Commercial Photography and Billing Insights and Questions

Started Nov 29, 2006 | Discussions
Lee Kupfer Contributing Member • Posts: 634
Re: Commercial Photography and Billing Insights and Questions

You should get more for the sink type shots, the indi chairs do go for a c-note maybe less if there's a lot of them. If there are only a few, by the time you paint the cyc section, set up the lights meter, shoot and pp you've got at least an hour to an hour and a half for the first shot, subsequent shots may not take as long to shoot, but all chairs are different, light should not remain static since the angles are all different, always modification to each shot, even though they are similar. In particular school chairs w/those chrome legs...notice how even those legs appear w/o a color cast.

john g Regular Member • Posts: 429
Re: Commercial Photography and Billing Insights and Questions

Catalog photography can also be bid at a per-page price or as a holding shot/insert shot price.

In the end, it shouldn't matter how you bill, it's often a matter of how the client asked for the original bid, especially in competitive bid situations.

Some pricing scenarios are more flexible than others, but it all boils down to the same thing if you're simply raise prices by a certain percent. BTW, I have found that many businessmen think in terms of percent, so I have gotten further with regular yearly increases of 3 to 6 percent, rather than larger, less frequent increases. Corporate people seem to understand yearly increases, it's how they get their own raises and bonuses.

Good luck!

Jeff Behm Veteran Member • Posts: 3,306
Re: Commercial Photography and Billing Insights and Questions

Man, I've GOT to move from this area. The economy here is toast. There was a time when I shot Snark sailboats for their Sears catalog placements adn everything else, all kinds of work for ServiStar Hardware and Werner ladders. They and dozens of others are all gone now except Werner who has moved headquarters to Chicago and production to Mexico, although they started just up the road from me.

Yesterday an agency came in and needed me to shoot today (40 minutes from now) for a regional sales brochure. 10 medical people as a group in professional garb, in the studio cyc to a layout, plus headshots of between 1 and 4 individuals. These people and I work together all the time but I thought the owner would fall off his chair at $200 plus head shots. He called me the most expensive photographer her knows, but he uses me cuz I always get it right the first time.

Duh!?

Anybody know how things are for commercial photogs in Santa Fe NM? It's clearer all the time, I have to go.
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jrbehm
http://homepage.mac.com/jrbehm/Scenic/

john g Regular Member • Posts: 429
Re: Commercial Photography and Billing Insights and Questions

I "unofficially" left the biz when a large international agency called me and asked me to do a six location shoot for a big client. I bid it at three days with an additional day (at half rate) for processing.

They told me they wanted it shot in two. I conceeded that I could do it in two days if I started at 8:AM and worked till 6:PM, with no lunch. Then they said that they didn't want to pay for the processing day. My assistant agreed to do the processing for free if he could get the two days work. Basically, an across-the-board 30% discount.

It was at that point that I realized that I had to to find a better way to make money.

Jeff Behm Veteran Member • Posts: 3,306
Re: Commercial Photography and Billing Insights and Questions

john g wrote:

I "unofficially" left the biz when a large international agency
called me and asked me to do a six location shoot for a big client.
I bid it at three days with an additional day (at half rate) for
processing.

They told me they wanted it shot in two. I conceeded that I could
do it in two days if I started at 8:AM and worked till 6:PM, with
no lunch. Then they said that they didn't want to pay for the
processing day. My assistant agreed to do the processing for free
if he could get the two days work. Basically, an across-the-board
30% discount.

It was at that point that I realized that I had to to find a better
way to make money.

Yeah, been there, done that.

So I'm dying to know...what'd you do? The only thing I've ever wanted to do is photography and have been very happy every day to go to work at it for 22 years. Doesn't mean I like this squeeze, squeeze, squeeze though. I don't know if I'm trying to get blood from a turnip or a stone, though it feels like the latter.
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jrbehm
http://homepage.mac.com/jrbehm/Scenic/

Lee Kupfer Contributing Member • Posts: 634
Re: Commercial Photography and Billing Insights and Questions

Hi Jeff...I hear and understand what's going on w/you...a friend of mine went to Tupelo, MS...small town of 30k...make a long story short, he started doing some furniture photography for a printer, the printer made space for him right in the print facility...printer sold to another entity, photographer was out of a job...wound up doing anything he could, weddings, portraits...hoofing it...along came an opportunity which he grabbed got some money from a bank through this opportunity and started out w/a 20k sq ft warehouse...talked w/him a month or so ago and he's added another 10k of space...35k sq ft is a large studio. However, the reason he went there was for the furniture photography, Tupelo had invested in a furniture mart that is much like a market except all furniture(and associated products). Plus Hankcock Fabrics corporate headquarters are there and he used to do that, probably still does. If you do decide to relocate, pick a spot where commerce is growing. Not everyone will be lucky to wind up in the upholstered furniture capital of the world, but w/any luck there are other products and industry that use photography just as much. Perhaps not quite the volume...lol
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john g Regular Member • Posts: 429
no message....

My reply just disappeared, I'll email you privately.

Jeff Behm Veteran Member • Posts: 3,306
Nothing stays the same...

In a recent thread I mentioned how the major industries still remaining here are forcing the unions to accept wages of $7-9 per hour as opposed to $19-25.hr. I was in Anderson IN in the late 70's/early 80's when the GM plants closed and people just abandoned their homes to the banks, packed what they could in their cars and left. It was "The Grapes of Wrath" redux.

It may well be happening again here in western PA and eastern Ohio. From just south of Cleveland to just north of Pittsburgh it's Appalachia again.

John G sent me an email about how he closed his New Mexico studio after 9/11 and worked exclusively in NY, but that's the only reply regarding NM so far. Not like anybody working there is going to step up and say, "Yeah, come on in - I have more than I can handle". But I spend my vacations out there and have walked around Santa Fe with an eye towards commercial work. So many are pursuing fine arts that there could be a possible niche. And I have connections and friends there which eases any move for any reason.
--
jrbehm
http://homepage.mac.com/jrbehm/Scenic/

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