Pricing & Negotiating: Travel Photography For A Large Financial Institution

By: Bryan Sheffield, Wonderful Machine

Concept: 4-day photo/video shoot capturing environmental portraiture, architecture, and scenic photography of a travel destination.

Licensing: Perpetual Web Advertising and Web Collateral use of all content captured.

Photographer: Travel, Portraiture, Interiors, and Architecture specialist.

Client: Large Financial Institution and their partner restaurants/hotel/hospitality clients.

Summary

A NYC-based photographer recently came to Wonderful Machine for help building an estimate and negotiating a project with a large well-known financial institution. The client brief and subsequent conversations described a multi-day travel shoot and production needs with multiple subjects/locations each day. It also described the need for scenic interiors and architecture imagery, as well as environmental portraiture of notable proprietors and chefs within various client partner establishments (restaurant, hotel, and hospitality). The final use of the photography would be on the client’s web platforms and web ads to promote their financial services while highlighting the various hotels and restaurants within the travel destination. The video needs included 10 second – 20 second clips mirroring the stills shot list, and would be used for social media and potentially a few banner ads.

While reviewing the initial shot list and scope of the project with the agency, the photographer estimated this would need to be accomplished over 8 shoot days, with a tech scout day prior to visit the locations, determine sun times, etc.

Take a look at the Estimate here:

Fees

I put the fees at $40,000 for the 8-day shoot, including Web Advertising and Web Collateral use of all images captured in perpetuity. We found this number to be appropriate for the client’s use, the number of potential locations/scenes that we anticipated per shoot day and considering the project scope and what the competition might charge. This fee was in line with what this photographer was accustomed to charging for a project with similar deliverables. I added $1,000/day for the photographer tech scout day and two travel days. The agency requested two “Hold Days” on location to account for potential weather delays, and we included this for the photographer at $1,000 for each day.

Crew

We added a DP/Camera Operator for 8 shoot days at $2,500/day, plus five Scout/Travel/Hold days at $1,000 each. We added the first assistant to help with lighting and camera equipment management and to attend the tech scout day to familiarize themselves with the shoot needs and help advise on equipment needs. The second assistant would be local, but we needed to account for the hold days as well. We also chose to bring the second assistant on the scout day, potentially as another set of hands or driver as needed. As a final member of the crew, we added a digital tech to manage the files and display the content to the client as it was being captured, and who would be traveling with the photographer and first assistant. These fees were consistent with previous rates the photographer had paid their team on past productions.

Equipment

For all gear needs, we included $3,200/day for stills, video cameras, grip, and lighting rentals. The photographer would bring their own cameras, lenses, and lighting, and intended to rent some supplemental lighting, grip, and a few specific modifiers and other specialty items from a local rental house. An estimate of $350 per shoot day was determined by the digital tech for their workstation rental, consisting of: a laptop, external monitor, mobile power supply, and cables. We also included $2,500 for 3x 8TB hard drives.

Travel

The traveling party would include the photographer, their first assistant, and digital tech. I included an estimated $725 each for flights and baggage fees and $675 for taxis to and from the airport. We added Per Diems at $75 each for the 3-person traveling party.

Miscellaneous

Given the crew, equipment, and travel necessary for the project I included $1,200 for insurance coverage.

Post Production

Lastly, I added $2,500 for the photographer to perform an initial edit of all the content and deliver it to the client for review. We assume this process would consist of culling images, global curves, simple color balance needs, and export to jpg for client review and backup.  Even though there would be a digital tech on set, we estimated that going through 8 days of photo/videography would take approximately 20+ hours. At the agency’s request, we also included hourly retouching for up to 50 images at $125/hr.

Results

After the agency reviewed this estimate with the client, they let us know that these shoot days and bottom line numbers would need to be reduced significantly. The agency followed up to provide a reduced shot list and a large reduction of video needs. They advised that we should include crew transportation on location and lodging, as the client previously was leaning on their partners to provide lodging for all. During these negotations it was established that the client wanted to keep the total to approximately $65k all in.

With this info, we discussed the shot list with the creative team, and ended up slimming the shot list a little further. As a result we estimated a 4-day shoot, plus 1 scout day. While we were reviewing the video shot list and budget parameters, it was decided that the photographer would now be able to handle all video needs themselves. The agency would be handling all on-site production including all location(s), location coordination, employee/staff talent, and talent coordination, wardrobe/hair/makeup styling, crew meals and craft services, and COVID safety protocols. We included a Client Provisions section within the Job Description to note who would be handling these items, as well as any/all final video editing.

Below is the updated Estimate:

Fees

As the agency was now anticipating a $5,000/day fee, I put the fees at $22,000 for the four days with an increase of $500/day for the photographer to now handle the video needs themselves. I added $1,000/day for the photographer tech scout day and two travel days. The previous “Hold Days” were removed so that if needed they would be approved on-site.

Crew

We reduced our first assistant and digital tech to seven days, including scout, shooting, and traveling. As noted above, we had removed the previous DP/camera operator need. At the agency’s suggestion, we added two producer days for pre/post-production assistance with securing travel and invoicing/paying crew.

Equipment

We included $2,000/day for cameras, grip, and lighting rentals. As we said before, the photographer would bring their own cameras, lenses, and lighting, and intended to rent some supplemental lighting, grip, and a few specific modifiers and other specialty items. The same $350 per shoot day was estimated by the digital tech for their workstation rental, however, we adjusted the budget to $1,500 for 3x 4TB hard drives and $1,000 for any production supply potential needs.

Travel

The traveling party would still include the photographer, their first assistant, and digital tech. As requested by the agency, we included six hotel nights for each based on anticipated rates in that area. We included an estimated $725 each for flights and baggage fees and $675 for taxis to and from the airport. Additionally, 21 Per Diems at $75 per day were added for the 3-person traveling party.

Vehicles

I added five days for passenger van rental, so the crew and agency personnel could move about town together. We were told that a local fixer/PA hired by the production team would handle the van driving and pick-up/return.

Miscellaneous

We adjusted the insurance to $1,000 for the project.

Post Production

We adjusted the first edit and client review of all content to $1,750. Because we reduced the amount of shoot days, we determined that going through 4 days of photo/videography would take 8-12 hours. At the agency’s request, we included hourly retouching for up to 50 images. Initially, we suggested $125/hr, but this rate was discounted to $75/hr by the photographer in order for us to slim down the bottom line.

Final Results

The bottom line was $3,575 above the client’s stated budget, but all needs were met and the additional funds were approved. The photographer was awarded the project, and the shoot was a success! The client was thrilled with the work, and is currently running the project all over the internet!


Need help pricing and negotiating a project? Reach Out!

Pricing & Negotiating: International Hospitality Stills And Video

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:

Fees

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.

