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Author Topic: Becoming a great Architectural Photographer!? PART 3  (Read 12536 times)
marc gerritsen
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« Reply #20 on: November 25, 2009, 04:52:40 PM »
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every now and then i do a mail out, but they are mostly to old and existing clients
to tell them about my new website or show.
funnily enough there is hardly any cold calling here in asia, everything goes through referrals

i think that this will be my best marketing/promotion  
http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index....&start=1620

although it is still early days to see what the result will be

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haefnerphoto
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« Reply #21 on: November 25, 2009, 07:36:07 PM »
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I've created an awareness of my work thru a consistent and pretty agressive direct mail program.  The postcards at first would go out about every month for the first few years of business, now it's more like every three months.  From time to time I'll challenge my market to identify the subject or location of the image and offer lunch for two to the first three correct answers.  I know it sounds strange but it's become fun for everyone involved.  The response to the challenges is fantastic, people get quite excited.  On the last couple of new business presentations the designers could remember a number of the images on the cards, some that go back 3 years!  I was just looking in this machine for an example but they are all at the studio, Friday I'll post a card front and back.  Jim
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CBarrett
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« Reply #22 on: November 25, 2009, 07:55:01 PM »
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I like my blog.  My current clients get to see my thoughts on their projects and what else I've been up to.  Prospective clients perusing my portfolio end up there and hopefully see that I'm actually interested in what I'm shooting.  I think it adds something of a more personal element to the website.

The downside is having to keep up with it, and if you haven't shot anything interesting in a while it can be downright boring.

Also, every year I send out an edition of fine art prints to about 50 of my clients with a thank you letter for their business.  I often hear about how they've framed the prints with some dedicating a wall to my images.  I love that!

-C
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Lust4Life
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« Reply #23 on: November 28, 2009, 05:02:24 AM »
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Ashley,

Logical.

Calculating true cost could be a challenge, but one that must be mastered if you are to survive financially.

As soon as I get my SLR TS-E gear I will spend my time, and funds, focused on building a collection of images on existing high end condos here in Naples.  Then see if the owners have any interest in the images.  Images will have limited potential to generate revenue but then can serve purpose of showing to perspective clients in one on one meetings.

I've seen no one post the issue of insurance, other than for your personal gear, isn't that a concern?
What if you are so intense on getting a shot composed correctly in the viewfinder, then you take a step backwards from the viewfinder and step on "fluffy" and break its neck!?  

Jack


Quote from: Yelhsa
The way I see it:
As a commercial photographer, you simply produce & provide images for people to use.

Whether someone asks you to produce some images for them / gives you a list of images they require / commissions you or you shoot freelance - you still finance the shoot and produce the images first.
So you own the images... and therefore the copyright too.

After that, you are simply providing them with those images, for them to use.
The 'licence fee' is therefore based on their usage requirements.

To determine what the 'licence fee' is or needs to be, you need to look at your production costs and take that information into account.

Note: I said your production costs - because you are the one who is going to produce & finance the shoot.
It's not their production costs and so you really don't need to be giving them this information or talking to them about it... unless you are agreeing to work for hire beforehand.

All they are paying you for, is for what they are actually getting from you, at the end of the day i.e. images which they can use.
So you provide them with the images, which they have asked you for, and you charge them a 'Licence fee' for the use of those images.

The 4 main things are: number of images, Media use, Period of use and Territory... which are important to them.
So it's these 4 things that you use to negotiate the fee.

Cheers,
Ashley
« Last Edit: November 28, 2009, 05:07:33 AM by Lust4Life » Logged

stewarthemley
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« Reply #24 on: November 28, 2009, 07:31:51 AM »
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Re insurance, I pay about 800 a year for about 25K of gear. I have more gear but only cover the later stuff. Cover is worldwide and seems to be fairly comprehensive. Might find out otherwise if I ever have to claim! (Built in distrust of insurance companies)
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Craig Lamson
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« Reply #25 on: November 28, 2009, 07:53:28 AM »
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Quote from: stewarthemley
Re insurance, I pay about 800 a year for about 25K of gear. I have more gear but only cover the later stuff. Cover is worldwide and seems to be fairly comprehensive. Might find out otherwise if I ever have to claim! (Built in distrust of insurance companies)

No liability?  Workers comp?

