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Pricing Architectural Photography

David Massengill , Sep 29, 2005; 07:13 p.m.

Ok. So I just did a job for an architect. Two days of shooting the exteriors and interiors of a loft building. Charged him $1,100 for the project and he gets a CD of 74 photos of which he has unlimited usage. (I keep the copyright) The situation is...The real estate company that owns the lofts wants photos too. I already agreed to give them a poster-sized print for free, but the others would be for sale if they wanted. I also agreed to let the loft owners have images on CD of their loft for free. My question is...How much should I charge the Real Estate company for the set of prints that they want. They want some 32 pics on CD for unlimited usage. I thought about charging $150 for 1-15 pics, and $100 for 15 or more pics. They will use these shots for future use to sell the lofts and for advertising purposes. Does anyone with more experience in dealing with real estate companies have a suggestion? Any help would be GREATLY appreciated.



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Patrick F , Sep 29, 2005; 11:11 p.m.

Dave, I dont mean to offend, but you really need to work on your business. For two days work, you should have charged at least $2500, and really more towards $3000 (at least $1500 per day). In your contract, did you speculate "no third party useage"? If so, then to hell with the real estate company. I dont know why you are giving them a poster for free anyway. Why? Try to get at least $150 per shot. Yes, they will buy less photos, but will increase the quality of your work that you put out there (only your "best"). In the end it will add value to you as a photographer. Pricing yourself too low hurts the whole industry, and in the end, cuts your own throat. Good luck!

H. P. , Sep 30, 2005; 11:56 a.m.

On the other hand, the bloke who sells one hundred pictures at $20 each makes twice as much as the bloke who sells one picture at $1000. There is more than one way to pay for your caviar and champagne.

Randy Santos , Sep 30, 2005; 01:25 p.m.

I my opinion Patrick's view is good advice. Think of how much the Real Estate firm will make in the coming year using your photos to sell lofts. Don't undervalue your work, it must be good if they want to use it, and don't give unlimited rights unless you are charging much much more.

The bloke who sells images at $20 a pop won't be around long and certainly will not be eating caviar and drinking

David Massengill , Sep 30, 2005; 04:50 p.m.

Wow guys thanks alot. I was actually leaning towards Randy and Patrick's advice, but needed confirmation on the subject. You guys are right, I have only been in business for a year, and pricing for architects is hard. (for me, anyways) Thanks guys and if you have any other advice, please feel free to share. Like Patrick said, nobody wants to decrease the industry so its better if we work together.

H. P. , Oct 01, 2005; 04:00 a.m.

"The bloke who sells images at $20 a pop won't be around long and certainly will not be eating caviar and drinking champagne."

I'd be interested to know what evidence you have to back that up. I know a chap who does 'low cost' weddings and drives around in a Rolls Royce. Business models can be slippery things.

John Souleles , Oct 03, 2005; 02:29 a.m.

I'm somewhere in between. $1100 for the Architect is ok for say 10-15 images. Royalty Free for architects is typically good deal since they don't actively seek "income" from selling the shots, but use them only for self-promotion (typically). 74 images is overkill and you should really charge more based on the number alone, if not a fixed fee for each image, Rights-Managed single use. Real Estate companies will typically publish these shots in trade mags, listings etc. As far as the resident(s) are/is concerned - make sure the Realtors don't "end-run" you and acquire the photos for free from the loft owners.

David Massengill , Oct 05, 2005; 02:41 a.m.

Thank you. I just spoke to the reality company with the prices mentioned above. They replied saying that they have a regular photographer who charges $1,500 for their work and gives them unlimited usage. This is what I've been running into lately. They also said if I cannot give them the files at this price, then they will do a re-shoot. I guess I will have to go for the $1,500 and then learn more in the future on how to price this stuff. It sucks...

Lindsey Bryan , Mar 06, 2009; 05:50 p.m.

So I was offered a gig to shoot a completed project from an architecture firm in order to see if they want to hire me for full time. They are asking me for a proposal for this particular shoot. I will be fresh out of college this may and just so afraid of over and under pricing myself. Any Advice, let me know if you need more details. Here are the details he wants me to based the proposal on 1. Attend one site tour.
2. Shoot the project day and night.
3. Provide a minimum of 12 of your most compelling images (some day, some night) What is the typical fee? Should i base it on per image or work day ect....... Thanks Lnz

Ric Marder , Mar 06, 2009; 10:23 p.m.

Not sure if you noticed Lindsey, but you resurrected a 3 and a half year old thread. Many won't see this unless they chose to show threads with new answers. I would start a fresh thread.

But since i have seen this - It might be tough but would be beneficial if you knew what they normally pay, and what their budget is. You can charge for the day with an all inclusive fee. This could be anywhere from $500 to $2000 depending on your skill, their budget and the importance of the images to the client.

Can a strong shoot help them to land new clients potentially earning them thousands and thousands of dollars? How long is this "site tour"? How valuable is a day/night to you? and don't forget about processing time over the next few days.

It's hard for us to determine your answers to those questions. I do wish you good luck...

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