Bidding and Pricing Q&A


Tabletop Product Photography


Lesson Info

Bidding and Pricing Q&A

this is a catalogue shot or group of shots even though the cetus set each image is what you would charge your client for if I'm going on a per image great yes yes it depends on your right depends on how you do it how I normally do it yes I'd normally do a per image rate that way the client knows what they're going to pay and I'm not penalized for being darn good at what I do charge by the hour if you charge by the hour the clients wondering why it's taking you eight hours and you're thinking well if I just move z on over here to get that stand mosey on back and better get to stand top because you're making money lots of areas for people to fudge right why even play that game why have somebody think you're playing that game I charged by the shot shot in usage shoo fy and usage when you're doing these use each face thanks guys good when you're doing well I'm gonna put I'll put these two shots together at break you know our lunch so we can see him right after lunch just before we jump int...

o the guitar so you see the final shot some folks on the internet were wondering why they didn't see the final shots because we're just kind of doing proof of concept but at lunch I'll combine them and you'll see exactly what I would deliver a client then okay um thanks guys the way that I bid these jobs is I'm very very careful with my my r f peace my proposals to line item everything line item it all the more line items you have in your bid the easier it is for you to negotiate let's say charles came to me and said don I've got forty parts for aftermarket car parts to shoot uh how much is it when I go two hundred dollars a shot charles and fifty dollars for years usage a whatever it is are two hundred dollars for years usage or maybe I whatever the usages who cares just best the number right and he says well and I'm thinking that's going to cover my food that's going to cover my expenses I will have to get a role seem I'm thinking all that stuff because well that's a little high what do I do then I only gave him one number I have to come off that number right so what I'll do is I'll say okay my my chute fee is one twenty five a shot we're going to use four rolls of seamless we're going to have lunch and breakfast I'm sorry lunch and dinner on set we're going to have to travel to austin to do the shoots we live in houston so we've got all these things every line item you put on there is a place where you can negotiate and that leaves that fee at the top alone so when I put in my line items what do I do what dwight dwight put in a line item that I'm going to fly coach no I put business in not first class that's insane I put business in that's a place where we can negotiate if he says well yeah that's fine is good I fly business fantastic if it's a little too high I can come down the coach I put in x amount of dollars for food if I want the job maybe we can weaken you know do mcdonald's for lunch instead of you know ruth's chris but everything that you have is a line as a line item when you're bidding gives you room to negotiate because that top number that you put in there you shoot feet never changes yeah your gear you mean do I really need here is a cost of expense already in your feet because you and your cameras you on your lights no I have I have a gear feet I have a pretty much a flat gear feet for me is two hundred dollars it's a flat gear fee I don't itemize out year on dove course that when I get the tow austin I'm gonna have to rent lights um that's that's the deal we were talking about a little bit about you know you're you're working from home so you you know you don't have those expenses well think about this when you're working from home and you don't have those expenses and you have to go and rent a studio right so you come to me charles comes and says well don't do these shots and I don't have a studio while charles will have to use three hundred fifty dollars a day for the studio and three hundred fifty dollars rental for the lights and you want it shot on larger format so we're going to rent a house a bladder and a digital kit so that's five hundred for the day so what we had about a grand right okay so I have a studio what happened to the grand for me I don't get it because I'm stupid enough to actually have a monthly payment no no we rent we rent the studio the studio's part of the rental of the part of the job is the rental of the studio part of the job is the rental of my gear it has to be otherwise I'm not competitive with that guy and that guy is using his his ah billy or hear his a fact that he's not buying all those things as a thing against may I'm not going I'm not gonna have it so you know does that mean I can't use it as a negotiating factor no I can use it as a negotiating factor already paid the rent that month if maybe we could come off the rental of the studio I get the gig I could do that but I don't do it off the bat right off the bat I charge for my stuff just as any other photographer would I read a bid from a photographer of to do an editorial portrait and he charged six hundred dollars for the day for his own geared for his his lights he took his lights his camera's his lenses it's a six hundred dollar daily ronald for them for the year because his point was if somebody else had to go do it they had to rent the gear that's how much it would cost think about it we are in business to make money not just tow hang out with really cool shoes I know so you said that you you don't charge by the