Pricing Advice! Assignment/Event Type Pricing

Jay_ZJay_Z Big grinsPosts: 54Registered Users Big grins
edited September 20, 2014 in Mind Your Own Business
Hi,

I was recently asked to do some agriculture photos for a farm operation - although, I had to be there the next day, so they said to 'let them know how they owe me'. I'm used to licensing one or multiple images, not taking on an assignment!

Originally they were thinking 2-3 hours - I was thinking, it would take all day to get great images that I'd want them to have. I spent about 15 hours (over 2 days) as they requested some specific shots along the way - and, I wanted great images I could possibly use in my own business!

Ultimately, I have 60 great images for them (after a day or two of editing) - and, numerous small video clips that I will need to edit into a video of some kind (my expertise is in photos, not video!). These are great ag images - harvesting wheat on the edge of some canyons and steep hills! They are going to use it mostly for their website to promote their farm/farming practices. I'm going to ask permission and also have them sign a property release as I'd like to use these for other licensing (2 ag companies are interested in these images).

Any suggestions on the pricing? Most are aerial using a UAV - including the video, this is all aerial. I'd love any feedback on how you'd price this! In my mind, it's right up there with wedding photo pricing - similar hours plus editing but adds video. I'd be quite interested in your thoughts on how to figure this!

I thought I'd come to the pros - especially those with some event experience!

Thanks for any advice!

Comments

  • SamSam San Jose CA Posts: 7,418Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 10, 2014
    You in deep stinky brown stuff! :cry

    They are thinking 2 or 3 hours, you were thinking 1 day. They requested additional shots and you spent 15 hours, 2 days, shooting plus one or more days editing.

    I would love to be a fly on the wall when you quote them a price.

    No matter how you try and parse this I can't see how a client thinking he is going to be paying for 1 or 2 hours, (plus the small additional work he asked for) will react to a price quoted after the fact for the time, editing, and licensing.

    Love to know the outcome. :D

    Sam
  • Jay_ZJay_Z Big grins Posts: 54Registered Users Big grins
    edited September 10, 2014
    Sam wrote: »
    You in deep stinky brown stuff! :cry

    They are thinking 2 or 3 hours, you were thinking 1 day. They requested additional shots and you spent 15 hours, 2 days, shooting plus one or more days editing.

    I would love to be a fly on the wall when you quote them a price.

    No matter how you try and parse this I can't see how a client thinking he is going to be paying for 1 or 2 hours, (plus the small additional work he asked for) will react to a price quoted after the fact for the time, editing, and licensing.

    Love to know the outcome. :D

    Sam

    I guess the 2-3 hours was less of a factor in this equation. They simply thought it was quick and easy - but, while they anticipated this - they also requested several shot over the course of the day. Shots I wouldn't have had if I had left 6 hours prior! And, considering I was also selfishly working for the shots I want, I'd cover half that time - so, we'll say 8 hours.

    So, the factors for this in regards to the pricing assistance and advice would be on the info after that point! I'd say, similar to some kind of event or assignment type of gig - shooting for a day, producing 60 quality/valuable images and then video editing in which they can use this as needed. It will mostly be for social media and their website.

    Although, one other factor, I plan to clear it to be able to use these in my own business - licensing, social media, etc. Or, maybe that's not a factor once I get a property release.
  • GlortGlort Major grins Posts: 1,015Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 15, 2014
    I don't understand how people can take on jobs without giving the clients some sort of at least ballpark figure at the start, especially when the clients signal their expectations are out of touch or unrealistic.
    I'd bet these guys are thinking something along the lines of what they pay farm hands with a preimum thrown in... maybe $20-30 an hour.

    The clients thought it would be quick and easy, why would you expect them to think anything else? No one can understand what goes into anyone elses trade unless they have done it themselves. If the clients are going to get a shock or even refuse the work on the basis of price, I want to know up front. That gives me the opportunity to negotiate, shoot the job more to their budget or walk away. I'd be scared with instances like this that they would say " You can stick your photos up you're jumper, we are not paying that" and I'd be stuffed.

    There is a hell of a jump between 2 hours and a day and you can bet they were thinking a low to unrealsitic rate to start with. I don't know if I'd be asking them for promotional useage before or after you hit them with the bill. Maybe before would be better but then they would have a bargaing tool if they werent happy with the price. Of course there is also the possibility that they will be entirely happy with what you have done and given you have spent so much time there, may be satisfied with the price. I hope that's the view they take rather than something akin to you spent hours flying your model plane round the farm! :0)
    I would also be interested in hearing the conclusion to this story and how it pans out.

    As a matter of interest, why does a farm want to put pics on social media? Are they trying to get into new markets or not have sufficent customers already?

    There may if nothing else be a good lesson in this for you, I'm thinking in the value of avoiding problems by talking money up front although maybe there are others as well.

    Sorry I can't give you figures of what to charge. Too many variables to quote such things in my book and the fact you haven't broached with this with them at the start throws out any sort of calculations I would have.
    You're not coming from a strong position thats for sure.

