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First large commercial gig, varying aspects -- need advic...
  
 
zephoto
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p.1 #1 · First large commercial gig, varying aspects -- need advice from the vets


Cliffe Notes: Large pharmecutical company wants pictures--I don't know what prices to set. Don't want to scare them away with a quote for $10k.


I was referred to an acquaintance's wife who runs the american division of an international pharm company. Their local branch which only has around 18 employees and annual revenue of about $2.6mill. It is a global company though with a very high (50mill+ euro) revenue stream.

Our initial meeting has them asking me to perform *many* shots including the following. Keep in mind that the managers I was discussing this project with did not give me a budget yet nor did they have a really solid idea regarding the "staged candid" shots they wanted so everything is still under discussion. I'm simply here to be guided/advised as much as I can be.

1: Pictures of the facility as they wish to use them for real estate purposes (print/web/etc). Right now I'm looking at ~10-20+ pictures to encompass the whole facility depending how much detail they want. (Approximately 1 full day of shooting as I'll have to catch the light outside and inside.)

2: "Fly on the wall" type shots of their employees in action. They are also planning on bringing in extras so that the same people aren't in all the shots. Unknown # of shots. We will be spit-balling ideas on our next meeting and coming up with a shot list. To be used for Facebook page and company website, possibly for print. (Approximately a 1/2 - full day of shooting).

3: Event coverage. No big deal here.

I can certainly handle what they're asking but I of course do not want to rush the project and say "oh let's just do it all in one day." I'd like to allot one day for each shoot. I plan on having an assistant but other than that expenses are quite low. I do not need to rent equipment for what they're asking so it is fairly straight forward. Shots will most likely be all natural lighting as the building has plenty of it and they like that style I'm told.

I come here before you and tell this tale as I have no clue how to price this. I don't want the job to slip out of my grasp and the client is obviously a large corporation which seems like they already want return business and I haven't even sold them anything!

I downloaded Blinkbid to use as a reference for what I should charge. Throwing out a random number of let's say they choose 6 staged candid images for website/print publications for trade/collateral we're looking at $8940-15645 with the base images ranging from $1490-2607/per

We then have the facility pictures to be used for the mere purpose of the selling of the building which I would imagine will find it's way to the realtor's site, possibly in print (if they plan on doing that), and/or elsewhere which we have yet to discuss. Again I have no idea what to price that out at.

Any help would be appreciated!



Mar 16, 2014 at 11:46 PM
zephoto
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p.1 #2 · First large commercial gig, varying aspects -- need advice from the vets


Also I have referenced the following website and will probably be calling Wonderful Machine to ask for advice: http://www.aphotoeditor.com/category/pricing-negotiating/


Mar 16, 2014 at 11:47 PM
swoop
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p.1 #3 · First large commercial gig, varying aspects -- need advice from the vets


How much do you make per hour? Why not charge that?


Mar 17, 2014 at 12:39 AM
zephoto
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p.1 #4 · First large commercial gig, varying aspects -- need advice from the vets


My issue is that with charging for usage. Of course I'll be charging for the physical task of shooting and also editing in post but I haven't come across a job of this scale. I've only really dealt with mom and pop businesses, portraits, weddings, and events.

I'd love to delve into commercial and this job could do it but I've never had one with such a prominent company. This is where I wonder about what to charge.



Mar 17, 2014 at 12:55 AM
GoGo
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p.1 #5 · First large commercial gig, varying aspects -- need advice from the vets


If you are not sure do the research.

"I was referred to an acquaintance's wife who runs the american division of an international pharm company."

Take her to lunch or get a meeting and ask her who has done similar work in the recent past, and ask her what they charged.

If that's not possible start talking about your costs for the job with the point person on the project and slowly but directly ask them what kind of budget they have.

Don't be surprised to find out that they are considering more that one shooter...



Mar 17, 2014 at 06:34 PM
zephoto
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p.1 #6 · First large commercial gig, varying aspects -- need advice from the vets


Thanks for the input. From what I've gathered at the first meeting this is the first time they have looked for a photographer. Up until this point they've been shooting cell phone pictures and they feel (obviously) it is not representing the company very well.

I am in the works of putting together a very reasonable estimate. I want return business and am not looking for sticker shock.




Mar 17, 2014 at 07:16 PM
FLSTCSAM
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p.1 #7 · First large commercial gig, varying aspects -- need advice from the vets


zephoto wrote:
Cliffe Notes: Large pharmecutical company wants pictures--I don't know what prices to set. Don't want to scare them away with a quote for $10k.

