COMMERCIAL PHOTOGRAPHY PRICING
Commercial photography will increase the perceived value of a product or service and elicit profitable action from your customers and assist in building your brand’s visibility, credibility, and profitability. Unlike pricing for other types of photography, commercial photography pricing is not offered in packages.
It’s important that we discuss your unique goals and needs which will inform many variables that contribute to pricing, including, but not limited to: usage, time spent on-site, and the volume of final images. If you are interested in commercial photography services, give me a call for a custom quote.
PRICING FOR COMMERCIAL PHOTOGRAPHY
Commercial photography pricing has several factors that are involved, so it can be difficult to have pricing listed. Depending on the level of work needed, how many photographs you are needing, and the manner in which the images are used can affect how commercial photography is priced.
With that being said, I've included my creative fee, which is the starting price for most commercial projects. A creative fee is just the price of what it would take for me to only photograph the job. Retouching costs are not included in the creative fee. It would be an additional cost added on.
If you have a commercial project that you're needing a quote, the best thing to do is reach out, and provide as many details as possible as to what you're wanting. Please read on below, I've complied a list of questions that are typically asked when pricing commercial work.
QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT WHEN PRICING COMMERCIAL PHOTOGRAPHY
The use of imagery in general is the most important aspect when it comes to pricing commercial photography, here are a few questions that are typically asked so we can give you a quote.
WHO IS THE CLIENT?
Are you an individual, or brand?
Are any 3rd parties involved?
WHAT IS YOUR BUDGET?
This helps let me know upfront so I know how to price the job.
WHAT IS THE JOB DESCRIPTION?
How long will the job take?
Does the job require any special experience, or technical skills?
Is transportation or travel required?
What expenses will you cover as the client?
Will the job require specialized photography equipment?
Will the job require a studio?
WHAT PREPRODUCTION WORK IS NEEDED?
Who is handling locations?
WHAT IS THE LICENSING OR USAGE REQUIRED?
How will the images be used?
Where will the images appear?
How large will the images be reproduced?
What specific rights are needed?
Is the use editorial, promotional, or commercial in nature?
What is the duration of the license?
Are exclusive rights needed?
Is a buyout needed?
What are the terms of renewing a license?
What other rights are needed?
WHAT IS THE SCOPE OF DELIVERABLES?
How many final images are required?
Do you need to review all images, or just the photographer selects?
Do you need raw files, or just selects only?
What resolution and format is needed for final delivery?
WHAT POST PRODUCTION IS NEEDED?
Is retouching required?
If so, is your marketing team handling that, or is the photographer?
How many rounds of edits are required?
How soon do you need the images?
What method of image delivery is needed? Hard-drive or electronic?
What is the turn around time for image delivery?
What costs are associated with image delivery, if any?
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
There is a spot right below the contact form, where you can upload as many pictures as you want, so I can get a better feel of the style you're going for. Or feel free to send over a style guide.
Payment is due 15 days after the shoot date (net15).
After the shoot is done, within a day I will send over a proofing gallery where you can select the best images(s). There will also be a detailed questionnaire to fill out to let me know how you would like your image(s) retouched.
Once I'm finished retouching, I will upload all files into Dropbox where you can download them and save them to your computer.
Planning is key to any successful commercial photo shoot. There are often many players in the planning stages of a shoot. Sometimes the ball is in my court to come up with visuals for a given clients needs. Other times there is a creative director conceptualizing the ideas.
Often times however, this is a collaborative effort between all parties involved. Once the ideas are drafted on paper, my job as the photographer is to execute this idea as a deliverable to the client.
It is very important to prep the space we will be shooting, and it will be so much easier to prep than to have to photoshop certain elements out later. This can save lots of time and money in the post production process.
Another important aspect for commercial photography is the look. Depending on what we're capturing, whether it's people, or the space, lighting is a huge factor when capturing these types of images.
Good lighting is always going to make any image look so much better, so in a nutshell we want to think about a good space where there is either natural light, or a place to add artificial light.
This is really where the magic happens. After lighting the scene and creating beautiful images in camera. Here, we can start styling the image. Again, depending on what is needing to be done, certain things can be added, and taken away.
Some clients like more grain, as well as color grading in their photos to have a cinematic type look. Others may like more natural, or "true to color". All this info should be worked out before hand in the planning stage.
The differences are as follows:
This involves adjustment like white balance, color, exposure, contrast and sharpening. If there is a minor skin blemish that is distracting, for instance, I will usually remove it.
