Industrial photography

Started 6 months ago | Discussions thread
Ed Shapiro
Ed Shapiro Contributing Member • Posts: 560
Re: Industrial photography

brucet wrote:

Ed Shapiro wrote:

brucet wrote:

I think there needs to be a distinction of sorts with the OP. Small 'local' industries v 'multi national' industries. Multi nationals are a whole nuther question with a whole set of different requirements and approaches involving agents. Smaller 'local' industries are often in house and don't use agents as such.

In my case I had a multinational approach me after seeing my work on the net. Lucky me. But my 'small' work has come about by me approaching smaller clients.

FWIW the multi national screwed me. The smaller industries have been a pleasure to work with. And way more profitable.

I have a mix. I serve lots of small companies and a few big ones. I have never had issues with any of them.

I like the big companies for annual report work. Someof them have big budgets for these publications because not only are the financial reports but are used to attract investments and the wanna look good. They have big budgets for printing and the printing houses encourage good photography. I get to hoot products, industrial scenarios and executive portraits.

Perhaps I am fortunate to have never been "screwed". I work by contract and all the protective stipulations are included. The transfer of reproduction rights do not occur until the invoices are paid.

The smaller businesses don't have giant budgets but there are enough small jobs to help boost my bottom line.

Running any business is not a "piece of cake", there are always some problems, lots of long hours and many aspects that are not fun and creative in nature- like accounting, taxes, paperwork, and maintaining a kinda high overhead. The photography business can be especially difficult at times buses in many cases, it is not a necessity but a luxury service. That is who it is good to diversify and if one market declines, you have other opportunities to fall back on.

Keep up the hard work, my friend. Don't let the big-business guy get the best of you- we all gotta keep the wolves away from the door- Be well!

Ed Shapiro- Commercial and Portrait Photographer. Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Just to clarify my 'screwed' comment. I was contacted by a large multinational. Their USA based HQ. They wanted one of my images for a pair of calendars. One wall and one desk top version. They asked me for a price. Before I responded they got back to me with a 'take it or leave it' offer. US$750.00 for a print run of up to 4 million copies. I know what these firms pay and the choices they have. So the money wasn't the issue.

We signed a contract with a clause that I had inserted and they agreed to. "No editing whatsoever without my written consent". Some weeks later I got a few copies sent to me. Heavily edited. The image was a one which depicted 100 year old boxes with company logos on them. Every logo was edited out. And done by the office boy that was a very low quality edit. I contacted them and their response was, "take it up with our lawyers".

Lesson learned.

Not nice, to say the least!   In my own case, I usually do not sell my personal "art" images to corporate clients.  I usually am hired by the company or their agencies to do a specific assignment. If the images are gonna be used as is or altered in the process of completing the project, all of that is worked out and known in advance.  It's all part of the layout or the original concept.  If a logo or copy is gonna be inserted or superimposed over the image, we leave negative space for it.   Most of the work is for advertising, packaging and sales or investment promotion so all kinds of graphics are expected.

Ed Shapiro- Commercial and Portrait Photographer. Ottawa, Ontario Canada

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