I was referred to an acquaintance's wife who runs the american division of an international pharm company. Their local branch which only has around 18 employees and annual revenue of about $2.6mill. It is a global company though with a very high (50mill+ euro) revenue stream.

Our initial meeting has them asking me to perform *many* shots including the following. Keep in mind that the managers I was discussing this project with did not give me a budget
...Show more


You can not quote until you know exactly what they want. You state they have never used an outside photographer before. You need to educate and help them to articulate what they want. What their vision and expectations are. You really do need to get some idea of a budget, or an a amount they would be happy with. While you don't need a specific amount you do need a range. Explain that your not trying to get an amount to extract the maximum but to see if your both on the same page or even in the same book. As an example if they are thinking in the $100 to $200 range you can stop wasting your time. :-) Now if they were to say they could go to $3000 to $6000 you can respond positively that this seems to be an adequate amount and you can start working on the details of what they want.

I didn't see any architectural images on your site, so if you don't have any architectural photography experience you could be in trouble. The only images on your site thst included buildings had distortion and perspective issues.

As for the fly on the wall shots...............this is were your time can increase exponentially. You need, with the client, to specify each shot with as much detail as reasonable. This will give you a finite number of shots and if they go over by any significant amount you can add some additional fees and or explain why the shoot is taking longer than expected.

Are you or the client thinking of hiring a MUA?

You indicate you think they like and or want natural light. With all due respect they don't know what they want, except great images. For people working etc you will need lighting, and you will need to set up lighting for each individual shot. This takes time. You may or may not need additional lighting for the architectural shots, but you darn sure want to have it available.

Expect things will not go as smoothly as projected. Ensure you have back up gear, and at least one assistant.

Example: Long ago in the mists of antiquity a friend was going to shoot images for his companies website and asked for my advice. After some discussion he thought it would be easier to just hire me. The budget was ridiculously low, but he was my friend and he had bitten of a little more than he should so I agreed to do it and he would come along and assist / learn. Money wasn't a consideration.

The shoot was to take 1 1/2 to 2 hours with the CEO and a couple of shots of the facilities test floor.

The CEO shows up with hired models and a shot list. The shoot took 6+ hours not 2.

I learned a very important lesson and the CEO was thrilled, but I will never be taken off guard like that again.

Sam








Mar 17, 2014 at 08:03 PM
zephoto
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p.1 #8 · First large commercial gig, varying aspects -- need advice from the vets


Thank you that was very informative. Realistically I feel this will take two full days of shooting and a solid day of editing. That's 3 days work. I try and hit around $1000/day after I'm all said and done misc expenses included which puts this in the $3000-4000 range which I think I will settle on. As it is my first foray into something like this I am pretty comfortable with that given the amount of work.

I'll admit I do not have really any architecture shots on my website and I need to update that. Nothing posted really represents what I can do--and I do have those shots. I just need to do a bit of house cleaning and updating.

They have not mentioned a MUA and this is something I'm going to mention to them on our next meeting along with ball park pricing to give them an idea of what they're in for. I really am not getting the vibe that they're going to be upset by the pricing to the point where they just say "bugger off". We may just have to negotiate a bit.

Once again, thanks you made lots of good points that I will take into consideration.



Mar 17, 2014 at 08:56 PM
Mr Joe
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p.1 #9 · First large commercial gig, varying aspects -- need advice from the vets


Contacting Wonderful Machine and referencing their posts on APE is a great idea.

To add to that, get yourself a free Corbis and/or Getty account, and run the usage pricing on similar corporate images. This will give you a good baseline to make sure your estimate is on track.

Thinking in terms of what you want to make per day is only part of the equation. You'd be better off figuring out your entire cost of doing business for a year to determine your day rate: http://asmp.org/content/codb-calculator

Hope this helps!



Mar 17, 2014 at 09:54 PM
Peter Figen
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p.1 #10 · First large commercial gig, varying aspects -- need advice from the vets


If you're quoting for a major international company, you're seriously under valuing yourself and your services. Your daily fee should be two to three times at a minimum, plus usages. You may want to figure out a fee that includes all the usage the client needs, but it should be accounted for. You absolutely need to have an accurate shot list with detailed accounting for everything that is going in each image.

You should have an estimating form that has line items for everything that goes into a shoot, from shooting fees to assistants to rentals to special equipment to meals for you and your crew to insurance etc. etc. etc.