What do you do when a client asks for COI?
« Last Edit: November 28, 2009, 08:37:42 AM by infocusinc » Logged

Craig Lamson Photo
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Craig Lamson
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« Reply #26 on: November 28, 2009, 07:56:44 AM »
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Quote from: Yelhsa
The way I see it:
As a commercial photographer, you simply produce & provide images for people to use.

Whether someone asks you to produce some images for them / gives you a list of images they require / commissions you or you shoot freelance - you still finance the shoot and produce the images first.
So you own the images... and therefore the copyright too.

After that, you are simply providing them with those images, for them to use.
The 'licence fee' is therefore based on their usage requirements.

To determine what the 'licence fee' is or needs to be, you need to look at your production costs and take that information into account.

Note: I said your production costs - because you are the one who is going to produce & finance the shoot.
It's not their production costs and so you really don't need to be giving them this information or talking to them about it... unless you are agreeing to work for hire beforehand.

All they are paying you for, is for what they are actually getting from you, at the end of the day i.e. images which they can use.
So you provide them with the images, which they have asked you for, and you charge them a 'Licence fee' for the use of those images.

The 4 main things are: number of images, Media use, Period of use and Territory... which are important to them.
So it's these 4 things that you use to negotiate the fee.

Cheers,
Ashley

Do you bill travel expenses or eat them?
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Craig Lamson Photo
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CBarrett
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« Reply #27 on: November 28, 2009, 08:02:15 AM »
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All of my insurance is through State Farm, and my agent is 3 blocks from me.  I like being able to walk over there.  I pay about $700US/Year which covers all of my equipment, rentals and liability up to $1 Million.  I think it's pretty cheap.  My agent is great about providing COI's to rental houses and Building Management Companies.

Yes, you need insurance, but a good agent makes it all easy.
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Craig Lamson
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« Reply #28 on: November 28, 2009, 09:37:25 AM »
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Quote from: Yelhsa
If you need to travel to produce the images, then it's part of your production costs.
Because you can't provide the images unless you are able to produce them first.

So your basic production costs need to take everything into account.

To work out your basic production costs, these are some of the things you may need to take into account:

1. Pre production time
2. Photography time
3. Post production time
4. Travel Time
5. Retouching
6. Crew / Assistant
7. Stylist / Hair / Make-up
8. DVD & back-up
9. Prints / Contact sheets
10. Insurance
11. Location / Studio fee
12. Props, Wardrobe
13. Rentals
14. Sets / Expendable
15. Courier / P&P
16. Actors / Models
17. Travel / Fuel
18. Miscellaneous

Some of these things may not apply - but this would be my basic check-list, to help me work out my basic costs, before starting to negotiate the fee.
Being in control of these costs and being fully aware of them, is hugely important when it comes to negotiating the licence fee.

Because it's that fee will determine your final budget and it's that budget that will determine what all you can afford to bring to the table - type of camera you use, number of assistants, the amount of time you can afford to spend on the job, etc, etc.

Cheers
Ashley.

Thanks

My standard is
1. Creative fee
2. Stylist
3. Usage fee
4. Digital fee
5. Retouching
6. Travel costs
7. Courior fees, deliverables etc,
8. Props

I don't shoot things that have much in the way of resale value, and the images only have a shelf life of one year for my customers ( they change stuff on a model year).  What I lose in large usage fess I make up by reshooting the photos again the next year.  

I guess it really depends on the market and what they will bear in terms of costs.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2009, 09:46:34 AM by infocusinc » Logged

Craig Lamson Photo
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CBarrett
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« Reply #29 on: November 28, 2009, 09:44:50 AM »
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Question:  I often see Insurance listed in estimate software or in example estimates.  My business insurance covers everything I need.  Are you guys actually insuring each shoot?  Otherwise I can't see why it would be billed back.  I don't ever have to pay anything extra to get a COI when those are requested.

If I billed my clients back for my insurance.... let's see premium divided by jobs per year.... it'd be like 15 bucks a shoot.

Huh.... then again I'm a much better photographer than businessman.
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Craig Lamson
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« Reply #30 on: November 28, 2009, 09:49:24 AM »
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Quote from: CBarrett
Question:  I often see Insurance listed in estimate software or in example estimates.  My business insurance covers everything I need.  Are you guys actually insuring each shoot?  Otherwise I can't see why it would be billed back.  I don't ever have to pay anything extra to get a COI when those are requested.

