Category "Pricing & Negotiating"

Pricing And Negotiating: Forbes Magazine Contract

by Bill Cramer, Wonderful Machine

Over the years, I’ve shot for lots of business magazines, but my favorite was always Forbes. The photo editors were experienced, smart, and nice. They appreciated good photography and they used it well. Not only did they have a reasonable contract, and decent budgets for assignments, but I was often able to generate additional revenue from those assignments by licensing the pictures to other publications or by selling article reprints to the subjects or their companies. However, with Forbes experiencing the same financial pressures that most print publications are facing, their contract has changed dramatically. (After several years on the market, Forbes Media announced recently that a group of investors has acquired a majority stake in the company.)

In an effort to save money on assignment photography (or even make money on it), Forbes has created The Forbes Photography Collection to license pictures generated from their assignments through Corbis Images. They hired Robyn Selman, formerly of Corbis, to guide that process as their Director of Photography. Forbes Media isn’t the first publisher to syndicate their photographers’ pictures (CondΓ© Nast comes to mind), but still, it’s a dramatic shift from the way most magazines and photographers have historically done business with each other.

In a nutshell, here’s how their new contract differs from their old one:

Instead of photographers getting compensated separately for residual use of their photos (including space, foreign Forbes editions, and article reprints), those rights are bundled into a flat shoot fee, and the photographer gets a maximum of 12.5% of third party sales through The Forbes Photography Collection. (The contract specifies that the photographer gets 25% of Forbes’ half of the gross fee when Corbis is the only agent involved in the sale. If another agent gets involved in the sale, the share to the photographer could be less than 12.5%.) From what I gather, the shoot fees are 1000.00 or more (plus expenses) now, as opposed to 700.00/day (plus expenses) against space with their previous contract. It’s hard to compare flat fees to day rate vs. space, but my own experience was that my Forbes assignments frequently generated space rate payments. So while the fees and expenses for the initial shoot may be about the same, photographers are giving up significant money (not to mention control), on foreign editions, article reprints (which are often worth more than the original assignment), and stock sales to the subject and to other magazines.

The flat shoot fee is negotiated for each assignment. In the past, photographers and the magazine would renegotiate day rates and space rates every couple of years (as a practical matter, the magazine would simply have standard day and space rates that they would pay). With this contract, Forbes no longer ties the fees directly to the amount of time it takes to shoot the job or the size/number of photos that appear in the magazine. That’s problematic in several important ways. First, if the value of the assignment isn’t tied to the amount of time it takes to shoot the job or the space the pictures occupy in the magazine, then what will be the basis of that negotiation? Second, putting the photographer and the photo editor in the awkward position of renegotiating the fee for every assignment wastes valuable time and energy at exactly the moment when you need to get a job done fast, and it sets up a regular source of conflict that will have the effect of eroding rather than building and streamlining the relationship between contributor and editor. Third, it creates a conflict of interest between the photographer and the client. It’s natural and sustainable to put the photographer’s economic interests in line with the client’s. Lastly, anyone growing a business (even a freelance photographer), needs to build equity along with revenue. For photographers, the rights to their photographs are their main source of equity.

I can understand Forbes Media’s impulse to capture this additional revenue in the short-term. But is it in their long-term interest?

I’m not sure it’s sensible for Forbes to enter into the business of syndicating photographs. For starters, it’s clearly outside their area of expertise. Though there is a modest amount of residual value to the photos for Forbes, I wonder how much of it is negated by the administrative costs of starting up and maintaining the infrastructure required to support those sales, and the additional up-front fees they have to pay the photographers. Also, the minuscule back-end split they’re offering photographers not only removes any incentive for them to produce lots of excellent photos (which would otherwise earn those photographers space rates and other residual fees), but they’re also making it less attractive for good photographers to work with Forbes in the first place. So the photos they’ll end up with won’t look as good in the magazine and they won’t have as much residual value as they otherwise would. A smarter approach would be to maintain the day vs. space fee structure, and simply lower or raise the fees as their ability to afford high-quality photography shrinks and grows. (Another approach might be to maintain a higher fee structure, and increase or decrease the number of hand-out and stock photos that they use, as their budgets ebb and flow.) Either way, it’s naive to think that you can reduce the compensation to photographers without adversely affecting the quality of their photos.

Here’s the contract. It’s separated into an Artists’ Agreement (which gets signed once), and a Schedule A (which gets signed for each assignment):


If you are a photographer (or a magazine), and need help building an estimate or reviewing a contract, please feel free to contact any of our producers. If you’d like to read more of our Pricing & Negotiating articles, you can find them here.

Pricing And Negotiating: Directing Video For A TV Commercial

byΒ Craig Oppenheimer, Wonderful Machine

Shoot Concept:Β Video of a restaurant interior

Licensing:Β Use of all video content captured in multiple broadcast television commercials

Location:Β A single restaurant location

Shoot Days:Β One

Director:Β Architectural and portraiture specialist

Agency:Β Medium-sized, based in the Northeast

Client:Β Large restaurant chain

Here is the estimate:

Creative/Licensing:Β A few months ago I worked with a photographer to successfully estimate an exterior architectural shoot that you can read aboutΒ here. Within a week of delivering those files, the agency wanted to add on an extension to the project, and this time they needed video content to integrate into their commercial along with the stills. The concept was to capture video of the interior of one of their restaurants and stage a scene of professional talent interacting within the environment in the evening after the restaurant closed to the public. The final video would ultimately be edited down to just a few seconds, and the agency/client would be providing the location, casting, talent, wardrobe, styling and all of the video editing.

The photographer did not specialize in video, but based on his previous successful execution of the stills and the scope of this portion of the project, the client and agency were very comfortable with him taking on a directorial role, as opposed to being the man behind the camera. Therefore, rather than including a combined creative/licensing fee for the photographer, we simply labeled it as a β€œDirector Fee” (hereafter I’ll refer to the photographer as β€œdirector”).

My first approach to determine the director fee was based on the previous estimate for the still photography. You can read how we arrived at a $50,000 fee in myΒ previous article, but when analyzed in a pro-rated manner (which is how many agencies view estimates), it broke down to $2,500 per location or around $10,000 per day for 5 days of shooting (which is ultimately how long it took). Based on this information I felt that $6,000 was appropriate for a director fee, taking into account what the directorΒ had ultimately made as an effective fee on the previous shoot. I did, however, want to double-check this rate against other resources, and found that Getty charges around $4,200 for a 15-second clip for national broadcast TV use. Similarly, Corbis charges $4,500 for a clip with these specs. Based on my research I was confident that we were in the right ballpark.

I should also note that the format of ourΒ estimate in which we present the creative/licensing fee and the following expenses may beΒ atypical for a video project. Since this was an extension of a still photo shoot, and since we were working with a print producer at the agency, the presentation and formatting of our document was appropriate. However, much larger video productions may warrant different formatting, and there are even industry standard documents (like theAICPΒ bid form) that videoΒ production companies are accustomedΒ to working with and areΒ well receivedΒ on the agency/client end.

Test Shoots:Β Prior to the actual shoot date, the agency and directorΒ agreed that a day was needed to not only scout the location, but to do a very rough test shoot using minimal gear to capture naturally lit video of the restaurant interior. It was an opportunity to give the agency a feel for the how the location actually looked, while also allowing the directorΒ to test out gear with the camera operator that would be working on the actual shoot. The fee included $1,500 for the director, $1,000 for the producer, $300 for an assistant and $750 for the camera operator, along with mileage, parking, meals and equipment expenses.

Director of Photography:Β The directorΒ was very proficient in lighting still images, but the level of production the agency required for the video meant bringing in an expert to help guide the grip and gaffer to set up the lights. We were shooting at night, but the interior needed to look like daylight was flowing in through the windows, and the DP would help to accomplish this while the director could primarily focus his attention on the overall concept and execution.

Camera Operator:Β While the directorΒ would be managingΒ the talent and determining the primary camera settings, we accounted for the camera operator to be the one who would actually manipulate the camera while capturing the content. The rate we included accounted for a very experienced camera operator who would also be able to provide monitors/feeds for live client review.

Producer:Β The producer would be responsible for wrangling the crew, compiling a production book and handling pre-production arrangements. Additionally, the producer would make sure the shoot day goes according to schedule while ensuring the project stayed within budget.

First and Second Assistants:Β I accounted for two extra sets of hands to help out with gear on the shoot day, and to support the producer and all of the crew members throughout the day with miscellaneous tasks.

Digital Tech:Β While the camera operator would be providing equipment for the client to see the video on monitors in real time, the digital tech would be able to quickly process the video content for the client/agency to watch repeatedly in order to approve the content. This included $500 for their day, and $750 for a workstation. On a larger scale video shoot, this role might be labeled as DIT (digital image technician), but as I mentioned earlier, we were integrating formatting and terminology more in line with a still photo shoot.

Grip, Gaffer and Grip Truck:Β The DP would give lighting direction to the grip and gaffer who would then be responsible for setting up and adjusting all of the lights. Both the grip and gaffer that I corresponded with about the project worked for an equipment rental company, and they would be bringing the gear with them in a truck. Given the last minute nature of the project, we weren’t quite sure what exact equipment would be needed, so I included the cost for a very well stocked grip truck. In addition to the truck rental (which would cost $675), this included a long list of HMI lights and generators, as well as an even longer list of stands, modifiers and grip equipment.

Additional Equipment Rental:Β This accounted for all equipment other than lights/grip, including two 5D Mark III camera bodies, multiple lenses, extra large memory cards and a buffer for any other last minute gear the photographer would need once he scouted the location. Some of the gear he owned, and some he would need to rent or buy.

Delivery of Video by Hard Drive:Β The digital tech would dump all of the video onto a drive after the shoot, and this included the cost of purchasing a drive large enough to hold the video content and the shipping fees to send it to the agency.

Catering:Β There would be about 20 people on set including the crew, talent and client/agency representatives, and I included $50 per person for dinner and snacks throughout the evening. Typically, I’d figure a client like this would provide meals, but since the shoot was happening after business hours, the restaurant wouldn’t be able to provide food.

Miles, Misc:Β The restaurant wasn’t located in a very convenient place, and I expected to pay the crew mileage to get out and back. I included $200 for mileage, and then added $300 to help cover any additional unexpected expenses that might arise.

Results:Β After submitting our estimate, the art buyer told us they had a budget of $20,000, and asked us to see what we could do to reduce the price. I knew we wouldn’t be able to come down by that much, but revised the estimate by removing the tech’s workstation (she’d just be providing a laptop which the client was ok with), reducing the assistant rates to $250/day (the directorΒ had a few assistants that were willing to work for this rate) reducing the fee for the grip and gaffer (which they confirmed they’d be able to be flexible on) and reducing the catering to $35 per person (and noted that it wouldn’t be quite as an elaborate spread). Those changes reduced our bottom line by $1,500. Even though we weren’t able to get under $20k, our estimate was approved and I produced the shoot a few days later. Here was the final estimate:


Hindsight:Β As the still photography and video worlds merge, it’s inevitable that clients will soon expect all photographers to offer video services (or at least expect to get stills and video from a single production). However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that a photographer has to have experience shooting video. As in this case, photographers can take on the role of a director without actually being the one to light the scene or operate the camera. The director role still comes with great responsibility and pressure, but it’s ok for photographers to rely on lighting experts and experienced video crews to collectively get the job done.

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 needsβ€”from small stock sales to big ad campaigns.

Pricing And Negotiating: Executive Portraits For A Large Agency

Jess Dudley

Shoot Concept:Β Create executive portraits and corporate lifestyle images of employees at work in their corporate headquarters and on-site at one client location

Licensing:Β Digital collateral and digital advertising use of up to 40 images

Location:Β Corporate headquarters and one retailer location

Shoot Days:Β Three

Photographer:Β Corporate lifestyle specialist

Agency:Β Large agency in the Mid-Atlantic

Client:Β Business consultant

A well-known ad agency recently commissioned one of our East Coast photographers to shoot a library of images for their client’s rebranding effort. The agency’s B2B client provides consulting services to mid-large sized national brands. The goal of the shoot was to capture a range of corporate lifestyle images of real employees at work in their company offices and on-site at one of their client’s locations. The images were createdΒ for, and would be primarily used on, the client’s newly redesigned website, so while the production machine was in motion, the agency wanted to create 10Β executive portraits to round out the website about page. On top of the web use, the agency also requested digital/web advertising use to cover their trade advertising needs.

Although all of the images would be used on the site, it was likely that only a handful would be used for any of the somewhat limited advertising use granted. However, as is often the case, the agency was unwilling to carve up the usage into different components, making it impossible to impose more than one licensing agreement on different sets within the library. Additionally, the agency was unwilling to bend on the duration of use. Just as with the extent of the usage, we determined that the likelihood of the client taking full advantage of perpetual use was low enough that we were willing to be flexible on that point. The images have a shelf life, and we assume that the value to the client degrades considerably after three to five years β€”Β executives change, services change, and imagery needs to be refreshed. After careful consideration and discussion with the art buyer, we decided to price the usage closer to the value of the intendedΒ use.

To determine the licensing fee, I considered the caliber of the photographer (in-demand), reputation of the agency (solid), size of the client (niche), intended audience (non-consumer), limited use (web/digital only), assumed shelf-life, number of shot days (2.5,Β butΒ we priced as 3 β€”Β half days are a myth) and intensity of the production (pretty low). I also considered that 1/4 of the images would consist of executive portraits. After weighing all of the factors, we landed at $20,000. Other pricing sources like Fotoquote, Blinkbid’s Bid Consultant and the various stock sites would have us quote the usage fee in the six-figure range, but those pricing resources don’t account for the nuance and just keep multiplying, regardless of the influencing factors and/or diminishing value to the client, and photographer, over time.

From a production standpoint, this project was relatively low impact. The photographer would need to show up to the provided locations with his or herΒ crew, and make pictures of the provided resources. That being said, because we were working through a fairly large agency, their expectations would be slightly more intensive than you may initially expect.

Here’s the approved estimate:

P and N July

Tech/Scout Day:Β I included a tech/scout day for the photographer and agency to walk through the offices and client locations to make sure everyone was on the same page creatively, and allow the photographer to consider lighting and equipment needs.

1st Assistant Days:Β I included four days for the first assistantΒ β€”Β one to prep gear (and/or attend the scout) and three to shoot.

2nd Assistant Days:Β The second assistant would be on hand for all three shoot days.

Digital Tech Days:Β The tech would only be needed on the corporate lifestyle days. The agency wouldn’t need to review the executive portraits on set, so we were able to forgo that expense on the portrait day.

Equipment:Β $4500 covered costs for a DSLR, a backup, lenses, grip equipment and portable strobe kit, some of which the photographer’s production company owned and would be renting at market rate forΒ the shoot and some that would need to be rented from a local rental house.

Producer:Β Even though a great deal of the production elements would be provided by the client and agency, we felt that a producer would still be beneficial during the shoot. Since there wasn’t much in the way of pre-production I only included one day for prep (arrange catering, book/confirm the five crew members and pull together a call sheet), one day for the tech/scout and three days for the shoot.

Production RV:Β The client couldn’t guarantee the availability of convenient staging area so I included a production RV for the two lifestyle days. Since we would be stationary forΒ the executive portraits, it wasn’t necessary on the third day.

Groomer:Β The subjects would be instructed to arrive camera-ready. The groomer would be on hand to make sure they were finessed a bit and looked their best when on camera.

Shoot Processing for Client Review:Β Covers time, equipment and costs for the initial import, edit, batch color correction and upload of the images to an FTP for client review and selection.

Selects Processed for Reproduction:Β Color correction, basic touch-up and specialized processing of the 40 selects. As the result of considerable post-processing, all of photographer’s images all have a distinct feel, which increases the cost for standard file prep.

File Transfer:Β This covers the cost to deliver the 40 selects via FTP.

Catering:Β I estimated to provide lunch on the two corporate lifestyle days. Because the third day was a β€œhalf day” we didn’t need to cover catering.

