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Pricing advice please

Hi, If you have read any of my posts you know that I have moved to NY, (wife is in UNICEF) and recently maxed cards to get a used P25/Mamiya.

I was introduced to a established architect here and after doing photos of model of one of his projects, announced to me that he --and his partner-- want to give me "4 or 5 projects for me to shoot".

The question now is how much money Im I want to ask from him.

The balance goes like this

IN PHOTOGRAPHERS FAVOR:

* just to rent a P25 plus 645, lenses etc is $600
* 63MB files are very usable
* available and interested

AGAINST

*just came to NY and don't have a fresh arq. portfolio to show what the client can expect as final result

considering this I was thinking in the vicinity of $1,500 per project plus or minus extra for digital post production.

What do you think?

Thanks

(Asher: my main computer arrived from Mexico and I will be able to post images soon, I also got the AF 35mm f/3.5 that have to test etc.)
 

Eric Michelson

New member
Hi Leonardo,

Congrats on the P45 system. It's awesome and great for architecture work.

Money is always the toughest question. So you have to define the nature of the assignment and what is fair and reasonable compensation for the quality of work you will provide. How long will each assignment take? If you successfully complete the first assignment are you guaranteed the other 4?

Typical negotiation from the client point of view... "let's do the first one for ( and here he/she says half of what you want to get paid). Then on the other assignments we can talk." This is tempting because you are anxious to do the job.

Typical negotiation from your point of view. "Let's do the first assignment at my usual rate. If you want to move ahead with further assignments we can reach agreement on the 4 remaining." Fair for both sides if they are serious about working with you.

What is your history with the architect? Did they pay you for the model photography? If you "volunteered" your services it's an uphill battle to establish your value. What is their history with past photographers? Do they move from one to another always looking for a deal? One possible way to determine that is look at the quality of the photography they use in their communications. If it is inconsistent in quality that could be a tipoff.

Think about the creative value you add. Are you providing additional technical services? For example are providing him with just the raw files and he will process (not recommended btw)?

You will process the files? If so will you...
  • provide custom sizing?
  • crop to a provided specification?
  • perform a color conversion to a specified icc profile?
  • transmit images via ftp or email or send a disk?

These are all items for which you can and should charge fair and reasonable fees.

Photographers often bill based upon usage of the image. Check out the online resources at ASMP or APA.

You are only worth what you get and you only get what you ask for.

Cheers!
Eric
www.pixelleadership.com
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Eric,

Thanks for your answer. It's a great start. Do you have the url of where Leonardo could get price ranges? I know that is a tough question, but pricing is one of the most challenging hurdles for a photographer entering a new market.

Leonardo, if one has a whole lot of clients coming one's way then it's no sweat to be too high on the first few and so lose the jobs. However, if this contact was tough to get and there's nothing around then doubt and fear can cerode one's market starting point.

It seems that knowledge of the market one is aiming for is a pre-requisite for this as with any other business enterprise. With weddings, it's so easy to find out about the market. With architecture, access to such info may take a lot more effort. I do hope that architectural photographers who have experience might let you know more either here or by PM.

If this is a corporate client and represents a giant city complex, who knows, it may be worth $10,000 or even $100,000.

If you were in the latter catgegory you would already know it.

Asher
 
It may be that the message is too large, I will divide it in 2...

Part I

Eric Michelson said:
Hi Leonardo,

Congrats on the P45 system. It's awesome and great for architecture work.

Thank you, but it is a P 25, but Im very happy with it and the way it works with the Mamiya.

Money is always the toughest question. So you have to define the nature of the assignment and what is fair and reasonable compensation for the quality of work you will provide. How long will each assignment take? If you successfully complete the first assignment are you guaranteed the other 4?

I visited two projects already with him. One is a large corporate office in the GM building - in front of that new Apple store--, and the other an apartment in the MoMa building. The two locations have large windows, so I'm planing to take four flash mono heads to be able to see the view from outside. I don't know how much time will I have to shoot etc. So the work is a bit challenging and intense. I think that they want to have this four of five things, so, if things go well they can give me all of them.


Typical negotiation from the client point of view... "let's do the first one for ( and here he/she says half of what you want to get paid). Then on the other assignments we can talk." This is tempting because you are anxious to do the job.