Crew

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.

Casting

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.

Styling

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.

Equipment

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.

Miscellaneous

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.

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.

Results

The photographer was awarded the project.


Need help estimating or producing a project? Please reach out. We’re available to help with any and all pricing and negotiating needs, from small stock sales to large ad campaigns.

Pricing & Negotiating: Portfolio Images For Interior Design Firm

By Bryan Sheffield, Wonderful Machine

Concept: Architectural and Lifestyle images of employees within an office.

Licensing: Collateral use of up to 12 images in perpetuity.

Photographer: Interiors, architecture, and lifestyle specialist.

Client: Interior design firm.

I recently helped a NYC-based photographer quote on and negotiate a project for an interior design firm that had just finished a 3-floor redesign of the office space of a well-known social media company. The creative deck from the design firm described images of people working, drinking, eating, and utilizing the newly designed vast spaces. The final use of the photography would be web and print materials to promote the design firm’s portfolio. It was requested that the licensing would be conveyed to the social media company as well. While reviewing the initial shot list and scope of the project with the client, the photographer estimated this would need to be accomplished over 3 shoot days. The client requested this be completed within 2 shoot days due to the location and staff needs. Once we revised the shot list with the client, we let them know this could be accomplished in 2 days, with overtime on one 12-hour day. The client let us know that no production support was needed, as they would be handling all location(s), location coordination, location styling, employee/talent coordination, wardrobe/hair/makeup styling, crew meals and craft services, and necessary medicines, and COVID safety protocols. We included a Client Provisions section within the Job Description to note who would be handling these items.

Here is the estimate:

Fees

The client would be handling all production elements and requested an estimate for up to 12 images taken over a two-day shoot. The client had previously hired the photographer and was accustomed to a $ 3,000-day rate. This was noted in some of the first notes from the client. I put the fees at $700 per image, for each of the 12 images, for perpetual collateral use. The images and the established “day rate” totaled $14,400. Our estimate included a line stating the cost of additional images to be $800 each including up to 1 hour of retouching. I added $750 for the photographer to attend a tech scout day.

Crew

We added the first assistant to help with lighting and camera equipment management and to attend the tech scout day to familiarize themselves with the shoot needs and help advise on equipment needs. We also added a digital tech to manage the files and display the content to the client as it was being captured. We added 2 hours of overtime for these two positions at 1.5x their hourly rate. These fees were consistent with previous rates the photographer had paid their team on past productions.

Equipment

We included $3,200 for cameras, grip, and lighting rentals. The photographer brought their own cameras, lenses, and lighting, and intended to rent some supplemental lighting, grip, and a few specific modifiers and other specialty items from a local rental house. The digital tech estimated $650/day for their workstation rental and we also included $350 for three hard drives.

Miscellaneous

We included $700 for insurance based on client-provided specific insurance requirements that were a little outside of the photographer’s existing policy coverages. We also added $500 to cover taxis, additional meals, and any other small expenses.

Post Production

We added $1000 for the photographer to perform the First Edit for Client Review. Even though there would be a digital tech on set, we estimated that going through two days of photography, the compositing mock-ups needed, client delivery of roughs, and client calls discussing the images, would take 8-10 hours. We also included retouching for the 12 images at $150/hr.

Results

The photographer was awarded the project, and the shoot was a phenomenal success! The client was thrilled with the final work and added two additional images to the final license order.


Need help estimating or producing a project? Reach Out! We’re available to help with any and all pricing and negotiating needs!

Pricing & Negotiating: Membership Campaign For Prominent Art Museum

By Bryan Sheffield, Wonderful Machine

Concept: Lifestyle and architecture images of talent enjoying the museum.

Licensing: Unlimited use of up to 30 images for 5 years from first use.

Intended Use: Web and print marketing materials.

Photographer: Interiors, architecture, and lifestyle specialist.

Client: Internationally known art museum.

I recently helped one of our east coast photographers quote and negotiate a project for a large, well-known art museum. The creative brief from their ad agency described images of people enjoying the art exhibits within the museum galleries and showcasing the architectural features of the building. The final campaign would use the photographs in web and print marketing materials to promote the museum’s membership program. At this time, no OOH placements were planned, but the agency requested an unlimited-use license for potential future placements.

Here is the estimate:

Client Provisions

We specified that the agency would handle location(s), location coordination, all location styling and cleaning, talent and talent coordination, wardrobe/hair/makeup styling, crew meals, craft services, COVID safety protocols, and any image retouching.

Fees

The agency would be handling all production elements and requested an estimate for up to 30 images taken over a 2-day shoot. I put the fees at $600 per unique image for each of the 30 images totaling $18,000, with consideration of the number of images. While the per-image fee is low for unlimited use if it were just a handful of images, the bulk license of 30 images justified the fees to the photographer. Our estimate included a line stating the cost of additional images at $750 each plus retouching. I also added $1,000 for the photographer to attend a tech scout day.

Crew

We added a first assistant to help with lighting and camera equipment management and to attend the tech scout day as well. We also added a digital tech to manage the files and display the content to the client as it was being captured. These fees were consistent with previous rates the photographer had paid their team on past productions.

Equipment

I included $1,600 for cameras, grip, and lighting rentals. While the photographer brought their own cameras, lenses, and lighting, they intended to rent a few specific modifiers and other items from a local rental house. The digital tech estimated $650 a day for their workstation rental and I also included $350 for 3 hard drives.

Miscellaneous

We included $350 for insurance and $250 to cover taxis, additional meals, and any other small expendables.

Post Production

Retouching was to be handled by the client and we chose to not charge for the first edit since we had a digital tech on set to compile all files on a hard drive for the client. This was done to keep the estimate under $26k.

Results

The photographer was awarded the project, and the shoot was a phenomenal success! During the tech scout, the photographer discovered they needed a few intricate set-ups, as well as multiple lighting setups at the same time. The final invoice we delivered included an updated $3,100 to cover equipment costs. The client and agency were very happy with the final work, and we are expecting to see marketing collateral launch on the web any day now!


Need help estimating or producing a project? Please reach out. We’re available to help with any and all pricing and negotiating needs, from small stock sales to large ad campaigns.

Pricing & Negotiating: Ambassador Portraits For An Apparel Company

PRICING & NEGOTIATING: AMBASSADOR PORTRAITS FOR AN APPAREL COMPANY

Craig Oppenheimer, Wonderful Machine

Concept: Studio portraits of four brand ambassadors for an apparel company

Licensing: Web Advertising, Web Collateral, OOH (out-of-home), and POS (point-of-sale) use in the US and Canada of up to 24 images for one year from first use.

