So this post is really three posts listing seamlessly from one to the next. Maybe it should be three posts but it isn’t, it’s one long one. So for those with short attention spans the first bit is a Rip Curl behind the scenes of an epic “photo” shoot, the second bit is some invaluable advice on quoting from ACMP el Presidente Gavin Blue and the bottom bit is about the next Trampoline meeting which is on tonight at 7pm and features the wonderful Emma Phillips.
Rip Curl BTS
OK, so technically you might argue that the following example isn’t exactly traditional photography, but is does use dSLR camera’s (over 50 of them) and individual still images are used as source so I’m going with it…
Now any shoot which has 4 world champion surf stars for the day, a bank of 50+ dSLSR’s and some Matrix inspired post production is not going to get done without some serious cash. And Rip Curl seems to have found enough of it to create this pretty nice ad campaign. Thankfully, they’ve included enough in the budget to also shoot a making-of video (using some nice tilt-shift styling) so we get to see a bit of the behind the scenes action…
There are a couple of bits of Rip Curl marketing blah blah about their boardies (who knew we had a boardies day in Australia – http://www.boardiesday.com.au/about-boardies-day/) but stick with the video until you at least get to the torrential rain. Don’t think they were quite expecting that!
So there is money in photography, how do I get some..
So this of course leads me in to a post about the ACMP Trampoline gathering held last month at the ever uber-cool Horse Bazaar – www.horsebazaar.com.au in Melbourne. Over 50 people came along and packed out Horse Bazaar in Little Lonsdale St Melbourne to hear ACMP president, Gavin Blue – www.gavinblue.com, talk about how to quote to make money and get the job. Gavin works with some of Australia’s biggest companies and over the past 20 years has gained a wealth of knowledge on the industry and dealing with client relations.
Some of the tips he gave were:
Work out what you’re really worth (I’m worth a trillion bucks, but only to a very small market segment which probably doesn’t have a trillion bucks)- damn!
- Firstly you have to figure out what it costs you to do nothing. Even if you have no jobs you still have to pay the rent, run the car, buy and update cameras, computers and hard drives, insure yourself. These can all really add up over the course of a year. Add these numbers up as your “cost of doing nothing” (yes you can use a pen and paper or your iphone 4 calculator if you want to show off). And all this time I thought doing nothing was free! Let’s say for the example this is $15,000.
- Secondly, work out how many days you might actually work per month, for an emerging photographer 6 days would be realistic. Multiply that by 11 (or 12 if you don’t want a holiday) to get a rough idea of the “number of days you’ll work each year”. Lets say that works out at 6 days x 11 months or 66 days.
- Thirdly, divide your “cost of doing nothing” by the number of days you’ll work each year” and you are left with what it costs you per day you shoot. $15,000 divided by 66 is $227 per job!
- After that you can calculate what you would like to earn and add it on top. If I want to earn $60,000 then I need $909 per job ($60,000 divided by 66 days) on top of my $227 “cost per day of shoot” It really makes you see how doing jobs for substandard rates cost your business, now and in the long term.
Sounds tough but if you can manage to do more shoots, the amount required per shoot will go down as well….
What are the industry pricing standards
- Gavin discussed the industry standards on usage, digital capture fees, retouching and some of the changes in the industry over the past few years. He recommended emerging photographers start out charging 50-60% of the going commercial rate for any particular job. Obviously this varies across fields such as advertising, architecture, editorial, etc The standards for each particular area of photography can be looked up in the ACMP’s Better Business Bible in the member downloads section of the ACMP website – that’s the members section people!! www.acmp.com.au
- Another quoting do is be consistent and transparent: If you want to keep your clients on side have a rate card so your quoting is consistent and the client doesn’t feel like you are plucking a number out of the air. Detail everything (that means everything): If you list what your client is getting they can understand the value. If your photographic fee includes public liability insurance let them know, if your digital capture fee includes the fact that they get to use your $20,000 of camera equipment this needs to be included. In fact Gavin pointed out that he includes a camera equipment fee on nearly every job. You are providing highly technical, expertly operated, specialised and expensive equipment so make sure the client is aware of this and that it comes at a cost.
- Don’t forget Usage: some emerging photographers see this as a scary topic but it’s really just about the client and you understanding what they need the images for and only paying for that. It’s best explained as a way to save them money so they’re not paying for usages they don’t need. Gavin explained he often includes additional potential usages at the bottom of his quotes s clients can make informed decisions ahead of time and without any surprises. Surprises are generally bad in business – certainty is much more easily managed.
- How should I deliver my files to clients : Gavin delivers his files using Zenfolio www.zenfolio.com, an online portfolio system used by thousands of photographers all over the world. Other examples are photoshelter http://http://www.photoshelter.com (which I use and really like), Smugmug www.smugmug.com is another that some people use. Great for online galleries and image access for clients.
This is obviously just a short summary of Gavin’s main points. The lucky ones who were there got to see examples of quotes, heard juicy industry gossip, drank tasty beer and put up with Gavin’s lame jokes. This blog is but a poor substitute for the real thing!!
Someone who will be making some
A reminder that the next edition of Trampoline is on tonight at Bakehouse studios and features seriously up and coming photographic talent Emma Philips emmaphillips.com.au who has taken some amazing images in her short career. Hear about her meteoric rise and the little things that go toward making a splash.
Come along at 7pm on this coming TUESDAY October 26th at
2/ 133-135 Johnson St
Enter via the laneway
Entry is $5 Trampoline Members
and $10 non Trampoline Members
Incl. beverages and nibbles