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How would you charge for this gig?

SoDoWarts

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Hi -- a real estate friend of mine asked me if I'd be interested in a project. It would be for stock photos. He mentioned they'd be interested in 4 or 5 images of 12 different spots within the county that their company serves (a radius of about 30 minutes of travel). Although I know I have the flying/editing skills needed to get this done I have no idea how to charge -- by image, hour, day, or total time/full project?? and how much? FYI - I live in Massachusetts.

I do have a 107 but have not really done much paid biz. One thing I'm concerned about is overpricing and not getting the gig, and I don't want to underprice it and look like a shmuck. I know there are full-time professionals out there that their company has probably worked with but my friend (who I've done a couple of shoots for) is trying to slip me in the side door so pricing is important for him to sell it to the company owners. If you can provide me any intel on how to charge I'd greatly appreciate it. Thanks in advance!
 
I'm not going to comment on pricing, but I wanted to point out that getting a good shot is more than just driving out there, launching and snapping a photo. The weather needs to be OK and most importantly so does the light. So I'd expect to have to make more than one trip to at least some of those 12 sites to get the best capture. Be sure to factor that in to your time estimates and include it when you give an indication of how quickly you can deliver the results.

If it were me, I'd surveil each of the sites using Google Earth with terrain enabled, simulating the views I planned to take and giving some thought to sun angles in order to plan the best time of day for your site visit. That kind of planning time should also be considered when giving a quote.
 
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Make sure that you don't end up working for free. Twelve sites is a lot of traveling, even if in close proximity, it takes a long time.

I haven't done any commercial work but I have done some goggle searches on what people are charging.

What I have seen is that on average aerial photographers want about $125-$175 per location for about 10-12 shots and about $300 for videos. But I don't know what they really get.

There are others here that do this for a living that can give you a better idea than what I have seen on the internet. You know what the internet is like, you never know what to believe.
 
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Hi -- a real estate friend of mine asked me if I'd be interested in a project. It would be for stock photos. He mentioned they'd be interested in 4 or 5 images of 12 different spots within the county that their company serves (a radius of about 30 minutes of travel). Although I know I have the flying/editing skills needed to get this done I have no idea how to charge -- by image, hour, day, or total time/full project?? and how much? FYI - I live in Massachusetts.

I do have a 107 but have not really done much paid biz. One thing I'm concerned about is overpricing and not getting the gig, and I don't want to underprice it and look like a shmuck. I know there are full-time professionals out there that their company has probably worked with but my friend (who I've done a couple of shoots for) is trying to slip me in the side door so pricing is important for him to sell it to the company owners. If you can provide me any intel on how to charge I'd greatly appreciate it. Thanks in advance!
I have a very cynical outlook concerning estate agents, what they expect, and how much they think they can convince you of concerning the low value of what you do and produce (personal experience in the early days), so I would suggest you bill for each location individually (on-site presence, hardware and flights).

Also, make sure you get a clear verbal or written brief concerning what the client is specifically looking to feature or highlight.

To get the best shots of any location you need to first gauge best shooting angles and best lighting conditions. Being on-site and judging first hand is best practise. I like to shoot buildings or estates during golden hour morning and the same during evening to capture in full light all aspects of a building or structure so I'll occupy one location for one whole working day.

Shoot DNG+JPG and process the DNG's.

Use the JPG's as 'contact sheet' proofs for the client to assess before their choice of the final portfolio of 10/12 shots but make sure they're WATERMARKED.

I'd quote a flat day rate per location. Work out how much you'd willingly work a whole day for and add another third on top. Be inflexible.

Don't sell yourself cheap, this will hamstring you as the cheapo alternative (mug) if other similar businesses approach you subsequent to this gig.

Afterwards, charge for post-processing from RAW (one day, office based: half your on-site day rate). This takes care of your time, expertise and efforts whilst in the comfort of your own home.

Choose a set number of processed exposures (10, 12, whatever) and provide these as the agreed portfolio. Keep all other RAW shots taken on-site, process them, post them on a temporary web page (the viewable examples clearly watermarked with your logo) and make them available to the client priced individually. If they want more shots than the agreed folio: they pay for them. Again, don't undervalue what you've done.
 
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As others have said, your project may be a lot of work. It sounds like you really want to do the job. But - Danger! - if you charge an unrealistically low price just to get the job, that's what they'll give you for future jobs. And no matter the quality of your work, if they have a future job that is really, really important to them, they will probably turn to someone who charges a higher rate. I have not done real estate work, so can't give any guidance on what the job should pay. But think about this as a strategy: Work out what is the minimum amount that you would accept for this job, that would give you sufficient time to do it and that you would feel good about afterwards. Keep that figure to yourself. Try to get them to make the first offer. I would ask, How much do you usually pay for a job of this sort. If their figure is way under your price, be prepared to turn the job down. But they may offer substantially more than you were thinking. This happened to me a couple months ago. I was thinking $600 for a half-day job, but when I asked the question, they said $1200. :)
 
I would go about it per spot which is $225 , this way they can determine how many more spots they can afford.
The amount of pictures they need is remoot as you will give them plenty more at no extra cost . Also dont be afraid to take some Permiiter shots of the surrounding area showing what other shops are arround . Someting I think should be included in gig.