Miles, Expendables, FTP, and Misc:Β This covered out-of-pocket expenses the photographer and crew would accrue between mileage, FTP costs and any other miscellaneous expenses that may arise.

Housekeeping (see the project description):Β I noted all of the production elements the client would be providing.

Results, Hindsight and Feedback:Β The photographer shot the project and the client came back to licensing 10 additional images. We set the rate for those at $750 each, including processing.

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 needsβ€”from small stock sales to big ad campaigns.

Pricing & Negotiating: Architectural Images For A TV Commercial

by Craig Oppenheimer, Wonderful Machine

Shoot Concept: Exterior architectural images of 20 restaurants

Licensing: Use of all images captured in multiple broadcast television commercials

Location: 4 cities on the East Coast

Shoot Days: 7

Photographer: Architectural and portraiture specialist

Agency: Medium-sized, based in the Northeast.

Client: Large restaurant chain

Here is the estimate:


Creative/Licensing: The ad agency was in the process of creating a series of TV commercials, and wanted to feature still images of the exteriors of their client’s restaurants within the spots. They anticipated that there would be up to five restaurants in each of the four cities where their client had locations, and with an accelerated timeframe for the media placement, they hoped to shoot all 20 locations in one week.

After a call with the art buyer, I approached the creative/licensing fee with the knowledge that while there were 20 locations, that it was most likely that 5 of them would be featured prominently in the videos, and the rest of the locations were options to choose from when compiling the final commercial. I felt that the size of the client, accelerated pace of the project and likely exposure level of the commercials put strong upward pressure on the fee, but the fact that I knew this was a last minute overage on top of the overall budget for the commercial applied a bit of downward pressure. I decided to price each of the first five shots at $5,000 each, then discount the next five locations to $3,000 each, and then further discount the last 10 locations to $1,000 each, which tallies up to $50,000.

After determining the value of the usage, I checked out Getty to see how they may have priced this since it’s not often that I’m asked to price stills for TV. For TV advertising use for three years (which is the longest duration they offer for this use), they priced one image at $4,870, which was nearly right on the nose of what I priced each of the first 5 images. Corbis similarly priced the same use at $4,160. Based on my research and the fact that this was a big project that needed to be completed blazingly fast, I felt that the $50,000 fee was appropriate.

Pre-Production Day: The photographer would require 1 day to pull together all of his travel arrangements and test out a few pieces of special equipment (mainly lenses) he’d need to buy for the shoot. I would typically include travel/scout days, but the rushed schedule broke down in such a way that there would be days when shooting would happen prior to travel on the same day, and I discussed with the art buyer and photographer that it was better to just figure on a week’s worth of shooting (and charge for it accordingly in the creative/licensing fee) and have the photographer shoot and travel on days that worked best for him, rather than specifying a certain number of shoot and travel days.

Equipment: In addition to the special gear he’d need to purchase (which would cost $1,500), I included a fee for the equipment he owned and would be using on the shoot. For these items I anticipated $800/day (including the camera body, lenses, cards and minor grip equipment), and typically estimate that gear rentals for a full week are often rented for the price of three days at most major rental houses.

Lodging, Airfare and Car Rental: One of the locations was local to the photographer, another was a lengthy car ride away, and the other two were plane rides away. We were able to work out a schedule that required five nights of lodging, for which I estimated a rate of $300/night. That’s typically higher than I’d estimate, but the locations were in major cities and would be booked just a day or two before arriving, which would make for expensive reservations. After shooting the local cities, the photographer would be flying to the third city, shooting and then flying to the fouth city, and then flying home after that. I used to research flights which ranged from $200-$600. Combined with $60 for each flight to account for checked bags, airfare totaled about $1,400. I then rounded up this number to account for a slight increase on costs should fares increase between the time of estimating and booking. The photographer would only need to rent a car in two of the cities, which tallied up to an estimated rate of about $550 including gas.

Miles, Parking, Meals, Misc: I estimated $50/day for parking for 7 days, $75/day for meals for 7 days, and built in an extra $225 for mileage and other miscellaneous charges/fees throughout the trip.

Post Processing and Delivery of All Images by Hard Drive: The agency would be handling all of the post production, and required a hard drive containing all of the RAW images captured. In addition to the cost of the hard drive and shipment (which I anticipated being about $250), I wanted to make sure the photographer would be paid for his time to organize and manage the transfer of the files (which wasn’t a very difficult process, but it would take a long time).

Results: After submitting the estimate, the art buyer told us they had a budget of $60,000. In an effort to move the project along quickly, the agency asked if the photographer would be willing to take on the project for a flat 60k fee. This meant that the photographer wouldn’t have to compile or submit receipts when invoicing after the shoot, which would have taken a decent amount of time given the travel. Additionally, this meant that any cost savings would go into the photographer’s pocket. For these reasons, he felt the $550 discount was worth it and agreed to the flat fee. He was awarded the project and shot it the following week.

Hindsight: While the scope of the shoot was detailed and fast paced, the photographer was confident that he could accomplish it on his own without an assistant since it would be just him, his camera and a tripod. However, he did ultimately decide to allocate some of the cost savings to hire an assistant as he felt that an extra set of hands was well worth the money to help him move quickly around each city.

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 needsβ€”from small stock sales to big ad campaigns.

Pricing & Negotiating: Architectural Shots For Ad Agency Portfolio

byΒ Jess Dudley, Wonderful Machine

Shoot Concept:Β Architectural shots of a locally-runΒ ad campaign

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

Location:Β A downtown cityscape and airport

Shoot Days:Β 1

Photographer:Β A local architectural specialist

Agency:Β A southern branch of a large NYC-based ad agency

Client:Β n/a

An art buyer from a large ad agency reached out to one of our photographers, interested in hiring him to shoot two out-of-home (OOH) advertising placementsΒ (billboards and transit posters). The ads had just been posted; one was a single three dimensional billboard in a downtown cityscape environment, the other was a series of posters and back-lit displays inside the local airport, both promoting the same client. It’s not unusual for an agency or it’s client to request a shoot to document ads for press releases, awards submissions and/or their portfolios. In this case, the client wasn’t commissioning the shoot, so the licensing would be conveyed directly to the agency.

To take full advantage of the day, the photographer would need to shoot the cityscape billboard in the early morning and late afternoon light, and the interior shots at the airport in the middle of the day while the sun was high. It would definitely be a full day shoot. Other than the long day, the shoot was pretty straight forward. The local film office didn’t require a permit because it was only the photographer, a tripod and one assistant. The agency would be providing the necessary escort and access at the airport, so the prep time would be minimal.

Here’s the estimate:

Screen Shot 2014-05-07 at 4.55.32 PMΒ Screen Shot 2014-05-07 at 4.55.57 PM

The licensing was fairly minimal, however we needed to grant perpetual use to account for the collateral use of the images in the agency’s portfolio. This is an instance in which the photographer’s time is worth about as much as the fairly limited licensing, and as a result has more weight in the calculation of the overall value. Although the license was perpetual, any use beyond the first year of awards submissions would be minimal and presumably taper off pretty quickly. It seems unlikely that the agency would want to promote work in their portfolio that was more than a few years old, which limits the value a bit. Based on the number of activations, intended use and pricing from previous projects of this nature, I arrived at 4500.00 for the creative/licensing fee. Not surprisingly, this rate was a bit lower than the other pricing resources recommended, which don’t take into account the subtleties of the project, but nevertheless provide a solid point of reference. Blinkbid suggested 900.00/image/year and Corbis priced comparable use at 1300/image for the first year.

Assistant Day:Β The photographer would have been able to handle the shoot solo from a gear perspective, however he wanted an assistant to drop him off for the cityscape shots, in the event that parking proved to be difficult to find.

Equipment:Β This covered the one day rental costs for a DSLR, a backup DSLR, tripod and a few specialty lenses, all of which the photographer owned and would be renting to the production.

File Transfer:Β The agency insisted that raw image be delivered via hard drive. This covered the time and cost necessary to dump the images and ship out a hard drive. It’s pretty unusual for an architectural photographer (or any photographer for that matter) to provide unprocessed files, but due to the nature of the project, the photographer was OK with it.

Insurance:Β We included the cost of providing a certificate of insurance for the airport portion of the shoot. The property management company required standard business liability insurance to shoot on premises.

Miles, Parking, Shipping, Meals, FTP, and Misc:Β This covered the basic out of pocket expenses the photographer would accrue between mileage, FTP costs, lunch for him and his assistant on the shoot day, and any other miscellaneous expenses that may arise.

Housekeeping (see the project description):Β I noted all of the production elements the client would be providing: processing, necessary location access, escorts and releases to be provided and secured by agency

Results, Hindsight and Feedback:Β The photographer was awarded the project and shot it a few days later.

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 needsβ€”from small stock sales to big ad campaigns.

Pricing & Negotiating: Industrial Lifestyle Shoot

byΒ Jess Dudley, Wonderful Machine

Shoot Concept:Β Industrial lifestyle shoot

Licensing:Β North American collateral use of all images in perpetuity (15 per day)

Location:Β Manufacturing facility

Shoot Days:Β Up to 20

Photographer:Β Lifestyle and portrait specialist

Agency:Β Client direct

Client: Not a household name, but well known within it’s industry

One of our west coast-based photographers was approached by a fairly large industrial manufacturer and asked to shoot industrial lifestyle images of their employees at work, manufacturing a variety of products in a number of different locations in North America. They were mostly interested in using the images on their website and in a self-published coffee table book that would be given out to investors, executives and employees. Their products are generally larger than a semi-truck and manufactured in facilities on the scale of an airplane hanger. Think big.

The client wasn’t accustomed to hiring photographers (it’d been nearly 20 years since they’d hired a professional). Thankfully, they thought it was wise to get us involved pretty early on before they firmly established their needs, so that they didn’t develop a creative concept and plan that would break the bank. Their initial thought was to shoot 10-15 different locations, 1-2 shoot days at each, for a total of approximately 20 shoot days. This presents a bit of a dilemma. Because we were in the planning stage and they wouldn’t commit to 20 days or any specific number of images (although as usual, they were expecting a deal because of all of the potential work), we couldn’t approach the presentation of the fees for this project in our typical way. We had to present an estimate that was scalable from a single day on up, but also factored in a discount for a volume that the client was unwilling to commit to. Also unknown was the number of scout and travel days. Here’s how we addressed all the issue:


We needed to create a fee structure that the photographer would be happy with if the client only booked one day and that the client would be happy with if they booked 20. I’m sure just about every photographer has had this same experienceβ€” a client asks for a quote and pushes back on the numbers saying something along the lines ofΒ  β€œif there’s a lot of work down the road, can you be flexible on your rate/fees?” It’s not an unreasonable request, however the work down the road almost never materializes. The approach we took here protects the photographer’s interest, keeps the client honest and gives them a break for the volume.

We based the day rate on the typical collateral library rate we’ve negotiated with other industrial clients. The rate usually varies from 2500.00-3500.00 depending on the size of the client and scale of the project. In this case, we started a bit higher because of the self-publishing use requested, though if the client did ultimately book the photographer for 20 days, the fee would average out to just over 3500/day. Although we didn’t explicitly limit the number of scenarios or images, in the course of our conversations we determined that the photographer would probably be able to shoot in five different scenarios per shoot day and that the client could expect 2-3 variations of images per scenario. We didn’t want to commit to a specific number in the estimate because certain factories may be easier or harder to shoot in than others, which would seriously impact how much could be accomplished in a given day.

The client signed the proposal and requested a detailed estimate for the first leg of the shoot – one-day, local to the photographer. We extrapolated a one-day version which the client approved. During the course of the pre-production, the client requested a certificate of insurance. Since we hadn’t been asked to provide any sort of unusual coverage, and the photographer carries a fairly standard business liability policy year round, we’d opted not to charge a fee for the insurance in the estimate (however, like equipment, it would not be unusual to charge the client a fee for the use of your insurance policy). As it turned out, the client’s legal team was requiring the photographer to provide workman’s comp insurance and specialty insurance specific to their industry. I’ve seen this a lot lately and it’s getting old. The client presents a project, approves the estimate, then comes back with unusually high insurance coverage requirements. If the client requires you to provide coverage that substantially exceeds a standard business liability policy (ie workman’s comp, weather, specialty, etc.) and they don’t tell you about it beforehand, it’s considered a change in the scope of work and the cost should be approved as an overage. In this case, we gave the client two options – pay for the insurance or waive the requirement. They opted to pay for the insurance, so we resubmitted the one-day estimate. Here’s the final version:


Tech/Scout Day:Β We included a half tech/scout day for the photographer and agency to walk through the location, determine the ideal scenarios and try to nail down a shot list.

Assistant Days:Β The photographer wanted two assistants for this shoot. Although there wouldn’t be much in the way of equipment, the size of the space and materials was daunting, so the photographer wanted an extra set of hands.

Equipment:Β This covered the one day rental costs for a DSLR, a backup DSLR, grip equipment and a small portable strobe kit, all of which the photographer owned and would be renting to the production.

Shoot Processing for Client Review:Β This covered the time, equipment and costs to handle the initial edit, batch color correction and upload of the images to an FTP for client selection.

Selects Processed for Reproduction:Β This covered color correction and basic touch-up of the 15 selects. Any necessary retouching would be estimated and billed separately.

File Transfer:Β This covers the cost to deliver the 15 selects via hard drive, including overnight shipping.

Miles, Expendables, FTP, and Misc:Β This covered the basic out of pocket expenses the photographer would accrue between mileage, FTP costs, lunch for him and his assistants on the shoot day, and any other miscellaneous expenses that may arise.

Insurance:Β We included the cost to provide the specialty insurance the client required.

Housekeeping (see the project description):Β I noted all of the production elements the client would be providing: Location, releases, subjects, escorts and safety equipment.

Results, Hindsight and Feedback:Β The photographer is in the midst of the project and has already shot two additional days.

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 needsβ€”from small stock sales to big ad campaigns.

Pricing & Negotiating: Book Cover For Politician’s Memoir

byΒ Craig Oppenheimer Wonderful Machine

Shoot Concept:Β Seamless and environmental portraits of a prominent politician.

Licensing:Β Use of up to two images on the front/back cover of a book with a print run of up to 200,000.

Location:Β Β A state capitol building in the Northeast.

Shoot Days:Β 1

Photographer:Β Corporate and portraiture specialist

Client:Β Large publishing company

Here is the estimate:


Concept/Licensing: Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β 

The publishing company was working with an active politician to create and distribute his memoir, and they asked the photographer to capture a few seamless and environmental portraits for the front and back covers. The assignment was pretty straightforward, but they needed the shoot to take place within a few days in a non-local city to the photographer, and given the subject, we knew that the photographer would have very little time to actually shoot the subject. These factors put upward pressure on the fee since it required a skilled photographer to work in these conditions and complete the project within a very tight timeframe.

The photographer completed a nearly identical project for the same publisher a few years ago, and while he couldn’t recall the print run of the book, the publisher agreed to a fee of $8,500 plus expenses. A quick chat with the publisher’s art director led me to believe that they were willing to pay the same amount this time, but they hoped to keep the bottom line around $15,000. The fee sounded healthy for the print run, but it did include two images, and I anticipated that their contract might include rights that would put additional upward pressure on an appropriate fee.

Just for reference, I did check the fee against a few pricing resources. Corbis suggested a rate of $1,258, but their options max out at a print run of 30,000. For a print run higher than 30,000, they ask that you contact them. Getty suggested $2,325 for a print run of up to 250,000 including electronic distribution, and Fotoquote suggested a rate up to $2,835 for a similar print run. If I didn’t know what the publishing company paid previously, I may have priced the two images around $2,750 each, and then added on a creative fee of a few thousand dollars, which happens to bring the fee close to $8,500. This (along with previous experience) reassured me that the fee was appropriate.

