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Thread: How much to charge for a job with full rights transfer?

  1. #1
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    How much to charge for a job with full rights transfer?

    Hi all,

    A consultancy client of mine (not photography, that's just a hobby) has recently come across some of my fully immersive panos I'm making with my Hasselblad/CFV50c setup. They now are very adamant I produce some specific works for their needs, and they insist on paying for it. While that's nice, and I feel honored, I have no clue how much I should charge. What is a reasonable going rate for photography with high end (=expensive and specialised) equipment and full rights transfer these days?

    Cheers

    - Balt

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    Re: How much to charge for a job with full rights transfer?

    break it up as to:
    your time, assistant?, equipment rental and a per shot fee(includes processing and proofs), plus a per print fee.
    1-2,000 fee per day is not unusual (in NYC), outputting maybe 10 proofs, a large pano print might cost $500 un-mounted?
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    Re: How much to charge for a job with full rights transfer?

    In addition to above;

    Generally there are two components to price, creative fee and usage and then expenses.

    I guess you have to take in to account what you are already billing them as a consultant- that might be hourly or per project. Not that that is paying for the photography but there has to be some semblance of value for time only you can work out that seems to make sense for you and the client.

    Photographers often try to move away from the day rate or time based model, it is a convenience but it doesn’t really equate to the value of the service. You could spend literally a half hour on location but the prep and your skill and the value within the market for similar products are what tell the real value. We don’t sell by the pound like ground beef

    What the “day rate” model can do or the per-shot model is that it can help you structure an estimate so that they can scale up or down depending on how much they have to spend.

    (not in this case) but a classic tactic poor clients take is say we have 100 shots how much? and you go through the estimate driving your own price down hoping to get the job and you give them an number and then they say well we only have 10 shots now and now you feel like you have to divide that price by 10!- clearly a manipulation. For corporate clients I tend to give them a per shot rate as a base so that they can understand that if they ask for more it costs more and less is less. And there is only so much you can do in “a day”.

    You have specialized skills, and the client already strongly likes your work, which indicates towards a higher fee. However you already have a relationship with the client and a fee structure so that comes in to it as I said above. All of this comprises your creative fee.

    Typical creative fees in NYC for architectural or corporate work go from a low of 1-2000 “per day” and up. But as I said, that’s just part of it, accounting for your skill, uniqueness, and possibly some nod towards time but don’t make it about how long you take. You could try a creative fee per pano setup- i.e. per location or maybe per final pano. It could get tricky if they want “variations” on each image.

    The second component is Usage, and this is generally the higher part, it accounts for how the client is leveraging your work. You said they wanted “full rights transfer” which I take to mean they want the copyright- so here is my opinion on that.

    I’d avoid transfer of copyright. You could give them unlimited rights but it depends if they want exclusivity of usage- meaning you couldn’t also license the work. If you retain copyright and they don’t need exclusivity, or only need it up to a specific time period (embargo) you could then make money licensing the same work later on. However if you transfer copyright then they can basically do whatever they want, and they can also license the work to others and continue to make money from the work. All of this should drive their price up because you have to figure you’ll never make another cent against this work. However retaining copyright and doing non-exclusive after what is called the embargo period means you can lower the price to them for unlimited rights.

    Unlimited rights is the Mercedes buy- it includes advertising, editorial, web, social media, printed collateral, display, etc. It would be better to define the use clearly so that you can at least feel that the number you give them is a good reflection of the value they are receiving and leveraging.

    Typical unlimited rights usage fees are boilerplate but if you look on Getty Images for example and use their quick calculator you get something like 7-15k per image unlimited exclusive. This might make the jaw drop but without some definition of what they want to do it is hard to say.

    Expenses

    The gear rental fees you can research locally but high end digital capture goes near 750-1000 rental a day not including specialized lenses or pano heads. You could bill at these rates or a little less but you should bill for gear because others do. It covers depreciation, insurance, wear and tear, etc

    Assistants in NYC get about 300+ a day, however you may not need such specialized skill- or perhaps you have a friend you like to work with.

    Don’t forget travel expense, scouting fees, insurance, meals.

    Its good to feel honored to be asked (like the academy awards) but I would quickly move past that and think about the fairness of the value derived vs. your unique skill, artistry, and honest willingness to do right by your client. Its good that they insist on paying, so get some specfics and if you want come back to this forum and pm me directly and I can give you some basic numbers
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    Re: How much to charge for a job with full rights transfer?

    Quote Originally Posted by robertwright View Post
    In addition to above;

    Generally there are two components to price, creative fee and usage and then expenses.

    I guess you have to take in to account what you are already billing them as a consultant- that might be hourly or per project. Not that that is paying for the photography but there has to be some semblance of value for time only you can work out that seems to make sense for you and the client.
    I'm not clear here_I meant it would not make sense to bill a creative fee that was 10 times your consultant fee for work you consider a hobby. That would be strange. However, the usage is the usage, and you should not accept less that what the value of the usage is.

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    Re: How much to charge for a job with full rights transfer?

    Thank you guys, that is very valuable information! I generally don't feel weird about charging more for a photography job than a consulting fee for the same amount of time would be - I've been around the block a few times and understand that once you get paid it's a job, no longer a hobby - and comes with commitment and responsibilities. Pricing structure thus should be according and reflect the professional environment. On top of that, I don't want to undercut a professional photographer.

    If I get the job because my work is good, then we play fair and square. If they want me to do it because I'm cheap and they leverage on my "pride" and willingness to execute a hobby for a week of free travel and accommodation (combined with some consulting work on location), then I don't want anything to do with it. It's a simple as that really. The organisation is large enough so turning the job down will not compromise my consulting work in any way (these are PR people of the company I don't normally deal with and the company employs 5k people so is a pretty big place).

    I also should have mentioned that the job is executed at an extremely remote location involving a week long trip to get there and back which I have to do anyway for the consulting part of the job - that could be considered lowering the cost for them if they don't have to fly in a pro just for that. That's probably the only cost advantage I am willing to agree to.

    Thanks again for sharing your info!

    Cheers

    - Balt

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    Re: How much to charge for a job with full rights transfer?

    sounds like you are going to have fun too the best kind of job.

    I also figure in "friends and family" for clients that I have long relationships with. I think that is not undercutting as much as respecting a good relationship. They are few and far between. When you have good people to work with that goes a long way.

    Enjoy!

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    Re: How much to charge for a job with full rights transfer?

    Well, I think our relationship (while long standing) could be described as "it's complicated". There's no need to render any favours, and we certainly don't share a family or friend type emotional bond...

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