Photographer: Portraiture specialist

Agency: Medium-size, full service

Client: Apparel company

The client had four brand ambassadors that they wanted to photograph in a studio on one shoot day, and we were provided a creative brief showing them interacting with a few props while dressed in the apparel company’s clothing. They needed two looks with three poses each for all four talent, which would yield 24 images.

Fees

While the licensing could be limited to one year, they did have broad usage plans, including potential placement on large out-of-home displays and within the retail environments (POS) where the apparel would be sold. Even though they wanted multiple looks and poses for each talent, it was clear from the brief that they’d likely use one final image per subject. I decided to price the usage by the subject, and included $4,500 for each, totaling $18,000, and then added a $2,500 creative fee on top of that. While we typically combine creative and licensing fees into one line item, we were specifically asked by the agency to break these two line items out on our estimate. In addition to these two fees, I also added a pre-light/fit day fee for the photographer at $1,000, which included one day in the studio prior to the shoot — to set up lights and for the styling team to assess wardrobe with the talent.

Crew

We included a producer to help line up all aspects of the production, along with two assistants, all of which would attend the pre-light day as well. Additionally, we included a digital tech and a production assistant. Typically, I don’t include half days for crew members, but the photographer had crew at the ready who could jump in for a half-day to help set up lights on the pre-light day, and I based these numbers on local knowledge of rates in this specific market.

Styling

While the client would provide all of the apparel, we included a wardrobe stylist for both the pre-light day and the shoot day to manage inventory, prep the outfits, and help the talent try on and ensure proper fitting. We also included a hair/makeup stylist and a prop stylist to acquire a few minor items. We anticipated the prop stylist could procure these supplemental items and just drop them off at the studio, rather than needing multiple shop and return days.

Health and Safety

We included a covid compliance officer and testing as requested by the agency. As a cost-saving measure, they asked us if we could include PCR tests just for the subjects (two of which would have parents in attendance who would also be tested) as well as the two clients attending. Everyone else was approved to just use rapid tests prior to the shoot.

Location

The photographer had a studio in mind that offered a flat $2,000 fee for a half-day pre-light and a full shoot day.

Equipment

We included an adequate fee for both the pre-light and shoot day for cameras, grip and lighting equipment, plus a fee for the digital tech’s workstation on the shoot day.

Meals

I included $60 per person for a light breakfast and lunch on the shoot day.

Miscellaneous

I added a bit of a buffer for unforeseen minor expenses and also a nominal fee for insurance to contribute to the photographer’s existing policy.

Post Production

We included $500 for the photographer to perform basic color correction of the content and delivery of a gallery, plus $300 for a hard drive. The agency would provide further retouching on the selects.

Results

The photographer was awarded the job.

Pricing & Negotiating: OOH Campaign For International Non-Profit

By Bryan Sheffield, Wonderful Machine

Concept: In-studio, on white, portraits of 2 client advocates. With various set-ups.
Licensing: Unlimited use of up to 10 images for 1 year.
Photographer: Lifestyle/portraiture specialist.
Client: International humanitarian non-profit

I recently helped one of our East Coast photographers quote on and negotiate a project for a well-known NGO. The creative brief from their ad agency described still photos showing the client advocates in heroic poses on a white background. The photos would be stripped into other backgrounds provided by the agency (and the agency would be handling the post-production).

The photos were intended for an OOH (Out of Home) campaign honoring those employees and would be primarily used on billboards and bus shelters in the U.S.

The photographer would be one of several photographers shooting subjects in different cities around the country.

Here is the estimate:

 

 

Fees

After creative calls with the agency and client, and with the understanding that the client wanted to stay within a $15k budget, I put the fees at $500 per unique image for each of the 10 images, totaling $5,000. They asked for the cost of additional images, and I priced each with a 10% discount at $450 each. The per-image fee is low for OOH use, but the photographer is a supporter of the non-profit’s cause and was eager to be a part of this project. I added $500 for the photographer’s pre-pro time to include meetings and securing crew and lighting equipment.

Crew

We included two assistants to make sure the photographer had enough help with lighting. We added a DigiTech to manage the files as well as run a Zoom remote viewing for the NYC-based agency not on set. These fees were consistent with previous rates the photog had paid these people on past productions. We added $1,000 for a producer to help book the studio, confirm crew, organize catering needs, and manage the remote viewing and client communications during the shoot.

Equipment

I included $1,100 for cameras, grip, and lighting rentals. The photographer brought their own cameras and lenses and rented lighting and grip from the studio. $500 was estimated by DigiTech for their needed gear rentals. I also included $350 for 3 hard drives.

Styling Crew and Expenses

We included $750 for a combo Hair/Makeup stylist. This rate was estimated by the stylist.

Locations

We included $1,300 for a studio rental day at a studio the photographer had worked in previously and found suitable. This fee included the studio cleaning fee.

Meals

$675 was estimated to cover a light breakfast, and lunch needs for 9 people on set. The $75pp also included simple craft services the photographer would bring to the set. Water, soda, snack bars, fruit, etc.

Covid Safety

We included $2,000 for third party on-site testing. The testing agency would bring PPE as well for the 9 folks on set.

Miscellaneous

We had $350 as miscellaneous expenses. This would include $200 of insurance for the photographer for, cover mileage and parking for the crew, as well as any additional snacks/beverages before or after their time on set each day, and tiny bit of buffer for any unforeseen expenses that might arise.

Post Production

Retouching was to be handled by client, we chose to not charge for the first edit in order to keep the estimate under $15k.

Client Provisions

We included a Client Provisions note that all talent, talent coordination & releases, wardrobe and props styling, as well as all image retouching, would be handled by the production company.

Results

The photographer was awarded the project, and the shoot was a huge success! OOH ads for the project were running this past winter up and down the East Coast I-95, as well as a few locations in Detroit, Chicago, St. Louis, and SoCal.


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

Pricing & Negotiating: Photography Retainer For Social Media

by Craig Oppenheimer Wonderful Machine

Concept: Still life and lifestyle images featuring beverages and products

Licensing: Collateral use of up to 10 images per shoot

Photographer: Still life and portraiture specialist

Client: Beverage company

Here is the estimate:

 

A photographer came to me looking for help with developing a retainer agreement for a beverage company. The photographer had a previous working relationship with this brand, and they required a consistent stream of content for use on their social media channels. Additionally, the company operated multiple brands, and they had the same need for each brand. Each shoot would be similar and would involve a mix of still life images of the beverages, and possibly lifestyle images of people enjoying or interacting with the products as well. The location for each shoot would be provided by the client, and having done this multiple times, the photographer had a good sense of the limited production footprint the client wanted, and a rough sense of what they might be comfortable paying upfront as a retainer.

