If the price of hiring a photographer sends you running for the hills, take pause. It’s not that photographers are divas. Most of them aren’t. There’s actually a lot that goes into the cost of hiring a photographer.
So before you assume your photographer snaps the camera a few times before sauntering home to lounge Scrooge McDuck style in a room full of money, take a moment to look at the full picture.
There are many factors that go into pricing out a photographer. For instance:
1. How closely the photographer will (or will not) be directed.
Consider these questions:
• Are there detailed parameters that you need the photographer to follow to a tee?
• Will there be an art director, point person, decision maker and/or any support staff to the photographer?
• Will you allow the photographer to exercise discretion with design, composition, lighting, angles, etc. or will you be directing that?
The answers to those questions will determine how much extra work is required of the photographer.
2. A change in scope or plans.
If there’s a chance that the scope of the project will change - and come on, there’s always a chance - the photographer will include this in the contract. That means he or she will be reimbursed for any extra shots, travel, or usage that come up as the shoot progresses.
And just as the scope can change, so too can plans. Especially where Mother Nature is concerned. When shots are weather-dependent and Mother Nature is cranky, then scheduling problems can arise. There’s usually a weather contingency in a contract for outdoor work, but flexibility is required on both sides in this situation to keep the peace and avoid fluctuations in pricing.
3. The post production and image editing after-party.
This is where the magic happens. And there can be a considerable amount of time that goes into the “digital darkroom” for the photographer.
Once the photographer has captured the images, the real work begins. The images need to be downloaded from the camera flash card and then sorted, selected, cropped, sized and adjusted in other ways before they are ready for your use. This is the behind-the-scenes work that may be included in a photographer’s hourly rate, or comes at an additional cost itemized in your estimate.
It’s important to hammer out the details of this part of the process with the photographer because the file management, cataloging, image prep and delivery that come standard do NOT include extensive color correction, editing, or retouching.
Although it can be expensive, hiring a photographer is so much more than taking “purty pictures” of your business and your employees.
It’s crucial in being able to:
• get impressive profile head shots
• have prospective customers put a face with a name
• accurately depict the size of your company
• keep your social media content fresh
• develop your unique brand