and Digital Production Fees & Expenses
Photographic estimates will generally have two
overall components, each of which can be broken
down into a further number of elements. These
two components are;
Photographic & Creative Usage Fees
There are two main types of fees to consider:
Photography fees, and Creative Usage (or Licensing)
Photography fees reflect the photographer's
experience and creativity, the complexity of a
project covering issues such as location logistics,
scheduling requirements, or the need for special
equipment or skills, as well as covering the actual
time requirements for the project.
With more complex jobs, pre-production and post-production
fees may be listed as seperate items. Pre-production
tasks include client meeting, set building, research,
site visits, prop sourcing, and any other element
required prior to actually beginning the photography.
Post-production covers elements such as further
client meetings, digital enhancement and retouching,
returning props, or returning a shoot location
to its original appearance.
Creative Usage fees are based upon the
intended usage of the images, and reflect the
overall value gained from the work. They are determined
by the geographical range of intended use, the
period of time over which they are to be used,
the variety of ways the images are intended to
be reproduced, and the time over which exclusive
use of the images are required. Generally, the
wider ranging the rights that are sought, the
higher the fee, however for projects with small
usage requirements, these rights are included
within the Photography Fee.
Similar to advertising slots on television, an
ad slot during peak viewing time will be more
expensive than a slot at 3am, however there is
a much greater benefit in advertising during peak
Photography Fees and Creative Usage Fees may
be listed as a single item or seperately as required.
Production fees cover all the time required after
a photographic shoot, to prepare and output the
images in the desired formats. A number of these
items will sometimes fall between Fees and Expenses,
such as where a physical items is to be produced,
i.e. a photographic print or CD.
A standard set of Production Fees are outlined
Capture charges for digital photography are similar
to film & processing charges for film photography.
For every 1 hour photographing in studio or on
site, a photographer will typically spend 1 -
2 hours processing and preparing images for delivery.
Image capture is a fee charged per image, which
includes downloading, editing, transfers, archiving,
evaluation, and batch processing, as well covering
the cost of equipment to carry out these steps.
Capture charges are not charged for images deleted
in camera, or images the photographer edits as
being unsuitable for processing.
Proof sheets are created if a client wishes to
review the images from a photoshoot so that they
may make a selection of the best images for Master
File preparation. Clients may specify how many
images they wish on a single proof sheet (remembering
that the more images, the smaller the will appear
and the more difficult it will be to accurately
review them). Clients may also choose between
A4 or A3 proof sheets.
Master File Preparation
These files are the highest quality output, and
include; conversion to TIFF, individual colour
correction, dust and spot removal, and sharpening,
as well as any required black and white conversion
or web resizing. Without any additional file preparation,
RGB Master Files are suitable for; conversion
into good CMYK files for offset printing, resizing
for website use, or the creation of quality prints.
Basically they are ready to go.
Retouching is for any additional work the client
wishes carried out to fix a problem with subject
matter, enhance the appearance of the image or
subject, or make creative manipulations to the
image. For example, retouching can be anything
from deep etching (cutting out) a subject for
overlay onto a different background, removing
a distracting telegraph pole from an architectural
image, or smoothing skin and enhancing the appearance
of a portrait subject.
Expected retouching time is generally estimated
on a per image basis.
Standard turnaround is 3 - 5 working days. An
additional fee based upon applicable production
fees(capture and file preparation fees) may be
payable for faster turnaround, as this may require
additional equipment, staff, or simply extremely
long hours to achieve.
CD & DVD Burning
Fees are charged for CD or DVD burning to cover
the time and expense involved in preparing and
burning the disks.
Expenses cover all other items that may be required
for a photographic project. Expenses may include
assistants, stylists, models, travel costs, couriers,
communications, extra insurances, location access,
and photo finishing (such as framing or mounting),
to name just a few.
The range of expenses applicable to a particular
project are entirely dependent upon the brief,
and the desired outcomes. It is worth consulting
with your photographer as to the best way of obtaining
the photographic results you are seeking.
Assistants are usually hired for job required
considerable equipment use or where the photographer
may require additional help. An assistant will
help many jobs move more quickly, and thereby
represent an overall cost savings for the client.
With some shoots, it is simply impractical or
impossible to do without an additional set of
hands available. Assistant fees will often vary
depending upon the experience and specific technical
knowledge they provide (and that are required
for the shoot).
Stylists are professionals who specialise in preparing
photographic subjects for a shoot, and they come
in a variety of flavours.
Food stylists are often hired to either
prepare food and / or make food look good (and
suitable for photographing), or to create the
set in which the food will be photographed.
Hair & Makeup stylists are exactly
that. They make portrait subject look good, or
will prepare the hair and makeup to suit the particular
style required by the brief.
General stylists are usually responsible
for preparing and dressing sets in any number
of ways. They will usually source and arrange
suitable props and materials as required by a
All stylists work very closely with the photographer,
and aid the photographer in creating a great final
Many other resources may be required for a photographic project, from models and makeup artists, to the hiring of helicopters and cherry pickers.
Speak with your photographer regarding your project and outline the results you are attempting to acheive, and they will make a valuable addition to the team, and help to plan your project in an effective way.