Bryan Sheffield, Wonderful Machine

Concept: Photography of employees and brand ambassadors showcasing their new product line within a new flagship New York City retail location

Licensing: Web Advertising and Web Collateral use of up to 25 images for one year from first use

Photographer: Architecture, Interiors, and Still Life specialist

Client: Large global athletic apparel brand


I helped one of our New York City photographers build an estimate for an athletic apparel brand that had just opened a new flagship store in NYC and was launching a product line to coincide with the opening. In our conversations with the client, they described the need for photography of the retail store and on-location still-life images of their new product line being worn and used by their staff and brand ambassadors. The final use of content would primarily be used for web collateral purposes, but the client had plans for a few web advertising placements within regional news and sports sites, as well as paid social media placements.

The photographer reviewed the time the sun would come through the buildings and determined that a 12-hour day would be needed in order to capture sunlight on the storefront and conquer the entire shot list. I added a note of Client Provisions to describe what the client was to provide, including all location coordination, products to be photographed, all staff/talent to be photographed, and all hair/makeup/wardrobe/product styling.

Take a look at the estimate below:


I put the Photographer’s fees at $7,000 for the 12-hour shoot and licensing of up to 25 images. The client was very complimentary of the photographer’s portfolio and had mentioned on a call that they had wanted to work with the photographer for some time. We took this into account, but at the same time, we understand that the NYC market is a very competitive one. While this photographer might very well be the absolute best for this project, there are many other photographers in the area that could accomplish this job. The saturated market (unfortunately) put downward pressure on the photographer’s fees. While the per-image rate is quite low, at a couple of hundred dollars an image, we felt that it was a fair and competitive fee for the bulk images and duration limited one-year use. The client did not offer a budget for the project, but based on our experience quoting similar projects and the intended media buy, I estimated that they would want to spend between $12-14,000 total.


We added a first assistant at $550/day to help with lighting and camera equipment management. We also included a digital tech to manage the files and display the content for the client while it was being captured. Two hours of overtime were added for both crew members at a 1.5 increase in their hourly rates. These fees were consistent with the photographer’s crew rates on past projects of this nature.


We included $650 for camera, lighting, and grip rentals. The photographer brought their own cameras and lenses and intended to obtain a few orange cones and reflective safety vests for when they would need to be on the street/sidewalk photographing the storefront. We added $300 for the digital tech workstation rental laptop, cables, etc., and included $160 for a hard drive to backup files.


We added $300 for meals and craft services to cover the three people who would be on set for the 12-hour shoot day.


We added insurance coverage at $250 and added $240 for the anticipated taxis/car services, additional meals, and other miscellaneous costs.

Post Production

We added $500 for the photographer to perform an initial edit of all the content and delivery to the client and retouching at $120/hr for an estimated 30 minutes per image.


The photographer was awarded the project, and the shoot was set for a gorgeous day in New York City. The photographer let me know that while on set there were initial discussions about future collaborations with this brand and we all are looking forward to working with this client again!

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