Pros and Cons of Negotiating A Retainer

Negotiating a retainer agreement can be a bit tricky, but there can be major benefits for both the photographer and the client. For a photographer, the benefit of a retainer is that a client is willing to commit to a large amount of money and multiple shoots upfront. For a client, a retainer allows them to offload finances in one lump sum, rather than having to pay for each individual assignment, and this often alleviates accounting headaches.

However, retainers do sometimes come with downsides. A photographer will need to be able to keep track of how a retainer is being applied, and will ideally be ready to present these numbers to a client when asked. Also, sometimes clients feel that after a retainer is paid, they can control the photographer’s calendar, and that can sometimes become problematic if a photographer has other clients they would like to shoot for as well. A retainer also typically works best if each shoot that is to take place is more or less the same in terms of creative direction, deliverables, and usage. A retainer can be a win/win if the right set of circumstances present themselves, as they did in this case.

Building A Retainer Agreement

The first step was to determine how much to charge for photography fees and expenses and outline the needs of the project. Based on pricing for previous projects, we knew the client was willing to spend about $5,000 for a shoot, inclusive of a $1,500 fee for the photographer, plus expenses. They also anticipated walking away with 10 images to use for collateral purposes (mainly social media). Based on that, and knowing they hoped to do one shoot a month for a year, we came up with a retainer fee of $60,000 ($5,000 x 12 shoots). Below is a breakdown of the expenses we detailed in the agreement.

  • Photographer Fees: We noted that the photographer’s creative/licensing fee would be $1,500/day and include collateral use of 10 images in perpetuity. If a pre-pro day was needed, that would be $500/day.
  • Crew: Most of the projects would just require one assistant, but I listed the fees per day for both a first assistant and a digital tech. I considered adding a producer line item and additional assistants/crew if the projects ever expanded to include talent and a higher production level, but ultimately based the crew list on what was included on previous projects. Additionally, if more crew became necessary with increased project scope, the photographer would still have an opportunity to estimate each project ahead of time and add those elements in at that point.
  • Post Production: We noted that retouching would be $50 per hour, but purposefully didn’t list a total amount of time, with the intention of that it would be quoted with each job.
  • Casting and Talent: Since this could vary wildly, we noted that this was TBD and would be based on the creative direction for each shoot.
  • Equipment: We anticipated $500 per day would cover basic equipment, and the photographer would plan to bring their own gear. If more elaborate lighting setups were needed, that could be quoted on each estimate ahead of time.
  • Styling: We noted appropriate stylist rates for this particular market and noted wardrobe and props would be based on the creative needs of each shoot.
  • Miscellaneous: We simply note that there could be items such as mileage, parking, and meals and that those would be TBD until a specific project scope came to light.

The Fine Print

To ensure the pricing accounted for actual costs, we noted that the expenses were not firm costs and that for each shoot the photographer would create an estimate showing the exact expenses based on the creative needs and each project scope. We also included a clause that stated that after each production, the photographer would provide an invoice that showed how much was being deducted from the $60,000 retainer and clearly show the balance remaining. The agreement states that if the fees and expenses go over the retainer amount, it would be brought to their attention throughout this process and that those funds would be billed on top of this retainer.

Results

The photographer shared the estimate with the client and they agreed to the retainer fee.


Need help estimating or producing a project? Please reach out. We’re available to help with any and all pricing and negotiating needs, from small stock sales to large ad campaigns.

Pricing & Negotiating: International Luxury Hospitality Brand

By Bryan Sheffield, Wonderful Machine

Concept: Architectural images showcasing a hotel and its amenities.

Licensing: Unlimited use of up to 5 images in perpetuity. Unlimited use of up to 30 additional images for 1 year

Photographer: Architecture and Hospitality specialist

Client: Large International Hospitality Brand

Here is the estimate:

 

 

Fees: This shoot required an experienced architecture and hospitality specialist with the ability to capture strong content in a very short amount of time. The shoot time was compressed as the location was re-opening with short notice due to the state’s relaxation of Covid regulations. Also, from what we could gather in our client conversations, was that a shoot took place recently and the agency was now tasked with getting it done right the second time. That put upward pressure on the fee, and I felt that a creative fee alone was worth $10,000 for the 2-day shoot.

The client requested two licensing terms for the 35 deliverables on the shot list. They requested 30 images with 1-year Unlimited use, and an additional 5 images to have a license for unlimited use in perpetuity.

For the 1 year Unlimited licensing, I felt $750 per image was appropriate for the quantity of 30 images.

For the perpetual Unlimited licensing, I felt $2,000 per image was appropriate for 5 images.

This totaled $32,500, and I arrived at a $42,500 creative/licensing fee by combining the $10,000 creative fee with the licensing fees. On top of that, I added a $750 fee for the photographer to attend a quick tech/scout of the location.

I added a Licensing Options section within the Job Description to outline possible additional image use fees, including possibly extending the use of the 30 images to perpetual use. This included a discounted rate for the bulk perpetual use.

Crew: We added a first assistant (who would also accompany the photographer on the tech/scout), as well as a second assistant. These rates were appropriate for the given market, and the rates the photographer’s assistants were accustomed to. I suggested to the photographer to bring on a separate person as digital tech, but the client pushed back on the crew footprint during Covid and the photographer was comfortable using his 2nd assistant to simply run a Capture One tether and backup files.

Equipment: We included $2,000 for cameras/grip/lighting, and a modest fee to cover the photographer’s computer set up to be used on set, and 2 hard drives.

Covid Safety: We included costs for 3 advanced Covid tests for the photography team, plus $75 for PPE.

Misc.: The location was about a 30-minute drive for the photography team. We added a line item to cover individual mileage for the 3 person team, parking, some additional meals, and a bit of buffer for any small unforeseen expenses that might arise.

Post Production: We included $1,500 for the photographer to perform basic color correction and provide a gallery of his favorite shots. The retouching estimate was based upon the photographer and creative team assuming each image would need roughly 2 hours of work. This would be billed at $125 per hour.

Results: The photographer was awarded the project. The shoot was a success and images are out in the world currently!


Need help estimating or producing a project? Please reach out. We’re available to help with any and all pricing and negotiating needs, from small stock sales to large ad campaigns.

Pricing & Negotiating: Lifestyle Images For A Pharmaceutical Client

By Craig Oppenheimer, Wonderful Machine

Concept: Lifestyle images of talent interacting around a residential property

Licensing: Unlimited use of all images captured in North America for one year

Photographer: Lifestyle and portraiture specialist

Agency: Healthcare marketing specialists

Client: Pharmaceutical company

Here is the estimate:

 

 

Fees: At the onset of the project, the scope was based around 4 talent interacting and participating in lifestyle activities in and around a residential property. We anticipated three unique setups over the course of one day, however, we did not have a specific shot list to work with. While the agency requested unlimited use for one year, we knew the images would primarily be used for very targeted advertising, mostly web-based, and likely used within printed collateral pieces. Given the duration of just one year, I decided to price the three scenarios at $3,500 each, and I added a $2,000 creative fee. Based on previous experience, I knew the agency would be looking for a creative/licensing fee somewhere between 10-15k, and we were told the budget was initially tight, so we ultimately landed on $12,500. We included a tech/scout day at $1,000 for the photographer, and we included $750 for them to attend a wardrobe fitting day as well, which was specifically requested by the agency.

