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DPChallenge Forums >> Business of Photography >> Photographing buildings- daily rate? Half day?
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02/14/2013 02:32:04 PM · #1
I hate to ask a "how much do I charge?" sorta thing but a firm from out of town (Pittsburgh) wants me to shoot a couple of buildings in Cleveland and asked for my daily rate.

I'm usually doing human photo shoots and I have a flat rate so I'm wondering if anyone has experience with inanimate things like this. My first thought is 300$ / half day and $600 for a full day. Does that sound reasonable?
02/14/2013 02:45:22 PM · #2
seems like a good question for bear
02/14/2013 02:59:24 PM · #3
there are a lot of ways to calculate a day and half-day rates. freelanceswitch.com is as good a place to start as any. to be fair to yourself, you really do have to understand what it cost you to be in business, what you personally need to earn, and realistically how many days a year you are going to work.

but, for things like this, there's more to it than just the shooting; there's the usage. there is a huge difference between grabbing some documentary shots of some buildings for an investors prospectus and shooting some images that may be used in a national marketing campaign. without knowing the usage, you cannot develop a licensing fee, which means you are not really being compensated fairly.

however, before you go too far, you might want to look at why day rates are a bad idea. there are some other links there that are useful/interesting, as well.
02/14/2013 03:43:31 PM · #4
THanks. I should get some more details shortly.

Originally posted by Skip:

there are a lot of ways to calculate a day and half-day rates. freelanceswitch.com is as good a place to start as any. to be fair to yourself, you really do have to understand what it cost you to be in business, what you personally need to earn, and realistically how many days a year you are going to work.

but, for things like this, there's more to it than just the shooting; there's the usage. there is a huge difference between grabbing some documentary shots of some buildings for an investors prospectus and shooting some images that may be used in a national marketing campaign. without knowing the usage, you cannot develop a licensing fee, which means you are not really being compensated fairly.

however, before you go too far, you might want to look at why day rates are a bad idea. there are some other links there that are useful/interesting, as well.
02/14/2013 05:05:00 PM · #5
here's another discussion about day rates you might want to read through
02/14/2013 05:28:09 PM · #6
Regarding $600 for a full day, we were charging that in 1976... Our contract specified that we generally delivered 8-10 exterior images or 4-6 interior images in a day's shooting. These fees were for working with architects. We kept the copyrights, and negotiated publication or commercial usage separately. We didn't charge day rates when working directly for publications or agencies; for those, we'd be charging based on licensed usage.

I don't know that the going day rate is now, but $600 sounds way low.
02/18/2013 02:06:18 PM · #7
Thanks guys. I did the shoot today - it is for an HTML5 presentation where they really just need 2 shots representing two buildings total. It was pretty simple but did require a good eye I suppose (and a nice wide angle lens to allow for me to get several elements in at a time - and I did need to put on a hard-hat and goggles and stand out in 20-degree temps the entire time.

It was about 2-hours of work and the photos are simply for a presentation for a marketing company. I don't see a daily rate applying for this anyway! haha.

Having said that, I'm kinda lost as far as how much to charge =0
02/18/2013 02:20:15 PM · #8
start with their budget limit? Once they present you with a budget, you can tell em, what they can afford with that kinda money.

If it doesn't fit a package, that might be one way to approach this.
02/18/2013 02:40:26 PM · #9
You can look at some of the online stock price calculators, but my inclination would be to license them the photos for single application use (maybe also limit to 1 year) at around $200-$275 each. You then have the potential of future licensing if they use them for something else. And that sounds like a pretty good rate for 2 hours spent.

Sometimes the price calculators come up with some pretty high numbers. In my limited experience clients balk (and walk), so I've tried to add a "good value" assessment to that.
02/18/2013 03:14:19 PM · #10
Originally posted by tate:

Thanks guys. I did the shoot today - it is for an HTML5 presentation where they really just need 2 shots representing two buildings total. It was pretty simple but did require a good eye I suppose (and a nice wide angle lens to allow for me to get several elements in at a time - and I did need to put on a hard-hat and goggles and stand out in 20-degree temps the entire time.