hour and frankly I agree but do you ever do like a flat day rate or week rate the kind of photography that I do I have done a few day rates some editorial things which basically you haven't you don't have a set amount of images to get you don't want to they don't want to charge it then we'll pay you by the image because you could come back with like hey look I did eight thousand images check please uh they want to have a little bit more leeway so yeah I've worked for some day race but they're rare for for and for this business they're very rare they should be very rare if anyone's out there doing product on a day rate basis um pipe in and chat lines chat rooms I'd like to know is there any a place where you can find work sheets or anything of that nature to help many police and stuff s m p american society media photographers epa era american people advertising for tigers of america peep a is mohr consumer but they have good contracts and model releases in the whole thing model releases I use I think I mentioned before I use easy release that's my favorite it works on my I got it on my android I've got on my iphone or on my ipod touch I've got it on my ipad I have it everywhere on and it works really really well for me because I can actually take a picture of a subject they consign it right there on the ipad on dh copy of it's always saved somewhere and I keep my my model releases as simple as possible I haven't I haven't attorney and I p attorney I've worked with for years and he's whittled down model releases to be basically pretty short because this is a model release he can defend in court he's absolutely certain that he can defend that in court I asked other photographers this when you come up with some of those model releases that air two pages long right would you sign it I sure as hell wouldn't sign it two pages of tiny little print you know modeled degrees of this and I'm not signing that so he's got it down to about two real simple paragraphs questions about creating an r f p don did you did you actually spell out what the words are p request for proposal you'll get an r f p from clients it's a request for proposal these arms are generally larger clients these air not the manufacturing the guy down the street who makes studded shoes he's not going to send you nor of peace probably call you how much is it gonna cost but a bigger institution like your local universities for the bookstore which is generally a sixty four page you know bookstore catalogue kind of thing they're going to send you an r f p request for proposal and how you fill out that request for proposal says a lot about your business the more professional you are the better the more line items you present the better they feel because when they get that request for proposal back and you forgot airline tickets for you and your assistant to costa rica they're going to wonder how else you can do the rest of the job he's so I'm saying there are places on the internet that will help you with bids for very large jobs um and sometimes it's if it's a big job and you're and you're sure you can do the job it's a big job you might want to get some help getting it bid a couple of consultant's help you do that I think I think selina does she's a great friend of mine I think selena will help you do some bids or some other ones out there I believe can I say if I'm wrong I think I think wonderful machine those guys I think they will help you actually do a bid if they even if you're not one of their attire was actually help you put the been together it's a service you pay for what you can find those people to help you and if it's the initially a bid and that includes international travel and you've never done it before going find out about all the little things you didn't know were there like the faerie back from halifax to ah portland I didn't know he had to pay extra for the car I thought that was a given I didn't know you had to pay extra because you had a full tank of gas I didn't know you had to pay extra for other things the three hundred forty dollars ferry ride was actually seven hundred sixty dollars oops really cut into the old bottom line right there I didn't know so find it from people who do you have a guy that sells the studded shoes he wants a bit or he wants to know what it's going to cost because if he calls you up and says hey I've got some shoes I want you to photograph what do you charge well there's and there's that's the killer line isn't it what do you charge right the best the next thing out of your mouth better not be a number it can't be it's like let's get some let's let's talk okay what are the shoes what's the concept uh well I mean are you wanting them on a black background or a white background no we want a little bit more to it okay that's a clue he doesn't just want to drop in pop wants a little more to it what are you saying are there going to be what is one parachutes in the shot you look at all the work we did for one parachute you want to do is set here with six pairs of shoes okay that's more work does he want a single page with six shoes in one shot does they want a page with six shoes an individual shots irene's a designer she knows exactly what I'm talking about the shot with the six shoes is going to probably cost you more than six individual shoes because this is easier than that okay so we asked you ask those questions you get all that information so you kind of have an idea of what direction he wants how do you in the phone conversation let me put together a bid now get back with you yes okay do not commit