Crew: We knew this would likely require some heavy lifting and a lot of moving parts, so we included a producer along with a PA, as well as two assistants and a digital tech, at rates that were appropriate for the given market.

Styling: We included a hair/makeup stylist along with an assistant, and we combined the roles of the wardrobe and prop styling into one lead stylist with two assistants. At this point in the project, it seemed reasonable to combine these roles not only because the photographer had a stylist in mind that he was confident could handle it, but it was also a strategy to reduce the headcount on set, which is a covid compliance protocol we always try to implement. We made sure to include enough shopping time and extra days for attendance of a wardrobe fitting day prior to the shoot. We anticipate two outfits for each of the four talents and based the wardrobe costs on $300 per outfit. We included $4,000 for props but marked it as TBD since we didn’t have a clear sense as to what the exact needs would be at the onset of the project. Additionally, we included $750 for kit fees, shipping, and miscellaneous styling expenses.

Health and Safety: We included a covid compliance officer for both the shoot, tech/scout day and wardrobe fitting day. Additionally, we included one Covid test per attendee, as well as a few hundred dollars for PPE/supplies.

Locations: We had a general sense of the type of house that was needed, however, we also sensed that the client would be quite picky. We included what we felt was ample scouting days plus a location fee that would more than cover such a location in this market. We also included $500 as a location fee for the wardrobe fitting, as we’d need a location for that to take place.

Casting and Talent: I included $1,500 for casting, which was based on local knowledge of a casting agent who I knew would be able to cover our needs for that amount of money. Considering covid, rather than a live casting, they remotely collect virtual auditions that talent record themselves, with our casting director’s guidance. The agency planned to cover all talent fees, so we made sure to make a note of that.

Equipment: We made sure to include photographic equipment along with a workstation for our digital tech and production supplies. Throughout the pandemic, I’ve increased line items for production supplies considering the additional items needed to have a safe set (more tables/chairs to spread out, fans for airflow, etc.) in addition to normal items like tents and walkies.

Vehicles: While the house could possibly serve as a staging area, we included a production RV to help spread out and provide a dedicated styling area.

Catering: I included $70 per person for a light breakfast and lunch that would also conform to our covid protocols.

Misc.: I included $750 for insurance (however we did not know the policy limits at this point required by the agency), as well as added funds for miscellaneous expenses that might arise throughout the production.

Post Production: The agency planned to handle retouching, so this just included the photographer’s time to transfer the content to a hard drive and hand it over.

Results: The project was awarded to the photographer. During the pre-production process, a new concept came to light that would necessitate an additional day of shooting. We compiled another estimate to serve as an overage request that contained similar line items to the initial estimate but accounted for an additional day. The overage request for this new concept totaled approximately $60k, and that estimate was also approved.


Need help estimating or producing a project? Please reach out.
We’re available to help with any and all pricing and negotiating needs, from small stock sales to large ad campaigns.

Pricing & Negotiating: International Luxury Hospitality Brand

By Bryan Sheffield, Wonderful Machine

Concept: Architectural images showcasing a hotel and its amenities.

Licensing: Unlimited use of up to 5 images in perpetuity. Unlimited use of up to 30 additional images for 1 year

Photographer: Architecture and Hospitality specialist

Client: Large International Hospitality Brand

Here is the estimate:

 

 

Fees: This shoot required an experienced architecture and hospitality specialist with the ability to capture strong content in a very short amount of time. The shoot time was compressed as the location was re-opening with short notice due to the state’s relaxation of Covid regulations. Also, from what we could gather in our client conversations, was that a shoot took place recently and the agency was now tasked with getting it done right the second time. That put upward pressure on the fee, and I felt that a creative fee alone was worth $10,000 for the 2-day shoot.

The client requested two licensing terms for the 35 deliverables on the shot list. They requested 30 images with 1-year Unlimited use, and an additional 5 images to have a license for unlimited use in perpetuity.

For the 1 year Unlimited licensing, I felt $750 per image was appropriate for the quantity of 30 images.

For the perpetual Unlimited licensing, I felt $2,000 per image was appropriate for 5 images.

This totaled $32,500, and I arrived at a $42,500 creative/licensing fee by combining the $10,000 creative fee with the licensing fees. On top of that, I added a $750 fee for the photographer to attend a quick tech/scout of the location.

I added a Licensing Options section within the Job Description to outline possible additional image use fees, including possibly extending the use of the 30 images to perpetual use. This included a discounted rate for the bulk perpetual use.

Crew: We added a first assistant (who would also accompany the photographer on the tech/scout), as well as a second assistant. These rates were appropriate for the given market, and the rates the photographer’s assistants were accustomed to. I suggested to the photographer to bring on a separate person as digital tech, but the client pushed back on the crew footprint during Covid and the photographer was comfortable using his 2nd assistant to simply run a Capture One tether and backup files.

Equipment: We included $2,000 for cameras/grip/lighting, and a modest fee to cover the photographer’s computer set up to be used on set, and 2 hard drives.

Covid Safety: We included costs for 3 advanced Covid tests for the photography team, plus $75 for PPE.

Misc.: The location was about a 30-minute drive for the photography team. We added a line item to cover individual mileage for the 3 person team, parking, some additional meals, and a bit of buffer for any small unforeseen expenses that might arise.

Post Production: We included $1,500 for the photographer to perform basic color correction and provide a gallery of his favorite shots. The retouching estimate was based upon the photographer and creative team assuming each image would need roughly 2 hours of work. This would be billed at $125 per hour.

Results: The photographer was awarded the project. The shoot was a success and images are out in the world currently!

Pricing & Negotiating: Industrial Images For Energy Company

By Craig Oppenheimer, Wonderful Machine< Concept: Images of employees at work in industrial settings

Licensing: Collateral and Publicity use of all images captured in perpetuity

Photographer: Industrial and Lifestyle Specialist

Client: Energy company

Here is the estimate:

 

 

Fees: The client had three facilities across the country, and while the scope included one shoot day at each facility, the overall production including travel time would equate to a 10-day project. There wasn’t a defined shot list, but we knew the shoot would involve a combination of employee lifestyle images, and shots of the equipment within each facility as well. Rather than basing the fee on a certain number of setups/scenarios, I used previous knowledge of similar shoots to come up with a fee of $6,000 per shoot day, which felt right for the limited usage.