    Anyway, Good luck with it and I hope it works out to everyones satisfaction.
  • Jay_ZJay_Z Big grins Posts: 54Registered Users Big grins
    edited September 15, 2014
    I should have described this differently - less of from an issue with pricing to advice on pricing! The circumstances were less critical than the specifics of the type of pricing model for this. For this and future projects.

    In my mind, this would be similar to event type pricing - like a wedding, family session, etc. And, being more in landscapes, outdoor scenics & agriculture, this is less my specialty (people sessions!).

    My thought was (for this and setting a schedule going forward) was to start with a base fee. This is charge to be hired - whether they ordered any photos or not. Then, perhaps it would include 5 images - then I'd set a schedule of 10 additional, 20 additional, etc for $X. The photos would be provided in a resolution sufficient for non-printing (web use primarily) on CD or avail for download. I am not a fan of losing control of printing, so prints would be available - canvas, metal, photo print.

    The timing is a result of my obsession to get the photos that I'd be impressed with - not show up, try to get a few great ones and take off. These are a reflection of my work and ideally, I'd be able to use these in my marketing, so I'm going to do what I need to do to get them. So, I am not looking at ah hourly fee for this as much as paying for results and ultimate deliverables.

    Any suggestions from those who do this kind of deliverable (more than, this type of assignment!).

    Thank you, greatly!!
  • SamSam San Jose CA Posts: 7,418Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 15, 2014
    Jay_Z wrote: »
    I should have described this differently - less of from an issue with pricing to advice on pricing! The circumstances were less critical than the specifics of the type of pricing model for this. For this and future projects.

    In my mind, this would be similar to event type pricing - like a wedding, family session, etc. And, being more in landscapes, outdoor scenics & agriculture, this is less my specialty (people sessions!).

    My thought was (for this and setting a schedule going forward) was to start with a base fee. This is charge to be hired - whether they ordered any photos or not. Then, perhaps it would include 5 images - then I'd set a schedule of 10 additional, 20 additional, etc for $X. The photos would be provided in a resolution sufficient for non-printing (web use primarily) on CD or avail for download. I am not a fan of losing control of printing, so prints would be available - canvas, metal, photo print.

    The timing is a result of my obsession to get the photos that I'd be impressed with - not show up, try to get a few great ones and take off. These are a reflection of my work and ideally, I'd be able to use these in my marketing, so I'm going to do what I need to do to get them. So, I am not looking at ah hourly fee for this as much as paying for results and ultimate deliverables.

    Any suggestions from those who do this kind of deliverable (more than, this type of assignment!).

    Thank you, greatly!!

    Actually, it is more a pricing issue than advice on how much to charge. The issue is not quoting an amount before the job begins. Now it's about what kind of a price can you charge without having an outraged client and actually getting paid.

    Correct me if I am wrong but the way I read your post the client wanted images to use on his website and for use printing material for advertizing. This is not fine a art print. This is a business need. I think they are expecting high rez files as well as files for web use.

    Maybe think along the lines of showing him the deliverables and submitting an invoice for what you feel is acceptable and if this is really not acceptable to him, thank him for the opportunity etc and walk away. Let him find another photographer that can work within his budget. And yes you eat the project.

    Sam

    PS: Still want to know the final chapter.
  • KennyKenny Major grins Posts: 119Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 19, 2014
    I'm from Australia, so I could be totally wrong here, but I believe it's currently illegal to operate any UAV in the US for commercial purposes unless you have a Certificate of Authority issued by the FAA. My understanding is the laws are (or may be) changing in September 2015, but as it stands, there is a requirement to hold the Certificate if you're charging money.

    Can't help with pricing, but here's a link to Fstoppers website with some more info on the FAA requirements -
    https://fstoppers.com/aerial/using-drones-without-faa-approval-photos-or-video-illegal-3938
  • SamSam San Jose CA Posts: 7,418Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 19, 2014
    Kenny wrote: »
    I'm from Australia, so I could be totally wrong here, but I believe it's currently illegal to operate any UAV in the US for commercial purposes unless you have a Certificate of Authority issued by the FAA. My understanding is the laws are (or may be) changing in September 2015, but as it stands, there is a requirement to hold the Certificate if you're charging money.

    Can't help with pricing, but here's a link to Fstoppers website with some more info on the FAA requirements -
    https://fstoppers.com/aerial/using-drones-without-faa-approval-photos-or-video-illegal-3938

    While this is getting off the OPs original question I had a fast look at what is involved in flying a UAV in Australia. I really, really hope the US doesn't follow Australia's lead.

    I do think that some rules are necessary, but in my opinion your regulations are way over the top.

    I bet getting some aerial photos in Australia is a lot more pricey than in the US.

    Sam
  • Jay_ZJay_Z Big grins Posts: 54Registered Users Big grins
    edited September 19, 2014
    I guess I should have started with a much more general request - and, less specifics on how/why! The whole perspective of my question was taking completely in off directions.

