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Thread: Help on Payment Schedule

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    Help on Payment Schedule

    Hi guys and girls,
    I have been asked to provide a payment schedule for images taken in a large underwater shark tank at a well known aquarium and they are asking for full images rights. I would also have to travel 2 hours by plane and get some accommodation to do the shoot. Also their is a fair amount of extra gear that I will be providing such as scuba equipment.

    So should I be charging a fee to get myself their and for accommodation and then an hourly rate with the price of images on top?
    Any help on this matter would be great as I have never had a paid gig like this before and I certainly don't want to undervalue my self and the industry.

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    Personally yes, I would charge an hourly rate for my time, plus all costs, plus a derived hire charge for my scuba gear. I wouldn't then though charge extra for the actual photos

    Others business models may vary
    Darren
    Gear : Nikon Goodness
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    Constructive Critique of my images always appreciated

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    No. I would charge a fee. Hourly rate is one view, this is the other.

    And FWIW, I changed how I quote - because of how all tradies have quoted for jobs for me personally. And I use them as an example as so many people think that person and camera is a mutual and consistent commodity - it isnt. Its that simple. It is obvious by looking at one photographer to the next that there is a different level of skill, creativity and apptitude. So even if you've never charged before, then take that into account.

    That fee would be based on what is involved. Shoot, Expenses, Costs, Specialist gear, and all of that would either include usage licence. Yes you can potentially charge that relates to actual usage - I dont as I cannot for the life of me work out (after all these years) how you would police that. But you can, and you should restrict it to use by the commissioning client, for all of their marketing purposes, and not be sold or used by 3rd party. The important thing is to clearly define what is being quoted for at the time of quoting. Bit like a builder quoting to build you a garage. No point in quoting for a double garage with a tool shed, if when they start building you add that famous line "oh look while you're here, can you also build me a garden shed, and that would all be for the original price wouldnt it ?" Yeah right, of course thats not going to happen . But the builder would be happy to offer you a good price on the basis that he/she could do it while they were there, albeit it would take them longer. So decide on your fee (and I assume that you have underwater photography experience, as thats why you've been approached ?), and state what its to shoot (which you would agree on a proposed shot list prior to the shoot. If they add shots, then you have a basis to agree on an increase in your overall fee.

    Also do not whatever you do, forget to include public liability insurance for this.

    BTW I was a bit confused with your initial subject title. This isnt really a schedule. This is providing a quote which should outline your cost, with your terms and conditions of business. Expect in the commercial world to stipulate if you want to be paid before, 50% deposit, and then 50% on delivery, or you accept a standard in business of 30 days payment (thats after submitting your invoice). What your invoice should always state though is this:

    Title to all goods and licence for use does not pass to the purchaser/client until full payment has been received.
    That should be both on your quote (within your terms and conditions) and your invoice. Basically that protects you in the situation of if they dont pay you they would then be in breach of copyright - simply its a safety rope.
    Last edited by Longshots; 24-02-2011 at 8:03am.
    William

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    Thanks guys that helps a great deal. Most of my photography is done underwater so I do have underwater photography experience.

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    I also include: 'failure to pay under the agreed terms could see your outstanding account referred to a debt collection agency. All costs incurred due to debt collection action on any outtstanding amounts is to be borne by the client".

    Thus if they do not pay, it will cost them more, and you nothing, if you need to pursue collection of monies owed
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    Being a tradie and quoting jobs regularly i would suggest making your quotation as transperent as possible. List everything you can think of clearly and individually so that you cover both yourself and your client. This can alleviate problems down the track, re time of payment. If everything is listed then the client knows exactly what they are paying for and what to expect at the end of the job.
    Also i would recommend that if you are charging an hourly rate, make sure thast you stipulate when that time starts and finishes.

    Simon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by snappysi View Post
    Being a tradie and quoting jobs regularly i would suggest making your quotation as transperent as possible. List everything you can think of clearly and individually so that you cover both yourself and your client. This can alleviate problems down the track, re time of payment. If everything is listed then the client knows exactly what they are paying for and what to expect at the end of the job.
    Also i would recommend that if you are charging an hourly rate, make sure thast you stipulate when that time starts and finishes.

    Simon.
    While I agree with your point Simon, I do think that photographers get a bit caught up in unnecessary details in quoting and invoicing. They're probably not interested in the "nuts and bolt" count that some people worry about. When a tradie quotes to replace my bathroom, I didnt get a breakdown of what the taps, the loo or the shower cost. I'm specifically speaking about commercial work now. The client wants to have the job done, when it will be delivered, and what it will consist of, what they can use it for, and for how long - and no great surprises with extra costs.

    And again I would advise against an hourly rate, as it then becomes a slightly absurd. Clients then really do push for the partial hourly pro rata rate.

