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Quick Advice needed on Pricing an Assignment

Just need some quick advice from the community…
I am used to doing more extensive assignments and believe I have a good handle on pricing them out. However, I was just offered a very short assignment (15-20 min) little to no travel time or edit work. It is one subject for the COVER of a medical journal. Any ideas? Need to go back with a price soon. Thanks all

by Steven J. Dundas at 2007-02-09 16:19:41 UTC (ed. Mar 12 2008 ) Trenton, NJ , United States | Bookmark | | Report spam→

factor in your prep and travel time,and the set uptime on location ,15 to 20 mins ?this guy must be doing back to back operations.The day rate is not a thing you should be encouraging, how much is a cover photo of their boy worth?If you can do it in 15 minutes are you going to charge them for 15 minutes of your time?

by Glenn Campbell | 09 Feb 2007 16:02 | Darwin, Australia | | Report spam→
Basically this will be a stop over during my day, and will take very little time, effort, or hassle. Don’t really have a grasp on what its worth to them, they don’t have much of a web presence. My concern is that I do not want to undercut myself or the market.

by Steven J. Dundas | 09 Feb 2007 16:02 | New Brunswick, NJ, United States | | Report spam→
You might want to ask them to give you a figure first, and then negotiate from that point. But nothing less than $750-$1000 for the cover of the journal, preferably $1200 if its not a big name publication. At least thats my 2cents.

by [former member] | 09 Feb 2007 16:02 | Chocolate City, United States | | Report spam→
worth more than the 500 i was thinking

by Glenn Campbell | 09 Feb 2007 16:02 | Darwin, Australia | | Report spam→
Thanks so much for the input Glenn & Andy. As I was suspecting, my initial thought would have been too low (basically due to the fact I can walk to the assignment from my apartment). I asked for a figure first and the negotiation has begun…thanks again.

by Steven J. Dundas | 09 Feb 2007 17:02 | New Brunswick, NJ, United States | | Report spam→
For cover photos here, it’s about US$200 to US$450 per shot even though it might just last 15 minutes.

Also try out to find the circulation numbers if you can. This would help you in gauging the pricing too. ;)


by Eugene Cheng | 12 Feb 2007 03:02 | Singapore, Singapore | | Report spam→
Be careful here people. It is a violation of US Antitrust Laws for photographers to tell other photographers what to charge in the United States. That is why we can not unionize either.

That said, everyone should check out a group / website called link text they have a database of what some companies pay. Also there are programs like FotoQuote / FotoBiz that have pricing calculators for stock sales.

And don’t forget to have the client sign YOUR contract that clearly states what rights YOU grant them. Editorial Photo website also has contract terms that you can download for members (membership to EP costs about $50 for the year and is worth it).

Perhaps this info will help someone somewhere…

by Aaron Lee Fineman | 12 Feb 2007 04:02 | New York City, United States | | Report spam→
Aaron thanks for the tip

by Chuck Kuhn | 21 Feb 2007 07:02 | NJ, NY, Boston, United States | | Report spam→
The nefarious plot for all of us to fuck-over those innocent corporations by trading a bit of “experience” (as I’d prefer to call it) might be a bit overblown. What are “they” gonna do sue me?

by Christopher Wise | 21 Feb 2007 07:02 | Bangkok, Thailand | | Report spam→
Here’s an interesting take on whether these types of discussions actually constitute a violation: http://photobusinessforum.blogspot.com/2007/02/shhhhh-were-talking-pricing-here.html

“Everyone says “oh, we can’t talk prices because of anti-trust laws.” Again, I say, BULLSHIFT!"

by Allen Sullivan | 21 Feb 2007 13:02 | Atlanta, Georgia, United States | | Report spam→
if the feds feel like there is a violation they can shut down an organization or in this case website.

while i agree that this is a bunch of bs it is the law in the united states and even though you might not agree with the law you need to abide by it. however, if ls gets hosted and regeristered to another country then i suppose the us laws would not apply anylonger.

as far as following the law goes, we can suggest price ranges but not tell someone to charge x price.