Crew: The load would be light, and the photographer only needed a first assistant for the production.

Equipment: We included $1,000 per shoot day for use of the photographer’s personal cameras, lenses, and grip.

Travel: I included appropriate rates based on local research for the 10-day production details in the job description

Misc.: This covered any unforeseen expenses that might arise during the production and while traveling.

Post Production: We anticipated about 20 images per location needing some basic processing, and we noted $100 per image, which would include up to 1 hour of retouching.

Results: The photographer was awarded the project.

Pricing & Negotiating: Still Life Images For Pharmaceutical Client

By Craig Oppenheimer, Wonderful Machine

Concept: Still life images of a pharmaceutical product

Licensing: Unlimited use of all images captured for two years

Photographer: Portraiture specialist

Agency: Pharmaceutical marketing specialists

Client: Pharmaceutical company

Here is the estimate:

 

 

Fees: The project was fairly straightforward. The client needed images of a product on a white background, and images of hands holding the product. Right from the start, we were told that they have a budget of $15,000, so my goal was to account for all necessary expenses while making sure that the fee for the photographer was appropriate for the usage. While the licensing included unlimited use, we knew these images would likely be used primarily for collateral purposes, and they were willing to limit the duration to two years. For this project, I felt $5,500 was suitable for a creative/licensing fee.

Crew: I included a first assistant to help the photographer set up grip/lighting equipment, and a digital tech to help the client review the content as it was being captured both on-site and remotely over zoom.

Styling: I included a hair/makeup stylist to prep the talent on the shoot day, as well as a wardrobe stylist for three days to help source clothing for them. Since the scope was relatively simple, I did not include a styling assistant for either role, as I felt they could handle the responsibilities easily on their own.

Health and Safety: While not included in the bottom line, I noted what a covid compliance officer would cost, should the team require one on-site.

Casting and Talent: We planned to work with a local casting director to hire three models, and the agency planned to pay the talent directly.

Locations: We included one studio rental day.

Equipment: In addition to the photographer’s gear, we included an appropriate amount for a digital tech to rent us their workstation for the day.

Meals: We kept it pretty low-key on the meals to be able to adhere to the budget given, and accounted for ordering lunch from a local restaurant instead of having an elaborate catering setup.

Post Production: The agency planned to handle retouching, so all we needed to include was a hard drive to hand over the content at the end of the day.

Results: The photographer was awarded the project.


Need help estimating or producing a project? Please reach out.
We’re available to help with any and all pricing and negotiating needs, from small stock sales to large ad campaigns.

Pricing & Negotiating: Lifestyle Images For A Pharmaceutical Client

by Craig Oppenheimer, Wonderful Machine

Licensing: Unlimited use of all images captured in North America for one year

Photographer: Lifestyle and portraiture specialist

Agency: Healthcare marketing specialists

Client: Pharmaceutical company

Here is the estimate:

 

Fees: At the onset of the project, the scope was based around 4 talent interacting and participating in lifestyle activities in and around a residential property. We anticipated three unique setups over the course of one day, however, we did not have a specific shot list to work with. While the agency requested unlimited use for one year, we knew the images would primarily be used for very targeted advertising, mostly web-based, and likely used within printed collateral pieces. Given the duration of just one year, I decided to price the three scenarios at $3,500 each, and I added a $2,000 creative fee. Based on previous experience, I knew the agency would be looking for a creative/licensing fee somewhere between 10-15k, and we were told the budget was initially tight, so we ultimately landed on $12,500. We included a tech/scout day at $1,000 for the photographer, and we included $750 for them to attend a wardrobe fitting day as well, which was specifically requested by the agency.

Crew: We knew this would likely require some heavy lifting and a lot of moving parts, so we included a producer along with a PA, as well as two assistants and a digital tech, at rates that were appropriate for the given market.

Styling: We included a hair/makeup stylist along with an assistant, and we combined the roles of the wardrobe and prop styling into one lead stylist with two assistants. At this point in the project, it seemed reasonable to combine these roles not only because the photographer had a stylist in mind that he was confident could handle it, but it was also a strategy to reduce the headcount on set, which is a covid compliance protocol we always try to implement. We made sure to include enough shopping time and extra days for attendance of a wardrobe fitting day prior to the shoot. We anticipate two outfits for each of the four talents and based the wardrobe costs on $300 per outfit. We included $4,000 for props but marked it as TBD since we didn’t have a clear sense as to what the exact needs would be at the onset of the project. Additionally, we included $750 for kit fees, shipping, and miscellaneous styling expenses.

Health and Safety: We included a covid compliance officer for both the shoot, tech/scout day and wardrobe fitting day. Additionally, we included one Covid test per attendee, as well as a few hundred dollars for PPE/supplies.

Locations: We had a general sense of the type of house that was needed, however, we also sensed that the client would be quite picky. We included what we felt was ample scouting days plus a location fee that would more than cover such a location in this market. We also included $500 as a location fee for the wardrobe fitting, as we’d need a location for that to take place.

Casting and Talent: I included $1,500 for casting, which was based on local knowledge of a casting agent who I knew would be able to cover our needs for that amount of money. Considering covid, rather than a live casting, they remotely collect virtual auditions that talent record themselves, with our casting director’s guidance. The agency planned to cover all talent fees, so we made sure to make a note of that.

Equipment: We made sure to include photographic equipment along with a workstation for our digital tech and production supplies. Throughout the pandemic, I’ve increased line items for production supplies considering the additional items needed to have a safe set (more tables/chairs to spread out, fans for airflow, etc.) in addition to normal items like tents and walkies.

Vehicles: While the house could possibly serve as a staging area, we included a production RV to help spread out and provide a dedicated styling area.

Catering: I included $70 per person for a light breakfast and lunch that would also conform to our covid protocols.

Misc.: I included $750 for insurance (however we did not know the policy limits at this point required by the agency), as well as added funds for miscellaneous expenses that might arise throughout the production.

Post Production: The agency planned to handle retouching, so this just included the photographer’s time to transfer the content to a hard drive and hand it over.

Results: The project was awarded to the photographer. During the pre-production process, a new concept came to light that would necessitate an additional day of shooting. We compiled another estimate to serve as an overage request that contained similar line items to the initial estimate but accounted for an additional day. The overage request for this new concept totaled approximately $60k, and that estimate was also approved.

Need help estimating or producing a project? Please reach out.
We’re available to help with any and all pricing and negotiating needs, from small stock sales to large ad campaigns.