    Let me explain - lets say you charge $100 per hour including images, then per half hour thats $50, then 15 mins thats $25, and so on (and I kid you not but I did have a few young PR people who told me that I would only be required for 5 or 10 mins and that they expected me to charge accordingly - so I worked that out to how long it would take me to actually take the "we only want one picture" (again common and ridiculous statement - ridiculous because even a gaggle of PR people wont agree on which one).

    So here's the maths for you $100 per hour

    = $1.66 per min

    Reasonable to ask if I charge by the half hour ?
    Reasonable to ask if I charge in fifteen mins increments ?
    Reasonable to ask if I charge just for the 5 mins it takes to take the single shot that they want ?

    OK so divide the per min charge by 60 seconds

    = 2.7 cents per second

    Lets say its a sunny day in Qld and I'm shooting outside at 200 iso, so I'd expect to be shooting at F11 @ 250th of a second

    And that equals my single image (the only one they want) being worth

    just 0.108th of a cent


    In a single flash I could then double my potential income by choosing a slower shutter speed.

    And if I was owned, controlled and managed by an accounting firm, I would probably be instructed to select the slowest possible shutter speed in an effort to keep the shareholders happy, and to ensure a maximum billing potential.

    Just imagine that if I was less experienced I would take more time - which seems to go against common sense. And FWIW, with nothing against tradies, but the only time I've ever been charged on a job on an hourly rate, what was a small job took four times longer than expected. Where I wouldnt dream to tell a tradie how long they need to complete the job using their craft and skill, I politely suggest to future clients who make incorrect assumptions on how long it will take for a photographer to complete their photographic project; because in general they are almost always highly optimistic and incorrect.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Longshots View Post
    OK so divide the per min charge by 60 seconds

    = 2.7 cents per second

    Lets say its a sunny day in Qld and I'm shooting outside at 200 iso, so I'd expect to be shooting at F11 @ 250th of a second

    And that equals my single image (the only one they want) being worth

    just 0.108th of a cent


    In a single flash I could then double my potential income by choosing a slower shutter speed.
    So there you have it. That's why there's more money in landscape photography than sports.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Art Vandelay View Post
    So there you have it. That's why there's more money in landscape photography than sports.
    Steve


    Equipment: A couple of Canons with some lenses and a heap of enthusiasm



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    There should be millions in timelapse then!

    How I would charge for this job-
    expenses- travel,equipment hire, accom, car hire, meals etc
    one rate for travel days. This will vary, but if you have a day rate, its about 60% of the day rate.
    Hrly rate for shoot day. Which starts when you leave the hotel.

    If this is the first job for the client, talk with them and find out what their expectations are- deciding to discount()or stick to your guns ()is up to you, but talking frankly with them will help in a lot of ways.
    Togs are what my son wears to go swimming.

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    William,
    When a tradie quotes to replace my bathroom, I didnt get a breakdown of what the taps, the loo or the shower cost.
    Whilst this may not have been listed in your quote, you would have certainly had a discussion at some point as to what exactly you wanted (eg the cost and quality ) of the items to be used. It is good business sense to have this listed in the contract and signed by both parties at the commencement of the job. In fact it is a requirement by construction rules and regs these days.
    It negates the situation that can arrise at the end of the job when the client turns around and says " hey i wanted the gold plated taps ". Well guess what , if it is in writing and signed by both parties before work begins theres no trouble.....everyone knows what they are getting. Imagine if that conversation staid just that, a conversation. Big trouble....and no one wants that.

    The client wants to have the job done, when it will be delivered, and what it will consist of,
    So they do want to know what it will be made up of.....excellent, put it in writing....


    So here's the maths for you $100 per hour

    = $1.66 per min

    Reasonable to ask if I charge by the half hour ?
    Reasonable to ask if I charge in fifteen mins increments ?
    Reasonable to ask if I charge just for the 5 mins it takes to take the single shot that they want ?

    OK so divide the per min charge by 60 seconds

    = 2.7 cents per second

    Lets say its a sunny day in Qld and I'm shooting outside at 200 iso, so I'd expect to be shooting at F11 @ 250th of a second

    And that equals my single image (the only one they want) being worth

    just 0.108th of a cent
    I hope your not being serious here. And whist i assume that you are not, why would you write that??? That is just taking something and running with it to the enth degree... sure that is the math but would any reasonable sain person honestly expect a bill like that broken down into seconds ????

    Honestly if you are gooing to bill something out at an hourly rate you put in a clause something along the lines of " $50 per hr, min 2 hr charge with increments of 15 min or part there of."

    I have to say that i disagree on this topic with you William. Whislt your quote may be a little longer than most, if you put all the information in it that is relevant to the work to be carried out, it can only assist you in the long run. Maybe not on this job and maybe not the next, but if this practise becomes your norm on every job, it will one day "save your bacon" as they say.

