Commercial photographers: Worth the money? Tim Bilsborough
Commercial photographers are artists and will interpret your ideas into reality through imagery. Professional Commercial photographers have extensive knowledge in showcasing brands and products, and consistently delivering to the very highest standards.
But before any magic happens, there is a small matter of money and how much you have to spend on photography. It’s a dirty word to some, but money makes the world go round. Like you and your client, Commercial photographers are in a business; it just so happens it’s a job they have absolute passion for, living and breathing it every waking minute (sometimes dreaming about it too) but this doesn’t mean they will just do it for the “love” of taking pictures.
As businesses they have their own overheads and their estimates will be broken down into a number of areas, such as:-
- Their time taken
- Post production
- Travel expenses
- Vehicle hire/purchase
- Studio/hire studio overheads
- Photographic consumables
- Equipment hire/ purchase
- Assistant’s fee
- Specialist shoots resource e.g. hair & make-up, fashion stylist or food stylists
…Just to name a few, so:
Time + expenses + specialist help + overheads = Estimate
Commercial photographers instinctively know what’s needed to deliver the job you have briefed them. They will go away getting their head around a brief, going through the whole project processes, deliberating on photographic techniques and sourcing appropriate resource. And only then, submitting an estimate to do a job which will do the brief justice. Estimates you will be happy with or not.
When photography is commissioned, it is usually one of a number of other elements that are being commissioned at the same time. Quite often, for some reason, photography budgets are a contentious area, and there is a lot of pressure to make savings in this area. Why is this the case – does the budget setter think that it is just a single individual doing the work and only factors in day rates because they aren’t aware of the real overheads? Does the budget reflect the shot count? Does the budget allow for the fact that commissioned images can have an impact on their customers’ perception of their brand and has a huge bearing on the perceived quality of the product?
Budget isn’t the only thing that affects the quality of an image. In our opinion, the planning and briefing of photography is often woefully neglected. A more collaborative relationship with your photographer – not just a request for a quote, will mean that you have the opportunity to get the planning and briefing right first, and this can lead to a high quality and cost-effective shoot.
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