Commercial Photographers in Detroit Michigan

Michigan Commercial Photographers Mary DuPrie

I had a call from an advertsing agency this week wanting a quote for beauty shots showcasing hair.  What surprises me is what little information they can give you about the shoot but need a price for their client.  Beauty/hair is such a specialty and extremely difficult.could retouch hair. I mentioned my quote was not goiching and the agency person was quite surprised.  We, now as photographers, are fully expected to know and include high end retouching.  I would never attempt to entertain the idea that I could retouch hair. Ouch!

There were so many variables and unknowns to the shoot that it was hard to quote.  But yet I did.  How?  A big fat guess.  Yep, you heard me right.  There is no way of really knowing what the client is looking for unless they send me images and say “we were thinking something like this”.  A verbal description is certainly not enough, adjectives mean different things to different people.

To say,  some beauty shots is definitely kinda vague.  Is the model moving, does the hair have to be perfect like images on hair coloring boxes.  The retouching alone could be thousands.  They asked for three looks with 15 different poses with each look.  Some beauty shots with the model alone, some holding a can of hair spray and some using the hair spray.

If the hair is to be static then every time she moves it will have to be tweaked and styled by the hair dresser on set.  That would be a total of 45 different looks. This type of shoot is time consuming and tedious.

They wanted to know if I had a half day rate… hummm.  I have rarely seen a commercial shoot that is a half day.  I would be surprised if you could get great results in one long day.  I try and price by a “shot” list not by a day rate., they will work you like crazy if you price by a day rate.  I have turned down work in the past when they don’t have a shot list and they want you to just wing it.  An art director will push and push  for more and more images.  A shot list keeps the shoot on track.

And yes they wanted full license, world wide in perpetuity.  Clients will always downplay how they are going to use the images, it’s just human nature.   I have from the very beginning included full licensing to my images and have no problem saying so to fellow photographers in the industry.   It’s whatever you’re comfortable with.

For smaller clients I feel this is the way to go.  I know in the past this has gotten me work and repeat clients.  Normally images have a life span anyway and if I can get paid more up front I’m all for that.  The gist is I keep the copyright and they can not resell the images to a third party.

Trying to tell a small client they have to come back in a year or two to negotiate their license, I feel, is on the way out.  Lot’s of small companies have no idea what and how they want to use their images in a year or two, they’re not being evasive they just don’t know.   Bundling it up front is my choice.  Clients love easy buttons and so do I.

Another fun scenario I get is when I get an email like this;  I would like to know how much for pictures.

That’s the whole email.  Makes me chuckle a bit.  It’s kinda like calling an Architect and saying, How much to  build me a house?

Detroit Michigan Photographers Mary DuPrie


10 comments category: Beauty,Styling

1 Mike March 2, 2011 at 7:12 pm

Has anyone heard from Mary? I check my feeds everyday for a post. Nothing. Maybe she is traveling? Beuller? Anyone? I hope all is ok.


2 Viktor February 26, 2011 at 3:42 am

Where did Mary go? Too busy, or gone for a vacation?


3 Cliff Workman February 26, 2011 at 9:20 am

I think Mary gets busy and likes taking a hiatus from the blog every now and then. It gives her a chance to get caught up on other things and just get away from it for a while.


4 Matt February 24, 2011 at 8:22 am

I’ve been gone for a while but Mary has been gone for two weeks?!


5 Patricia Pentecost February 17, 2011 at 12:26 pm

Mary, I stumbled upon your blog quite by accident and am so glad I did. I greatly enjoyed this post and look forward to reading more here. Much admiration for your work!
Patricia Pentecost recently posted..Groom Asks Trish- Why Do You Need Insurance


6 Mike Lynch February 14, 2011 at 2:34 pm

What is “goiching”?


7 Mike Lynch February 14, 2011 at 2:36 pm

You wrote: “I mentioned my quote was not goiching and the agency person was quite surprised”


8 frank t February 11, 2011 at 12:03 pm

I had a woman calling me to shoot a 5 min video of her explaining everything she wanted to modify on her home – showcasing it and lighting it so she could apply for a reality TV series that would come in and re-make her house. Her budget for this? $50. I told her nicely to find a family friend to shoot it with a camcorder. She hung up in a huff saying I “obviously didn’t want to make any money.”

Right. I bring $20+K of gear for 2 hrs of shooting, 2 more hrs of editing (at a best guess, depending on how well she has things scripted & selected), add in an assistant for lighting & audio – for $50 and I don’t want to make money. Yep.

So, I guess this is the reverse, someone “knowing” what they want, but not wanting to pay the professional to do it (btw – she found me via my business card – which does not mention I even do video!).
frank t recently posted..Maternity and Family Portraits


9 Cliff Workman February 10, 2011 at 10:07 am

I feel your pain! Here’s a cut-n-paste from an email I got yesterday.

Looking to do a photo shoot for clothing line. What are your details in doing this?
Kirk Schultz CEO”


10 Detroit People Photographers February 10, 2011 at 6:33 am

Seth Godin talks about this issue blog today as well:


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