Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Case Study: Producing A Successful Estimate

By Craig Oppenheimer Of Wonderful Machine Published in The Business of Photography
Case Study: Producing A Successful Estimate
Assistants: We budgeted for two assistants for the shoot day.

Digital Tech: We'll hire a digital tech to import files and operate a workstation or laptop anytime we have a client making approvals during the shoot. This allows the photographer to keep working on set while the clients watch the progress on a monitor. Some more expensive digital techs are prepared to bring or rent high-end camera equipment and processing software to add images into layouts, but at this price range, the tech simply would be importing files from cards and organizing them while allowing the client to occasionally review the work.

Food Stylists: The restaurant's chefs would be cooking the food as they typically would for their customers, but in order to further style, plate and arrange all of the shots in one day, we included fees for two food stylists—one working on the current setup and the other prepping for the next shot. We also included a stylist assistant to help out.

Photographer Scout Day: The photographer would need at least a half-day to walk through the restaurant with the agency and client to determine specific locations and angles while reviewing the menu items.

Equipment Rental: We included a fee to use some of the photographer's own equipment while allowing for a few additional rentals, if needed. This is on the lower end of what we might expect to charge for equipment on a shoot like this, but in order to make their budget work, this was one of the places where the photographer was willing to come down a bit.

Image Processing For Editing: While the digital tech would import and handle basic organization of the images as they were shot, the photographer still would need to spend additional time after the shoot to edit, rename, tweak and process a web gallery for the client and agency to review.

Image Processing For Reproduction: We figured it would take a full day to further process, retouch and deliver the 13 high-res selects.

Miles, Parking, Misc.: The restaurant was local to the photographer, and the client would be feeding the crew, so I only needed to include $100 for miles and miscellaneous expenses.

Results: The photographer was awarded the job.

As a Wonderful Machine producer, Craig Oppenheimer has estimated and negotiated hundreds of photo assignments and has produced shoots for clients both big and small. When he isn't helping photographers with estimates or production, he tirelessly promotes the Wonderful Machine brand and arranges monthly portfolio events with high-caliber creatives around the country while consulting with photographers on targeted marketing campaigns. If you have any questions, or if you need help estimating or producing a project, contact Wonderful Machine at

« Prev 3/3 Next

Login to post comments
Subscribe & Save!
International residents, click here.