i am not trying to be a web cop here but i dont want to see ls get in trouble for something like this.

by Aaron Lee Fineman | 21 Feb 2007 17:02 | New York City, United States | | Report spam→
I wouldn’t get too hung up on the fifteen minutes thing. Whether it’s fifteen minutes or fifteen hours, what’s the image worth to them? And how many times have you shot a longer job and it turns out the first roll contained “the” image needed? Sounds like the fifteen minutes is their trip, not yours. Every photgrapher I know would rather have a bit more time than less to make a satisfactory image but ultimately it’s about usage. And always ask for a figure first – sometimes you might be surprised. I never figure my worth on an hourly basis – always by the job and usage.

I think it’s important that we discuss the ethics and means of pricing, though actual figures not always so helpful because it can be so nebulous from client to client, photographer to photographer, and region to region.

by [former member] | 21 Feb 2007 17:02 | Seattle, United States | | Report spam→
Thanks everyone for their input…I am surprised this thread has continued. The job is done and I have already been paid :)
I realize I was delving into “sketchy” territory with the question and was just hoping for some of the advice that I did in fact receive.
I actually saw the Blog mentioned by Allen above right before the initial post and the line quoted by Carolyn E. Wright, of The Photo Attorney “If you ask others what they charge so that you don’t price yourself out of the market or charge too little, then you probably aren’t breaking the law,” was enough for me to post it as the assignment was not something I was used to shooting.

And Charles, I couldn’t agree more…actual figures don’t really help anybody.

by Steven J. Dundas | 21 Feb 2007 18:02 | New Brunswick, NJ, United States | | Report spam→
Stop thinking how long it will take you as photographer…even if it takes 10 seconds, it’s still a COVER!
What are cover rates for a mag in this specific sector/industry? That’s what you need to know and charge.

by Willem de Lange | 22 Feb 2007 11:02 | Port Elizabeth, South Africa | | Report spam→
I just got my first cover deal for 7,500 books for 1k no less than that

by Konstandinos Goumenidis | 11 Mar 2007 03:03 | San Francisco, Calif., United States | | Report spam→
Entirely opinion here but… In my mind what you charge should have nothing to do with how easy or difficult a particular shoot would be. What you are charging for is your experience and ability to create impactful images that convey the needs of your client. If its next door or half way accross the country your rate should not change. Travel expences and charges for travel time will of course vary from job to job but your rate should always reflect your abilities not how simple or difficult you think the gig will be.

Next time the same client requests a shoot that is a lot more complex and time consuming they will probably expect the same rate and how are you going to justify an increase in rate.

by [former member] | 11 Mar 2007 04:03 | Tokyo, Japan | | Report spam→
Well said Nathan.
One’s “creative fee” should not change (much) the “licensing fee” is what will change depending on how someone wants to use your photos. That is why everyone needs to regerister their work with the copyright office, it is not dificult.

by Aaron Lee Fineman | 11 Mar 2007 22:03 | New York City, United States | | Report spam→
Well said, Nathan. That’s something I always thought, but could never say as effectively.

by [former member] | 12 Mar 2007 03:03 | | Report spam→

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Steven J. Dundas, Environmental Economist Steven J. Dundas
Environmental Economist
[undisclosed location].
Glenn Campbell, Photographer Glenn Campbell
Darwin , Australia
Eugene Cheng, Photographer Eugene Cheng
Singapore , Singapore
Aaron Lee Fineman, Photographer Aaron Lee Fineman
New York City , United States
Chuck Kuhn, Photographer/free lance Chuck Kuhn
Photographer/free lance
(SF Bay area)
Saratoga, Ca , United States ( SJC )
Christopher Wise, Photographer/Designer Christopher Wise
Bangkok , Thailand
Allen Sullivan, Photo- and video-journali Allen Sullivan
Photo- and video-journali
Atlanta, Georgia , United States ( ATL )
Willem de Lange, Photographer Willem de Lange
Johannesburg , South Africa
Konstandinos Goumenidis, Photojournalist Konstandinos Goumenidis
Fremont , United States ( SFO )


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