Frequently Asked Questions:
What is licensing, and why do I charge for licensing?
As a photographer, I own the copyright to any photo I take. While I own that copyright, I agree to grant the use of those photos to individuals and companies. Photo licensing typically applies in any circumstance where the images shot for a client hold monetary value in a marketplace. A photo license allows a company to use the images in specific ways, and to increase sales and marketplace recognition.
There is much confusion over photo licensing, mostly because many photographers who typically work in the wedding industry, senior portrait, and events, do not charge licensing, as they are photos that do not apply to a sales arena, and therefore do not hold a monetary value.
As a commercial photographer, I work exclusively with companies, and every photo is specifically shot in order to increase the sales of that client.
What is your hourly rate?
I do not charge a standard hourly rate, because hourly fees can be incredibly misleading to people who are not familiar with the elements necessary to create effective images in a commercial photography setting. Every project, and every shoot comes with unique costs. For this reason, each quote reflects all of the elements necessary to create the images needed by the client. Everything from my time, the creative components like scouting locations, editing time (3.25 hrs per hour shooting) and prep time, the equipment necessary, travel, and licensing of those images are included in my quotes in order to reflect the exact costs I estimate it will take to achieve a high quality product.
Do I shoot weddings, senior portraits, etc?
What is “Commercial Photography”?
Commercial photography involves photographing a particular product, or someone supplying or receiving a particular service, in a way that showcases that product or service's best features and entices the viewer to want to buy. For commercial shoots, the photographer works with a team of stylists, hair and make up, photo assistants, and an art director, and within brand guidelines, and an approved shot list.
What kind of cameras do I use?
Mostly Canon, but I utilize other professional systems (Sony, Nikon, etc) in order to achieve a specific look depending on the needs of a client.
I also shoot specific projects on a Sinar 4x5 view camera with a high resolution digital back for incredible detail and file size for large print.
Things a client may not consider
As a potential client, it’s easy to overlook some potential expenses involved with a quality photoshoot. For example, as a client, you see a photographer show up with cameras, lenses, lighting, and other tools. It's natural to assume that a photographer will be using those same tools for decades, when in reality, this equipment has a relatively short life. As a commercial photographer it is necessary to stay up to date with technology, and that requires constant reinvestment. As a winery must reinvest in barrels and other technologies year after year, a photographer must also make those investments in equipment such as professional camera bodies, lenses, lighting, processing equipment, and editing software, as well as specialized maintenance on those tools. While you might not think about it, most companies do not typically hire commercial photographers whose equipment is in disrepair. More importantly, this is equipment that allows me as a commercial photographer to constantly improve in my craft, and achieve shots that are of extremely high quality, without getting hung up by the tools I am using. These annual costs must be factored into every shoot a commercial photographer takes on.
Why hire me over someone else who is quoting a lot less?
I understand, everyone wants to keep their expenditures to a minimum. Myself included. I have clients who have approached me to start projects because they are unhappy with the work that other photographers have produced for them previously, and often times these photographers were hired because they offered "a really good deal".
The monetary value of powerful imagery on your website, that tells your story, and creates a connection with consumers, is worth every penny spent above what you’d spend on someone who can offer photography that does not achieve that objective. I may be more expensive than others because I am offering a lot more of my time towards any project that I take on than most photographers are willing to put in (in the development stages of a project, the process of shooting the project, and the post-production and delivery of those images). This offers my clients a rich experience to illustrate to consumers through the web and through other marketing materials that pays off. I think that a lot of people look at photography as "assets" to be used, and many photographers look at images as "slots" that need to be filled. In reality, photographs are the face of the business when you are not there to greet them in person. They are stories that can be told to people even if you aren’t around at the time to tell them. Photographs should be relevant for decades, not just a quarter of the fiscal year.