Photographer Travel/Pre-Production:Β The photographer planned to fly to the location the day before the shoot, and since the actual shooting time would likely wrap before noon, he planned to catch a flight back that same day. Additionally, he’d spend a considerable amount of time beforehand to coordinate his crew and make travel arrangements. We figured that getting there and back would add up to a full day, and added on a second day to account for the pre-production.

Assistants:Β Both assistants would be driving to the location from a major metropolitan city, but since the location was still a good distance from them, we figured they’d drive up the night before the shoot as well (bringing us to one shoot day, and two half-travel days). The first assistant would be responsible for renting an SUV and coordinating the equipment rental, so we added an extra day at a lower rate for him to do so beforehand.

Hair/Makeup Stylist:Β This is typically much lower than the rate I’d include for a hair/makeup stylist, but they were local to the remote location and offered to work a half day at this rate. We originally anticipated that the stylist would travel in with the assistants, and I’d typically anticipated a day-rate of up to $1,200 if that was the case. However, I wasn’t going to argue with the local stylist’s rate, especially since we knew the travel expenses would likely put us over the client’s suggested budget of $15,000.

SUV Rental:Β This covered three days to rent a large SUV big enough for the two assistants and the equipment ($475), fuel ($100) and insurance ($125).

Lodging:Β While we probably could have gotten away with a cheap hotel around $100/night (or less), we anticipated having to pay higher rates since the reservations would be made just a day before traveling. I figured $200/night for three rooms would be plenty.

Equipment Rental:Β The photographer would bring his camera and a minimal amount of gear, but the first assistant would still need to pick up a backup body with multiple lenses ($500), a roll of paper and stands for the seamless backdrop ($100), as well as various lighting/grip equipment including backups ($1,500). The backup equipment pushed the rental fees up a bit, but when you only have a few minutes with a subject, you better be prepared if your equipment fails.

Airfare:Β Rates for flights were about $500, and I anticipated paying $50 in baggage fees both ways.

Shoot Processing for Client Review:Β This covered the time it would take the photographer to download, edit, color process, rename files and deliver a web gallery for the publisher to review.

Selects Processed for Reproduction:Β The photographer would further process the two final images that the publisher selected, and he anticipated it taking less than an hour per image.

Miles, Parking, Meals, Taxi, Misc.:Β I included a $75/day/person β€œper diem” to cover meals for the photographer and his assistants for both the travel and shoot days ($450 total), as well as $100 for the taxi the photographer would take to/from the airport and $200 for unanticipated miscellaneous expenses.

Results:Β Despite the fact that our estimate was above their suggested budget, the photographer was quickly awarded the job and completed the assignment two days later. While the publisher signed our estimate/terms, they also provided us with the following contract:


The formatting and organization of the contract was a bit confusing, and it seemed like a combination of a β€œfill in the blank” document (a lot of which was already filled out by the art director) and a β€œchoose your own adventure” novel (especially section 4). In addition to some reformatting, I made the following changes:

– I noted that there would be 2 selected final images

– In section 4, I clarified that they’d pay the photographer $10,000 (his creative/licensing fee plus his travel/pre-production fees) plus expenses.

– I initially clarified that the rights included in section 5 were for a print run of up to 200,000. However, the publisher’s rights manager preferred to not include that language. He said β€œoccasionally [we] exceed our estimates, and we do not want to find ourselves in violation of the terms of our own agreement if the book surpasses expectations.” We were willing to remove the language about the print run, but I wanted the photographer to benefit from the use of his photos in future editions (including foreign language editions) of the book. I revised this section to state that they can use the photos in the β€œinitial English language edition” only. It could be printed and distributed abroad, but not in any other language.

– Further down in section 5, they asked to detail a pre-determined rate for subsequent paperback editions. We noted that the photographer would receive 50% of his creative/licensing fee for use of his photos on the first English language paperback trade or mass-market editions of the book. This was based on the agreed upon percentage from his previous project with the publisher, plus our experience and knowledge of other publishing contracts.

– Lastly, I noted in section 7 that the photographer would retain self-promotional rights to the images.

Here is the revised version of the contract:


The publishing company accepted our revisions, and the book will be in stores within the next few months.

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 needsβ€”from small stock sales to big ad campaigns.

Pricing & Negotiating: Interiors For Residential Appliance Company

byΒ Jess Dudley, Wonderful Machine

Shoot Concept – Interior Architectural and Detail images of installed small residential appliances

Licensing – US Advertising and Collateral Use of up to 24 images in perpetuity

Location – Two residential properties

Shoot Days – One

Photographer – Lifestyle, Architectural and Home & Garden Specialist

Agency – N/A

Client – A small residential appliance company – a household name to those β€œin the know”

Here is the estimate:

pricing and negotiating, photographer estimates, wonderful machine

Intro:Β Last year I worked with one of our Midwest-based photographers to put together an estimate for a small residential appliance company. The shoot was fairly straightforward, without much in the way of production prep on the photographer’s side. The photographer was to shoot architectural interior and detail images of the appliances in use in two nearby homes. The client would be providing homes with the appliances already installed.Β  After reviewing all of the details and correspondence and researching the brand a bit (I wasn’t familiar with the product and wanted to get a better sense of the size of the company and their product line), I connected with the client to discuss the project and sort out licensing and our approach.

After confirming that the photographer would be shooting two scenarios at each of the homes, and that we’d be shooting 2-3 architectural/wide shots and 3-4 detail/tight shots in each scenario, we dove into the licensing. The locations, product, installations, props and props styling would be provided by the client, which simplified things for us considerably on the production front.

Creative/Licensing:Β Initially, the client requested β€œunlimited use of all images captured.”  Although you won’t always like the response, you need to challenge a client when they request, all images, a buyout or unlimited use. These are all vague terms we try to avoid (or elaborate on at a minimum). In this case, I needed to clarify if the client truly wanted the license to use all of the images captured. I also wanted to pin down their intended use. After a little push, the client was willing to limit the licensing to US Advertising and Collateral Use of 24 selects. The duration was still a sticking point, they we still insistent on a perpetual license. We don’t usually press very hard on the duration because there is an inherent shelf life on any given image. The value of a given set of images will taper off over time. The slope of that taper will vary based on the style, styling and subject matter. So even though the licensing was drastically limited from the original request, the client would still be able to use the 24 images in a manner that felt unlimited to them, so they were content with the restrictions.

After developing a firm understanding of the project and a decent rapport with the client, I pressed for some insight into the budget. About half the time I ask about the budget, I’ll get a valuable response. The other half of the time the budget either hasn’t been set, or the client is unwilling to reveal it for some other reason (triple bid, etc.). In those cases, you can press a bit further and find out if they’ve shot anything similar in the past, and if so, what they spent. You’ll also want to know who else is bidding if they’re willing to share that info with you in order to alter your approach to the estimate. In this case, the client was forthcoming, and had a firm 10k budget. At first glance, considering the usage, it seemed low, but I took the news in stride and set about drafting the estimate.

Because the budget was tight, I decided to approach the estimate differently. Typically, I’ll determine the creative/licensing fee, then build out the production estimate. Since we had a tight budget to begin with for this project, I opted to work backwards and price out the production first. With my production expenses dialed in, I was able to see that I had about 6000.00 left in the budget for fees. This is quite a bit lower than I would like to see for this usage. However, after considering the likelihood of any major consumer advertising (minimal), the straight forward nature of the production, the photographer’s level of experience (pretty fresh) and the size and prominence of the client (all of which apply/allow for downward pressure on the fee and/or value) I felt it was a reasonable fee. I calculated the fees on some of our pricing resources as well: Blinkbid’s Bid Consultant – 5,030.00/image for the first year, Fotoquote – 21,454.00/image for the first year and Corbis – 12,000.00/image for the first year. Though definitely valuable tools, these resources assume that each of the images will be used in every conceivable manner within the prescribed parameters, so you have to take their suggestions with a grain of salt.

Tech/Scout Day:Β We estimated a half day of tech/scouting time for the photographer and client to walk through the locations to nail down the shot list and angles in advance of the shoot. This would be crucial since the shoot day schedule would be somewhat ambitious. It would also allow the photographer choose a staging area and determine which gear to bring and which to leave at home.

Assistant:Β The photographer generally shoots without much grip or supplemental lighting so he was comfortable including just one assistant. We opted not to include a second assistant, instead relying on the tech to be an extra set of hands to load in/out, etc.

Digital Tech:Β The digital tech would help to manage the flow of file intake and display for client approval on set. Because it takes much longer to dial in and bracket an architectural shot, the selection process happens on set, during the shoot, in realtime (the client approves the shot composition, the photographer covers exposure and focus and processes those approved shots in post for final delivery). In the case, a tech essentially eliminates the need for a β€œshoot processed for client review” fee.

Photo Equipment and Workstation:Β This covered the one day rental costs for a laptop workstation, two DSLR bodies, a variety of lenses, grip equipment and lighting (some of which the photographer owned, but planned to rent to the production atΒ  the market rate).

Images Processed for Reproduction:Β 50.00/image is in the lower end for architectural selects processing but the photographer was open to reducing the rate a bit to hit the client’s budget. Normally, I’d like to see that rate closer to 75.00-200.00/image for architectural processing, depending on the shoot.

Miles, Expendables, FTP, COI and Misc:Β This covered the basic out-of-pocket expenses the photographer would accrue between mileage, FTP cots, Certificate of Insurance (ranging from free to 50.00/COI depending on your insurance company) and any other miscellaneous expenses that may arise.

Overtime:Β Because the shoot day was fairly ambitious, I wanted to make sure it was clear to the client that if the time on site exceeded 10 hours, that the crew would bill OT at time and a half.

Housekeeping:Β For the sake of clarity (read: cover your ass) I made sure to note all of the production elements the client would be providing.

Results, Hindsight and Feedback:Β The photographer did not get the job. Although it seemed like we had the project locked up, in a excruciatingly frustrating turn of events, another photographer estimating on the project neglected to ferret out the client’s budget and priced the project at less than half of our estimate, all in. The client was eager to work with us, but felt that the difference in quality between the two photographers was negligible while the difference in fees was substantial. It was particularly tough to hear because the budget was borderline unreasonable to begin with. I’m sure there are some who would look at our willingness to work with the budget with a judging eye, but the fact of the matter is that the client had a finite amount of money to spend, we’d limited the licensing as much as we could and the photographer rarely, if ever, shoots five figure budget projects. No matter what, the client could not spend more than 10k. For some, that’s not nearly enough. For those who are willing, but fail to ask the right questions (ie ignoring a client’s budgetary threshold) end up carelessly undervaluing their work, seriously undercutting the market.

Ask the uncomfortable questions. Usually they are only uncomfortable for you.

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 needsβ€”from small stock sales to big ad campaigns.

Pricing & Negotiating: IEEE Spectrum Magazine Contract

byΒ Bill Cramer

While I’ve shot my share of assignments for name-brand publications over the years, I’ve enjoyed working for niche magazines just as much.Β IEEE SpectrumΒ is one that you won’t find on any magazine rack unless you happen to be standing in an engineering school library. Published monthly by theΒ Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, they have 380,000 readers. My dad was one of those readers. He was an electrical engineer (you can’t spell geek without β€œE.E.”). He thought enough of the magazine that we transported stacks and stacks of them to California when we moved there in the 70β€²s (then back to PA four years later). So, I always have a little extra sense of purpose when I get to shoot for them.

I recently got a call from their photo editor, Randi Silberman Klett, to make some pictures for their annual β€œDream Jobs” issue. She asked me to photograph a guy named Simon Hager, who runs a program for high school students in Philadelphia calledΒ The Sustainability Workshop. Most of his work focuses on teaching kids how to build electric cars. Even though I had shot assignments for Spectrum before, it was time for a new contract.Β Some magazinesΒ have contracts that last indefinitely.Β OthersΒ send out a new contract with each assignment. Spectrum prefers to renew their contract with their photographers each year.

Here’s a look at it:


Here are my comments:

1) Photographer Responsibilities. They set up a purchase order with a budget that you’ll never reach. It says $40k here, but I’ve never billed them for more than a few thousand dollars a year.

2) Rights Granted to IEEE.

a) First worldwide publication rights in any form. Theirs exclusively for 90 days from first publication, non-exclusive after that. This implies to me that they can use the pictures in subsequent editions of the magazine without additional fee. That’s not ideal, but it’s unlikely enough that I decided it wasn’t worth fighting for.

b) Use of the pictures in the context of the magazine, to promote Spectrum, as well as use of my likeness. If I was famous, I would probably want to get paid for that. But I’m not.

c) Use in article reprints only after agreeing on a separate fee. Many photographers underestimate the value ofΒ article reprints. But I’ve sold enough to know that they are generally worth more (sometimes much more) than the original assignment. Though some magazines try to bundle those rights into the shoot fee, it makes more sense to separate them.

d) Electronic use is included. Fine.

e) Photographer retains copyright. Naturally.

3) Compensation. 600.00/day vs. space. Historically, it’s been customary for magazines to structure their fees in terms of aΒ day rate against space. This way, the photographer makes a nominal fee for one or two small pictures, and the fee automatically scales up when the magazine uses more or bigger pictures or if they use one on the cover. It’s an elegant system for magazines, who don’t always know in advance how they’re going to use the pictures. In this case, Spectrum is agreeing to pay 600.00/day at a minimum. If your picture appears a full-page or larger, you get an extra 200.00. And if it shows up on the cover, you get an additional 1200.00. I like that they’re paying for space, but the wording is a little vague. Do you get paid the same amount if your picture runs one full-page or two full-pages?

4) Expenses. You’re an independent contractor. You’re going to provide receipts to get reimbursed for expenses. Sure.

5) Timing and Form of Submission. You’re going to turn in your photos on time. Of course.

6) Warranties. You made the pictures and they aren’t obscene. Okay.

7) Indemnification. You agree to pay for Spectrum’s attorney’s fees if you do anything to get them sued. This sounds pretty scary, but then you read further and discover that the limit of your liability is the amount of the assignment fee. I think that’s very reasonable. In an ideal world, they would likewise indemnify the photographer in cases where they do something to get the photographer sued.

8) Termination. They can terminate an assignment at any time, though they’ll pay you some or all of your fee depending on how much work you have put in on the project. Fine.

9) IEEE is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Nice to know.

10) Entire Agreement. Okay.

Overall, I think it’s a pretty fair contract. I give it β€œtwo thumbs up!”

I shot the assignment. Simon and his students were super-cooperative and photogenic. Their workshop turnout out to be a big, old warehouse that provided a great backdrop for the photos and there were tons of props to work with. If only every assignment was this easy! Here’s theΒ web gallery.

Randi loved the pictures. She used one for the opener, across nearly two full-pages (I didn’t make the cover – rats!) She also used a second picture about a half-page. Here’s how it looked in the magazine:



I was thrilled with the display, plus it was nice to know that there would be some extra space rate. But looking at the contract, I couldn’t figure out what it should be. I emailed Randi and she told me to bill her 800.00 for the big picture and 600.00 for the small one. I saw the logic that the big picture was β€œβ€¦used at a full page or greater ($200 additional).” Meaning that it was the 600.00 day rate plus an extra 200.00 for that first picture being big. But as far as I can tell, the 600.00 for the second picture was arbitrary. Not that I’m complaining, I think it’s fair. (After all, I’m the one who signed an ambiguous contract.) If we were counting space in a more typical fashion, thinking in terms of 600.00/day vs. 600.00/page, I would count about 1100.00 for the opener (nearly 2 pages at 600.00) and 400.00 for the additional picture (about 2/3 of 600.00), resulting in 1500.00 rather than 1400.00. But what’s 100.00 between friends? I was happy with the fee. (I probably would have asked for more clarification ahead of time if it wasn’t a client that I didn’t know and trust.)

My expenses were pretty typical. One assistant at 250.00. Web gallery at 300.00. Strobe rental at 300.00. Two file preps at 25.00, and mileage. I bought my assistant lunch, but I usually don’t bill meals unless it’s a full-day assignment. Here’s my invoice:


Please let us know what you think in the comments. And read more about our Pricing & Negotiating services on our new ConsultingΒ page.

