she was comfortable hiring locally.

Equipment: The equipment covered the basic seamless backdrop, lighting, and the camera/grip equipment the photographer would need to rent in order to create the full-length seamless portraits.

Shoot Processing for Client Review: The photographer would be batch processing all the images from the shoot and delivering a gallery from which the client could make the final selects. This line item included the photographer’s time to manage that process.

Selects Processed for Reproduction: The client intended to provide all the basic post-processing and any necessary retouching but requested an optional cost for the photographer to handle the basic post work just in case they bit off more than they could chew. We priced the optional post work at 125.00 per image.

Car Rental, Lodging, and Misc.: The photographer would need to rent a car to get to the location, so we included the cost of the rental and gas for three days. She would also need lodging near the location for two nights, and we included estimate costs for tolls and meals.

Styling: Finally, we included an option to add a groomer to manage basic HMU and Wardrobe styling throughout the shoot, should the client decide to spring for the extra support. On a shoot like this, a stylist would be very beneficial but generally isn’t abosultely necessary.

Results/Hindsight: The photographer was awarded the job, but due to shifting schedules, was unable to take the project on.

If you have any questions, or if you need help estimating or producing a project, please give us a call at (610) 260-0200. We’re available to help with any and all pricing and negotiating needs—from small stock sales to large ad campaigns.

Wonderful Machine

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