Frequently asked questions...
What do you charge, what are your packages?
Do you work for free? Can we do a barter?
Can you travel? Do you shoot destination weddings?
Will there be a second shooter?
What are your deliverables? Are albums included in your price? Will you give me the native RAW files?
I want to work with you, how do we move forward?
Is there any paperwork? Do we need to sign a contract?
What if the images aren't as I expected?
What kind of equipment do you use?
From rates to contracts and from barters to working for free, I've tried to answer your questions here, so we don't waste one another's time when we actually speak. If there's a question that I haven't answered below, please get in touch by SMS / WhatsApp / email.
I don't have packages, I cost an assignment based on what the client needs.
The detailed response is below, but just so we are on the same page: Portraits start at ₹30,000 (HK$3,300); Events start at ₹40,000 (HK$4,400); Weddings usually go up from ₹1,00,000 (HK$11,000); Product and infrastructural photography from ₹15,000 (HK$1,650) per hour, two-hour minimum.
Any out-of-pocket expenses connected to the shoot (studio / location charges, equipment rentals, models, make up artists, prints, albums etc.) would be billed at cost+15%. Of course, as far as possible, these items would have been cleared in advance, by our client. Any other expenses (taxi, trains, flights, hotels, meals etc) would be on actuals. International travel may attract additional daily fees. Note that I almost always travel with an assistant.
There are many variables involved in costing a photography gig, so it really depends on what you need.
A wedding with several simultaneous events spread over a few days, would need a team of photographers doing different things and depending on the budget, maybe drones, photo booths and possibly live feeds to giant screens or social media sites. Then you may want prints, albums, and give-aways. Or it may just involve me walking around with my camera. The costs in these scenarios are wildly different.
A product shoot for a vase manufacturer, might only need a tabletop soft box, and one photographer. Or your product, in the case of an industrial architect, may be a bottling factory, or an inland container port which would need a much larger setup involving cranes, remote triggers and drones.
It really depends on the nature of the work. There are a lot of variables, and until we've had a detailed conversation on what you're looking for, I can't give you a price. There is much more to the pricing of a project than an hourly rate. It really depends on the nature of the work and what is needed in terms of deliverables, equipment and infrastructure.
Simple answer: No.
Complicated answer: Unlikely, but it depends.
Every year, I take on a few pro-bono projects. If you need imagery for a cause you think I may be inclined to support, talk to me. We may be able to work something out. I don't necessarily measure my time in dollars and cents.
If you're a start-up that needs quality photography and communications help, again, talk to me. We can try to work out something based on equity.
If you're D. Johnston & Company Ltd. (creators of Laphroaig, a peaty single-malt whisky), or the Boston Beer Company (brewers of Sam Adams), I'm happy to work out a barter. ;)
For anyone else, if the terms of the barter are clearly defined and if the perceived value to me is proportionate to the value of my work, I'm certainly willing to discuss it, but usually, I need money. ☺︎
Yes, I regularly travel, domestically and internationally, on assignment. All travel, food and lodging expenses would need to be paid for. Please note I almost always travel with an assistant, who's expenses will also need to be paid. For domestic travel, I fly business class, internationally, economy is fine. Excess baggage charges would be borne by the client. Local transportation arrangements would need to be provided.
For destination weddings, we expect travel and stay arrangements at par with your guests. If the site of the functions has suitable accommodation, we would usually prefer to stay there. Depending on the requirements of the shoot, we may require some infrastructure on site – a place to safely store equipment, charge batteries etc.
In the case of an event, or a shoot that involves travel, yes, usually. Also, I almost always am accompanied by an assistant, regardless of a second shooter.
I deliver digital image files, through my delivery portal and/or on a flash drive. Basic post-production would have been done (for the technically aware, crops, color correction, levels etc) and each image we deliver will be of publishable quality.
Note that this does not include in-depth digital manipulation in Photoshop. If detailed, pixel-level post-production in Photoshop is required, we will bill extra for this (or adjust our daily fee, accordingly).
I will provide soft copies in any mainstream image format that you prefer (usually jpg or tiff). I do not provide RAW image data files unless the terms for this have been decided in advance.
Albums / prints are not included, unless discussed in advance, and paid for.
I need a 50% booking fee to be paid in advance. Booking advances are non-refundable unless I'm able to rebook those dates with another party. An additional 25% is due on the first day of the shoot, and the remaining 25% on delivery of soft copies.
There is always some documentation – it may be a few bullet points describing the workflow, costs, and deliverables, or it may be a legally binding document describing everything in detail. The important thing is to ensure we all have the same expectations and are on the same page.
Unless there are complicated legal issues involved, for most shoots, I'm happy to just get a work order and advance, and shake hands while agreeing to be fair to one another.
Sometimes there are those issues though, and it is important to be clear on roles, responsibilities and possible risks and liabilities. In such cases it's important to work on the basis of a written contract. Or you may just be more comfortable or accustomed to having the paperwork in place, and that's fine too.
This can be a fairly complicated area. The creator of a work owns the copyright, so from the moment I press the shutter button, I own the copyright to every photograph I take.
For most shoots, I grant my client an exclusive, non-transferrable, perpetual and non-commercial license to use the image(s). Exclusive means I will not grant usage rights to anyone else; non-transferable means the client cannot pass that license to anyone else; perpetual means the client can use the image(s) forever, and non-commercial means they can use the image to promote their product or service, but cannot actually sell the image or license it to a third party. At the same time, I retain those rights myself: so I have the rights to use the image(s) for self promotion, and I cannot sell the images to anyone else.
For other shoots, the terms may be different. In any case, they will be discussed and agreed to in advance.
This very rarely happens, but in the last 20 years, it has come up a couple of times. Clients commission me for photography because they are familiar with my portfolio and ask for my services with knowledge of my photographic style. Photographers are unique, artistic and continuously evolving. Clients that hire me, need to be aware that the photos I take may be different from photos I've taken in the past, and that in creating the images, I am using my personal artistic judgement to create images consistent with my personal view of the event or subject, which may be different from my clients' view. As such, my clients hire me on the acknowledgement that the imagery will not be subject to rejection on the basis of taste or aesthetic criteria.
I shoot on Canon full-frame cameras and use Canon L series lenses or equivalent. Lights range from Canon and Yongnou speedlites to Elinchrom strobes. We use a multitude of modifiers, and accessories depending on what is needed.
My secondary shooters are almost always full-frame shooters too, though they may use cameras from other companies.