Pricing & Negotiating: Shooting Real Patients For Regional Hospital Advertising

byΒ Craig OppenheimerΒ Wonderful Machine

Shoot Concept:Β Portraits of real patients against a seamless background in a studio and environmental portraits at a single location

Licensing:Β Advertising and Collateral use of eight images for one year, geographically limited to two states in the US

Location:Β Β A studio and a house located in the Northeast

Shoot Days:Β Two

Photographer:Β Portraiture specialist based in the Midwest

Agency:Β Large NY-based agency

Client:Β Large hospital based in the Northeast

Here is the estimate:



The concept for the shoot was pretty straightforward. The agency wanted to photograph four former patients of the hospital in a studio against a seamless background with minimal props, and then photograph four additional patients, each with family members in a single residential environment. While each portrait and scenario would be unique, it was likely that there’d be one image from the studio shoot and one image from the location shoot that would ultimately end up in advertisements, and the rest would be used on the client’s website and in collateral pieces. Based on the geographic limitation of two states and the limited time frame of just one year’s use, I priced the first studio image and first environmental image at $4,000 each, and then priced the rest of the images at $2,000 each. These fees were also based on previous projects I’ve estimated for similar clients, and I had a good sense of what a client like this might be willing to pay. The agency asked us to provide a price for an option to extend the licensing to two years, and I felt that and additional 50% of our fee was appropriate for this extension option.

After coming up with these fees, I checked them against other pricing resources. Getty priced one image around $3,000 for use in a full page print ad for one year, and around $2,500 for use in brochures and in direct mail pieces for one year as well. This didn’t completely cover all of the possible uses that our licensing would cover, and it also didn’t take into account the limited distribution in just two states within the US. Blinkbid priced one image similarly to the combined Getty rate at up to $5,500 for use in advertising and collateral pieces for one year. Fotoquote offered a package for β€œall advertising and marketing”, and suggested a price of $4,000-$8,000 when the licensing was limited to just a few states (as opposed to around $20,000 for the entire US).

Assistants:Β The photographer would be traveling in to the location and bringing his first assistant with him. Five days for the first assistant accounted for one travel day there, one scout day, two shoot days, and one travel day home. The second assistant would be hired locally for the two shoot days.

Digital Tech:Β The tech would also be traveling in for the shoot, and we decided to only charge for their workstation on the shoot days, rather than for all of the travel and shoot days.

Photographer Travel/Pre-Production Days:Β The photographer would be driving in to the shoot, rather than flying, but the drive was long enough to constitute a full travel day on both ends of the shoot. We also estimated for a full scout day before the shoot.

Equipment:Β The photographer would be bringing all of his own equipment and we estimated $1,000 per shoot day. This covered his DSLR camera system, strobes and grip equipment Β at standard rental rates.

Producer:Β This accounted for two prep days to wrangle the crew and organize all of the shoot details, two travel days, one scout day, and two shoot days.

Production Assistant:Β With all of the moving pieces to a shoot like this, we included a PA (who would travel out with the photographer) to be an extra set of hands during the scout and shoot days.

Lodging:Β We accounted for $200/night, and there would be five crew members traveling in and needing accommodations for four nights.

Studio Rental:Β We would just need the studio for one day, and I received this quote directly from a studio in the area.

Hair/Makeup Styling:Β We estimated to have a hair/makeup stylist for the studio shoot day since we’d just be photographing 4 people, and we anticipated them bringing an assistant for the location shoot day since some of those shots would likely be of more than one person, and would therefore require some extra styling.

Wardrobe Styling:Β We anticipated three shopping days, two shoot days and one return day to obtain wardrobe. The stylist would be bringing an assistant to the shoot days to help organize and prep the clothing.

Prop Styling:Β We estimated three shopping days to acquire props, two shoot days and one day to return the props, and their assistant would be present on the shoot days as well as one of the shopping days and return day.

Wardrobe and Props:Β The comps supplied to us were still a bit loose during the estimating process, but through a series of conversations about the project, we determined $350 per person would be adequate for wardrobe (up to 4 people on the first day, and possibly up to 12 people on the second day), and $3,500 would likely cover props in the studio (like chairs and minor environmental items) and at the house (which would already be furnished).

Prop/Wardrobe Van Rental:Β Since there would likely be a lot of clothing to transport, and since some of the props included furniture for the studio, we anticipated needing a rental van to transport these items. We anticipated needing the van for five days, and that it might cost around $125/day. We then rounded up a bit for fuel costs.

Talent Fees and Vendor Payment Processing/Bookkeeping:Β While the talent would be provided, they agency asked the photographer to handle their payment. We were told that they wanted to pay each patient $1,000, and that there might be 16 people. We charged $1,000 for the photographer’s time to handle payment and processing.

Catering:Β We anticipated that there would be 20 people on site during the studio shoot day, and 29 people on the location shoot day, and estimated $55 per person per day for catering. We then rounded up a bit just in case any unanticipated additional client/agency contacts decided to come to the shoot.

Miles, Parking, Meals, Misc.:Β Four people would be traveling in for the shoot, and we estimated a $50 per diem for each person for the five days they’d be traveling ($1,000). On top of this, I calculated that the mileage for all of these people driving in billed at $.565/mile would be about $900. I then added on $200 for both shoot days and the scout day to account for any additional unforeseen expenses that might come up.

Location Scout Days and Location Fee:Β The location would be a residential property, but since the requested shooting city was a bit off the beaten path, we anticipated four days for the location scout to find the perfect spot. After speaking with a scout in the area, we determined $2,000 would be more than enough for the type of residential property we hoped to find.

Production RV:Β In my experience, a production RV has proven to be well worth the money on shoots where a big crew is shooting in a small space. We estimated to have an RV on the one day on location to be used as a hair/makeup/wardrobe staging area and a space for the agency/client to relax and have Wi-Fi if needed.

Housekeeping:Β I noted that in addition to the talent and releases, the client/agency would also handle all post processing include a drive to transfer the images on at the end of the shoot.

Results:Β The photographer was awarded the job.

Hindsight:Β In determining the initial shoot/licensing fee, it is important to consider all of the factors impacting the value to the client and incorporate appropriate β€œdiscounts” based on those factors. That’s how you end up with an appropriate number. However, I don’t think duration and volume discounts should necessarily apply to options or extensions. First of all, most of our clients aren’t breaking down fees in the same way we are. Secondly, production expenses need to be factored into the equation to some degree. As we priced it here, exercising the usage extension would increase the bottom line by a mere 10% while increasing the duration of use by 100%. That doesn’t necessarily correlate to a 100% increase in value to the client, but it is almost certainly an increase in value greater than 10%. Whenever possible/appropriate, push for a straight prorate when it comes to usage extensions and options. In hindsight, I think we should have priced the extension at 20k.

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 needsβ€”from small stock sales to big ad campaigns.

Pricing & Negotiating: Album Cover and Collateral for Rock Band

By Craig Oppenheimer Wonderful Machine

Shoot Concept: Environmental group shots and individual portraits of a well-known band.

Licensing: Advertising, Collateral and Publicity use of 12 images for 1 year. However, the images would primarily be for use on the album cover and in the album booklet.

Location: An outdoor scenic location in California.

Shoot Days: 1

Photographer: Lifestyle and Landscape Specialist.

Client: Grammy Award-winning alternative rock band represented by a mid-sized record label with offices in the US and UK.

Here is the estimate:

estimate_termsClick to enlarge 

Creative/Licensing: The record label originally approached the photographer with a request to create 12 images of the band. One of the images would be placed on the cover of the band’s upcoming album, and the other images would end up inside the album’s multi-page art booklet. It was also likely that the images would appear on the band’s website, iTunes page, various collateral pieces, merchandise and publicity materials.

Before speaking with the record label about their budget, I had an idea of what we might be up against. The music industry is notorious for paying very little while obtaining a lot in the way of licensing. While larger budgets might be available for shoots with big name artists, those projects account for a very small percentage of the shoots that take place in the music industry. Based on a few other projects I’ve worked on in the past, my inclination was that the photographer could expect to get around $5,000-$6,000 for his creative/licensing fee plus expenses, and I was hoping to limit the licensing as much as possible.

When I spoke with the record label, I learned that they had a bottom line budget of $12,500 for the project, and they wanted this to not only cover all creative/licensing fees and production expenses for the shoot, but also to include the layout and design of the album booklet. The photographer and I decided to create an estimate that was appropriate for his photography work only, and leave the design services out of the conversation because it wasn’t a service he offered.

When compiling the estimate, I tried to keep as much of the budget in the creative/licensing fee while also factoring in payment for pre/post production (all of which adds to the photographer’s β€œeffective fee”). In most cases, I approach the creative/licensing fee first to determine what I believe is appropriate without taking a budget into account. However, in this case, I laid out all of the expenses, and determined that the amount left over in the budget lined up with my expectations for what his creative/licensing fee should be.

Before submitting the estimate, I did check a few other pricing resources. Getty priced one image for β€œretail product and packaging” use on the cover of up to 500,000 products for 1 year at $2,300. Corbis had a specific pricing category for CD packaging, and priced 1 image just under $2,000 including use on the cover as well as inside of up to 500,000 albums for 1 year. FotoQuote priced a similar use at $2,700 and BlinkBid didn’t offer specific pricing guidelines for this use. While they would be obtaining licensing for 12 images above and beyond album cover use, extrapolating the prices suggested by Corbis and Getty would put us far outside of a range I felt was appropriate for a project and client like this.

Assistant: The photographer paid his assistant a bit higher than the rates I typically include, and we would only need him for the one shoot day.

Digital Tech Day Including Workstation: The digital tech would help to manage the flow of file intake and display for client approval on location, and I included $500 for their day plus $750 for the workstation.

Location Scout: The record label/band wanted to shoot at a β€œscenic” location, and suggested the possibility of photographing the band on a beach. This opened the door to a lot of possibilities in California, and we included two days for the photographer to scout locations in his hometown. If he wanted to outsource this task to a professional location scout, this would have also covered their time and expenses as well.

Location Fees/Permits: I spoke with a few scouts local to the area, and we determined that a few hundred dollars would cover a permit for a single location and the time it would take to acquire it.

Photographer Pre-Production Day: Before the shoot, the photographer planned to meet the band and the record label contacts to discuss his approach. He’d also be arranging transportation, hiring his crew, managing the scouting results and essentially acting as a producer to pull everything together, all of which we charged for his time to do.

Van/Prop Rental: The only prop that would be needed for the shoot was a vintage van that the band would be posing in front of. The photographer happened to have a friend who owned just the right vehicle they were looking for, and he negotiated this fee for the van to be used and driven to/from the location.

Equipment: This would cover 2 camera bodies (~$400), several lenses (~$100), a couple power packs and heads (~$200) as well as additional modifiers, reflectors and grip equipment (~$100)

Basic Color Correction and Delivery of All Images on Hard Drive: While the client would only be obtaining licensing to 12 images, they wanted all of the hi-res images delivered to them on a hard drive. This covered the photographer’s time to do a minor edit of the files and deliver them to the client.

Miles, Parking, Meals, Misc: I included a few hundred dollars just to cover any minor unforeseen additional expenses on the shoot day.

Feedback: While the client wanted their original budget to include the design work, they were willing to seek out a designer and come up with a separate budget for that. The only other feedback they provided was that the photographer had to sign a work made for hire agreement, which was not originally discussed despite clearly stating the requested usage in the estimate and defining the language in our terms and conditions agreement. After I explained the differences between the licensing in our estimate and their work made for hire contract, the label asked to see a revised estimate showing fees based on their requirements. Given the fact that we were already a bit over their budget (and the fact they’d still need to pay for the design work separately) I knew we probably couldn’t push the price up that much. After a series of phone calls and candid discussions about their budget, we ultimately presented this final estimate:

estimate_terms_wmfhClick to enlarge 

Results: The photographer was awarded the project, and the images will be featured on the band’s upcoming album. Here is the contract they presented:

WORK-FOR-HIRE-2013_original_Redacted-1Click to enlarge 

We were able to tweak the terms of this contract to be more in line with our terms/conditions, specifically in regards to turnaround time, payment, indemnification, and the fact that the fees were a good faith estimate and that actual time and expenses would ultimately be invoiced. Lastly, I revised their contract to say that they would need to register the images with the US copyright office, rather than the photographer doing this (which should be part of every photographer’s workflow).

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 needsβ€”from small stock sales to big ad campaigns.


Pricing & Negotiating: Portraits of Real Customers for Advertising Shoot

by Jess Dudley Wonderful Machine

Shoot Concept: Environmental portraits of real customers/users on location.

Licensing: National Advertising (Print, Web and OOH) and Collateral use (in all media) of up to eight β€œhero” images for three years from shoot date. We used specific language requested by the agency: unlimited national print, in-store signage, OOH electronic media and online video use.

Location: Four homes/small businesses in Southern California.

Shoot Days: Three.

Photographer: Seasoned East Coast based lifestyle and portrait shooter.

Agency: Large, based in New York.

Client: Prominent electronics manufacturer with a household name.

Here’s the initial estimate:
Click to enlarge.Click to enlarge.

Here’s how I arrived at those numbers:

Concept/Licensing: The agency came to us with four distinct concepts/ads, each portraying a specific product in use at home or in a business. The client had already selected the talent (real customers), from a casting they did using social media, that considered the subject’s look, their space and their story. The photographer was charged with covering two situations with each person at their home or business; one portrait, posed with product, the other candid, product in use. Since two of the locations were relatively close to one another, we were asked to quote it assuming we could double up the talent and locations on one of the three shoot days.

When determining licensing fees, I usually value the first image higher than the rest. It is not uncommon for a client to build a campaign around a single hero image and then have several supporting images. For projects that feature only one concept/product but ask for alternate talent, wardrobe or slight compositional variations, I routinely set the value of the first image based on the licensing, concept and complexity, then determine a percentage value for each additional image, typically dropping down to 50-75% the value of the first image. The reason being that each of the slightly varied additional images doesn’t go that much farther to help the end client convey their message. In cases where the concepts vary to target different audiences, emphasize different product features, or promote different products made by the same client, I will assign a higher percentage to the additional images, 75-100% the value of the first. In this case, the client makes two different product lines, one for business, one for home. They also make a variety of products within each of those segments. For those reasons, I decided to set the fee for the four portraits at one rate, and the candid variation at 50% of that price.

Considering the use, size/prominence of the client & agency, number of images, various brand messages achieved, volume of work/shoot days, and the photographer’s experience, I set the fee at 8000.00 for each of the four portraits and 4000.00 for each of the candids. For the purposes of the estimate, I bundled it all together as an overall licensing/creative fee of 48000.00. Blinkbid’s bid consultant provided a range of 9450.00-13,500.00 per image, or 226,800.00-324,000.00 for all eight. Corbis quoted 17,500.00 per image for the first year and didn’t have a three year option for the quote pack I’d selected. Fotoquote suggested 30,976.00 per image for the use. None of these resources readily factor in any discount for additional images/variations or the prominence of the client, but they still offer great perspective.

Photographer Travel/Tech-Scout Days: The photographer would need two full travel days and a tech/scout day to get a sense of the locations and talent/subjects before the shoot.

Producer Days: The producer (me in this case) is responsible for coordinating travel, scheduling and crew. This takes the pressure off the photographer. It’s the producer’s job to plan and coordinate the logistics so the photographer can focus on the making great pictures. I estimated two prep days, two travel, one tech/scout, three shoot and one wrap day. When the photographer is traveling, it is not unusual to bring his/her local producer.

First Assistant Days: The photographer would be bringing his first assistant. It is standard for a photographer to travel with a first. Since the photographer shoots with minimal lighting, only one trusted photo assistant was necessary.

Digital Tech Days: The photographer would be shooting tethered to allow for immediate image review and layout composting. The rate included the tech’s fee, a supped up 27β€³ iMac and all the necessary accouterments.