If I billed my clients back for my insurance.... let's see premium divided by jobs per year.... it'd be like 15 bucks a shoot.

Huh.... then again I'm a much better photographer than businessman.

I've never done it but then again I might suck as a businessman myself. But then again I think I would get laughed out of the room and out of the job if I attempted to bill my clients directly for my insurance.  
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Craig Lamson Photo
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Craig Lamson
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« Reply #31 on: November 28, 2009, 12:52:29 PM »
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Quote from: Yelhsa
Again, it's part of your basic production costs which you need to take into account, before negotiating the fee - it's not a line item or optional extra.

As a self-employed person, you need to be insured... so it's not something that is open to debate - unless they insist that you take out extra cover, over and above what you already have.

Cheers
Ashley


Yes insurance is a must, and not just for your gear, which was my point, just not well expressed.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2009, 12:54:13 PM by infocusinc » Logged

Craig Lamson Photo
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Craig Lamson
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« Reply #32 on: November 28, 2009, 12:55:46 PM »
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Quote from: GBPhoto
I've only had one situation where the standard $1mil liability wasn't enough.  A pharmaceutical research facility with sensitive equipment, and they requested $2mil.  I think it was a $100 line item on the invoice for the extra.

Also, if you haven't seen it, NPPA has a cost of doing business calculator online: CODB Calculator
You can take the basic idea and make your own spreadsheet to figure your overhead.


The job I'm shooting tomorrow and Monday required 2mil.  Thats my standard policy now, and has been for the last few years.
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Craig Lamson Photo
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bcooter
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« Reply #33 on: November 28, 2009, 02:37:03 PM »
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Quote from: CBarrett
Question:  I often see Insurance listed in estimate software or in example estimates.  My business insurance covers everything I need.  Are you guys actually insuring each shoot?  Otherwise I can't see why it would be billed back.  I don't ever have to pay anything extra to get a COI when those are requested.

If I billed my clients back for my insurance.... let's see premium divided by jobs per year.... it'd be like 15 bucks a shoot.

Huh.... then again I'm a much better photographer than businessman.

I can't imagine going into production without a 2 million dollar insurance bond.

All locations require it and even studios that don't we still cut a bond.  In a lot of years I've only had one client balk at the cost and that client was in Chicago, so maybe you Chicago guys don't like Insurance Companies, just kidding, so for this client I required them to provide the necessary certificate of insurance and we waive all responsibility.  At the end of the day we used our insurance and cut a bond.

Anyway, photography and film production is a crap magnet and anybody looking to score a quick buck is gonna slip and fall on something and a bad slip and fall can be a career and life savings ender.

We're careful, follow the law to the letter, orange cone everything (though two weeks ago somebody stole all our cones that were marking the production vehicles).  Even when shooting kids, even on a small project we have the state mandatory social worker (teacher) cause that's the rules.

This year clients question every line item and some have pulled the numbers way back, but you can cut props, you can cut your fees, but cutting safety and insurance is dangerous.

We just finished a quick retail shoot on the beach and the client now only allows for one assistant and one tech, but you can't fly a 12x rag safely with one assistant or do any kind of medium sized production where your moving a thousand pounds of stuff across the beach with only two people, so rather than take the risk and brutalize the crew I'd rather pay the extra crew out of my pocket.

IMO

BC
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Harold Clark
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« Reply #34 on: November 28, 2009, 02:57:07 PM »
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Quote from: CBarrett
Question:  I often see Insurance listed in estimate software or in example estimates.  My business insurance covers everything I need.  Are you guys actually insuring each shoot?  Otherwise I can't see why it would be billed back.  I don't ever have to pay anything extra to get a COI when those are requested.

If I billed my clients back for my insurance.... let's see premium divided by jobs per year.... it'd be like 15 bucks a shoot.

Huh.... then again I'm a much better photographer than businessman.

I include the insurance in my overhead, the same as cameras, computers etc. It all becomes part of the production cost.

It is interesting you get coverage with State Farm. I have had my cars/house etc insured with them for decades, but they don't have a viable photography policy here, ie. replacement cost/all risks/worldwide. Perhaps they have a different charter for operating in Canada.
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CBarrett
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« Reply #35 on: November 28, 2009, 04:58:07 PM »
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Quote from: Yelhsa
Go buy something tomorrow and think about it.
 
