Craig Oppenheimer, Wonderful Machine

Concept: Portraits of one patient against a solid background

Licensing: Unlimited use of all images captured for three years

Photographer: Portraiture specialist in the Midwest

Agency: Large, healthcare focused

Client: Pharmaceutical company

Pricing And Negotiating Craig Oppenheimer Feb 2021 Pharma Portraiture Estimate

Fees: The agency requested unlimited use of all images captured for three years, and they wanted us to specifically use their usage terminology, as detailed in the estimate. The concept involved photographing a real patient in a variety of ways and integrating the images into a CGI background in post. I first determined the fee by pricing what I felt was appropriate for one year, which was $12,500, and then doubled that fee to account for the requested three years, to arrive at a fee of $25,000. In addition to that creative/licensing fee, I also added a pre-production and pre-light day fees for the photographer.

Crew: While the shoot was rather straightforward, we knew the logistics of working with a real patient and the many intricacies with specialized wardrobe and styling would require a decent amount of pre-production. Therefore, we included adequate producer and production assistant days. Additionally, we included two assistants and a digital tech. Lastly, since we’d be compositing the portraits into CGI backgrounds, we included an on-site retoucher to help show the client proof of concept during the shoot to ensure we were on the right track.

Styling: In addition to a hair/makeup stylist, we included a wardrobe/prop stylist along with an assistant. The props would be minimal, but we anticipated shopping for and procuring three different outfits for the talent. On top of the actual wardrobe/prop expenses, we added additional expenses to cover shipping, transportation, and kit fees incurred by the stylists.

Health and Safety: We included a COVID compliance officer for both the pre-light day and the shoot day, along with a few hundred dollars to cover PPE and supplies.

Locations: Two days were included, for both the pre-light and shoot day.

Equipment: For both the pre-light and shoot days, we included ample expenses to cover camera, grip, lighting, tech workstation rentals, and production supplies.

Meals: We based catering for the shoot day on 12 attendees at $75 per person.

Misc.: As a buffer, we included $750 to cover unforeseen expenses, and light meals on the pre-light day for the minimal crew that would attend. We also included $1,000 for insurance.

Post Processing: We included $500 for the photographer to provide a rough edit of the shots for consideration, and then $2,000 to handle retouching. The CGI backgrounds would be provided by the agency, and the photographer would be integrating the images into those files. We anticipated this taking approximately 10 hours of work, and based the fee on $200/hour.

Results: The photographer was awarded the project.

Hindsight: Having bid projects for this agency previously, I knew they’d likely have a healthy budget. However, we’ve bid and produced very similar projects for substantially less money in the past. The photographer ultimately came in under budget upon invoicing, which helped convince the agency to have him bid on a supplemental project.

If you have any questions, or if you need help estimating or producing a project, please send us an email. We’re available to help with any and all pricing and negotiating needs—from small stock sales to large ad campaigns.

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