Equipment Rental: The photographer would be shooting with Canon DLSRs and lenses, basic grip equipment and a few Profoto packs/heads for supplemental light (if needed).

Image Processing for Editing: This fee covers the time, equipment and costs to handle the basic color correction, edit and upload of all of the images to an FTP for client review. Depending on number of shoot days and estimated number of scenarios/images, this rate can vary.

Selects Processed for Reproduction: This per image processing fee for the photographer to handle basic processing (color correction and blemish removal) for the client selects. Anything over and above the basic processing would be considered retouching and be billed at 150.00/hr, which is covered in the terms and conditions.

Location Scout Day: Even though the casting process required submission of scouting shots of each subject’s space, we wanted to get a professional out get some quality shots of each of the selected spaces to make sure we weren’t walking into any unusually difficult scenarios. I also wanted him to check out orientation, windows, and parking options.

Wardrobe Styling: We’d need a stylist to source wardrobe for each of the talent. Two options for each, one for the posed, one for the candid. I estimated two days to shop, three days for the shoot and one day to return. We budgeted 200.00 in non-returnable items for each wardrobe change.

Prop Styling: The prop stylist would need to purchase supplemental props to augment or update each space. We estimated two days for shopping, three days of shooting and one day of return for the stylist, one day of prep and three shoot days for the assistant, 500.00 in non-returnable props per location, and five days of prop-truck/van rental.

Groomer: Since we would only be shooting one talent at a time, we could get away with one wardrobe stylist and one make-up stylist who can also handle light wardrobe adjustments on set (a groomer). We included the groomer for all three shoot days

Airfare, Lodging and Car Rentals: Using Kayak, I priced out airfare & baggage costs, lodging and car rentals for the photographer, assistant & producer. I was sure to also include any taxes, fees, insurance and gas necessary.

Catering: I estimated three days of catering for 12 people at 50.00pp/day.

RV Days: Even though we were being provided indoor locations, I wanted to make sure our crew had the space to handle wardrobe, HMU and gear. RV’s also give the client/agency a space to hang out while shots are being set up and catering a place to stage.

Miles, Parking, FTP, Misc: I included costs for traveling meals, dinners, parking (at the hotel and airport), mileage, FTP for file upload and a little bit to cover any miscellaneous expenses that may arise.

Housekeeping: I made sure to indicate that the client/agency would be responsible for providing all advance scouting, casting, talent, locations and releases. Since these are all elements that might normally be included in a production estimate, I wanted to make certain it was clear that, as discussed, we would not be providing any of them and that the client or agency would be responsible for each.Β  Lastly, I noted that a 50% advance would be required.

At first, the art buyer told me that our numbers looked good, but then she called back a little later to say that they had another photographer who was willing to give them unrestricted use of all the pictures – for $10k less than we were bidding. She asked what we could do to match that. I have to admit, it’s a little annoying when a client asked us to meet another bidder’s licensing terms. After all, you can find any photographer to bid any price and terms. And it’s not reasonable to expect to have the pictures from one photographer at the price of another. I had a good enough relationship with the art buyer that I was able to call her out on this, asking that she ask the other photographer to raise his rates to meet ours. But, she wouldn’t do that. She also told us that the client wanted to license β€œouttakes” from the shoot to use on their website. And even though the client only wanted to use them on their website, they wanted the licensing to match that of the hero shots. Not being comfortable just licensing some unlimited number of images, we settled on an additional 32 images. Now, just because a client asks for something doesn’t mean you have to do it. I was pretty confident that my photographer was competing on quality rather than price, so while I didn’t feel that we need to match the other photographer’s terms we did decide to bend, coming down 3000.00 on the fee and including use of 40 images. Adding in the additional processing fees for the β€œouttakes” actually brought us back up above our original quote.

Here’s the final estimate:
Click to enlarge.Click to enlarge.

After a few days, the job was officially awarded to us and I immediately set to work on the production. The shoot went well and the agency, client and photographer were all thrilled with the results.

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 needsβ€”from small stock sales to big ad campaigns.

Pricing and Negotiating: Advertising and Collateral for a Prepared Foods Manufacturer

By Craig Oppenheimer, Wonderful Machine

Shoot Concept: Images of plated food (soups, entrees and sauces)

Licensing: Advertising and Collateral use of 42 images in perpetuity

Location: In a studio local to the photographer

Shoot Days: 5

Photographer: Midwestern Food and Portraiture Specialist

Agency: Small Ad Agency in the Northwest

Client: Prepared Foods Manufacturer in the Northwest

Here’s the estimate:


Creative/Licensing: The agency approached the photographer with a request to photograph 42 items for their client who primarily makes prepared soups. The client was branching out into manufacturing other items besides soup, and they needed images to showcase 8 sauces, 8 entrees, 10 soups and 16 holiday food items. We received one comp of a close up of a bowl of soup, and we were told that they didn’t have any other specific information on the complexity of the dishes that needed to be captured. The agency mentioned that they were anticipating 5 days of shooting, and this meant that the photographer would need to shoot at least 8 dishes a day, plus one day where he would photograph 10 dishes…no small task.

When I spoke with the account director at the agency, she told me that they were planning to use the images in web ads, on product packaging, on their website and potentially in other printed collateral pieces (although she couldn’t think of any likely examples), and they intended on using these images for 5-10 years. I learned that not only is it rare for this client to manufacture new items, but also that the client has never done a shoot of this scale before and didn’t set a specific budget. This told me that while the shelf life was lengthy for these photos, the client might be easily scared away by an exorbitant bottom line.

Based on their licensing needs, and due to the inexperienced client and the small size of the agency, I chose to price the first four images in the main categories (sauces, soups, entrΓ©es and holiday items) at $3,000 each. I figured that the images of their best selling items in each category would be the ones featured in advertisements, and that all of the other images were worth a bit less due to a decreased level of exposure. So, for the second and third image in each category, I dropped the fee for each one to a quarter of the full price (8 images at $750 each totaling $6,000), and then lowered it to a sixth of the full price for the fourth and fifth items in each category (8 images at $500 each totaling $4,000) and then priced the remaining 22 images at one-tenth the full price ($300 each totaling $6,600). This all tallied up to $28,600. This felt a bit high based on other projects I’ve estimated for food clients, so I ultimately decided to drop it down a bit to $25,000 which also helped to keep the bottom line under $70,000.

After coming up with my own fee, I checked it against other resources. Getty would price that first image in each group at $2,530 ($735 for the web ads, $1,225 for the packaging, and $570 for the website use) for 3 years. This was in line with the $3,000/image I originally came up with. Blinkbid priced 1 image at $4,500 for β€œwebsite” and β€œcollateral” use for 1 year, and FotoQuote also priced 1 image at $4,500 for their β€œweb pack” which includes web advertising and use on a client’s website, however this didn’t include packaging use.

Assistants: In order to stay on pace with the schedule each day, we’d need the first assistant available for a prep day before the shoot to set up everything, and then both assistants would be there for all of the shoot days

Digital Tech: We’d also need the tech for the prep day and each shoot day, and we included his workstation equipment in the equipment line.

Producer: The photographer had a producer he worked with at $600/day (a bit lower than I might include typically) and he’d be a crucial part of the shoot to make sure each day stayed on schedule.

Photographer Prep Day: This was for his time to set up in the studio the day before the shoot

Prop Stylist and Props: We didn’t actually need a prop stylist on set, but we did need someone to gather all of the necessary items and drop them off at the studio. The food stylists would be able to collaborate with the photographer for prop placement in each shot. While a handful of the items would be reused, the prop budget included items such as bowls, plates, cutlery, and tabletops. After speaking with a prop stylist, we decided it could take between $50-$100 per shot in props, which would be between $2,100-$4,200. Also, since we didn’t know how many items could be reused, the prop stylist needed ample time to source unique items, come to the prep day to drop them off and sort them, and then return any unused items after the shoot. The veteran stylist I spoke to recommended that I include 6-7 days for her, but I felt that this was too high, so I included 5 days…which I still felt was on the high side.

Food Stylists and Assistants: I included 5 shoot days for two teams of stylists with their assistants, and also included an extra day for the primary food stylist to shop for supplemental food before the shoot. In order to shoot 42 dishes in 5 days, there would need to be 2 teams of food stylists with their assistants, and they would also need to follow a very strict schedule to complete the project on time. To help us think through how this would work, we created the following chart:


The chart details the schedule for each team over a 10-hour day. The numbers and letters in each slot correspond to the dish number and team. For example, 1a means the first dish for team A, and 3b means the third dish for team B. This schedule would allow the food stylist’s assistant to prepare a dish for 2 straight hours, one hour of which the food stylist would be lending a hand. After the hour when the stylist and their assistant prep the dish together, the food stylist will then spend one hour with the photographer shooting that dish while the food stylist’s assistant begins to prep the next dish. The photographer would switch back and forth between the two different teams with their own sets.

Supplemental Food: The client would be providing the majority of food, but the stylists would need supplemental items (like garnishes) to make the prepared foods look their best.

Studio Rental: The studio we had in mind had a weekly rate of $2,500. I included an additional $300 that the studio would charge for the few hours of prep time before the shoot days.

Equipment Rental: We always recommend that photographers charge for their own equipment. However, this photographer decided that he didn’t want to. The fee here represents $500 per shoot day for the tech’s workstation rental. The tech would be using a laptop on the prep day.

Image Processing for Editing: This covers theΒ time, equipment and costs to handle the initial import, edit and upload of images for client review.

Selects Processed for Reproduction: 42 final images would be further processed and delivered.

Catering: I included catering for 12 people at $35 each for the 5 shoot days, plus and additional $600 for dinner on the day that there would be overtime.

OT Hours: On one of the shoot days the crew would need to stay an extra 4 hours in order obtain images of 2 additional shots needed in order to capture 42 dishes. I arrived at this number by calculating eachΒ crew member’sΒ hourly rate (based on an 8 hour day) and multiplying by 4.

Miles, Parking, FTP, Insurance, Misc: I included an additional $100 per shoot day to cover these miscellaneous expenses.

Housekeeping: I made sure to note that the all of the manufacturer’s food products would be provided to the photographer, and noted the advance requirements.

Results: The account director told us that this estimate was competitive and definitely in line with the other bids they received, but they ultimately decided to hire a photographer located in the same city as the agency and client. The decision was also a creative one, as the client preferred the style of the other photographer.

Hindsight: If I had known that we were bidding against photographers local to the client and agency, and I was also told beforehand that our bottom line was comparable, I would have tried to adjust our estimate appropriately to offset any travel costs potentially incurred by agency/client representatives to fly out to our photographer’s city.


Pricing and Negotiating: In-Store Display for National Retailer

By Craig Oppenheimer, Wonderful Machine

Shoot Concept: Beauty shots of professional talent in a studio

Licensing: Β Use of three images in any media (excluding Outdoor and Broadcast) in North America for 2 years. Although we avoid vague language whenever possible, the client insisted on using this language, effectively conveying Advertising, Collateral and Publicity use of the images as defined in our T&C.

Location: A studio in New York

Shoot Days: 1

Photographer: Up-and-coming beauty and fashion specialist

Agency: Mid-sized, based in the Midwest.

Client: Prominent retailer with approximately 2,000 stores in North America.

Here is the initial estimate:



When the project was first presented to us, the scope was to capture individual close-up portraits of three female talent. We were presented with a creative deck that included these three shots along with details for additional projects featuring product and lifestyle images, which told us that our shoot would just be one part of a larger overall project. The creative deck also made it clear that the primary use of the images was for in-store displays, but this didn’t quite match up to the broader use that the client requested.

Upon speaking with the art buyer I learned that theirΒ intended use was limited to in-store display and use on their website (no additional advertising or printed collateral) and would likely be up in the stores for less than a year (rather than 2 years which they’d requested). It’s often the case that a client’sΒ requested use doesn’t correspond with theirΒ intended use. In cases like this, we do our best to structure the licensing language to be more in line with theΒ intended use. In this instance, however, I was told that limiting the licensing would not be an option.

The fact that this shoot was part of a larger project and that the photographer was eager to land his first assignment of this scale put downward pressure on how I approached his creative/licensing fee. However, the size and prominence of the client as well as the exposure level of the images put upward pressure on the fee. Another factor to consider was the value of each image in proportion to one another. Typically a shot list can inform you as to which shot might end up being the β€œhero” image and likely used in a much broader way than the others. Many times I will price the β€œhero” image (or scenario) at full price, and then discount additional images of the same nature. However, in this case, each of the three images were unique and would be promoting a different line of products for the retailer, and therefore I thought they should all be priced at their full value, which after weighing all of the factors, I determined was $5,000 each.

I checked my fee for the intended use against a few other pricing resources to see how they compared. Getty suggested $3,200 for in-store display use with a circulation of up to 5,000 for 2 years, and Corbis recommended $2,350 for this same use. FotoQuote suggested $2,700 for this use (although they didn’t offer an option to limit the timeframe) and BlinkBid didn’t have a breakdown for this specific use.Β  While I took these rates into account, they however did not include all of the additional licensing the client would actually be obtaining (even though they were unlikely to take advantage of it) above and beyond theirΒ intended use.

Assistants: I included two assistants to lend a hand with the lighting, grip and equipment.

Digital Tech: I included $500 for the digital tech, and then added on $750 for the workstation. The digital tech would help to manage the flow of file intake and display for client approval on set.

Stylists: For a beauty shoot, the hair and make-up styling is much more important than it would be on most other types of campaigns, so the client is typically involved in the stylist selection process. I secured quotes from experienced and represented hair stylists and makeup stylists. These rates include a typical 20% that a talent agency will add on to the stylist’s day rate. For many shoots I’d hire someone to handle both hair and makeup, but for a beauty shoot, it’s more appropriate to hire stylists with specific skills. Β Sometimes stylists will bring their own assistants if many people need to be styled, but since we were only planning to shoot three talent, they did not need any extra support.

Producer: I included three days for a producer to handle the pre/post production (hiring the crew, booking the studio, arranging catering, facilitating the invoicing) as well as to be on set to make sure the day went according to plan.

Studio Rental: There are a ton of options for studios in NY ranging from small loft style shooting spaces to large soundstages. We didn’t need a giant space, so I aimed for a medium size studio at a convenient mid-town location.

Casting Days: When I started to speak with casting agents, I learned that many of them had previous experience working on shoots for this client, and they recommended that we account for 2 days of casting since the client may be quite picky. This fee covered the casting agent’s time, shooting space and booking of the talent.

Adult Talent: I settled on this rate after speaking with a few casting agents and obtaining their opinions on the fee for a shoot/usage of this nature. This was tricky since the requested usage was quite broad, but the intended use of the talent’s likeness was rather restricted (hmmm…this sounds familiar). We determined that a rate of $6,000.00/talent would bring in a decent pool to choose from.

Equipment: This would cover 2 camera bodies (~$400) a few lenses (~$100), a couple power packs and heads (~$350) as well as additional modifiers, reflectors and grip equipment (~$150)

Image Processing for Editing: This covered the time, equipment and costs to handle the basic color correction, edit and upload of all of the images to an FTP for client review.

Selects Processed for Reproduction: I worked with the photographer to determine an average of three hours to retouch each photo. Though the photographer would be handling the retouching in house, we priced it at $150/hr to ensure all costs would be covered should we have to farm it out unexpectedly.

Catering: I’ll often include $35/person for light breakfast and lunch catering, but things tend to get pricey in NYC, so I bumped it up to $50/person.

Miles, Parking, FTP, Misc: This was to cover any additional minor miscellaneous expenses during the shoot day.

