Shoot Concept: Exterior and interior architectural images featuring hospital staff interacting.
Licensing: Advertising (excluding broadcast), Collateral and Publicity use of all images captured for two years from first use in a single state.
Location: A hospital in the Northeast.
Shoot Days: 2
Photographer: Architectural specialist in the Northeast.
Agency: Mid-sized, based in the South.
Client: University affiliated hospital
Here is the estimate (click to enlarge):
The hospital was in the final stage of construction for a new building on their campus, and the ad agency working on their behalf had a quick turnaround time to produce an advertising insert in a local newspaper to announce the completion of the project. They hoped to commission a photographer to shoot at least one exterior hero shot of the hospital at dusk, plus a handful of images inside the hospital to show off a few amenities and common areas with interesting architecture for use in the ad and on the hospital’s website. At first, the project sounded pretty straightforward, but after a lengthy conversation with the art buyer I learned that the interior shots would feature talent (adults and children) to add warmth to an otherwise sterile environment, and would therefore require a full shoot day on top of the exterior shot. Even though the talent would essentially be used as props, that factor made the shoot a bit more complicated. However, the client was willing to provide nearly all of the major production elements to make the interior images happen. The photographer was based about a six hour drive away from the location, and the plan was for him to travel in and do a brief scout of the location prior to shooting the exterior shot at dusk, and then shoot the interior shots the next day.
Based on the comp the agency provided and my conversation with the art buyer, I knew that on top of the exterior shot, they would likely only need an additional five interior shots at various locations throughout the building. However, not only did they request for the licensing to include all images captured, but they also requested for the licensing to include unlimited use. I was of course again in a situation where a client’s requested use didn’t match their intended use, so I did my best to bridge the gap and see if there were any ways around their request. Fortunately, we were told that the licensing could not only be limited in duration (two years), but it could also be limited to just one state.
I began compiling the creative/licensing fee by first determining an appropriate number for a one-year duration. Based more on their intended use, I felt that the first exterior shot was worth about $2,000, and then each of the additional five interior shots were worth $1,000 each ($7,000 total). Typically when doubling licensing duration I’ll add 50% to the fee, which brought me to $10,500. While the broad usage was certainly putting upward pressure on the fee, the limited geographic distribution and my previous experience working with institutional clients and similarly sized agencies put downward pressure on the fee. I decided to ultimately bring the fee back down to an even $10,000, which I thought would be more palatable. I checked my fee against a few pricing resources, and Getty, Corbis, FotoQuote and Blinkbid all suggested a price between $2,000 and $4,000 for one image based on their intended newspaper and collateral use for two years. However, it did not take into account the geographic limitations. Based on this information, I felt that my price was in the right ballpark for the exterior shot, and I was confident that the additional interior images were appropriately discounted considering the more limited intended use.
Photographer Travel/Scout Day: Since the photographer was making a long drive and then scouting that same day prior to the shoot, I included a fee for this day, which is actually on the higher end of the spectrum for how I typically price travel or scout days (often closer to $1,000).
Assistants: The photographer would bring his first assistant with him, and the three days included the travel/scout/exterior shoot day, the interior shoot day, and a travel day on the back end home. The second assistant would be based closer to the hospital, and would only be required on the interior shoot day.
Hair/Makeup Stylist: While the client would be providing talent (mostly friends/family) to be featured in the interior shots, I recommended that a hair/makeup stylist be included just to do light touch-ups. Most of the talent would be used as out-of-focus background elements to provide some humanity and liven up the architecture, but a few shots could potentially focus on the talent as opposed to the architecture. Since the stylist would be local and their fee would be nominal in the grand scheme of things, it felt like a no-brainer and the art buyer agreed that it was a good idea.
Equipment: The photographer wouldn’t need to actually rent equipment, but we did decide to charge for wear/tear and replacement costs of the gear he owned. I figured that $800 per day for two shoot days could include his cameras ($400/day), a few specialty lenses ($100/day), and all of the grip and lighting equipment that he’d need ($300/day).
Shoot Processing for Client Review: This covered the time, equipment and costs for the initial edit, as well as the upload of the images to an FTP for the client to review and ultimately select the images they wanted to further process.
Selects Processed for Reproduction: While the licensing included all images captured, the agency only requested that the photographer process the one exterior and five interior shots discussed. This per image fee covered the time to handle the basic architectural layering and processing.
Delivery of All RAW Images and Retouched Selects by Hard Drive: This covered the cost for the hard drive as well as the shipping costs to deliver it to the agency.
Miles, Parking, Meals for Crew, Misc.: Included in this line was a per diem of $75/person for the photographer and his first assistant for the three days they’d be out of town ($450), mileage for the long round trip billed at $.56/mile ($400), lunch for the second assistant and stylist ($50), and parking fees or other miscellaneous expenses that the photographer might incur ($100).
Lodging: I anticipated a rate of $150/night/room for two hotel rooms (photographer and first assistant) for two nights.
Results: The photographer was awarded the project, and shot it about a week later.
Hindsight: Sometimes when there is little in the way of back-and-forth with an agency/client on an estimate, I feel that we might have been able to charge more. However, perhaps we hit the nail right on the head and the tight turnaround time and appropriateness of the photographer helped to move the paperwork along quicker. Looking back at the final results, I wish I had priced the processing a bit higher at the very least. Oftentimes architectural photographers make a substantial amount of money for their processing time since it’s quite laborious and time consuming. It’s not something to be overlooked, and it oftentimes justifies taking on projects with less than ideal budgets if fees for processing can elevate a photographer’s overall effective fee on a job.
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