Cheers,
Ashley

So yeah, I went to Best Buy to get a new flatscreen TV, found the model I liked and was chatting with the salesman and told him I didn't want to pay the portion of the price that goes towards the pension of the teamster that drove the forklift that unloaded the TV from the truck.  I hate this nickel and dime crap.

/sarcasm
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Craig Lamson
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« Reply #36 on: November 28, 2009, 07:19:45 PM »
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Quote from: Yelhsa
Important to you is not the same as important to them.

So what are they going to cut first: stuff that is important to them i.e. images which they can use; or stuff that isn't important to them i.e. your time and your expenses ?
Which are you currently focused on, when talking to them ?

All they are actually paying for, is for the 'use of the images'... images which you will produce & you will provide for them to use.
If they want you to make cuts and / or bring the price down, then you should go back and re-look at your production costs again (important to you) and / or re-look at the 4 things that they are asking for i.e. number of images, Media use, Period of use and Territory (important to them).
 
And that's the very reason why I stopped showing client's a breakdown of MY production costs some years ago.
It's on a 'need to know' bases now and they usually don't 'need to know'.

Go buy something tomorrow and think about it.
 
Cheers,
Ashley

So I thought about it. I decided I want a big screen like CB.  They don't carry the model I want but I can buy it online. They add shipping as a line item to the bill.  I want an extended warranty.  Line item on the bill.  I want someone to deliver it to my door and set it up. Line item on the bill. I move to Canada and use my tv there, no additon charge for out of country usage.  I decide I don't like the tv anymore and sell it to a friend.  No charge for third party sales.  My friend really likes the big screen and uses it for the next 30 years.  No charge for extended usage.

Now some guys might decide to package the cost of the tv, the extra warranty, the geek squad setup and the shipping and delivery into a package price.  Cool, thats their business model.  It's not better or worse than the line item deal, again, just different business models.

So I thought about it. I decided I want a big screen like CB.  They don't carry the model I want but I can buy it online. They add shipping as a line item to the bill.  I want an extended warranty.  Line item on the bill.  I want someone to deliver it to my door and set it up. Line item on the bill. I move to Canada and use my tv there, no additon charge for out of country usage.  I decide I don't like the tv anymore and sell it to a friend.  No charge for third party sales.  My friend really likes the big screen and uses it for the next 30 years.  No charge for extended usage.

Now some guys might decide to package the cost of the tv, the extra warranty, the geek squad setup and the shipping and delivery into a package price.  Cool, thats their business model.  It's not better or worse than the line item deal, again, just different business models.
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Craig Lamson Photo
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garytimms
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« Reply #37 on: November 29, 2009, 07:26:46 AM »
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there are some wonderful satirical youtube clips on client relationships, that probably are relevant to this thread, that had me laughing...

The language is strong so if they are unacceptable.. then I apologise ( I'll probably get banned.. )

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2KbQsdj5VY...feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yu1C6PowUjY...feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QeSm2CHN6k...feature=related


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Craig Lamson
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« Reply #38 on: November 29, 2009, 07:59:35 AM »
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Quote from: Yelhsa
Yes - would agree.

You can of course go on-line and buy generic images from a Stock Library, such as Getty or Alamy.
You can buy Rights Managed images or you can buy Royalty Free images.
There will be optional extras available, if you want them - most companies offer such things.
But optional extras are not the same as their production costs.

They sell the images based on the things that are important to you - the client - not based on the things that are important to them.

Cheers,
Ashley.

No, they rent images, in all but a select few instances..  But thats beside the point.  

You seem to believe that productions costs are yours, and you hide them from the client.  You send them an invoice as a lump sum.  Again all fine.

I prefer to let the client know what they are paying for, and in fact mine want it that way.  Again all fine.

It's just two different paths to the same end.

Just curious how many here use line item billing or lump sum?


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Craig Lamson Photo
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CBarrett
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« Reply #39 on: November 29, 2009, 09:14:44 AM »
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This is about as "line item" as I get:

We spent X days making X photos.  Please send me XXX money and please don't take XXXXXXX.

Thanks for your business,

XOXOX
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