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