By Craig Oppenheimer, Wonderful Machine

Concept: Two talent enjoying the amenities of a hotel, captured in both stills and video.

Licensing: Unlimited use (excluding broadcast) of up to 10 images and all video content captured in perpetuity.

Photographer: Lifestyle and hospitality specialist.

Client: Hotel Brand.

Here is the estimate:


This project was part of three other similar shoots the agency was coordinating around the world, and at each one, they hoped to capture two talent enjoying the amenities of the hotel. While stills would be the priority, they asked for some b-roll video content to be captured of the same sets, primarily for web advertising. While we’ve seen higher fees for more limited usage for such brands, it became apparent that the usage would essentially be five images, delivered in both horizontal and vertical. Given the local market where the shoot would take place, and the limited quantity of images and intended usage, I decided to include $10,000 as a creative/licensing fee. I also added two scout days for the photographer.


The agency hoped for a minimal crew to keep the production footprint as small as possible. We included a producer, videographer, assistant, and a digital tech, all with appropriate travel/shoot days and rates for the given market.


We planned to cast from cards, rather than do a live casting, and include $750 for the time to accomplish this. We split the fees for the two talent into three categories; a session fee for their time, a usage fee for their likeness based on the unlimited use, and a travel fee for them to get to the locations.


Rather than a full styling team, and in an effort to keep the footprint small, we included one stylist to help ensure the talent looked presentable and to help with the wardrobe the talent would provide. I typically break out these roles and have a separate person handle hair/makeup while another stylist handles wardrobe, however, the agency preferred to bundle the roles.


We included appropriate fees for both stills and video equipment, along with a rental fee to use the digital tech’s workstation. These rates included cameras, lenses, and all of the supporting grip equipment and sliders needed to get the shots noted in the provided creative brief.

Health & Safety

To maintain public health and safety on set we included a fee that would compensate each crew member, upon providing us with a negative covid test result that they would receive prior to the shoot.


While the client’s onsite services would provide catering, we included $500 for additional meals and $1,750 for unknown expenses incurred during international travel.


Eight people would be traveling to the location, and we included airfare, transportation, and per diems for each of them, based on the number of days they’d be traveling. Despite the client being a hotel where the shoot would take place, they were not able to provide lodging for the crew and asked for us to include lodging elsewhere for the team.

Post Production

Lastly, we included $500 for the photographer to sift through the content and provide a gallery to the agency, along with a fee of $200 per image for the photographer to ultimately retouch the agency’s selects. Additionally, we added $400 for hard drives and shipping.


The photographer was awarded the project.

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