Looking for advice on my first serious shot at realestate photography

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by William Petruzzo, Oct 1, 2008.

  1. William Petruzzo

    William Petruzzo TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    Messages:
    635
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Washington DC
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I'm being commissioned to take some commercial real estate photographs. Theoretically, I know how to go about doing them. I'm pretty well read. But the client (someone I'm loosely connected to otherwise) wants me to offer some kind of a price quote. I can take the pictures, but I don't really know how to price things. I figured I'd swing in low since I don't have any technical experience I can show. Trouble is, I don't know where low is. I'm hoping someone can point me in the right direction, or give me some clue how I should go about dealing with this.

    So, any thoughts?
     
  2. maulrat

    maulrat TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Messages:
    652
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I would call up local photographers from the yellow pages, pretend to be a home owner trying to sell a house, and get few quotes. That's a start.
     
  3. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2005
    Messages:
    14,394
    Likes Received:
    3,261
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Hey, bpet! This is my primary bread and butter in photography, so I can probably help you a bit here.

    I guess the question here is how detailed do you want me to get into this... if it's just pricing type stuff, I can certainly give you that. Basically I charge $600-800 for each shoot (under most circumstances), and if it's an exterior AND interior of the site, I double that. This includes 20 lightly corrected images (40 if interior and exterior) selected from proof sheets that I provide. Unique sites or sites that are further away tend to cost more. More editing services costs more. Re-shooting the site for random reasons costs more. etc. etc. etc.

    I could probably write a book about this, but I don't want to bore the heck out of anyone. :)

    I could also give you any number of tips on how to handle the site, things to look for, things to watch out for, yadda yadda... just let me know what you want to know.
     
  4. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2005
    Messages:
    14,394
    Likes Received:
    3,261
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    ^^^ btw, since we live in relatively active hubs, I'm guessing our pricing won't be TOO different.
     
  5. William Petruzzo

    William Petruzzo TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    Messages:
    635
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Washington DC
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Any tips or tricks are definitely helpful, but my biggest concern is for the pricing because they want a quote soon. They wont need me till November. Here's what the woman gave me to work with. They're looking for 10 - 15 shots, at least two good "front elevation" shots and they need a disk with a thumbnail page delivered. Should I be thinking about this hourly or per-image, or what?
     
  6. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2005
    Messages:
    14,394
    Likes Received:
    3,261
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    The way I have been handling it is to avoid anything where they have the opportunity to say "Oh we don't need THAT shot, so we'll pay you 1/10th less..." or "Oh we don't need that particular aspect of your service, so how much less would that cost?"

    The reason being is these places are going to tend to be concerned about cost, and if the conversation goes away from what is needed and to a nickel and diming session, you've really got no choice but to lose overall.

    Quote reasonably, be clear in what services you are providing for that quote and what would be extra and stick to your guns. Certainly try to be flexible, but don't let them get a foothold in on you in breaking your services apart massively, etc.

    Another way to think about it is this... mostly they are paying you for your skill and time invested in capturing the image. If you really had to break out things like correction of images and making a CD, you would probably knock off $50, because in truth the bulk of the real value in what you just did came from less tangible things. In truth, I often consider the time I spent in correction as a loss. I do it to provide value that distinguishes me above other photographers, but if I charged for it, I would probably wind up charging 30-40% more for my services. (In time as I get more clients, I expect to do just that!) :)

    BTW, my prices all assume electronic delivery because it's stupid easy to do. If they want a CD you should charge for materials and time to do that. I usually charge an extra $30 for CD delivery, $10 extra per each physical disk beyond the first, additional priority charges as required.

    BTW, also keep in mind your licensing. If you are shooting these, you should by default plan to retain rights to the images and sell them license to use the images. If they happen to want exclusive rights the price should really go WAY up. Like 3-5x the price, easy.

    What I do currently is have a very simple licensing agreement that I include in the quote and in the invoice. "Payment of these fees will be considered acceptance..." yadda yadda.

    It is not iron-clad at the moment because I'm newish to this and don't want to scare away my client, but I have been strengthening it slowly over time. If you're too unreasonable on your terms, you'll scare them away. If you're too lax on your terms, they will take advantage of you. It's not a maybe... it's a will. Unfortunate, but true. I went in making the assumption that I would get taken advantage of more in the early phases and then tighten up slowly as I went along and they decided it was worth dealing with my stricter terms. This appears to be playing out exactly as I expected.

    BTW, I also require a photo credit when my images are used. I know some people who require that they are notified when the image is used, only sell a 1 year agreement to their images, and even require a physical copy of any materials developed with their images. There's quite a range in what you can demand, but I'll tell you flat out that the "new guys" are not the ones demanding copies of the materials. :)

    This whole legal and ownership thing is tough. Really tough. For example, I know for a fact that my client perpetually slacks off on the photo credit and doesn't put it in. I'm not going to beat them up over it... yet. The question is to decide when. I swear this is the worst part of this business.
     
  7. William Petruzzo

    William Petruzzo TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    Messages:
    635
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Washington DC
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Ok, great. Those are some good pointers to look for.

    How about deposits? Do you collect deposits for this kind of thing?
     
  8. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2005
    Messages:
    14,394
    Likes Received:
    3,261
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    No. To the best of my knowledge it "isn't done".

    BTW, be sure to post your shots! I wanna see!
     
  9. William Petruzzo

    William Petruzzo TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    Messages:
    635
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Washington DC
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I will be glad to. :)

    So, how much do you suggest I quote these folks?
     
  10. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2005
    Messages:
    14,394
    Likes Received:
    3,261
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Hard to be certain. As someone else suggested, it might make sense to try to find other folks in your area that do this and get prices, but I would bet you money that they would be resistant to telling you.

    I, myself, am shaky about telling anyone what I know about this industry. It's pretty lucrative, "relatively" low-stress compared to a lot of things you can do in photography, pretty fun, and EXTREMELY competitive.

    Like I say, I charge $600-800 for exteriors and the same for the interiors. I charge more for hotels or extremely complex sites. Since you have less experience with it, they'll probably expect you to be on the less expensive side... you could start at the low end of that range and see how it goes.
     
  11. Sharkey-Images

    Sharkey-Images TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2008
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I would consider a deposit if you will be shooting aerial photos. You would want to know at least your helicopter costs are covered up front.

    Just a thought !
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

william petruszo san diego