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The Business of Commercial Photography: join us on G+ hangout

The Business of Commercial Photography

Wednesday 6th of June at 10PM EST (your time: http://goo.gl/bMhDB )  we’ll have a hangout with special guests: +Sean Armenta +Peter Hurley +Bill Cahill. Of course we’ll have Dave Nitsche and few more cool guys with us:-)
We’ll be discussing the business side of commercial photography: How much to charge, where to start with self promotion, how to make money on licensing your work and much more. We’ll talk about real stuff, with real numbers and experience.

So far I have these questions/topics to be covered:

  1. How do you charge for your work: per hour/per final images, etc? How much do you charge?
  2. Do you work with a representative? If yes, was it possible for you to work w/o a representative?
  3. Do you license your images? What’s the most common license customers ask and what do they receive? What’s the difference in cost of different licenses?
  4. How much did you charge at the beginning of your career? Did the price change since then? Was it easy to raise it (if it was raised:-)
  5. How many people do you have involved in typical photoshot?
  6. How often do you rent equipment? What do you usually rent?
  7. How do you advertise/promote yourself? Which works better for you: word of mouth or paid AD placement/direct mail?

Our guests are well known established professional commercial photographers and they agreed to share things which are usually kept hidden. If you have anything to be added to the list I have posted here: I’ll grab your questions and will make sure to ask our guests.

Please share this to spread the word. It will be a very interesting talk-show for most photographers and those who want to become one.

Want to see our previous hangouts? All of them are here: PHOTIGY LIVE.


5 responses on "The Business of Commercial Photography: join us on G+ hangout"

  1. I have no experience in this aspect of photography, but I have done design work for computer products. When discussing the contract I always make clear what I am willing to turn over to them as part of the deal at no extra charge but I also make it very clear what will go into completing the design such as development, research, testing, and production specifications. Then that is when the first thing the company asks is what is that going to cost us ?

    Its kind of a gamble and a trick at the same time. By saying what I will turn over with no extra fee then going into details about the rest of the work behind the project 95% of the time it makes the client ask you how to handle the other developmental properties and how that will affect the cost of the entire project start to finish.

    Then the we discuss details about the additional content and the cost of each, as well as the ownership of data and materials. After that it takes about 3 to 5 days on average for them to contact me with their budget and what materials or data they want and how the want to get it.

    This way it makes a lot less stress for me and all the details are in the contract from the begging, and if you really want to cover your ass you add a contract modification fee in the original contract, but I only bring that up if one its a new client or two its a client with a reputation for manipulating deals. Also wait to add that until the very last few stages of finalizing the deal.

    I am not sure how well this would work into a photography deal but maybe some parts I have mentioned could be useful. Good luck out there and watch your ass unless you have an agent to do it for you but even then always stay directly involved in any negotiations or contracts concerning the work you will be doing.

  2. i have one question.
    imagine you have one imagem to make let´s say a pack shot of some candys. the same imagem but for 2 diferente clients
    one client is one small shop in the same streat were you work
    the other is a big retail company.
    the imagem is the same the only diference is the client…you have the exacly same work,,,
    how do you charge for this?
    will the price be the same for both clients, a you work is the same, or you charge diferently and why

    • @rui bandeira,
      So, I did not ask your question directly as guests has provided the answer when we were talking about license (and I can tell you the seam): The price will for retail will be based on the usage + daily rate, while for local business, in most of situations, it is the only daily rate + expenses.

  3. Alex, How do you handle it when a commercial client wants ALL your files. You make the photographic images in camera, then spend copious amounts of time on the post processing, and then they want a limited usage agreement, but they also want ALL the file. I just did a commercial job for an energy company from Australia. They want to use two images for a brochure. I have 40.76 GB of image files. How do you handle it when someone wants ALL the files?

    • Allan,
      I’ll ask this questions, thank you. As for us, we are trying not to provide raw files when it is possible, but only developed ones. However, sometime we do so, providing all “good ones” to a client. We’ll see what our guests will answer.:-)

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