by phone do not commit until you have really nail it down because that number lives forever when you popped that number off it lives forever and was some clients everything you say lives forever I've I'm one of those people always chats too much I blab cheap god be a surprised folks me talking too much who would've thought I will say to much else I'll say something like that be really be cool I've got this what I'd be kind of cool on orange you know then we'll talk three or four days and something else comes up and I'll you know deliver a mock up it'll go well where's the orange and I'm like orange what that was way back then and we've done all these other things you know you said it was orange gonna be orange ho man so now I have learned to keep my mouth shut whats it gonna look like I'll let you know yes began then you get back to them with that that proposal when when do you get back to them with a proposal I mean when you get back the next day when you said you would when you said you would you don't send it the day after you said you would that just lets them know just sloppy I just lets him know time commitments don't mean anything to you I'll get it back to you tomorrow morning before ten sometime before nine fifty eight you've gotten their proposal to him you've emailed it to him and you've picked up the phone and called said I sent you the e mail about thirty minutes ago just making sure you got it oh I didn't get it whole let me send it again because if you sent it and they didn't get it you didn't send it you khun say to your blue in the face you didn't send it yeah depends on their deadline so does if they don't need it for a few weeks then you have a couple of days to get back to them with that's a good point irene because if they don't need it for a few weeks I don't want to get it back to him tomorrow right I do want to take a compliment I do take take a couple of days however also don't want to get it back to him just before they need it because somebody else may have beat me to it so there's a there's a there's a little bit of against manship is a little bit of a of a time thing there but generally the sooner you can get it back within reason the better it looks it looks like you've got your ducks in a row and that also plays into your your big because if if there's a rush then you have to build that in yeah well in the hats that I read and I both designers we have you know so there's such thing as rush jobs there's rest jobs and talking to not probably as many but yeah they need it tomorrow we can do it for him it's just gonna cost more you know on def it's a russian you've got to put something off they're gonna have to pay for that um how busy are you by the way next week how busy are you busy next week you're busy you may not have anything on the books but you never tell a client who calls you how busy are next week say all I got nothing pretty much sitting on my hands all week watching reruns of battlestar galactica that's what I'm doing no no you're busy but you can work him in okay this isn't manipulation this isn't being phony and stuff it's just nobody wants to deal with people who aren't busy if you're busy you're busy that's why telfer timers don't never blawg wow it's really slow it's really terrible you're basically telling your potential clients g nobody else was hiring that guy she's not working very much I wonder why be busy bee busy all the time I saw an internet look from my kenna got something on the internet was that was that my inner internet look thought so I'm sorry uh is it do you want some questions way got it kind of questions are also actually have a question for you do you want to continue to take all the the business type questions as long as they're to this part of the business that we're talking or if peace because the last half of the day for the last part of the day if you haven't purchased program and you're not gonna purchase the program a warning in advance get some paper and pencil is ok you're going to need it we're going to take a lot of notes so I'm trying to get some of this our f p working with those clients out of the way morning because this afternoon I got an hour and I have to tell you how to go get jobs and make it real jobs okay sure sfx is wondering how do you figure in your post processing fees obviously the type of use will affect the complex city so do include the post in the r p I do absolutely do um as I said yesterday or the day before the day before I it's all just kind of a blur sometimes my clients will want the just want the shot and they're going to go and do it andi I know a lot of retirees go never do sure it's my client just paid me nine hundred dollars to do a picture of this thing I enjoy he knows what he's going to do I have to trust him to know that he's going to make a good shot if I'm really worried about may not however there have been cases where I'll say sure you can have the shot that's part of the deal but I think I can do the photo shop and make it better at which point I might do one for him and then I tell him how much that's gonna cost in almost every case that said wow that looks great go ahead you do the photo shop because I'm pretty good at it and so I can really make the shots saying where they may not be able to and they can put a side by side you know bill they're there pre press guys pretty good in design and stuffy name may not be a visit photo shop and they can see what he did next to mine and I'll pick it up but I charge you know I charge sixty an hour for that and that's for jobs that I've shot so you know