It was about 2-hours of work and the photos are simply for a presentation for a marketing company. I don't see a daily rate applying for this anyway! haha.

Having said that, I'm kinda lost as far as how much to charge =0


Let me get this straight.. You did the shoot before you agreed to a rate, or had a contract in hand?
02/18/2013 07:00:01 PM · #11
Originally posted by Cory:

Originally posted by tate:

Thanks guys. I did the shoot today - it is for an HTML5 presentation where they really just need 2 shots representing two buildings total. It was pretty simple but did require a good eye I suppose (and a nice wide angle lens to allow for me to get several elements in at a time - and I did need to put on a hard-hat and goggles and stand out in 20-degree temps the entire time.

It was about 2-hours of work and the photos are simply for a presentation for a marketing company. I don't see a daily rate applying for this anyway! haha.

Having said that, I'm kinda lost as far as how much to charge =0


Let me get this straight.. You did the shoot before you agreed to a rate, or had a contract in hand?

i'm shaking my head, here, too. what to charge? at this point, what does it matter? they've convinced you that it was inconsequential work and you've already done it.

why don't you just ask for $1000 and see what happens...

Message edited by author 2013-02-18 19:00:48.
02/19/2013 08:46:26 AM · #12
3 kids. A full time job. A bunch of sh*t going on. Take a look at my profile and see how my submission rate has gone down. My time is limited for photo shoots and the only day with a decent forecast was yesterday. If I was a pro, I'm sure I wouldn't be on a forum asking dumb questions.

They will pay me a fair rate and I just wanted some assistance on what a fair rate might be. Photography for me is a pleasure - and the more I make it like a job, the less I tend to like it.
02/19/2013 08:59:49 AM · #13
Not to mention, I was supposed to have all the contact info etc. on Friday but they had my email address wrong. Anyway, I think a grand might be a bit much. Gonna go with 400$ providing them any high-res images I have. THanks for the help.
02/19/2013 10:37:12 AM · #14
Wondering if it's the same Pittsburgh company I often shoot for...
02/19/2013 10:55:15 AM · #15
Go with the $1000 and let them work their way down from there. It's business, you're not going to offend anyone. Going for $400 undervalues yourself, and means you're setting $400 as the 'opening bid' - You'll be lucky to see $200.

Although, I've made the mistake before of doing the work first and then negotiating the money (IT work, not photography). It never works. At the very least don't let the client know you've already done the work.
02/19/2013 10:57:33 AM · #16
Originally posted by tate:

3 kids. A full time job. A bunch of sh*t going on.

Even more reason to charge more - Your time is valuable, it's not like you're sitting around the house all day with tons of spare time on your hands.
02/20/2013 12:58:22 PM · #17
Well, this sort of fits my philosophy that I often tell people to use when quoting a job they KNOW will be a headache. Quote so high that if you get it, you won't mind the headache. And only quote that high if you will survive if you lose your chance because of it.

Anyway, I quoted 800$. They is a slight chance I will go back and shot a few more shots on another day this weekend if they agree to my quote. If not well, I'll let you know.

' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/user_id/3102.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/user_id/3102.gif', '/') + 1) . ' alanfreed, message me if you want to discuss.

Thanks again.

T

Originally posted by JH:

Originally posted by tate:

3 kids. A full time job. A bunch of sh*t going on.

Even more reason to charge more - Your time is valuable, it's not like you're sitting around the house all day with tons of spare time on your hands.
02/22/2013 11:54:29 AM · #18
Good point.

In the meantime, I remembered that one of my very good friends works in the stock photography business and his wife is as well. After a little back-n-forth and showing him the shots, he said 1000 just like you guys did =) He also verified that my shots were worth it.

And, the good news is, they DID take the offer of 800$. Should have asked for 1000 HAHA!
As always, thanks to DPC members for honest feedback.

T

Originally posted by JH:

Originally posted by tate:

3 kids. A full time job. A bunch of sh*t going on.

