Case Study: Producing A Successful Estimate

After considering the size of the client, scope of the use (no print), experience of the photographer (this was his first major commercial assignment), shoot difficulty/complexity, the quantity of photos, the fact that only one image would be used as the "hero" and that the value to the client would diminish for similar images from each scenario, I valued the first image at $2,500, the 2nd through 5th at $1,250 each and the 6th through 13th at $800 each, for a total of $13,900.

After I come up with a fee on my own, I like to check it against a couple of other pricing resources to see what they recommend. Blinkbid called for $2,600 to $4,500 for one image for one year for that usage, and fotoQuote recommended $6,500 per image for three years within their "web pack" (which includes web advertising). These pricing guides are useful when you’re quoting exactly the same parameters that they’re showing, but often they don’t match up to a client’s intended use, and I generally find them to be on the high side. In this case, we were essentially shooting 12 variations of the same food picture. So the question is, do you simply multiply that one-year fee for one picture times the number of pictures and times the number of years? If I did that, the fee would be $2,600 x 13 x 3 = $101,400. As much as I wanted the photographer to get that fee, it’s simply not worth that much to the client. I decided on an even $13K for the fee, which was reasonable for the scope of the project and also helped to keep the bottom line under $20K.

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