it's just in part of the deal you kind of got to know how much how much time is going to take you to photoshopped a picture ah and these days uh for this kind of work here I mean it could range from twenty minutes a shot too you know quite awhile if you're compositing and doing a lot of work but you have to know that but I do I'll put it in as a line item if you want me to a photo shop the files there x amount of dollars per shot gives him the option right a question from a snaps do you charge a quote unquote capture fee in the old days you would charge for film and processing and some photographers in the uk charged the digital equivalent as a capture no I don't because it's in my shoe fi um my should fee is my shoe for uh I know what he's talking about it's kind of like you have to deal with before we have to run to the lab and get your film and stuff you had charged for that right you know but it's in my line item things I have digital archiving I have a fee generally a flat fee three hundred four hundred bucks if it's a bigger show of digital archiving it means I'm going to create the the backup files we're going to store him we're going to all that stuff so that's it but the capture thing for me is really my shot is my right but it's that extra time yes yes great and there's also a retrieval from archival fee to some minimum fifty bucks right edward black is wondering edward from berlin germany does a really long er r f p frightened off potential clients um well they sent you the r f p they sent it to you if you are if he's asking or if you're real wordy when you send it back couldn't frighten off potential clients if you're worried that your things too wordy that might be a sign it's too wordy would steal the old saying I mean how how long does the essay have to be has to be long enough to cover it that's yeah so if you're if you're being riel strong and really given them solid information it may be just fine yeah line items in your bid if you're making him up yeah if you're just making him up absolutely right but are there is it like your archival fees and retrieval fees you can kind of group those together but should you break them out are there other line items that you could group together as opposed to break out let me explain how I do my my my bed I have my shoe fee had my archival fee and might retrieval from archival feed those air above the two lines and everything else those air not breakable I don't care if it's a an hour shoot or a six day shoot that archival fee is there okay sometimes if it's a you know six shots of shoes I make out like a bandit if it's four days of editorial I worked real hard for my archival fate but that just stays there I dont argue with people about archival fees you know saying you know archival fees are well I don't know whatever I'm feeling that day trust me in this business in this business and in design as well there are a lot of people who just make up a price on the spot they have no idea what it's going to cost them to do it they have no idea where it fits in there in their business whether it's a profitable bid or not they'll just throw a number out right rally hurry when we all know those people I know those guys there was a time when I was one of those guys that's when you get to the end of the year and you're sitting there with your accountant and she says well how much money do you think you made that kind of go I don't know if she knows what the hell you in business for the first thing you want to and be able to answer when someone says how much money did make is you know how much money you make it's like arno what's left you know that's not professional so yeah don't make up stuff but if it's real it's got to be there and also don't be outrageous I'm I was kidding about ruth's chris lunches we don't do that seriously I mean if you're like while each guy on the crew gets a two hundred forty dollars a day food stipend that might be a little much if you're in sacramento you know yeah sorry sorry yes usage rights od sometimes just good people the file and then put it anywhere that's a good question and something I get asked for a lot on something I sometimes get beat up for a lot you know bill's bakery need some donut shots for the wall's gonna pay me a good rate you know I'm probably not going to go back to bill's bakery in six months and asking for another rental fee of the bakery shots on his walls because he's not going to understand that at all say when he sells me a doughnut I can take it outside eat it I could run over it I can paint it purple it's my doughnut he just paid me a lot of money for a doughnut photograph and I'm coming back six months later going nice place you got here would be a tragedy if something unforeseen should happen it's like extortion right you want the pictures on the wall you gotta pay me more we'll do that if it's an ad agency a pr firm magazine they know better yeah we do see you just kind of tune it up can you imagine explaining to joe that the mechanic that you have usage rights and copyright no eye stuff and all he needed was some shots of his tool chest for his insurance company what use it use your head on that that's a medium sized business though who may want to put them in their catalog and then on their website you would actually or you build it into your feet you think you think yourself you know now if they're want rock bottom they want you know ten dollar dropping pops yeah probably put a little usage fail in the back next year if they want to use it again they pay me to fifty or whatever it is but if