Even more reason to charge more - Your time is valuable, it's not like you're sitting around the house all day with tons of spare time on your hands.
02/22/2013 12:45:39 PM · #19
i'm glad this all worked out for you!

and seriously, i don't mean to come off like a prick about stuff like this, but it *does* damage the industry when people charge substantially less than they should. it doesn't matter whether one is a semi-pro, a serious hobbyist, or anything other than a full-time pro, when work gets priced way under market, it really hurts those of us that not only carry the over-head of having all the equipment necessary (as well as the investment of knowing how to use it), but also make ourselves available for more than just weekend and after hours work. regardless of one's situation, they should price their work as if they were working full-time. if they don't feel comfortable doing so, then maybe they should pass. just my 02.
02/22/2013 01:15:54 PM · #20
Good points.
As my time has become more precious and as I've become aware of how a little project can turn into a sh!tstorm very quickly, I tend to charge more -
In the past I did graphic design or photography for beer or for a favor - or for "exposure". It was kind of expected that there was always some bartering and BS happening and not a lot of actual $ exchanging hands.
Now, I knew I wanted to charge the proper rate and in this case I WAS clueless and was a little afraid of losing the work in the event that I told them a price they didn't like. Hopefully my images do me and fellow photogs proud and them as well.

Originally posted by Skip:

i'm glad this all worked out for you!

and seriously, i don't mean to come off like a prick about stuff like this, but it *does* damage the industry when people charge substantially less than they should. it doesn't matter whether one is a semi-pro, a serious hobbyist, or anything other than a full-time pro, when work gets priced way under market, it really hurts those of us that not only carry the over-head of having all the equipment necessary (as well as the investment of knowing how to use it), but also make ourselves available for more than just weekend and after hours work. regardless of one's situation, they should price their work as if they were working full-time. if they don't feel comfortable doing so, then maybe they should pass. just my 02.
02/22/2013 01:26:21 PM · #21
Originally posted by Skip:

i'm glad this all worked out for you!

and seriously, i don't mean to come off like a prick about stuff like this, but it *does* damage the industry when people charge substantially less than they should. it doesn't matter whether one is a semi-pro, a serious hobbyist, or anything other than a full-time pro, when work gets priced way under market, it really hurts those of us that not only carry the over-head of having all the equipment necessary (as well as the investment of knowing how to use it), but also make ourselves available for more than just weekend and after hours work. regardless of one's situation, they should price their work as if they were working full-time. if they don't feel comfortable doing so, then maybe they should pass. just my 02.


OTOH, when they see the results from the hobbyist compared to a pro architectural guy they may realize the benefit of the money spent. Interior architectural stuff is not easy and seems to be equipment intensive with extra lighting, etc.

On the third hand (how many hands do I have?), I don't hear people complaining about generic drugs in the same way (as an example). The market will bear the price it will bear. Digital has changed the game. (I know, we're walking on well tread ground here).
02/22/2013 02:17:46 PM · #22
I'm on the fence about how to charge on one hand i don't want to devalue my product or others, but on the other hand, reality tells me that my client base doesn't have the disposable income to pay what i would like to earn.

how much is always a game i play. the problem is I don't know how much a i NEED to make as i have hardly any expenses and its just how much is my time worth and that is complicated by the fact that i really enjoy doing it.

So how do i not devalue the industry and yet entice more customers?

I'm seriously considering dropping my sitting fee (not completely as that invites no shows) and raising my print prices. my thinking is after seeing the images, emotion kicks in over logic and they will spend to get what they want over forking out that money up front, im going to do sit down ordering sessions, no more emailing proofs to really take advantage of the emotions.

in the end i still make the same per client on average but im just moving around my pricing.

its kind of how the likes of "Picture people" market with there no sitting fee coupons.

thoughts?

03/06/2013 09:18:14 AM · #23
Some really good back-and-forth on this.
In this case (exterior shots during cold weather), I think the conditions and logistics of the location were challenges more than something like the equipment or skill level where a pro would have an advantage over an amateur. So my rate being closer to that of a pro in this case was probably a good idea.

However, yes if I were to do interior shots with models or something, I would think I would be at a disadvantage over a pro with experience and more equipment and an assistant for example.
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