If they cannot afford it they might tell you to just do 10 Spots, but it leaves the Communication open rather than a lump sum contract .

Good Luck
phantomrain.org
Gear to fly in the Rain, an get the Gig no matter what.
 
...I would suggest you bill for each location individually (on-site presence, hardware and flights). ...
This strikes me as a great idea because it lets you do the first site as an independent job which will give you and your client a chance to evaluate each other before investing in the rest of the work.
 
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Several people have commented on reviewing the site before you shot and know your lighting. Regarding lighting, it's important to know where the sun is and what shadows are being cast at different times of the day. I highly recommend you look at Photo Ephemeris (A shot planned with Photo Ephemeris) which does just that. You can see where the sun is, and shadows, anywhere in the world, any day, any time. This is just one more tool in your bag of tricks.
 
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As others have said, your project may be a lot of work. It sounds like you really want to do the job. But - Danger! - if you charge an unrealistically low price just to get the job, that's what they'll give you for future jobs. And no matter the quality of your work, if they have a future job that is really, really important to them, they will probably turn to someone who charges a higher rate. I have not done real estate work, so can't give any guidance on what the job should pay. But think about this as a strategy: Work out what is the minimum amount that you would accept for this job, that would give you sufficient time to do it and that you would feel good about afterwards. Keep that figure to yourself. Try to get them to make the first offer. I would ask, How much do you usually pay for a job of this sort. If their figure is way under your price, be prepared to turn the job down. But they may offer substantially more than you were thinking. This happened to me a couple months ago. I was thinking $600 for a half-day job, but when I asked the question, they said $1200. :)
I was going to do a job with 5 sites and was thinking I would charge about $1000. Before I quoted it, I asked for guidelines and a shot list. I also asked the prospect if they had a budget in mind. They provided a budget that clearly stated they pay $250 to $400 per site. So, I looked at mileage traveled and figured out time at each site at 45 minutes to an hour and I quoted $1400. They approved the job right away. So, I strongly agree if you can get them to give you a budget, then you will have some idea if it’s a “pilot network cheapie”. Or someone that appreciates the fact that you are a professional with experience, high quality equipment, etc. I think some people are just looking for a high school kid that will shoot a bunch of pictures for $50 and I can’t afford to compete with them.
 
If its a real estate guy and he doesn't already have multiple drone operators at his finger tips who would be happy to do this as an adjunct to their regular photography and video business, then he ain't much of a real estate agent. Today drone work is just a small add on to the photography, videography and 3D virtual realty walk thru's done done by real estate photographs.
 
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Several people have commented on reviewing the site before you shot and know your lighting. Regarding lighting, it's important to know where the sun is and what shadows are being cast at different times of the day. I highly recommend you look at Photo Ephemeris (A shot planned with Photo Ephemeris) which does just that. You can see where the sun is, and shadows, anywhere in the world, any day, any time. This is just one more tool in your bag of tricks.
Thank you for the share, Awesome resource.
 
Hi -- a real estate friend of mine asked me if I'd be interested in a project. It would be for stock photos. He mentioned they'd be interested in 4 or 5 images of 12 different spots within the county that their company serves (a radius of about 30 minutes of travel). Although I know I have the flying/editing skills needed to get this done I have no idea how to charge -- by image, hour, day, or total time/full project?? and how much? FYI - I live in Massachusetts.

I do have a 107 but have not really done much paid biz. One thing I'm concerned about is overpricing and not getting the gig, and I don't want to underprice it and look like a shmuck. I know there are full-time professionals out there that their company has probably worked with but my friend (who I've done a couple of shoots for) is trying to slip me in the side door so pricing is important for him to sell it to the company owners. If you can provide me any intel on how to charge I'd greatly appreciate it. Thanks in advance!
In a situation like this I go to Getty or Istock to get an idea. Also temper if this is a situation that could lead to additional work.
 
This should be a business arrangement not a friendship deal. Think of the party desiring the photos to be a complete stranger and non-acquaintance, not a friend.
 
Several people have commented on reviewing the site before you shot and know your lighting. Regarding lighting, it's important to know where the sun is and what shadows are being cast at different times of the day. I highly recommend you look at Photo Ephemeris (A shot planned with Photo Ephemeris) which does just that. You can see where the sun is, and shadows, anywhere in the world, any day, any time. This is just one more tool in your bag of tricks.
Thanks for the great link to Photo Ephemeris.
 
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