they're not gonna do that don't worry about it I'm serious don't worry about it it's a catalogue shot you can't do anything with it they're going to love you and come back to you for more catalog shots you wanna hassle these people are not ad agencies yes big companies by shoot for xerox so I can't do anymore by shot for pole right shoot um my shot for some big company yeah absolutely we're going to talk about that because they could it could end up on a billboard it could go over here and stuff but bill's doughnut shop it's going to be on the wall you know play played by ear but be sensible about it fight for your rights when they're worth fighting for and fight really hard I am absolutely a rights monger when it comes to that I'm just not going to hassle the guy at the doughnut store needs shots for his ball from nick g photo next scooter pie oh project fifty two hours the in modesto and he says is there any software programs that you would recommend for the art piece and he says we look att blink big yes blink pit is really a great place they put together a lot of resource is by area sometimes we wonder well how do you find out what people are getting right blink bit has done some of that research for you believe me a drop in pop in manhattan maybe a different price than dropping pop in cincinnati ifyou're in cincinnati you may not want to be bidding manhattan prices and if you're in manhattan definitely don't want to be dropping dropping out cincinnati prices so different regions have different prices for everything housing food you know all kinds of things and this is part of it so blank bid will help you put that together snp has a has a also has a arrange they'll give you a range of what this ranges from in your area you're in philadelphia droppin pops or tabletops could range from this number to this number you know where do you want to be all the people at the top they probably lied a little bit off people to bottom they probably lied a little bit probably than real numbers a little lower at the bottom and there may be some numbers little higher at the top I'm gonna be somewhere in the middle when your bidness way have about fifteen minutes before break do you want more questions do you want I'll take two more questions because we're going to talk a little bit about a sensible approach to gear ok another question from edward black in germany uh in our new media world where everybody shares everything on facebook and twitter why would you lie since your photos per usage and not one price for all usage that's it let's go buy out and that's that's fine they can buy it out absolutely um we have entered an interesting phase right where everybody shares everything on dh that's that's great I'm well I'm really all four I really believe in it the more you give away the more comes back to you okay but at the same time we can't give everything away on if edward edward if you're talking about like the baker that's what I was saying the baker that's fine if I'm sure if I was shooting um let's say I shot the bakery guy baker and he said uh hey I'd like to put this on my lincoln page because I've got all these you know these bakery guys we all hang out could you put on linked in page do I say to him well that's going to cost you sixty dollars or one hundred dollars is really all you khun you know really normally get I'm going to see that I'm going to say to put it on your lengthen paige I'm doing that because I'd rather have him share it with all his friends and get more bakery guys to come and hire me then tow worry about the sixty dollars sometimes we put we can't see the forest because there's a big tree right in front of our face the old way of doing things the old way of doing things didn't have facebook didn't have twitter didn't have link then I didn't have my space well still don't have my space what else one more one more from pauline f in the r p did you mention if there is a line item for an assistant and yes your assistant yes your assistant your systems plane ticket your assistant's hotel room your assistant's meals absolutely uh no one's asked about mark up so I will mark some agencies will tell you they don't want mark up you've got to give them receipts so just be aware that they're happy happy to pay for your airline tickets but they're not going to pay your airline tickets plus eighteen percent they back it up okay yeah they want backup receipts which means you've got to be very very careful with your receipts so when you come back in they do it other firms do not I don't mark up my assistant I never have I don't mark up my assistant I don't mark up my meals I really never have I'm getting that much money for the photograph that's why I put that that number up there and carve it in stone that's my that's my stuff in the old days we marked up film and processing because we had to go to the lab to get it we had to store it markup was was a justifiable expense um now I use the digital capture fee are they I mean the digital storage fee and I use all the other things to make it up but I also have raised my rates to cover those things

Class Description

Don Giannatti returns for a special workshop on tabletop product photography. Don starts with an introduction to tabletop lighting - tools, scrims, DIY gear - and how to organize your shoot around a tabletop to bring everyone up to speed. Then Don will teach you the basic concepts of Tabletop Product Photography. Finally Don will ramp up to more advanced topics adding extras such as kicker lights, snoots, and grids that can bring your work up a notch.