    In this case, forget my current client - and, assume they are images from the ground (which, many are as well)! My request for advice related on how to price something like this out - yes, for now, but going forward. I was hoping from this professional group of Smuggers, I'd have some great experience to run this by and assist in feedback on how to create this.

    I appreciate your perspectives - just sought some greater advice on the issue as described, how someone else might consider pricing such an assignment.
  • KennyKenny Major grins Posts: 119Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 20, 2014
    Sam wrote: »
    While this is getting off the OPs original question I had a fast look at what is involved in flying a UAV in Australia. I really, really hope the US doesn't follow Australia's lead.

    I do think that some rules are necessary, but in my opinion your regulations are way over the top.

    I bet getting some aerial photos in Australia is a lot more pricey than in the US.

    Sam

    I can't say I've even looked into this in Australia, because I don't have access to a UAV, nor do I anticipate getting one :-) The link above on the Fstoppers site relates to the US. My understanding is you can pretty much do what you want as a hobbyist in the US, but as soon as you want to charge money for it, you need the Certificate of Authority issued by the FAA.

    You've got me interested now though... I might have to look at the Australian regs now just to satisfy my curiosity :-)

    Ken
  • SamSam San Jose CA Posts: 7,418Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 20, 2014
    Jay_Z wrote: »
    I guess I should have started with a much more general request - and, less specifics on how/why! The whole perspective of my question was taking completely in off directions.

    In this case, forget my current client - and, assume they are images from the ground (which, many are as well)! My request for advice related on how to price something like this out - yes, for now, but going forward. I was hoping from this professional group of Smuggers, I'd have some great experience to run this by and assist in feedback on how to create this.

    I appreciate your perspectives - just sought some greater advice on the issue as described, how someone else might consider pricing such an assignment.

    Forgetting your present dilemma, pricing is always a difficult issue. There is how much you need in order to stay in business and eat. There is the amount needed to keep up with gear, software, training. There is transportation, and expenses. There is your local market rate. Your perceived value. There is the clients budget. How good are you at estimating the time the project will take?

    There are many top photographers who can charge thousands of dollars for a shoot where you and I would be laughed out of the building.

    I wish I had a magic wand with precise pricing for all occasions but alas it ain't so. :D

    Research what other photographers are charging for similar services to get a feel for your local market rate, then work out your costs and what you need in profit and see if that fits into the market rates in your area.

    Also consider the quality of your photography and be realistic.

    Those are my thoughts on the subject.

    Sam
  • enricofraenricofra Beginner grinner Posts: 1Registered Users Beginner grinner
    HI, I know this is an old post but I'd like to share my experience as a freelance graphic designer and photographer.
    First of all, there are mainly two kinds of clients in this specific case. The ones who pay almost any reasonable price you ask for, and the ones that want to negotiate a better price.
    Usually, the second ones are the most dangerous, they try to pay your creative services as they were bread or meat and they really don't understand (or don't want to understand) that it's not the same kind of thing.

    With the first type of clients, what I do is to do by myself a rough forecast of the time needed to accomplish the job, multiply this for my hourly rate (tax excluded) then double (or more if the job is tricky) this result to give me a margin big enough to sustain any last minute request (there are always last minute requests!). If everything goes smooth, I will have a bigger margin, if not I'll still be in a safe area. And of course I ask for a percentage in advance, this is ALWAYS a good practice. Clients who already paid you, even a single buck, are more prone to pay you again. It's a small psycho trick that failed just a couple of times in years. So ask for a 20/30/50% in advance as a rule.

    With the second ones, the negotiators, I use a different approach. First, I ask for a basic fee which essentially is my revenue, and they have to pay it in advance. With a photography job, it could be easily justified as an "editing fee", the time required to correct the photos after the shooting, or you could invent almost anything. Just call it "costs" and they will not have space to discuss it. Just as an example, for a 2 day job it could be from 200 to 500 bucks, or more if you have a good name or leverage.
    Then, I add the hourly rate, which they will pay after the delivery of the work. This works like a constraint for them. More hours shooting, a higher bill at the end, "Dear client, are you sure you want me to stay here for 3 hours more?".
    It usually helps me to make this kind of clients more reasonable during the work (they always ask for more!), to have a lower perceived price at the beginning ("oh yes, for what you asked 3 hours will be enough to shoot this, so I guess it will be about 150 bucks but I'll tell you after the shooting") and to be at home for dinner without having to fight with clients (it looks like they often don't have a family!).
    Once I got a webdesign job with a negotiator. I delivered the job in one month perfectly following his requests and, a week after the delivery, he decided that the new website did not represent him well. I told him that I just did what he asked for and for more work I had to apply my hourly rate, he said ok and in the end I've been paid two times. I cannot imagine how it could have ended if I didn't use this approach.

    I'm not telling you this is the road to wealthiness, for what I learned in my 25ys of work only those who have good leverage can get big money for creative works, but it's a good way to avoid conflict with clients, to spend less hours doing the math, and in the end you will have a pricing formula you could tinker with and improve over time.

    Enrico
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