Pricing & Negotiating: Lifestyle Images For A Vacation Company

By  Craig Oppenheimer, Wonderful Machine

Concept: Images of people enjoying a luxury vacation

Licensing: Unlimited use of up to 30 images for two years

Photographer: Lifestyle and Portraiture Specialist

Client: Luxury vacation brand

Here is the estimate:

 

Fees: The client hoped to promote their brand and a new vacation they were offering with a lifestyle shoot featuring talent partaking in a luxury vacation over three shoot days. They would primarily use the 30 images requested for collateral purposes, with the slim chance of print ads in industry specific publications. I started with a creative fee of $2,000 per day for three shoot days, and added $300 per image on top of that to arrive at a creative/licensing fee of $15,000. While I wanted to go higher on the per image fee, I felt collectively we would probably be pushing the limits on a fee for this brand based on an initial call with the client. On that call, they also confirmed that they would be able to provide the locations, any necessary lodging, meals and prop styling.

Crew: We included a small crew consisting of a producer (including prep, shoot and wrap days) and two assistants for the shoot days. The client was comfortable without a dedicated digital tech.

Styling: In addition to a hair/makeup stylist, we include a wardrobe stylist and a wardrobe stylist assistant to shop and provide clothing for six talent. Each talent would have two outfits each, which we estimated at $250 per outfit. We also included a bit of padding for styling kit fees, and expenses incurred while shopping.

Casting and Talent: As a cost savings measure, we included a line item to cover casting from cards, rather than working with a casting agent and having a live casting. We included session fees to cover six talent for three days each, as well as modest talent usage fee, which we felt would work for the market and licensing needed.

Equipment: This covered the photographer’s own gear, and the potential need for a few rented lenses/supplies for three days.

Misc.: We included a few hundred dollars to cover any unforeseen expenses that might arise.

Post Production: This covered the time it would take the photographer to do an initial edit and then a per image fee for retouching of 30 selects.

Feedback: The estimate was well received, however we heard back a few days later letting us know that they determined their budget was $50k, and they asked what we could do to come down to that number. We discussed the production approach, and the client was comfortable taking on those responsibilities while reducing the talent needs as well. We removed the producer (while adding a pre-pro day for the photographer to help line up her crew), reduced the talent to 4 instead of 6, reduced the styling and equipment expenses, while making a few other additional tweaks, and submitted the following estimate:

Results: The photographer was awarded the project.

Pricing & Negotiating: Industrial Food Images

BY  Craig Oppenheimer, Wonderful Machine

Concept: Images of a food manufacturing facility

Licensing: Unlimited use of up to 10 images in perpetuity

Photographer: Industrial and Lifestyle Specialist

Agency: Medium in size, based in the Northeast

Client: Large Food Manufacturer

Here is the estimate:

Fees: The shoot was to take place over one day at a manufacturing facility, and they hoped to capture images of employees preparing various food products for distribution. The photographer specialized in this exact type of project, and he would be on his own to create content throughout the day based on a loose shot list, and without the oversight of agency/client attendees. While they requested unlimited use, their primary usage was for collateral purposes and marketing within the food industry. The photographer had previously shot for this client on a larger campaign during a rebranding effort, and this seemed to be a supplemental project to capture additional content, but with more limited intended usage. Based on the previous shoot, and with an understanding that the client had a rather limited bottom-line budget, we included a $9,500 creative/licensing fee. It happened to break down to less than $1,000 per image, which for the licensing duration felt a bit low but also felt in line for the limited intended placement. The photographer planned to scout the location beforehand, and we included $1,500 for the day to account for his time to do so.

Crew: We included an assistant who would accompany the photographer on the tech/scout day, as well as a digital tech for the shoot day. While the client/agency wouldn’t attend, there would be a potential need to remotely gain approvals over Zoom, so the tech would be beneficial to help facilitate that.

Equipment: We included the expense for the digital tech’s workstation, as well as the expense of the photographer’s cameras, lenses, grip, etc. as well.

Misc.: Just to add a little buffer for unforeseen expenses on the shoot day, we included $200.

Post Production: As a cost-savings measure, the agency opted to handle retouching in-house, however, we still included $750 to cover the photographer’s time to go through all of the content, provide a gallery for the agency to review, and then send over their 10 selects.

Results: The photographer was awarded the project. When we received the purchase order from the agency, we did have to negotiate a bit further on payment terms. They told us their standard terms were payment within 65 days, which felt far too long, and we were able to get them to agree to payment with net 30 terms.


Need help estimating or producing a project? Please reach out. We’re available to help with any and all pricing and negotiating needs, from small stock sales to large ad campaigns.

Pricing & Negotiating: Social Media & Web Advertising Shoot For International Beer Brand

By  Bryan Sheffield, Wonderful Machine

Concept: Brand narrative shoot in an urban location with 2 talent enjoying the product

Licensing: Web Advertising and Web Collateral use of up to 10 images in perpetuity

Photographer: Lifestyle/Environmental Portrait photographer

Agency: National Social Media Agency

Client: International Beer Brand

Here is the estimate:

Fees: The photographer had previously worked with this agency. While they wanted to specifically work with this photographer on this project, we were given a strict budget of $4500 for the shoot. This was similar to previous budgets the photographer had seen from the agency. We discussed a shot list and creative with the agency and let them know that while we’d like to see a higher fee, we could work within their budget for the photographer fee for a limited qty of images, but that additional hard cost expenses would need to be covered. We understood this work would be used on the brand’s social media channels, and while we would have liked to see increased fees, we understand each project has set limits and the photographer was excited to work with this agency again for a new client.

Crew: We added a first assistant at $500/day, which was appropriate for the given market.

Equipment: We included $600 for simple cameras/lighting/grip and $200 for hard drives.

Travel: When we initially estimated this shoot we didn’t know the location, but understood it to be local to the photographer. We included $75 to cover mileage and parking to cover the scout, gear pickup, as well as shoot day travel.

Post Production: As the budget was limited, we waived the cost for a first edit and retouching, for up to 30 minutes per image for the 10 selects.

Additional Production Added:

Originally, the agency was going to handle all locations, talent, wardrobe, and hair/makeup styling. About 2 weeks out from the shoot the agency asked us to put an estimate together to handle locations and casting/talent. At this point we already had a signed estimate for the shoot, so we created a second estimate to encompass the pre-production support items requested.

Fees: We included 3 Producer Days to work on the locations and talent search coordination. This fee would be for the photographer and/or producer to scout and book the locations, coordinate casting, as well as collect invoices, and facilitate payments. We estimated this could take 3 full days.

Locations: The client was seeking a high-end urban home (ideally) with city skyline views, as well as landscape views. We estimated location fees of $3,500, plus possibly $1,000 in permits. We added a TBD to this cost in speaking with the agency about the possibility of spending more if there was a location we found that the client loved. We also added 3 days for an additional location scout to assist the producer in the search. That person would also be our on-site property liaison during our shoot.