THere are some courses in CL i think of as not covering a to z but covering -z to z. THis is one of those courses. The value proposition is over the top. The instricutor: Don Giannatti is so experienced he's a relaxed in his knowledge and practiced in cutting to the chase to provide answers to really good questions about set ups for product photos (vs. art/ still-life). The topics: complete workflow from first principles in order to understand what we're trying to achieve with table top work, Don Giannatti makes it clear that we're using light deliberately to give shape to an object. Example insight: using a white card (or black) reflector is not the same as using a silver/gold reflector. The latter create a new light source; the former shape the light that's there. Can imagine the arguments but the demo brings the points home. Or how about NOT using umbrellas for product shots. Or for "drop and pop" product shots, how to do that without umbrellas and tents "that's 50 dollars a shot right there" says Giannatti. Example tool demo: one of the joys of this course is that such an expert does most of the class using readily makable tools like scrims from shower curtains and baking paper. The specialist tools like a modifier on a flash is well within the range of an aspiring commerial table top photographer. And Meaningful Demos LIGHTING/composition what are some of the most challenging and compelling things to shoot when building a portfolio/photographic experience? Can you shoot shiny stuff - like bottles and jewlery. PHOTOSHOP making photoshop unpretencious and accessible, Giannatti presents examples of how to fix bits of a shot, as well as - and this one is worth the price of admission - how to put together a composite of a guitar product shot if you only have one limited sized light to light the whole thing. We also see where highlights can be added - and how. Some basic knowledge of Photoshop layering, masking and brushes would be good to have, but one can work back from seeing it applied into those basic skills. BUSINESS We start with light giving shape to objects as a demonstrable principle, move into how to use light structurally for bringing out something fantastic about that product - that as Giannatti points out - puts bread on someone's table, so respect. From these demos we go from light and camera to post to produce the finished image. Now what? or how have a product that needs shooting? That's the business of product photography. In these excellent sections on Business, Giannatti details the heuristics of hard graft to get gigs: where to look for contacts, frequency of approach, engaging with social media (you don't have to, he says, but effectively, it's gonna cost ya). "Doing just these few things you're already way ahead of your competition." I can believe it: they are many of them tedious, but can also well believe they are what pay off. COURSE BONUSES JUST FOR SIGNING UP - for those who subscribed to a live broadcast, all the slides were provided in advance (you can see this offer on class materials) Now that's classy. What other CL courses have done that: given something to participants who just show an interest to sign up? (It's that gift thing kevin kubota talks about in his workshop on photography business - makes one want to work with that person: pay them for the value they create, eh?) TRUST/VALUE Instructor Personality Throughout each part what's delightful is just the EXPERIENCE of this instructor. He's put together a thoughtful course from light to lighting to parts to gear to post to business. There's immediate trust: plainly this man has made a living from what he's talking about, and has addressed almost any immaginable scenario. There's a great demo towards the end of the course of working with students to take shots. The value to folks watching is to see how he helps us all think about how to problem solve (the mantra for the course) to find the shot - to use light card after lightcard to wrap the light to bring out the countours of the material. Even when he says "that's just not working" - there's not a sense of the people shooting having failed - but an opportunity to think about what's been learned - to keep working the problem. There's a whole lot of HOW in that interaction that is highly valuable. Thanks to the participants in the workshop to be so willing too to do that work. This is the kind of course you leave feeling like ok, i can do this - or at least i have the tools and some knowhow now about them to start to work these problems, to start to create value in these kinds of shots. I am already just from being here a better photographer now. Related CL Course: This course feels like a terrific complement to Andrew Scrivani's Food Photography. And no wonder: both take place in small areas and use light in similar ways. A contrast is that in editorial food photography - scrivani's domain - there's a focus on skills to work with what's there; in table top/product, one can enhane - knowing how to do that effectively/believably is where the skills - learning to see that - come in for this kind of work in partiular . If tabletop/product photography is a space you wish to explore, or you just want to be able to practice working with light in the small, and see how to bring you will be delighted with this -z to z deep dive introduction.