Composite Pricing Question

Started Sep 29, 2022 | Questions thread
MoreCowbell Contributing Member • Posts: 980
Re: Composite Pricing Question

JakeWarrin wrote:

I've been approached to make a composite picture for local city department. The framed picture would be roughly 33"x43". I would need to capture and edit 86 photos to build the image. I would need to build the photo with names and titles. I would be handling the printing and framing as well. They said that they have $2,000 in the budget, but if that's not enough to let them know and they'll get it added to 2023 and we'll start the project then.

I would be trying to set up on location for a couple days to capture the majority of the images and handling the people that could not make the scheduled time in the studio.

Based on everything that I described, does that sound like a good number for that project? If I need to provide more information, please let me know.

I do these for police departments regularly.

A couple of points based on the people I work for:

  • In this jurisdiction, there is a state law requiring cities to go out for competitive bidding on anything over $3000, so I'm always just a hair below that
  • You also can't do part of the work and come back on a different purchase order to do the rest, that's a violation in this state.
  • You want a really, really BASIC project this is it.
  • The people wanting the work done have a very low level of interest in the project. It's something they would really prefer not to be bothered with doing. Competitive bidding is a royal PITA for these people. They will jump at the chance of getting someone to do the work without it. But you have to have an in to get the first one.
  • As long as I am below the $3000 threshold that's pretty much the limit of their interest in pricing
  • The Departments buy these things on a schedule, and as long as the work is good they have absolutely no interest in shopping around for alternate providers. That's more work for them. And a repeat business opportunity for you.
  • If you're doing something for police officers wearing uniforms, 9 out of 10 don't know the proper wearing of Class A Uniforms.
  • I do cattle calls like this with probably more employee interaction than many people since I know a lot of them and having been doing their stuff for years, but high end portraiture it ain't. The men get what they get and the women get a very basic automated retouch at a very low level. If you get a couple of the ladies telling the Chief they like the results you got a customer for decades.
  • They are not the sort of item where they ever want reprints. It's one and done. And I don't offer to do the prints anyway. I give them the digital file and point them in the direction of a lab that does appropriately sized wrap prints and the individual employees get to make their own prints if they chose. I'm pretty sure they never get viewed other than on a cellphone. The only place the images ever get used is the one hung on the wall, retirements, funerals, and the rare newspaper.
  • Confidentiality is a potential issue. I make sure they understand I do not maintain the images after they have gotten theirs.
  • Adding the name and position takes a LOT longer than you think.
  • I get them to assign a senior supervisor to heard the cats and get everybody to show up. Otherwise, I'll be doing makeups till the cows come home.
  • I'll give you an absolute iron clad guarantee that they're going to come up with something extra they want you to do that's not in the contract. Know in advance how you prefer to handle that.
  • These people are mission oriented and appreciate guys who do whatever it takes. Might be something to be aware of if you have to think on your feet.
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