Yet another pricing question

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by niccig, Apr 8, 2007.

  1. niccig

    niccig TPF Noob!

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    A coworker of mine who is an artist in her spare time has asked what I would charge to photograph some of her work for her portfolio (mostly murals and other 2D pieces). Unfortunately I have no idea what the going rate for this type of work is, though I can't think it would be very much. I tried searching here, as well as some pretty extensive googling, and can't find anyone that offers similar services, let alone pricing for it. Do any of you guys do this type of work, and what do you charge?
     
  2. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    Your first consideration is whether you have the right equipment...you're going to need a copy stand, no question.

    I wouldn't charge all that much, especially depending on the number of photos she needs.
     
  3. niccig

    niccig TPF Noob!

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    Do you think maybe $10-15 an item sounds about right?
     
  4. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    I shoot a lot of copy work for local galleries. I charge a 100 dollars an hour which is cheap. This is a great field to get in. Here in Jackson every one wants to be a wedding/portrait photographer so this work is very easy to get. It can get technical; the colour has to be perfect. Let alone translating it to CMYK.

    Let me know if you have questions about what is involved.

    Love & Bass
     
  5. neea

    neea TPF Noob!

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    Right away I could see running into problems of taking pictures that are framed. How would you avoid reflections?
     
  6. niccig

    niccig TPF Noob!

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    A polarizer might help with reflections. My concern in this case is getting even lighting - two of the pieces are murals. One is something like 8 feet square, and another covers an entire wall - probably 12' tall by 20' wide. The larger one will probably require multiple photos - I could probably get most of it with an 18mm, but the distortion at the edges would probably be a bit too much. Luckily this isn't for reproduction :)
     
  7. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    If the art is under glass I tell them to take it out. It is fully a pain and sometimes impossible. If it is impossible shoot available light and use a polarizer. Generally the artist does not want the frame in the shot which makes the deal a little easier.

    Spill some details of the clients work and your lighting and working conditions.

    Love & Bass
     
  8. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    Ouch. When the art gets above 4x8 feet things can quickly go south. The idea if to have the art distortion free. 18mm will be tough to work with. If at all possible try and stay close to 50mm in a 35mm format. I shoot 2 Omni Lights (tungsten) with umbrellas. They start off near the camera at a 45ยบ angle to the art. From there it is a lot of positioning to get texture and an even light. And of course avoiding the dreaded specular highlights. Use a tripod and a torpedo level to get everything straight.

    Love & Bass
     
  9. niccig

    niccig TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the tips craig. The murals are in student residences on a university campus. The light on the art is less than desirable. One mural (a horse racing scene) is in a dim incandescent-lit lobby. That is the larger one. I used to live in this building, and thought the mural was a whole wall - but it is actually several smaller ones. They're still quite large though. The other murals are in large, empty conference rooms with flourescent lighting. The one thing I have going for me is there are lots of windows. We've decided to do the shoot in late May, after all students and staff have moved out for the summer. So I think I'll be able to just turn the lights off, open the blinds and make up the rest with my strobes and umbrellas. Unfortunately they'll have turned the air conditioning off at this point :)
     

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