Monday, September 28, 2009

Friday, September 25, 2009

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Real World Pricing Redux... A Retort

In response to the information regarding real world pricing provided by Rob Haggart at the A Photo Editor blog and that I point you to in my previous blog entry (see below), a rapid retort from photographer's consultant cum law-student Leslie Burns Dell'Acqua appeared at her Burns Auto Parts blog.

Not so much as a retort as it is a clarification and a plea for the development of some sort of rational system for pricing usage in advertising and client-direct areas of assignment bidding.

Leslie argues that some of the fees quoted in the estimates provided by Rob are far too low. I am in full agreement with her on this point. For example, one estimate provides a license for National USA only, unlimited use in all media, in perpetuity of 32 images for a total production & licensing fee of only $25k or roughly $782.25 per image, production expenses & creative fees included.

Leslie goes on to offer some suggestions on how to tackle this complicated issue and it's well worth a read. Find her post here

It's important to remember that the more information you arm yourself with before you put that pencil to paper, the better you will end up serving both yourself and your client(s). At the end of the assignment, you will feel compensated in a way that you are motivated to give your all during the production end of the process and won't walk away afterwards feeling undervalued. Even in this economy, savy art buyers are well aware of issues, legalities and costs of image production & licensing. Coming in far below reasonable expectations with your estimates might win you an assignment here & there, but in the long run it's also going to brand you as inexperienced & unable to rise to the challenge when the real rubber hits the road.

Real World Pricing

I have been quite remiss in updating entries of late. In an effort to bring you, dear reader, up to date, I call your attention to Rob Haggart's blog A Photo Editor.

Over the past couple of weeks, Rob has posted entries and examples of actual estimates & invoices for advertising & editorial photography assignments. For those of us working in Hawaii, whether seasoned pro or a newbie, these samples should be a real eye-openers.

The first samples Rob posted were estimates for a non-specific advertising assignment seeking world-wide rights of use for a two-year period, a second estimate for a pharmaceutical company (he goes on to elaborate that this estimate ended up being the middle bid price-wise and this photographer was not awarded the assignment for strictly creative reasons). Also posted in this entry were three editorial assignment invoices for what he describes as "glossy, celebrity-lovin' checkout mags...". The first of these invoice examples were intended for syndication, the second for a weekly publication and the third for a monthly publication. You will find Rob's entry here.

Again, a a little more than a week later Rob again tackled the subject by posting four more advertising estimates... one for a corporation's national, internal use only, one for national retail client's advertising, another for national use, one-time insertion, another for a national advertising client licensing web use only. Find these estimates here. Note that these estimates were all submitted in August of this year and that they were the winning bids. At the bottom of the estimate there is also a losing bid for the licensing of two assigned images, one year use unlimited, worldwide. In this estimate, Rob reports that the photographer was underbid and not awarded the assignment.

Now, onto a scenario a little more applicable to those of us working in the islands. The following day, Rob again posts three more estimates for REGIONAL advertising photography. The first estimate is an assignment to photograph 7 surgeons in two different locations locations, providing for a one-year exclusive license of those images in one city only. The second estimate in this entry is for production & usage of 4 photographs captured on location. This estimate includes a three-year, unlimited regional ("regional" not specified in this case) media use & in conjunction with TV use/broadcast license. The third estimate supplied in this entry is for a regional advertising client. The estimate provides for the capture & delivery of 32 portraits, allows for ten days of production/shooting time and grants unlimited use of 24 images in all media in the USA only. Note that these were also all winning bids as described by Rob. You'll find these estimates here.

One further note... when looking at these individual estimates, be sure to use the slider bar on the right side of each estimate to scroll down through all the itemized creative and production expense fees, arriving finally at the final bid amount.

My New Favorite Band of the Moment

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Festival Festivities

The First Annual Maui Photo Festival Conference & Workshops officially opened yesterday at the Hyatt Regency Resort & Spa. Located on the balmy shores of Kaanapali Beach in West Maui, the Hyatt has given over it's huge and beautiful complex to play host to approximately 300 photographers, lecturers & presenters. I don't think I've seen quite so many cameras in one place before... you would have thought, if you weren't clued in, that Paris Hilton was walking the grounds.

All reports of the days activities were enthusiastic. An early morning boat trip, scuba dive and underwater photo workshop led by internationally acclaimed water photographer and Maui resident David Fleetham, produced up-close encounters with a pod of false killer whales & yielded some great photo-ops, projected later in the evening on the Big Screen during the commencement reception. Those that opted to stay on land during the day were treated to a wild & wacky presentation of green-screen compositing technology by none other than Adobe® Senior Creative Director Russell Brown. Think Photoshop on steroids.

Later that evening, we all gathered on the beachfront lawn for a pupu & drink heavy ceremony, some serious chin-wagging and an overall wonderful time. I got a chance to meet some heros & heavyweights, share some delightful conversation, chat with some of my local colleagues and friends I haven't seen in some time. The weather was perfect, lovely hawaiian music drifting through the palms and the ingestibles very tasty. On a scale of grand times, I rank it an 11. And things have just begun... there's so much more in store for participants for the next three days. Check the schedule here for what's in store for the next 72 hours or so.

It was a personal thrill to get to sit and talk with length hero, portrait & illustration photography genius Jack Reznicki, Magnum Agency member Eli Reed, fine-art & travel photographer Andy Katz and North Shore water photographer Clark Little... all lovely guys.

There is still space available for some of the upcoming offerings so go to one of the links above and sign up now if you haven't already. You'll be glad you did.

Here's a few pics from the evening... sorry, I was so star-struck& intimidated that once things got rolling, I forgot to pull out my camera.

Festival founder & director, all around cool guy and old friend Zane Mathias. With all those photographers around, don't you think I could have asked one to snap a pic rather than hold that heavy D2X outstreched in one hand? Nooooo!
Sunset just outside the venue lawn pre-festivities
Delicate balancing act... sculpture just outside the venue entrance
The venue on the grounds of the lovely Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa
Fine art photographer and Maui gallery operator Randy J. Braun. Again with the camera and funny face!
Randy J. Braun and his new BFF
Jeffery Oltman, my overworked & underpaid assistant and fine photographer in his own right, with underwater master David Fleetham
Kumu Hula & Master chanter Charles Ka'upu offer a chant and opening pule