Feedback: After reviewing our initial estimate, the client decided to trim the concept down from three images to two. They also told us that they weren’t interested in a live casting, and preferred to hire talent based on images in their onlineΒ portfolios. This was surprising to hear because casting from cards/portfolio is a somewhat riskyΒ maneuverΒ since there’s no way of knowing whether or not the images are current. With the caliber of agency we were working with, it wasn’t aΒ seriousΒ concern, but it was definitely worthΒ reiteratingΒ to the client. They also capped their talent budget at $5,000 per talent for five hours of their time on set and the usage. Their last piece of feedback was that the client rarely spends more than $8000-9000 on β€œbeauty shoots”, however, they couldn’t tell me how the requested licensing for this project compared to that of their previous similar shoots.

On top of those changes, they were willing to limit the licensing duration (although they initially said this wasn’t an option) to six months. It still includedΒ broaderΒ usage than they needed, but the reduced duration and number of images was a justification for dropping the fee to work with their budget. Here is the final estimate:


Results: The photographer was awarded the project, and I produced the shoot. The images will be in stores later this year.

Hindsight: While we were able to stay within the overall budget for the shoot, equipment costs ended up being higher than anticipated. The photographer required moreΒ equipmentΒ than initially discussed and the studio we booked insisted that they provide any rented equipment, and their equipment rented at a premium. If I had to estimate a project like this again, I’d probably include close to $1,000 for the digital tech’s gear and $1,300 for the photographer’s equipment.

After the estimate was approved and pre-production was progressing, I was discussing usage terminology listed on a talent contract provided by the client with the art buyer. The contract listed β€œunlimited” usage in addition to β€œin-store marketing” and β€œdigital”. I try to refrain from using the word β€œunlimited” (and even β€œdigital”) in general, and from my point of view it seemed redundant to list β€œunlimited” use and then specify a specific media. However, upon clarification, the agency/client understood β€œunlimited” to essentially mean β€œunlimited insertions” rather than β€œunlimited media”. For instance, they did not want to put a limitation on the number of printed posters they could hang in the store. While I tried to obtain clarification on this at the beginning of the estimating process, if I knew from the start that their request for β€œunlimited” use was really about unlimited useΒ within in-store display and web collateral, I may have approached the fees differently.

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


Pricing & Negotiating: Regional Fashion Magazine

By Bill Cramer, Wonderful Machine

I recently was approached by a regional fashion magazine needing some advice on their photographer and photo director contracts. They had encountered some push-back on them and they wanted to know what they could do to make the agreements a little more palatable. The documents have three parts, an Independent Contractor Agreement (which would be for all vendors, like photographers, illustrators, stylists, etc.), Schedule A which spells out details specific to each individual contributor, and a Photography Director section explaining the expectations of that job. Here’s what I had to say:


I hope you had a nice holiday season. I had a chance to sit down with your contributor contract today, and here are my thoughts (in bold). My main recommendation would be for you to license more limited use of the photos. I can understand why you would want to own all of the photographs outright. However, this provision is so far out of the mainstream that you will have trouble finding a decent photographer to agree to it. Or put another way, a more reasonable contract will afford you the opportunity to work with better photographers.

I think it would be reasonable to ask for first editorial print use in your main magazine and use in your other publications for a period of three months (which matches up with the compensation terms). New uses after that could be compensated with a renewal of the 2% commission for that new period or with a simple rate structure for the different uses you commonly need and then negotiate for anything unusual that might come up.

My other concern is that the language is unnecessarily complex. You’re not really paying photographers enough for them to hire an attorney to review your contract. The stakes are pretty low for you and the photographer/photo director. It would be better to find an attorney who understands the magazine business well enough to simplify the language sufficiently for the average person to understand it while still protecting your interests (and the contractor’s).

I hope that’s helpful. Please let me know if you have any questions.




This Agreement is entered into as of the _____ day of __________, ______, between Xxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxx, LLC d.b.a. Xxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxx Magazine (β€œthe Company”) and ______________________Β (β€œthe Contractor”).

WHEREAS, the Company is in need of assistance in the area of __Photography________; and WHEREAS, Consultant has agreed to perform consulting work for the Company in ____Photography_________________ services and other related activities for the Company;

NOW, THEREFORE, the parties hereby agree as follows:

1. Independent Contractor. Subject to the terms and conditions of this Agreement, the Company hereby engages the Contractor as an independent contractor to perform the services set forth herein, and the Contractor hereby accepts such engagement.

This paragraph should be combined with paragraph 11 and 24 which cover the same ground.

2. Duties, Term, and Compensation. The Contractor’s duties, term of engagement, compensation and provisions for payment thereof shall be as set forth in the estimate previously provided to the Company by the Contractor and which is attached as Exhibit A, which may be amended in writing from time to time, or supplemented with subsequent estimates for services to be rendered by the Contractor and agreed to by the Company, and which collectively are hereby incorporated by reference.

This is vague. Do you mean to say Schedule A (as it’s written below)? It sounds like you’re saying that Exhibit A (Schedule A) constitutes an estimate (it doesn’t appear that way to me.) Do you mean to say that the Contractor is providing the Company with Exhibit A or that the Company is providing it to the Contractor (it is your form)?

3. Expenses. During the term of this Agreement, expenses for the time spent by Contractor in traveling to and from Company assignments shall not be reimbursable unless otherwise pre-approved in writing by the Company.

What about expenses like models, locations, hair & make-up, props, wardrobe, studios, equipment, catering?

4. Written Reports. The Company may request that project plans, progress reports and a final results report be provided by Contractor on a monthly basis. A final results report shall be due at the conclusion of the project and shall be submitted to the Company in a confidential written report at such time. The results report shall be in such form and setting forth such information and data as is reasonably requested by the Company.

This could be simplified and combined with the 3. Expenses paragraph.

5. Inventions. Any and all inventions, discoveries, developments, contacts and innovations conceived by the Contractor during this engagement relative to the duties under this Agreement shall be the exclusive property of the Company; and the Contractor hereby assigns all right, title, and interest in the same to the Company. Any and all inventions, discoveries, developments and innovations conceived by the Contractor prior to the term of this Agreement and utilized by [him or her] in rendering duties to the Company are hereby licensed to the Company for use in its operations and for an infinite duration. This license is non-exclusive, and may be assigned without the Contractor’s prior written approval by the Company to a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company.

This is not reasonable. Photographers (and writers) aren’t in the business of creating inventions for magazines and Xxxxxxxx is not in the business of buying inventions from its contributors. It appears that your attorney is using a standard legal form and didn’t customize it for your purposes. It would be better for both parties to have an agreement specifically edited for photographers in order to minimize confusion.

6. Confidentiality. The Contractor acknowledges that during the engagement [he or she] will have access to and become acquainted with various trade secrets, inventions, innovations, processes, information, records and specifications owned or licensed by the Company and/or used by the Company in connection with the operation of its business including, without limitation, the Company’s business and product processes, methods, customer lists, accounts and procedures. The Contractor agrees that [he or she] will not disclose any of the aforesaid, directly or indirectly, or use any of them in any manner, either during the term of this Agreement or at any time thereafter, except as required in the course of this engagement with the Company. All files, records, contacts, documents, blueprints, specifications, information, letters, notes, media lists, original artwork/creative, notebooks, and similar items relating to the business of the Company, whether prepared by the Contractor or otherwise coming into [his or her] possession, shall remain the exclusive property of the Company. The Contractor shall not retain any copies of the foregoing without the Company’s prior written permission. Upon the expiration or earlier termination of this Agreement, or whenever requested by the Company, the Contractor shall immediately deliver to the Company all such files, records, documents, specifications, information, and other items in [his or her] possession or under [his or her] control.

The confidentiality is fine, but it’s not logical to combine that provision with the ownership of the images. This paragraph says that photographs created by the photographer are the property of the magazine. That’s unnecessarily antagonistic and not reasonable for your modest budget. You’re going to beΒ able to work with a wider pool of talented photographers if you simply licenseΒ the usage you actually need to produce your magazine and then negotiate additionalΒ usages separately.

7. Conflicts of Interest; Non-hire Provision. The Contractor represents that [he or she] is free to enter into this Agreement, and that this engagement does not violate the terms of any agreement between the Contractor and any third party. Further, the Contractor, in rendering [his or her] duties shall not utilize any invention, discovery, development, improvement, innovation, or trade secret in which [he or she] does not have a proprietary interest. During the term of this agreement, the Contractor shall devote as much of [his or her] productive time, energy and abilities to the performance of [his or her] duties hereunder as is necessary to perform the required duties in a timely and productive manner. The Contractor is expressly free to perform services for other parties while performing services for the Company with the exception of services within the same scope of work and responsibility as work performed for the Company (i.e. Fashion Editor for the Company and Fashion Editor for another company). For a period of six months following any termination, the Contractor shall not, directly or indirectly hire, solicit, or encourage to leave the Company’s employment, any employee, consultant, or contractor of the Company or hire any such employee, consultant, or contractor who has left the Company’s employment or contractual engagement within one year of such employment or engagement.

The Non-Hire Provision is reasonable, but it seems to say that a photographer signing this agreement would not be permitted to work as a photographer in a similarΒ capacityΒ for other similar publications. The very nature of being a freelancer is that you have to work for a variety of publications. That part of this paragraph is unreasonable.

8. Right to Injunction. The parties hereto acknowledge that the services to be rendered by the Contractor under this Agreement and the rights and privileges granted to the Company under the Agreement are of a special, unique, unusual, and extraordinary character which gives them a peculiar value, the loss of which cannot be reasonably or adequately compensated by damages in any action at law, and the breach by the Contractor of any of the provisions of this Agreement will cause the Company irreparable injury and damage. The Contractor expressly agrees that the Company shall be entitled to injunctive and other equitable relief in the event of, or to prevent, a breach of any provision of this Agreement by the Contractor. Resort to such equitable relief, however, shall not be construed to be a waiver of any other rights or remedies that the Company may have for damages or otherwise. The various rights and remedies of the Company under this Agreement or otherwise shall be construed to be cumulative, and no one of the them shall be exclusive of any other or of any right or remedy allowed by law.

I’d have to hire an attorney to understand this one better. It would be helpful if you could be more specific about what sort of injunctive relief you would want to exert. This paragraph seems out of proportion to the services you’re requiring andΒ theΒ compensation you’re offering. You’re not really paying the photographer enough for them to agree to this. Why are the laws of North Carolina insufficient to protect you in a case where a photographer does some damage to you?

9. Merger. This Agreement shall not be terminated by the merger or consolidation of the Company into or with any other entity.


10. Termination. Either the Contractor or the Company may terminate this Agreement at any time by 10 working days’ written notice to the Contractor. In addition, if the Contractor is convicted of any crime or offense, fails or refuses to comply with the written policies or reasonable directive of the Company, is guilty of serious misconduct in connection with performance hereunder, or materially breaches provisions of this Agreement, the Company at any time may terminate the engagement of the Contractor immediately and without prior written notice to the Contractor.

Okay, but you should add that if anyone at the Company is similarly convicted of a crime or offense that the photographer can get out right away.

11. Independent Contractor. This Agreement shall not render the Contractor an employee, partner, agent of, or joint venturer with the Company for any purpose. The Contractor is and will remain an independent contractor in [his or her] relationship to the Company. The Company shall not be responsible for withholding taxes with respect to the Contractor’s compensation hereunder. The Contractor shall have no claim against the Company hereunder or otherwise for vacation pay, sick leave, retirement benefits, social security, worker’s compensation, health or disability benefits, unemployment insurance benefits, or employee benefits of any kind.Β  Consultant will not represent to be or hold itself out as an employee of the Company and Consultant acknowledges that he/she shall not have the right or entitlement in or to any of the pension, retirement or other benefit programs now or hereafter available to the Company’s regular employees.

Okay, but for clarity and brevity, this paragraph should be merged with paragraph 1. and 24.

12. Insurance and Mutual Indemnification. The Contractor will carry liability insurance if necessary (including malpractice insurance, if warranted) relative to any service that [he or she] performs for the Company.Β  Each Party agrees to indemnify and hold the other harmless from and against any and all claims, damages and liabilities whatsoever, asserted by any person or entity, arising from any action of infringement in relation to any trade mark, patent, copyright or action for passing off resulting directly or indirectly from any breach by the first Party or any of its respective employees or agents, of this Agreement or of any warranty, representation or covenant contained in this Agreement. Such indemnification shall include the payment of all reasonable attorneys’ fees and other costs incurred by the indemnified party in defending any such claim. The Indemnified Party shall promptly inform the indemnifying Party in writing of any such claim, demand or suit and shall fully cooperate in the defense thereof. The Indemnified Party will not agree to the settlement of any such claim, demand or suit prior to the final judgment thereon without the consent of the indemnifying Party, whose consent will not be unreasonably withheld. The indemnified party shall not by any act or omission admit liability or otherwise prejudice or jeopardize the indemnifying party’s actual or potential defense to any claim. The said indemnity is subject to the indemnified party’s duty to mitigate all of its said costs, expenses, damages or liabilities.


13. Successors and Assigns. All of the provisions of this Agreement shall be binding upon and inure to the benefit of the parties hereto and their respective heirs, if any, successors, and assigns.


14. Choice of Law. The laws of the state ofΒ XxxxxxxxxxxxΒ shall govern the validity of this Agreement, the construction of its terms and the interpretation of the rights and duties of the parties hereto.


15. Arbitration. Any controversies arising out of the terms of this Agreement or its interpretation shall be settled inXxxxxxxxxxΒ in accordance with the rules of the American Arbitration Association, and the judgment upon award may be entered in any court having jurisdiction thereof.

Arbitration is not a reasonable solution for most disputes involving photographers. The cost can be much more than litigation:Β

16. Headings. Section headings are not to be considered a part of this Agreement and are not intended to be a full and accurate description of the contents hereof.


17. Waiver. Waiver by one party hereto of breach of any provision of this Agreement by the other shall not operate or be construed as a continuing waiver.


18. Assignment. The Contractor shall not assign any of [his or her] rights under this Agreement, or delegate the performance of any of [his or her] duties hereunder, without the prior written consent of the Company.


19. Notices. Any and all notices, demands, or other communications required or desired to be given hereunder by any party shall be in writing and shall be validly given or made to another party if personally served, or if deposited in the United States mail, certified or registered, postage prepaid, return receipt requested. If such notice or demand is served personally, notice shall be deemed constructively made at the time of such personal service. If such notice, demand or other communication is given by mail, such notice shall be conclusively deemed given five days after deposit thereof in the United States mail addressed to the party to whom such notice, demand or other communication is to be given as follows:

If to the Contractor:




If to the Company:

Xxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxx, LLC / Xxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxx Magazine


Any party hereto may change its address for purposes of this paragraph by written notice given in the manner provided above.


20. Modification or Amendment. No amendment, change or modification of this Agreement shall be valid unless in writing signed by the parties hereto.

Okay, but this could be added to paragraph 21.

21. Entire Understanding. This document and any exhibit attached constitute the entire understanding and agreement of the parties, and any and all prior agreements, understandings, and representations are hereby terminated and canceled in their entirety and are of no further force and effect.


22. Unenforceability of Provisions. If any provision of this Agreement, or any portion thereof, is held to be invalid and unenforceable, then the remainder of this Agreement shall nevertheless remain in full force and effect.


23. Competent Work/Ownership of Imagery. All work will be done in a competent fashion in accordance with applicable standards of the profession and all services are subject to final approval by a representative of the Company prior to payment. Β Β All work, graphics, images, photography captured during this agreement for assignments, or once permission of use is given- The Consultant relinquishes full ownership and rights of imagery to the Company.

It doesn’t make sense to combine the Competent Work provision with the Ownership of Imagery, they’re unrelated (even aside from the fact that it’s not reasonable to expect ownership of the images.)

24. Representations and Warranties. The Consultant will make no representations, warranties, or commitments binding the Company without the Company’s prior consent. The Contractor will not use the Company’s name, image, brand or likeness without the express written consent of the Company.

This should logically be combined withΒ 11. Independent Contractor andΒ 1. Independent Contractor.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF the undersigned have executed this Agreement as of the day and year first written above. The parties hereto agree that facsimile signatures shall be as effective as if originals.

Xxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxx, LLC d.b.a. Xxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxx Magazine



Its:_President/CEO___________________ [title or position]



Its:________________________________ [title or position]




DUTIES: The Contractor will perform duties as listed in the Photography Director position description. She will report directly to Xxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxx, and to any other party designated by Xxxxxxx Xxxxxxx in connection with the performance of the duties under this Agreement and shall fulfill any other duties reasonably requested by the Company and agreed to by the Contractor.

It seems unnecessarily convoluted to have three separate documents for one agreement. You could simplify things by merging Schedule A into the Independent Contractor Agreement.

TERM: This engagement shall commence upon execution of this Agreement and shall continue in full force and effect through the 90 day probationary period, ending ___________ or earlier upon completion of the Contractor’s duties under this Agreement. The Agreement may only be extended thereafter by mutual agreement, unless terminated earlier by operation of and in accordance with this Agreement.



A. As full compensation for the services rendered pursuant to this Agreement, the Company shall pay the Contractor __two (2%)____ percent of all advertising sales revenues generated and earned by Xxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxx Magazine betweenNovember 4th, 2012 and February 4th, 2013Β . Such compensation shall be payable within 30 days of receipt of advertising sales.

The compensationΒ doesn’t seem to match what the photographer is providing. The photographer is providing use of the pictures forever, while the compensation is limited to three months. In order for this to be meaningful, you have to allow the photographer the option of auditing your records. The compensation seems disingenuous. What are the chances the magazine will continue to cut the photographer in for a piece of the action if it becomes successful? The Photography Director job description may require that you treat that person as an employeeΒ ratherΒ than an independent contractor. You can read more about this atΒ

B. Contractor will also be paid twenty percent (20%) of all advertising sales to which he personally recruits (solicits, follow up, closes, collection payment).Such compensation shall be payable within 30 days of receipt of advertising sales.



Photography Director

Xxxxxxx Xxxxxx Magazine

Job Title: Photography Director Division/Department Photography
Supervises: Contributing Photographers Reports to: Executive Editor
Last Revision Date: January 10, 2013

The Photography Director of Xxxxxxxx Xxxxxxx Magazine manages a magazine’s photography department. The Director supervises and determines assignments for staff and freelance photographers; negotiates with agencies regarding freelance photographers. Screens contact sheets and makes preliminary selections.

The Photography Director primarily oversees the photography for three major publications, The the quarterly Magazine and the weekly electronic newsletter, The Xxxxx Statement. The Director also manages the social media accounts for Xxxxxxxx Xxxxxxx including Instagram and Tumblr.

The Photography Director sets the publication standards for performance, and motivates and develops the staff. The Photography Director is also responsible for developing and maintaining the publication budget.

The Photography Director will focus on a variety of activities geared towards building the Xxxxxx local presence including:

1. Editorial – Build Xxxxxx audience through photography.Β  Source premium, relevant content ideas and manage editorial calendar. Create independent content including articles across a variety of editorialΒ  (Fashion, Beauty, Lifestyle, Arts & Entertainment, Mens)

Β·Β Β Β Β Β Β Β  Establishes direction of photographic content of the website, e-newsletter and digital magazine.

Β·Β Β Β Β Β Β Β  Recruits photography staff as needed.

Β·Β Β Β Β Β Β Β  Responsible for the training and development of staff in which he directly supervises.

Β·Β Β Β Β Β Β Β  Provide support and direction to the department Editors and Art Director.

Β·Β Β Β Β Β Β Β  Schedules photographers for events and story assignments as necessary

1. Social Media – Use technology and modern marketing techniques to assist in managing the brand’s social media presence primarily using Instagram and Tumblr and sharing a portion of these photos to Twitter and Facebook.

Education & Experience

1. Two – three years experience in the media industry developing content, producing professional capacity photography and working within an editorial organization to deliver high-quality content on deadline

2. Demonstrated awareness, aptitude and capabilities with web platforms and web technology including Twitter, Facebook, blogging platforms, etc.

3. A person of the utmost integrity and character

Compensation & Time Commitment

The Photography Director should plan 10-15 hours per week to fulfill his fantastic role.Β  The Photography Director will receive two (2)% of advertising revenues generated from the website and the bi-annual digital publication.

Thousands of fashion & style-conscious readers throughout the Xxxxxxxx area rely on Xxxxxxxx to keep them in the know while on-the-go.Β The online media platform for stylish socialites featuresΒ a bi-annual digital publication (also available in print), a weekly editorial e- subscription service (The STYLE Statement) and accompanying website, providing highly curated local content. The Xxxxxx reader trust Xxxxxxxx as her go-to resource forΒ  what’s hip and new in local cuisine, fashion, beauty, culture, events and stylish living. The Photography Director of Xxxxxxxx Xxxxxxx Magazine wants readers to live, love, shop, dine and discover in his city as he does.

Most of Xxxxxx’s editorial content is selected locally in addition to various regional, national and international fashion and travel features.Β  A well-connectedΒ  Photography Director and his team of photographers has a finger on the city’s pulse and is responsible for selecting content, along with networking within his community to grow the Xxxxxx brand.

Pricing & Negotiating: DITLO Contract

by Bill Cramer, Wonderful Machine

Ditlo is an innovative stock photography company that collaborates with photographers and up-and-coming celebrities to create content that they then license to commercial and editorial clients. It may be too soon to say whether this is a viable business model, but I admire them for trying it. Ditlo (which stands for Day In The Life Of) is the brain child of Bruce Kramer of Kramer Creative Group, which ownsΒ Artmix Creative,Β Artmix Beauty,Β Glue, as well asΒ Ditlo.

The way it works is that Ditlo finds interesting people who are trending in the news (whether they’re athletes, actors, musicians or chefs) who are willing to do a photo shoot specifically for stock. Ditlo matches up the celebrity with a photographer. Ditlo fronts a portion of the production costs and they provide art direction for the shoot. When the pictures sell, Ditlo pays a royalty to the subject (that’s the innovative part), they pay any other out-of-pocket costs, then they split the remainder 50/50 with the photographer.

My first impression was that it was a little weird that we’re now paying B-List celebrities to give them publicity. After all, the pictures will either be used editorially or commercially. If they get used commercially, the subject is going to get paid for use of their likeness anyway. And if they’re used editorially, isn’t that that something they normallyΒ pay a publicist to get for them? I guess it’s possible that when I wasn’t looking, the balance of power in our celebrity-crazed culture has changed the rules on me. Alrighty then, maybe this is just the new normal.

But if you’re going to go down this road (or any other), you’ll want to understand the agreements you’ll be signing. I’m sure that Mr. Kramer is an honorable man, but he’s a businessman none the less. Here’s the Ditlo contract (in italics) and my comments:

This agreement (β€œAgreement”) is entered into as of this ____ day of _______, 2012 by and between The Ditlo, LLC, having an address c/o 2332 South Centinela, Suite C, Los Angeles, California 90064 (hereinafter β€œCompany”) and _______________, having an address of ___________________ (hereinafter β€œContractor”) in connection with Contractor’s provision of services and grant of rights as set forth herein.

1. Services: Contractor shall perform services as a photographer in connection with the photography shoots produced, arranged or in which Contractor is engaged by Company during the Term which are set forth on Schedule A, and as updated from time to time by Company (each a β€œShoot”). Contractor shall additionally be responsible for editing, re-touching (upon request by Company) and delivering to Company the photographic images from the Shoots (each an β€œImage”) within four (4) days after each Shoot. Contractor’s services shall be performed with diligence consistent with industry standards. Additionally, after Company has posted Image(s) from, or information related to the Shoot on Contractor shall use commercially reasonable efforts to promote Company and the Project in all of Contractor’s social media networks including but not limited to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

2. Term: This Agreement shall be in full force and effect from the date set forth above until terminated by either party upon thirty (30) days written notice to the address first set forth above. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the terms and conditions of Sections 3, 4, and 5 shall survive the expiration or termination of this Agreement.

3. Contractor Compensation: Provided that Contractor is not in breach of this Agreement and has fully performed Contractor’s services, as full and complete compensation thereof and grant of rights contained herein, Company shall additionally pay Contractor a royalty equal to fifty percent (50%) of the Net Revenue received from the sale, use, licensing or syndication of the Images by Company including sales of the Images to the talent in such Images. Company shall provide a statement and pay any amounts due at the address listed above on or about thirty (30) days after the conclusion of each calendar quarter in which sums are received by Company. For the purposes of this section, Net Revenue shall mean the gross amounts actually received by Company from third parties from the sale, license, or exploitation of the Images after deduction of (i) any amounts paid to talent in such Images; (ii) refunds, returns or allowances; (iii) any VAT, duty, levy or other fee or tax withheld, deducted or paid to Company; (iv) shipping charges, insurance charges, services fees or any other out of pocket costs associated with the delivery or access to any Images including but not limited to printing and framing costs; and (v) commissions or other payments made to third parties in connection with the production, sale and exploitation of such Images including but not limited to amounts paid to agents, third party sites, or the subject of such Image. Except as expressly set forth herein, Contractor shall not be entitled to any additional sums in connection with the Shoot, the Project or the Images.

It concerns me that if Ditlo decides that the photographer is in breach of the agreement, they don’t have to pay the commission. Does that mean that if the photographer promotes the project on their Facebook page, but not on Twitter, they might not get paid? The commission should not be contingent on anything. Certainly, if the photographer takes the advance and doesn’t produce useable pictures, they should have to pay the advance back. But if Ditlo makes a profit, the photographer should share in that profit. I would be inclined to cross out the wordsΒ β€œProvided that Contractor is not in breach of this Agreement and has fully performed Contractor’s services,”

The contract is vague about what the statement will say. I would insert the clause, β€œthe company shall provide a statement detailing the gross fee and each individual expense item deducted from it.” This should be no extra trouble for Ditlo since they have to keep track of all of those costs anyway in order to arrive at the net fee.

It doesn’t specifically say that the photographer will get an advance and whether the advance will count against the commission.

4. Grant of Rights: For the compensation to be provided herein and other good and valuable consideration, the receipt and sufficiency of which is hereby acknowledged, Contractor hereby grants Company the worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable, exclusive, sub-licensable and unencumbered right in any and all media now known or hereafter developed to print, sell, license, transmit, and syndicate the Images to third parties including the l right to display, publish or include the Images in advertisements or promotions of the Company, on the Company’s website(s), social media pages, inclusion in future book(s) and gallery show(s). Notwithstanding the foregoing, it is acknowledged and agreed, that any sale or license of an Image to the subject of the Image shall require Contractor’s agreement on the 2 terms of such sale or license. Further, Contractor acknowledges and agrees that the talent featured in such Images shall have the right to use, display and publish the Images in which they are featured solely for their own promotional purposes on their personal websites and social media sites only, but not in any way for commercial or advertising unless Contractor and Company agree in writing.

Exclusive license forever concerns me. I think that it would be reasonable for the license to be exclusive while Ditlo is actively promoting the photos. But after a while, if the photos drop off of Ditlo’s website, the photographer should be able to market them on their own without paying a commission to Ditlo.

5. Miscellaneous: Contractor acknowledges that Contractor is an independent contractor and not an employee of Company and that as an independent contractor, Contractor has no authority to, and shall not in any way attempt to, obligate, or create any liability on behalf of Company. Contractor acknowledges that Company is not your employer, Company will not provide worker’s compensation, unemployment compensation, state disability or employment benefits to Contractor. Contractor further acknowledges that Contractor is responsible to pay social security, income or other taxes and agree to indemnify Company and hold Company harmless therefrom, and from any claims or liability for worker’s compensation, unemployment compensation or state disability coverage related to Contractor. Company, its successors, assignees, and licensees, shall have the right, but not the obligation, to use the Works and the results of the services provided under this Agreement, your name, and biography, for any and all purposes and uses in connection with the exploitation of the Images or the Works, in any and all media, now known or hereafter devised, throughout the world, in perpetuity. In the event of any question of Company’s performance of its obligations hereunder or other claims related hereunder, Contractor agrees that Contractor will not seek injunctive relief against us and/or our affiliated companies or any of their agents, licensees, distributors, assigns or partners, and that your relief, if any, will be limited to a claim for monetary damages and you do not have the right to terminate or rescind this Agreement. All remedies, rights and undertakings, obligations and agreements contained in this Agreement shall be cumulative and none of them shall be in limitation of any other remedy, right undertaking, obligation or agreement of either party, except as expressly provided herein. This Agreement is governed by the internal laws of California and each party hereto irrevocably and unconditionally consents to the sole and exclusive jurisdiction and venue of the courts located in Los Angeles County, California for any action to enforce, interpret or construe any provision of this Agreement, or other claim or controversy related to this agreement or otherwise between the parties. The parties additionally hereby irrevocably waive and defenses of improper venue or forum non conveniens for any actions brought in those courts. The execution of this Agreement has not been induced by any representations, statements, warranties, or agreements other than those expressed herein. This Agreement embodies the entire understanding of the parties, and there are no further agreements or understanding, written or oral, in effect between the parties relating to the subject matter hereof. If any portion of this Agreement is held to be invalid, illegal or unenforceable by a court of competent jurisdiction, such finding shall not affect the remainder of this Agreement, and such affected provision shall be enforced to the furthest extent permitted by law. Except for updates to Schedule A by Company, this Agreement cannot be modified, except in a writing signed by both parties. This Agreement can be executed in any number of counterparts and by facsimile or pdf, which when taken together shall be construed as one original document.

The contract specifies that the photographer will indemnify Ditlo. This is reasonable. If the photographer does something wrong, and Ditlo gets sued, the photographer should (have insurance to) cover those costs. However, by the same token, if Ditlo does something wrong that gets the photographer sued, they should indemnify the photographer.

It doesn’t specifically say that you can use the pictures in your portfolio, website and for other self-promotion (including gallery shows), which it should.

Here’s the contract:

Click to enlarge.


Pricing & Negotiating: Low-Budget Annual Report Shoot

By Bill Cramer, Wonderful Machine

The following is actual email correspondence between a U.K.-based graphic designer (whom I’ll call Dennis) and an experienced Florida-based photographer (whom I’ll call Phil), concerning an annual report shoot in Orlando for a Connecticut-based medium-sized corporation. My comments are in italics.

Hi there Phil,

I found you on Google. I wonder if you could confirm your availability and day rate for a photo shoot on the following days. The <hotel in Orlando> on January 24 & 25. <Client> based in CT are holding a conference at this time and I have been asked to find a local photographer and liked the work you have online.

We will only need 1 day of photography in total – over the 2 days or on 1 of the days – TBA. I work for <graphic design firm> and we are their design consultancy, I am based in the UK. I look forward to hearing from you just as soon as.

Kind regards, Dennis

That’s not much to go on. The following questions come to mind. Can I see a shot list (or at least a description of the pictures)? Who are the subjects (what level are they in the company)? How will the photos be used? How many final pictures do you expect to use?

This initial inquiry doesn’t give me high hopes for the budget. The fact that he’s looking for a local photographer means that travel expenses (however modest) would break the bank. The fact that he’s looking for a photographer who’s willing to quote a β€œday rate” without knowing the details of the shoot doesn’t bode well either. That he’s looking for a photographer who can do β€œone day’s work” over a period of two shoot days tells me that he’s looking for a low price. Either the designer has never worked with a professional photographer before or he only works with low-end photographers or he may be testing the photographer to see what kind of questions he’ll ask.

There’s also a bit of a disconnect in that we’ve got a Connecticut client hosting a conference in Florida; they’re discerning enough to hire a designer in the United Kingdom, but they’re apparently looking for a cheap photographer to create the actual content. It doesn’t quite add up.

Hi there Dennis,

just need to know are you looking to document the event, or do you need portraits of people as well? If yes to the portraits, would they be simple grip and grins or real portraits…


It’s a start that Phil wants to know more about what he has to do, but he also needs to know more about how the pictures are going to be used. This is a classic mistake that photographers make. They see their value as a function of their time and effort and they ignore the value that they’re providing for the client, which is a much bigger driver of the price.