For every day of shooting, I plan at least a day of post production, and I'm much faster than almost anyone out there, so you should probably plan more. That post production should be as much as shooting, compared on a daily basis. Don't forget that when working with a large company, there's a LOT of back and forth with decision by committee on the other end that can add untold hours to your retouching time. (having done this for many years for L.A. MTA, I speak from experience).

There's no reason, if you're doing a professional job for a large company, that you shouldn't be charging exactly what any other professional would charge. If you don't, it only drags the market down. If the company is as big as you say it is, a ten or twenty thousand dollar price will be fine with them, but you do need to get them to give you an idea of what they're expecting to pay for the scope of their project.



Mar 18, 2014 at 06:25 AM
 

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zephoto
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p.1 #11 · First large commercial gig, varying aspects -- need advice from the vets


Very grateful for your first hand info Peter. I will be meeting tomorrow with my contacts at the company to further discuss the shoot and get the last final details. I will then be writing up the estimate and terms and see where it goes.






Mar 19, 2014 at 06:07 PM
Peter Figen
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p.1 #12 · First large commercial gig, varying aspects -- need advice from the vets


Best of luck. Hope it all goes well.


Mar 19, 2014 at 11:14 PM
Easy Money
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p.1 #13 · First large commercial gig, varying aspects -- need advice from the vets


Good luck and let us know how it turns out!


Mar 25, 2014 at 02:18 AM
zephoto
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p.1 #14 · First large commercial gig, varying aspects -- need advice from the vets


Well they changed their actual needs down to 6 defined posed images which equals basically one full day of work with an assistant and a good day's worth of processing.

I priced it out higher than I initially was going to, but lower than what some recommends were figuring that the average would work. Unfortunately it was still out of their budget--of which they never told me.

I really wish someone came up with an actual number b/c it would have saved me some time and stress but that's ok... it's all part of the job and learning experience.

If their budget was "a few hundred dollars" it certainly wasn't worth my time. Oh well!



Apr 04, 2014 at 01:41 PM
Deezie
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p.1 #15 · First large commercial gig, varying aspects -- need advice from the vets


A prospective client with no history of using a commercial photographer is usually completely in the dark when it comes to suitable budgets. In these instances, I don't force my daily rate upon them, but instead ask what their budget is, and then I tell them what I can do for their projected budget. If I want the job badly enough, I will consider whether it's worth doing, and then find a way to make some cuts in services, offering less for their modest budget.

I rarely do this anymore, but sometimes getting a job for a certain client opens up the doors for other clients in the same category with bigger budgets.



Apr 04, 2014 at 03:27 PM
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p.1 #16 · First large commercial gig, varying aspects -- need advice from the vets


Completely agree with Deezie. Especially with a company with no history of using professional photography, they will have no clue what the budget should be. You have to ask them what their budget is, then you have to determine if you can work within their budget.

I do agree with all that Peter had to say as well.



Apr 04, 2014 at 03:53 PM
zephoto
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p.1 #17 · First large commercial gig, varying aspects -- need advice from the vets


I had asked twice and it seemed like they kept avoiding the question probably because they had no idea. It's not a huge deal. I was considering going lower but their response was that although their current budget didn't allow for it they would contact me in the future if they could. So it sounds as though they're interested in my services. We'll see down the road if anything pans out. I'm not too bummed. You win some, you lose some.


Apr 04, 2014 at 10:17 PM
time2clmb
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p.1 #18 · First large commercial gig, varying aspects -- need advice from the vets


swoop wrote:
How much do you make per hour? Why not charge that?


Please never give advice on anything business related again.



Apr 04, 2014 at 10:27 PM
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p.1 #19 · First large commercial gig, varying aspects -- need advice from the vets


I would say from their response, they expected a few hundred dollars for the job which is unrealistic. The problem is that they have not dealt with Professionals before and have no clue. I think after getting your price they would not say what they had in mind. They did not want to offend you.

Glad you are OK with things.



Apr 04, 2014 at 11:41 PM
BluesWest
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p.1 #20 · First large commercial gig, varying aspects -- need advice from the vets


the $3000-4000 range which I think I will settle on.

...it was still out of their budget.

I'm trying to understand how a "large pharmaceutical company" would be put off by a quote of a few thousand dollars. Big Pharma loses that kind of change in the cushions of their sofa - on a daily basis.

John



Apr 05, 2014 at 12:58 AM
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