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Thread: How much to charge for fashion catalog shots?

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    How much to charge for fashion catalog shots?

    Recently contacted a random online fashion store to see if they had any photographer/design jobs available.

    She replied today saying this -
    ''Your skills could be quite useful as we shoot every week. What would you charge to do catalogue-style shots - shooting 100 pieces - for in a day, every week? We currently have a photographer but I'm definitely open to looking at someone that is more skilled in fashion photography specifically.''

    Just wanted to know what you would charge for this?
    I haven't done studio catalog style shots before, just done location work, but from what I can see of their photos there is definitely some improvement to be made in the quality of lighting etc etc

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    100 pieces in a day is in a studio situation - called "going at a rate of knots"

    And I've done a lot of product shooting, including clothing/shoes

    I would be very wary of answering this unless you have studio lighting skills.

    Not meaning to sound critical, but if you dont mind me pointing out an obvious point here - its easy to stand on the sideline and consider that their photos need some improvement in the quality of the lighting, but its another if you're providing a service, and actually doing the lighting, shooting etc at a price.

    And thats what this enquiry is - at a low price. They're quoted response indicates two hints of what they're looking for - one clue is price = ie "charge", the other clue is the time constraint of shooting "100 pieces in a day".

    So unless you have direct experience of fast turnover, with studio lighting skills, with an ability to accurately colour manage the products, so that from your inital capture your colour control is faultless, with a production process which is also carefully colour managed, I personally would suggest you decline.

    If you also have to provide the studio, and studio lighting for this regular task, make sure that you include that into your costings.

    Once you have worked out your costings, then only using that as your basis, work out what you need to earn to cover your costs, and what you want to earn to make it worth your while.

    Its only once you've done that, that you can really come up with a figure that will suit you. Because its not really going to help to receive a bunch of suggested costs that may not suit your particular expenses/income scenario.

    And FWIW, I get the feeling from the information that you've provided, that the response from this potential client could be:

    A) a "commercial fishing trip" - ie she's not interested in using you, but could be interested to see what price you will do it for, and that could result in them turning around to their current photographer and seeking that photographer to match your lower price

    and

    B) 100 pieces shot every week in a year is a vast vast turnover of different stock - I would double check that their online site really has that type of turnover. Its fairly normal for a client to seek a price on an over-inflated number of pieces, hoping to secure a low price based on the sheer bulk, and for them to never produce that amount of work for you - so if you do offer a price, base it on a minimum number of 100 as stated.
    William

    www.longshots.com.au

    I am the PhotoWatchDog

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    haha I was gonna say the same as William but I'll weigh in with some of my recent experiences just so the OP can have an idea of what to expect

    I have been doing on-going catalogue shots for George Gross & Harry Who label in Aus - http://www.georgegross.com.au/

    same deal, xxx amount of clothings shot on mannequin over white back-drop, this only happens a few times a year but due to the label having 4 different sub-labels there is a lotttt of clothing and styles to go through

    What I provided with my service

    1) consistent source of lighting (monolights) which are reliable and can shoot all day
    2) suitable backdrop and supports
    3) shooting tethered to laptop connected to my own calibrated external Dell monitor so client can view it on the spot and I can correct anything to speed up post processing later
    4) the right equipment for the job ie. no 50mm or short zooms which will distort the clothing and subject
    5) miscellaneous gear ie. spare cards, lenses, bodies, lighting back-ups etc

    Requirements by Client

    -Accurate and Uniform white balance and exposure throughout every single photo
    -Colour accuracy throughout
    -processed and edited wherever necessary
    -turn around time of 3 days

    Each of these days I'd shoot about 2000 shots, keep about 1000 - process and edit that much and deliver DVD of photos to client after 3 days as required

    Because this is an ongoing thing done quarterly, I charge about $1500 per day. If it was just a once off event it would probably be double that from me.


    So going by the ad you posted, you will probably get paid peanuts and they will probably demand a lot of effort and quality from you - which does not correlate, but hey - I could be wrong!

    As long as you know what you will be getting yourself into - this type of work is brain-deadening but its still work and still something.

    I have managed to streamline my workflow for these gigs to a very effective and time efficient method so the job and editing gets done quicker overall.

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    Thanks heaps for the feedback guys. Very usefull information and insight into this type of work. Seems like unless they have a separate team of editors and their own studio/equipment it would be too much for me to handle.
    I had a photo editor trial for a similar company several weeks ago where they had exactly that, editing team and own studios and equipment etc etc which got me wondering about this particular type of work.
    I think I will just send them another quick email to get some more details about how they operate before I get into anything serious.

    Thanks heaps again guys
    Appreciate it

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    I would like to says thanks to the members who posted feedback and responses in this thread. The knowledge that AP members are willing to give to others, for free, shines through in this thread. It is what AP is about. THANK YOU! Owning AP and seeing replies like those in this thread, make AP what it is, and worth every minute of owning the site.
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    Quote Originally Posted by macdog View Post
    Thanks heaps for the feedback guys. Very usefull information and insight into this type of work. Seems like unless they have a separate team of editors and their own studio/equipment it would be too much for me to handle.
    I had a photo editor trial for a similar company several weeks ago where they had exactly that, editing team and own studios and equipment etc etc which got me wondering about this particular type of work.
    I think I will just send them another quick email to get some more details about how they operate before I get into anything serious.

    Thanks heaps again guys
    Appreciate it
    Why not request a meeting. Go along, check out their facilities, etc and then evaluate your involvement. By doing so, you get a feel for how professional they are (remember some websites are run from 'the back of a truck'). You also get a feel for the people, whether they are genuine, just out to get it at the cheapest possible price, really interesting in forming a long term business relationship with a photographer etc.

    Reading your first post, it seems like they want cheap, and you might accept, get some lighting gear etc based on making money from this job over a period of time, but next week, someone else asks them what you did. Remember they have a photographer and seem to be looking at 'options' (which means cheaper), so you could be undercut yourself, within a week or two and find your position is the same as their current photographer's.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    Reading your first post, it seems like they want cheap, and you might accept, get some lighting gear etc based on making money from this job over a period of time, but next week, someone else asks them what you did. Remember they have a photographer and seem to be looking at 'options' (which means cheaper), so you could be undercut yourself, within a week or two and find your position is the same as their current photographer's.
    Yep I completely agree with you there so it could be a risky 'waste of time'. I think I best refine my studio skills or find a good genuine company willing to hire and train as a photographer for this style of work.

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