    Simon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by snappysi View Post

    I hope your not being serious here. And whist i assume that you are not, why would you write that??? That is just taking something and running with it to the enth degree... sure that is the math but would any reasonable sain person honestly expect a bill like that broken down into seconds ????
    It is a business model that is used. My lawyer (and most) charge by the minute. I get a bill saying $xxx.00 for phone call that lasted 2.35 minutes. It is als a good business model, when someone has worked out their costs down that far, cause then they know how much to charge to earn the profit they need to. You can bet that McDonalds knows precisely the cost of a Big Mac, right down to the cent. So whilst you may disagree with William, it is a business model that is used and it works!

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    Rick,
    I agree that the business model you have outlined as per what william originally stated is in fact used, and being someone that has gone through a seperation that lasted 2 1/2 years i know fullwell how the legal profession charge !!! However, the original intent of this thread was to help the op with some advise as to his / her situation. William took what i had suggested and broke it down to an unreasanable degree for the intent of the op. Do you know of any photographer that breaks down there time into seconds per photograph ! Whilst it can be done, it is inpractacle. ( for the intent ). I'm all for being precise, but there is a point that it becomes absurd. In this case this would be it !
    Im not trying to pick a fight or argue for the sake of argueing, but common sense has to come into advice given to a point that is relevant to the situation. The bills that came in from my solicitor where broken down into minutes and that is fine for someone charging $500 an hour. If a quote came in from a photographer stating a minute by minute charge you would have to wonder !!!!

    Simon.

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    Crap.....well I want to know what to say to the dude that asks next week when I am shooting a b'day party at the pub............he's gonna say how much will it cost for ya to come and take some photos at great Aunt Fanny's 80th......?xx$ an hour ( until Aunt Fanny slides under the table? ) and all I can drink and taxi fare home No prints ( tho they can be organized ), downloadable images from the net.....
    or a set fee.......
    cheers
    Jan

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    all you can drink might end up being more than your hrly rate.

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    jeeeez if I knew what the bar tab was that would spoil all the fun!

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    Quote Originally Posted by snappysi View Post
    Do you know of any photographer that breaks down there time into seconds per photograph ! Whilst it can be done, it is inpractacle. ( for the intent ). I'm all for being precise, but there is a point that it becomes absurd. In this case this would be it !
    I may have got it wrong but William was making the point that the client might brake down the hourly rate and say the one photo they wanted to use only took the photographer 1/200 of a second and therefore the client will only pay 0.xx cents for the job.
    Chris

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    Quote Originally Posted by snappysi View Post
    William,


    Whilst this may not have been listed in your quote, you would have certainly had a discussion at some point as to what exactly you wanted (eg the cost and quality ) of the items to be used. It is good business sense to have this listed in the contract and signed by both parties at the commencement of the job. In fact it is a requirement by construction rules and regs these days.
    It negates the situation that can arrise at the end of the job when the client turns around and says " hey i wanted the gold plated taps ". Well guess what , if it is in writing and signed by both parties before work begins theres no trouble.....everyone knows what they are getting. Imagine if that conversation staid just that, a conversation. Big trouble....and no one wants that.



    So they do want to know what it will be made up of.....excellent, put it in writing....




    I hope your not being serious here. And whist i assume that you are not, why would you write that??? That is just taking something and running with it to the enth degree... sure that is the math but would any reasonable sain person honestly expect a bill like that broken down into seconds ????

    Honestly if you are gooing to bill something out at an hourly rate you put in a clause something along the lines of " $50 per hr, min 2 hr charge with increments of 15 min or part there of."

    I have to say that i disagree on this topic with you William. Whislt your quote may be a little longer than most, if you put all the information in it that is relevant to the work to be carried out, it can only assist you in the long run. Maybe not on this job and maybe not the next, but if this practise becomes your norm on every job, it will one day "save your bacon" as they say.

    Simon.
    Simon, Im a professional photographer with 35 years experience of selling my work.

    Let me make it clear that I wasnt particularly answering you, but answering the original question and in general giveing an argument against the per hour business model. What I'm offering is direct industry experience, and not picking a fight with anyone here. I cant image anything more time wasting than that.

    I was directly answering the original question which related to quoting for a professional photographic shoot - based on not just an opinion of how someone should charge when I might only have a passing interest in photography, but because I earn a full time living from photography.