Typical negotiation from your point of view. "Let's do the first assignment at my usual rate. If you want to move ahead with further assignments we can reach agreement on the 4 remaining." Fair for both sides if they are serious about working with you.

I think that they want a fee that would be attractive but standard. I want the same. But I wish they said to me: "look, this is what we have in our budget. Do you want to do it?" but the want me to tell them how much and he has asked me in two opportunities, so next time I talk to him I will say $1500, as a starter, per project. I think that if I get $1k per job, in my situation now I can live wit it.
 
Part II

What is your history with the architect? Did they pay you for the model photography? If you "volunteered" your services it's an uphill battle to establish your value. What is their history with past photographers? Do they move from one to another always looking for a deal? One possible way to determine that is look at the quality of the photography they use in their communications. If it is inconsistent in quality that could be a tipoff.

The model photography he said it was paid, not for free, but it is the same thing, don't know how much etc.

He showed me work he did with an architectural photographer --mexican-- that he even introduced to me. He is probably not an inexpensive established colleague.

Think about the creative value you add. Are you providing additional technical services? For example are providing him with just the raw files and he will process (not recommended btw)?

You will process the files? If so will you...

He wants the images to submit to architectural magazines and he said that some times they --the editors-- are interested in the project but insist on re shooting with their approved photographer and that if I did not mined that. I said that it was a challenge for me to do good work.


  • provide custom sizing?
  • crop to a provided specification?
  • perform a color conversion to a specified icc profile?
  • transmit images via ftp or email or send a disk?

These are all items for which you can and should charge fair and reasonable fees.

Photographers often bill based upon usage of the image. Check out the online resources at ASMP or APA.

You are only worth what you get and you only get what you ask for.

Yes, and thank you for your advice. I will let you know what -- or what not -- happens.





___________ _____ _____ _____ ____________ ____________ _________________________








Cheers!
Eric
www.pixelleadership.com[/QUOTE]
 

Michael Fontana

pro member
Beeing a architecture photographer since > 15 years, I find it very hard to fix the price before seeing the building; therefore I avoid these situations, or add a risk fee.

I'ts my understanding, that every building, room and space is different, in terms of light, materiality, etc:

shooting in little rooms is a bigger effort than shooting a hall; big aluminium window frames will cause some problems, meanwhile a white wall will be easy; lots of big windows will produce reflections on every additional light; balancing mixt light situations are easier with digi than with film, but might require additional editing, etc.

The architects and their expectations are all different, as well. Some are just primadonna's...
You might notice, that architecture photographers often do have a personal, special relationsship with the architects, as the photographers are providing sort of visiting card, translating and representing the architects work to the rest of the world...
one or two time in my career, I had to realise, that I wasn't the right men for that specific person, or vice versa...

That said, in your situation, I' d visit one of these buildings, would fix a price for its shooting, taking notes of all the hours spend, and making your conclusions.

In terms of a long-term relationsship with a client, which is the goal, cause trust is the most important value, that you can share with a client, I believe strongly, that it works fine, when the deal fits for both; the relationship is a two way street.
If the relationship/work situation is well established, nobody will have arguments for a few dollars...

>"let's do the first one for ( and here he/she says half of what you want to get paid).<
IMO, it's a NoNo
You' ll have all sort of arguments, in the future: for that project xy, the budget is small, I had to buy new computers, blablabla etc
 

Ray West

New member
Hi Leonardo,

asher, im trying to reply but i get a message to "lengthen the message 10 characters" ?? but don't know how.
you get this if your message is less than ten characters e.g. you've quoted someone's message, and added 'thanks' - your message is thus 6 characters, and the software considers its not worth saying. ;-)

Best wishes,

Ray
 

Eric Michelson

New member
ASMP Publishes a business practices guide which you can buy from here..
http://www.asmp.org/publications/asmp.php

APA has portions of their manual online for non-members here...
http://www.apanational.com/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3340

Neither of these guides will tell you what to charge. By law they can't otherwise antitrust issues could come into play. I know in the past ASMP would take surveys and present the range across different photographic disciplines. So if the past practice is present you would find a range of what architectural photographers are getting for "typical" assignments. But of course there is no such thing.

Best wishes
Eric Michelson
www.pixelleadership.com
 
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