Casting and Talent: We estimated $4,000 for two talents based on casting from smaller agencies and friends and family. The fee would include the talent’s shoot fee, usage rate, and potential agency fees. We added $1500 for casting as a fee for the producer, to handle the casting. We noted to the agency and client that while the photography license would be in perpetuity, it would be beyond our budget to obtain perpetual use rights from talent. Talent use agreements would be Unlimited use for 1 year, with a note that the work could exist in archive form on the internet.  All talent agreements and payments would be made directly by the agency.

Travel: $225 was estimated for mileage and parking (as well as a cup of coffee or two) for the producer and assistants to scout any potential locations.

Results: The photographer was awarded both the shoot and the pre-production support on the project! About a week before the shoot the agency sent us an agreement that was un-signable. The agreement sent our way stated this was to be a Work Made for Hire with full copyright transfer, no advance, and payments to be net-45… among other restrictive items that needed adjustment. We pushed back on the agreement and after a few days were successful in negotiating this project back to our proposed license terms, with a 50% advance (on both shoot and pre-pro support work), and a net-30 final payment, or upon first use of work as the photography license would not be conveyed until payment was made in full.

The shoot happened and was very successful! The agency and client had attendees on set and loved all the work. Upon delivery of the content, the client ended up licensing an additional 4 images at $500 per image, as well as expanding the license of an image for one year in-store POP for $2,000. The photographer was very happy with the work we put in to increase their fees, negotiate terms, and of course protect their copyright through this process.

Need help estimating or producing a project? Please reach out. We’re available to help with any and all pricing and negotiating needs, from small stock sales to large ad campaigns.

Pricing & Negotiating: Social Media Shoot For International Beverage Brand

By Bryan Sheffield, Wonderful Machine

Concept: Environmental 15-second video portraits of talent interacting with products and the environment. Videos needed to be vertical in format, and created on iPhone 12.

Licensing: Web advertising use of up to two 15-second videos on TikTok for three months, and web collateral use in perpetuity.

Photographer: Lifestyle/portraiture specialist with motion capabilities

Client: International beverage brand

Here is the estimate:

Fees: This shoot was a part of a larger motion project being simultaneously produced by a video production company. The production company’s charge was to find a lifestyle photographer to create two 15-second environmental portrait videos of up to 3 talent directed into action. While the content creation seemed rather straightforward, the client was smart to seek a photographer with a strong portfolio of lighting and a proficiency of directing talent into joyful emotion, as well as capturing people in motion within a frame. Another need from the photographer was the ability to capture strong content in a very short amount of time due to the talent’s limited availability. On paper, the assets could be captured quickly, but the larger ongoing production and talent schedule meant we needed to estimate for two 12-hour shoot days to mirror the video production schedule. These combined needs put upward pressure on the fee. For the licensing, the client requested 3 months Paid Social Media Advertising. I felt $12,000 would be appropriate for one year of usage for this client, and then we subtracted 50% for a shorter duration. This brought us to $6,000, which we further lowered a bit to $5,500 after learning about a very tight budget. We also added a $500 fee for the photographer pre-pro work on the shoot direction and social media platform research.

Crew: We added a first assistant to help with lighting and the ease of the photographer’s days. These rates were appropriate for an advertising production in the given market. The production company required the estimate account for a 12-hour day, so 2 hours of overtime were estimated for each day at a 1.5x hourly rate.

Equipment: We included $1,000 for cameras, grip, and lighting rentals. Without knowing the specific location, we knew the photographer would need some LED and HMI lighting, modifiers and support. The specified camera, an iPhone 12, wouldn’t be able to support different exposure adjustments in aperture and ISO speed, so advance lighting tests were needed. The iPhone was brand new and provided in advance by the production company for the photographer to do some imaging and lighting tests prior to the shoot.

Miscellaneous: We had $250 as miscellaneous expenses. This would cover mileage and parking for the photographer and assistant, as well as any additional snacks/beverages before or after their time on set each day, and provide a bit of buffer for any unforeseen expenses that might arise.

Client Provisions: We included a Client Provisions note that all locations, product and product styling, all talent, wardrobe and wardrobe styling, hair, makeup, catering and craft services, Covid safety protocols, as well as all post-production, would be handled by the production company.

Results: The photographer was awarded the project, and the shoot was a success!

Have questions? Need help estimating or producing a project? Please reach out.
We’re available to help with any and all pricing and negotiating needs, from small stock sales to large ad campaigns.

Pricing & Negotiating: Headshots For A Law Firm

By Craig Oppenheimer, Wonderful Machine

Concept: Headshots and environmental portraits of law firm partners

Licensing: Unlimited use of up to 20 images for 5 years

Photographer: Portraiture specialist in the Southeast

Client: Law Firm

Here is the estimate:

Fees: The client initially presented a project scope resembling a corporate lifestyle production with a seemingly endless shot list and a request for a one-day shoot (for what looked like a two-day shoot at a minimum). We had a discussion with the client, letting them know what we felt was feasible in a single day, and we were able to put a tighter box around the scope by just including portraits of their four main employees/partners in and around their office. It was at this time I asked about their budget, and we were told they had $10,000 to spend. This wasn’t a surprising budget, but I knew it would be a challenge to include appropriate fees/expenses across the board while capping the bottom line.

They had initially wanted 50 images, but given the budget, we limited that to 20 images and included a $6,000 fee, which happened to break down to $300/image. It felt light given the usage, but the straightforward nature of the newly defined project scope put downward pressure on the fee. Also, given all of the factors, the photographer was pleased with this amount. In addition to the creative/licensing fee, we also included $500 for a tech/scout day, so the photographer could see the location ahead of time and talk through logistics and creative approach with the client.

Crew: I included a first assistant to attend both the tech/scout day and the shoot day. I also included a digital tech who would double as a second assistant on the shoot day.

Equipment: This covered the photographer’s own equipment, and while I would have liked to charge more for the camera/lighting/grip he’d be bringing, we kept this expense to a minimum, given the budget.

Misc: I included $100 for any unforeseen expenses.

Postproduction: I included $300 for the photographer to provide the client a gallery of content to choose from, and then $100 per image to cover retouching for each of the 20 selects.

Feedback: The client demanded that they needed usage in perpetuity rather than be limited to five years. Typically, we would have gone back to them with an increased fee to accommodate that, but they essentially let us know it would be a deal breaker to increase the budget. The photographer was begrudgingly willing to simply include the perpetual usage to seal the deal.

Results: The photographer was awarded the project.


Have questions? Need help estimating or producing a project? Please reach out.

We’re available to help with any and all pricing and negotiating needs, from small stock sales to large ad campaigns.