    I can assure you that on the first point while it may make common sense to you about putting it in writing for the gold taps, the same form of analogy cannot and is not done in the case of professional photography. We both agree that you should have as much in writing as possible, but there is a point where that cannot be done in photography. While I happily accept a certain amount of flexibility, its impossible to do an direct analogy of bathroom taps. I'm not sure if you fully understand how flexible a commercial photographer needs to be ? I thought I'd explained that in my first response. I think I've been around long enough to believe that a vast percentage of my potential clients will deliberately underestimate the job; and then try and substantially add to the project on the basis or excuse "oh while you're here, you can shoot that at no extra cost". Not sure if you're agreeing with me on that or not ? This isnt about anyone's sanity, its about specifically answering a question on how to charge; now its really important that the question receives some answers from those who understand how photographers actually charge, and not based on various other professions, trades, businesses etc charge,


    On the enth degree of per minute - well again, not to sound pompous in any way, I'm the one recounting my direct professional photographic experience here, and I can assure you that this is an excellent response to those CLIENTS who ask you to charge by the hour and then (YES they do occasionally ask), they want you to bill them for the five minutes it may have taken to get that all important shot that they want (ignoring the hour or two it may have taken to set up, etc). It certainly makes them think, and the question - while very common - is put away, as the point is made very effectively.

    And thankfully someone didnt miss the point that its the CLIENT that starts breaking down the hourly rate, and tries to point out that they should be billed by 1/4 hour or more absurd, by the minute. Typical new client response following an initial verbal price guideline following their verbal brief - "Well how much would you charge considering that we'll only need you for 5 min - if that" .

    And yes only recently one "prospective" client was quite determined to get a professional photographer at their event to shoot for only a few mins (but of course couldnt specify where within the 2 hours, that few mins would be. Suggesting I could "rest" while I waited), and then suggesting that their budget of $30 should be enough. Unsurprisingly I didnt accept that offer


    Yes its my response to take that unrealistic (IMO) approach, because while it is a standard business model for some, its not business model option that I offer my services under. So when they suggest that they should only be charged by the minute, I then somewhat cynically, suggest breaking that down to the shutter speed; the point is made quite effectively, and in 90% of cases, it also happens to be a way of getting the point across that they've chosen me not for my ability to press a shutter button, but for my proven ability to produce an image that they like - big difference. I'm also quite happy to admit that 10% I'll never hear from again - which I dont want to if they want a button pusher who is happy to be paid for 5 min of their hourly rate.

    My points were deadly serious, and as I previously suggested, its a good argument against quoting a per hour rate plus materials - as I said when I made a comparison with getting a trade to produce a job for me, I've always been quoted a fixed price based on what is agreed that the job consists of from the outset, and only once quoted an hourly rate plus materials (which was both expensive and disastrous). So the question was about what to charge for a professional photographic shoot, and how to structure the quote.

    So yes, I am serious, and yes thats my opinion based on my professional experience. The demonstration of taking it to the enth degree was to show how futile that approach is (IMHO). I dont doubt others will have a different opinion. I dont expect or want everyone to agree with me. But bear in mind I'm talking about my professional experience as a working photographer.


    BTW Simon we share the same time span for the last separation (you have my empathy and commiserations), and probably the same love for the billing by the legal profession. Please note if I hadnt already made this clear, that its the client that asks to be billed by the minute.
    Last edited by Longshots; 28-02-2011 at 5:50am.

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    Just want to clarify or repeat what I've said already. Agree on what is the extent of the job. Have it all down in writing. My quotes are quite specific, based on the brief from the client, and are in general 4-5 pages long. While you may base your quote on an hourly rate or daily rate, IMHO, thats not really the concern of your client - and invites the CLIENT to break it down to half/quarter and then minutes. I recommend - as I gave the analogy earlier - taking a leaf out of the tradies book and charging a fee for the project. Ultimately its your choice if you want to include that or not.

    This is what I do and what I said earlier:

    That fee would be based on what is involved. Shoot, Expenses, Costs, Specialist gear, and all of that would either include usage licence. Yes you can potentially charge that relates to actual usage - I dont as I cannot for the life of me work out (after all these years) how you would police that. But you can, and you should restrict it to use by the commissioning client, for all of their marketing purposes, and not be sold or used by 3rd party. The important thing is to clearly define what is being quoted for at the time of quoting. Bit like a builder quoting to build you a garage. No point in quoting for a double garage with a tool shed, if when they start building you add that famous line "oh look while you're here, can you also build me a garden shed, and that would all be for the original price wouldnt it ?" Yeah right, of course thats not going to happen . But the builder would be happy to offer you a good price on the basis that he/she could do it while they were there, albeit it would take them longer. So decide on your fee (and I assume that you have underwater photography experience, as thats why you've been approached ?), and state what its to shoot (which you would agree on a proposed shot list prior to the shoot. If they add shots, then you have a basis to agree on an increase in your overall fee.

    Also do not whatever you do, forget to include public liability insurance for this.
    Last edited by Longshots; 28-02-2011 at 6:07am.

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