I am looking for what we call fly on the wall documentary shots of the event – nothing posed or to camera, rather just natural interactions and scenarios as they emerge. Does that answer your question Phil?


Yes, it does, Dennis.

My typical day rate for corporate events like you describe is $2,000 for a single day, $3600 for two days plus an overnight stay usually at the event hotel.

Regards, Phil

Is that 2000.00/day plus expenses or including expenses? How many pictures does the client get, for what purpose and for how long? What about assistants, file processing, mileage, parking, meals, sales tax? Will you be delivering raw files or processed files? If they’re processed, can the client order any number of processed files or is there a limit? Will you convey the licensing to the design firm or the client? Who will pay the bill – the design firm or the client? If a UK design firm pays the bill, who pays for the wire transfer fee? How long do they have to pay? What’s your turnaround time on the pictures? What’s your cancellation policy?


And you are available yes? Are your fees negotiable – you are a bit more per day than I was envisaging!

Let me know, Dennis

Yikes! Dennis doesn’t seem to mind that he doesn’t have answers to any of the above questions and all he wants to know is if it could be even cheaper.


I have to check with a client to be sure. We are working on a campaign next week and need to talk to them.

Regarding the fees, I am blessed with a very robust business so I really hold the line on the fees. However, what was your budget and i will let you know for sure.


It sounds like Phil is saying, β€œMy fees are firm, unless your budget is less.”

Hi there Phil – thanks for your help with this. I now have a bit more information re the shoot from <client>.

<email apparently from client to design firm:> β€œWe would like business headshots for our Directors and Managers (total of 25 – 30 people).Β  We would also like to have a few β€œmeeting in progress” type candid shots taken – these should be all about business (nothing Disneyesque!). The photos will be used for the purpose of our Annual Report, website, meeting books, etc. We would therefore need to get outright usage on the shots from the photog from the get-go so that they can be used randomly thereafter without renegotiation with them.”

We are trying to arrange a separate room by the meeting area where we can have the photographer set up for the head shots. The shoot day would be 24 Jan only and I have Β£1700 so we are not so far apart on price so hopefully not a barrier to trade! Good to hear that you are busy.

Kind regards

, Dennis

Now that Phil has committed to a price, it’s safe for Dennis to tell him more about the shoot. It turns out that it’s not just fly-on-the wall, but 30 head shots too. It’s a director-level meeting and the pictures are for the annual report (plus other uses). That’s all significant because the stakes are higher for the design firm and the communications people at the corporation. That makes the pictures more valuable than a routine sales meeting which Phil is more accustomed to. These pictures aren’t just to document the event, they’re for the most important publication that corporation will produce that year. We now see that Dennis has a budget of 1700 British Pounds, which is about 2700 dollars. That’s more than the 2000.00 Phil was asking for.

Ahhh, that’s what I suspected, Dennis.

These meetings usually have portraits involved because it’s a rare occasion to get everyone together….25-30 portraits plus the meeting shots is a good amount of work, I usually tack on a little more with the portraits. So then what’s then the US dollar value of the fee?

I would need a dedicated space 20Γ—30β€² foot is a good size to set up a location studio. I need to know what kind of background they want. Do we need to match up an existing look? No problem with the unlimited usage.


Again, Phil is focused on the fact that the head shots are a bit more work rather than the fact that it’s an important project for the client. If Phil is as busy as he says he is, why is he ignoring usage when he has the leverage to charge for it? And why is he offering such a deep discount for a second shoot day? Instead of offering a one-size-fits-all approach to his pricing (and his production values), he would do better to recognize that different projects may require different levels of service and different pricing. Phil is accustomed to working without an assistant (he just finds someone to sit in for a test shot) and he just does basic tweaks to the files, converts them all to jpgs and sends them off to the designer. That may be what everyone does for event photography. But when I hear annual report, I think of a higher level of production. I would be inclined to bring an assistant to help carry the lights, set up, break down, sit in for test shots, run errands in an emergency. For the small additional cost, it’s a valuable insurance policy to make sure things go well when you’re photographing the CEO and the board of directors. I’d also be inclined to process the files individually once the client has chosen their favorites, rather than batch process a thousand pictures most-of-the-way.

Sorry Phil, I meant dollars!

Can you still do it for $2000 Phil?
 We do want to match an existing look – I will send you a reference for that and talk you through it too for clarity. Good news re usage. And I am assuming you can now confirm you are available all day on the 24th?


Hard to say whether Dennis’s budget really was in dollars or pounds. But it doesn’t really matter. No experienced photographer should let a client arbitrarily dictate their fee (especially a busy photographer).

The fact that the designer wants to β€œmatch an existing look” makes the assignment more valuable than if the photographer was being asked to do the shoot in their own style. First, it’s more difficult to satisfy a client when you’re being asked to match some other photographer’s picture and you don’t know exactly how they did it and you might not even like the way they handled it. Second, the pictures aren’t going to be as useful in the photographer’s portfolio since they’re in someone else’s style.


Yes, the 24th is fine, give me times when you can, and yes I will do it for $2000.00 if I don’t need to rent/buy a special background to match what you have. Send reference to me when you can.


I think Phil is selling himself a little short here. Backgrounds cost money (and time to get them and a place to store them). Even if he already has one that he could bring, if it’s providing additional value to the client, he should charge for it. Same with studio strobes. Strobes cost money to purchase, insure, repair. Why not charge for them?

Good morning Phil – me again!

<Client> is now confirmed BUT they have asked if you could shoot on Wed 23 and Thurs 24 January at the same venue. I hope you can! Can you let me know when you get a moment please?

Thank you, Dennis

Good morning Dennis…no worries, I have to move something, I can work on that this morning, but just confirm…back to the original, 2 days = $3600 including all the portraits. Can they get me a room at the venue for the overnight? I am 90 minutes away. I would love to see a schedule so I know the hours, and if they provided you with a shot list.

Thank you. Phil

Hi there Phil.

$3600 for 2 days is good. Yes to room at venue – I have asked for this already. Now that we have agreed dates and cost together I am going to put you in direct contact with <client> re schedule, shoot room, accommodation and shot list – I think that will be easier for you.

Two important bits to get right:

1) I will need you to bill me direct and I will then re-invoice the client as part of their complete Annual Report project – please can I ask you to have all cost conversations with me and not <client> as I will take a modest margin for organising this on their behalf.

2) Jane my colleague here at <design firm> will make contact with you re photo style that she is looking for from a design perspective. <Client> will provide all other direction for your venue etc.

All good – looking forward to working with you on this. I approached 3 photographers in the FL area after looking at work online – you were by far the most responsive and easy to work with so I am really pleased you can do the new date.

Kind regards, Dennis

It’s not unusual for a designer to have the photographer bill him rather than the client. But the fact that he’s concerned about what the photographer might say indicates to me that he’s not telling the client what the photographer is charging him (which would be the case if he were actually charging a mark-up). In fact, I suspect he’s not really doing a modest mark-up, but rather I think the designer is charging a reasonable amount to the client, paying as little as possible to the photographer and pocketing the difference. All perfectly legitimate, but just evidence of how often photographers sell themselves short, oblivious to the fact that everyone else around them is making money.

Morning Phil,

Please find the notes from <design firm>Β  that describe how we envisage the different shot types to look.

If you have any queries on this, please do not hesitate to get in touch by return.

Kind regards, Dennis



This additional direction tells me that the designer has thought a lot about the project and they’re looking for a very specific result. Call me cynical, but I can’t help thinking that Dennis intentionally pulled a bait-and-switch on our hapless photographer. I think that Dennis intentionally underplayed the significance of the project and once he locked in the price, he revealed the true details and expectations of the job. But Phil’s very casual estimate has enabled this to happen. Even if Dennis is merely disorganized and not malevolent, the mission creep has left Phil shooting an annual report at event coverage prices. If Phil had spelled out what he was actually delivering for his 2000.00 fee in the first place, he would be able to rework the estimate as the project β€œevolved.”

Good morning Dennis, thank you for the additional information….

Reviewing this document shows me that the client wants a little more then what was original described. So the photos of the executives are not typical business head-shots, which usually take 5-10 minutes each. What the team is asking for is definitely more creative, staged and time consuming.

The photography assignment was originally described as β€œfly on the wall” documentary type photography, nothing posed, just natural. The document describes otherwise, setting up scenarios to create group interactions. All the above is fine, and I am perfectly comfortable doing this, but not what I originally envisioned. The creativity level is definitely higher, which I am all for by the way.

It’s really important for me to have a clear understanding of the work at the bidding process so I can price accordingly.Β  I don’t think you nor I had this on Wednesday. Now that we both have the shot list from the creative team, I think we need to re-address the creative fee which at this point should be at least $4,500.00. Since we are 5 working days out, I really really don’t like to upset the citrus cart, but the job is up a few notches.

Please see what you can do regarding the creative fee with your client now that we know what is required and then I can make a few more simple requests to be sure we all have what we need and move forward.

Thank you, Phil

This is an awkward way to negotiate. It’s bad form to ask a client if you can charge them more. The answer will generally be β€œno.” The photographer should simply say, β€œThank you for letting me know about the changes. I’ll send over a revised estimate right away.”


I think we are nearly there. I understood that I was buying your time over two days based on what I can see from your online creds. I think you are signalling that you are up to the task which is great – what I don’t understand is why that should now suddenly cost me more. That is certainly not how I buy photography in the UK.

A few clarifications on your feedback:

We don’t want you to set anything up – in fact our preferred way forward is for fly on the wall type shots that are candid and unposed. I am confident that the event itself will provide those scenarios as a matter of course.

The b&w example headshots shared were taken in 30 minutes – there were 10 execs. I would ask you to work with the time you will get allocated for this task and do your best possible work mindful of what we are looking for – if you can only deliver β€˜typical business head-shots’ in the time allocated then we will have to go with those.

Having now seen Jane’s shot list you have a busy day on the Thursday and then a shorter day on the Friday which doesn’t look too onerous. As a gesture I am pleased to provide you with $3800 as the total fee but I will not go higher – hopefully you feel you can agree to work on this basis so we can move on. I am not available for the rest of the day as traveling so will not be able to respond to you until Monday am UK time.

Kind regards, Dennis

Dennis is now contradicting himself. The photo direction clearly states that, β€œβ€¦the subjects should be directed…” Now he’s saying that he wants to go back to fly-on-the-wall. Which is it? From the beginning, Phil positioned himself as a hired-hand, working by the day. So that makes it difficult for him to change the price when the project changes but the time doesn’t. He has also let the client dictate all the terms from the start, which makes him appear inexperience and/or desperate. In the end, the photographer agreed to a 4000.00 flat fee without any conditions on the usage or payment schedule.

Here’s what I would have proposed:


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


Pricing & Negotiating: TV Network Work Made For Hire

By Craig Oppenheimer of Wonderful Machine

Shoot Concept: Environmental portraits of cast members from a television show, including landscape images of the town featured in the show

Licensing: Work Made for Hire

Location: A small city in the Southwest

Shoot Days: 1

Photographer: Up-and-coming conceptual portrait specialist

Agency: None (in-house creative team for TV channel)

Client: Specialty Television channel

Here’s the estimate:

estimate_terms_redacted_v2Click to enlarge.

Concept, Licensing:

The client was in the process of filming the first season of a new reality show, and they wanted to capture individual portraits and a group shot of the 5 main cast members, as well as landscape images of the town in which the show is filmed. The shoot would take place on a single day during the actual filming, so many of the production elements (like hair/makeup styling, props and wardrobe) would be provided by the film production crew.

After discussing the project with the production manager, I learned that the images would mainly be used to promote the show on the channel’s website and possibly in on-air advertisements for the station. However, we were told that the channel has a non-negotiable work-made-for-hire contract that they require all photographers to sign. In fact, we were made aware of this about a month earlier when the same channel asked this photographer to bid on a separate local studio portraiture shoot for a different show. That project didn’t move forward, but through a series of conversations we found that their bottom line budget for similar projects is in the ballpark of $10,000.

The vast majority of the projects we estimate allow us the ability to limit licensing in some way. Sometimes we’re able to have a tight hold on the licensing (for example, Collateral use for 3 months), and other times we need to include a much broader licensing (for example, Advertising, Collateral and Publicity use for 5 years). While these both include a range of usage, the copyright is retained by the photographer. The main difference between β€œexclusive use in all media forever” and a β€œtransfer of copyright” is 3rd party use. By agreeing to a work-made-for-hire contract, the photographer would concede copyright ownership and the ability for the client to authorize 3rd party use. These contracts are common when working with clients in the television/film industry, and it stems from agreements between these clients and video production teams where transfer of copyright for video footage is standard.

We’ve worked on a handful of projects for photographers and TV channels and have been presented with similar contracts. In fact, we recently worked with the photographer featured in this project to obtain a portfolio meeting at another TV channel in NY, and before confirming a meeting, their photo editor sent over their contract in an effort to be as up front as possible in regards to their copyright requirements. Here is what that contract looked like:

Click to enlarge.

Now, typically I’d be inclined to integrate a hefty fee for a work-made-for-hire project since there is tremendous value for the client to own the copyright of the photos. However, since I knew their budget from that previous local studio shoot, I was able to extrapolate what their budget might be for a shoot with a bit more production and travel involved. Also, I knew their likely usage limitations from my discussion with the client, and I also took into consideration that the shelf life of the images would likely only be a year or two. Cast members could change, the show could be cancelled, and the promotions done by the channel could potentially change over the course of the following seasons. By integrating pricing more in line with their intended use (rather than requested use) and taking into account the likely budget, straightforwardness of the project and the eagerness of the photographer to get in the door with this client, I settled on a fee of $8,000.

After determining a fee, I like to also refer to pricing resources like BlinkBid and FotoQuote to see what they might recommend. In many instances the licensing options from these pricing resources don’t match up to the exact usage requested from the client, and they especially didn’t correlate in this case. For example, BlinkBid outputs a fee between $20,000 and $30,000 for international use of 1 image in all the categories listed for 1 year. FotoQuote also averages $20,000 for their most extensive β€œall advertising and marketing” pack for 1 image for 1 year. While it would have been great to charge 30k+ (and even appropriate in rare cases), I knew that in this instance, rates that high would blow the client’s budget and didn’t match up to the value of the client’s intended use.

Assistant: The photographer would be flying in with his assistant, and this accounted for the shoot day and travel days there and back.

Local Digital Tech: In order to save on travel, we planned on hiring a local tech. I’d typically include additional fees for a workstation (around $750 for a monitor, computer and cart) but the tech would be using a laptop and simply be dumping cards while reorganizing files.

Equipment Rental: The photographer would be bringing his own gear, so we included rental fees for 2 camera bodies (~$200.00 per camera per day), a few lenses (~50.00 per lens per day) as well as strobes, power packs and stands (~$250.00 per day). We feel that it’s important to charge for this because it’s not expected that he would own this gear, and it covers the cost to maintain and update his equipment.

Photographer Travel Days: This covered his travel time for one day there and one day back.

Airfare, Lodging, Car Rental: I used to research and determine travel costs for the photographer and his assistant.

Meals, Misc: The film production team would provide catering, but I included $100 per day for the 3 days (travel, shoot, travel) for snacks and miscellaneous expenses.

Housekeeping: I made sure to note the items that the client would be providing along with the advance requirements. While the client would handle all retouching internally, they asked that we provide the photographer’s rate in case they needed to farm out the work to him.

Results: The estimate was approved and the first season of the show is now being aired. The images landed in print ads as well as on the client’s website.

Hindsight: This project was particularly interesting due to the work-made-for-hire agreement. This estimate isn’t a representation of rates for all instances of copyright transfer, but it’s an example of what we’ve seen from a few other clients in the television industry. Another photo editor for a separate TV client/project informed us that they also require a work-made-for-hire agreement, and in order to stay competitive she suggested a pretty healthy work-for-hire rate of $10K-$20K per day.

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