BASIC PHOTO RETOUCHING
This process is more involved than simple editing, and therefore, can take longer amounts of time. In addition to the color and balancing depicted above, retouching includes softening and blending of the face and neck; blemish removal; teeth whitening; brightening and red eye-removal; and hair taming around edges.
The end result is a polished, professional image that will be flawless, while still looking completely natural.
HIGH-END PHOTO RETOUCHING
This goes beyond the initial scope of basic retouching and includes things like, swapping heads and body parts, complicated hair adjustments, removing unwanted objects, smoothing clothes, changing background colors, changing clothing colors, changing the shape of face and body parts, and color grading.
High End Retouching Pricing starts at $100 per hour and time can vary depending on the size and scope of retouching wanted.
Used to sell or promote a product, service, or idea. Advertising, marketing, and promotional activities all fall into this category.
Used primarily for journalistic or educational purposes. Images featuring people and things not licensed for commercial use can be used in newspapers, magazines (print and online), as well as text books and educational blogs.
Generally commissioned or purchased for the client’s own personal use (e.g., wedding photography, senior portraits, pet photography, fine art, etc.). Licensing issues do not arise as often in this category. While the photographer retains the copyright, the client’s fee may include a grant of reproduction rights.
A copyright is a legal device that gives the creator of a literary, artistic, musical, or other creative work the sole right to publish and sell that work. Copyright owners have the right to control the reproduction of their work, including the right to receive payment for that reproduction. An author may grant or sell those rights to others, including publishers or recording companies. Violation of a copyright is called infringement.
Copyright is a property right. Under the Federal Copyright Act of 1976, photographs are protected by copyright from the moment of creation.
According to the U.S. Copyright Office, the owner of the “work” is generally the photographer or, in certain situations, the employer of the photographer. Even if a person hires a photographer to take pictures of a wedding, for example, the photographer will own the copyright in the photographs unless the copyright in the photographs is transferred, in writing, and signed by the copyright owner, to another person.
The subject of the photograph generally has nothing to do with the ownership of the copyright in the photograph. If the photographer is no longer living, the rights in the photograph are determined by the photographer’s will or passed as personal property by the applicable laws of interstate succession.
Simply put, a license is a contract in which the photographer grants specific rights to the client who wants to use the image. The client can only use the image within the scope of the agreement.
HOW TO OBTAIN A COMMERCIAL LICENSE
Clients can obtain licensed photography in two ways. First, they can hire a photographer to create new work (Assignment Photography) which will be licensed for the client’s specific purposes. The second – and less expensive – option is for the client to obtain a license for already-existing work (Stock Photography).
The creative fee is charged by the photographer for his or her efforts to bring a project to a successful completion. In addition to time spent, the creative fee may be calculated by considering factors such as the photographer’s experience, specialized expertise, reputation, or anything that contributes to the overall creative effort.
Per diem is Latin for "per day" or "for each day." While per diem has several meanings, in relation to Photography, it is the daily allowance paid to photographers for expenses incurred while traveling for business. These expenses could be for lodging, meals, tips, taxi, and other ground transportation fees. Incidental per diem traveling expenses also include things such as as dry cleaning, laundry, phone use, WiFi, and room attendant tips.
When granted, an exclusive license limits not only the client in their use of the licensed image(s), but also the photographer in their ability to license the work to multiple users. It’s also important to note that exclusive licenses can be very broad or very specific. The license might grant the licensee exclusive rights to use a photo singly, or in any combination of a specified media, industry, territory, language, time period, product, and/or any other specific right negotiated between the licensor and licensee.
The licensor can grant the same or similar rights to multiple licensees. Unless otherwise negotiated, licenses are non-exclusive.
This is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. It’s a very broad grant of rights that permits the client to use the photo(s) across all media types and parameters (e.g., territory, duration, etc.).
This is the price charged by the licensor to the licensee in exchange for a grant of rights permitting the use of one or more images in a manner prescribed in the license. The fee can – and will – be based on factors such as circulation, size of reproduction, and specific image qualities.
A buyout means that the creator of a work transfers the copyright to another party, thus relinquishing all rights and ownership. Prices for buyouts are usually negotiated with the creator of a work, and those prices are based on a variety of factors.
WORK FOR HIRE
Also known as “work made for hire,” this term is defined in the U.S. Copyright Act as a work prepared by an employee within the scope of his or her employment, or a work specially ordered or commissioned for use as a contribution to a collective work. What does that mean for you? It means that you may not hold the copyright to a photo that you took while working for someone else. And if you don’t own the copyright, you have no legal standing to license the work to a third party.