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Author Topic: CD portrait cover image & what to charge?  (Read 25662 times)

Gilgamesh

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CD portrait cover image & what to charge?
« on: July 01, 2015, 05:19:48 pm »

I've not bothered much with such things such as this in the past but I've been asked to shoot the cover of a music CD -

 "We're only getting 200 made up, and we're not really going to be selling them, but giving them out to friends, and to anyone potentially wanting us to do gigs in Herts / Beds / Bucks / Cambs. In effect, its a demo. Jazz is just our little hobby!  (though we take it pretty seriously - and I was lucky enough to be awarded a grant to record it in a proper studio, which was pretty cool)."

The couple also want to use any resultant images in self promotions.

I don't have a studio, aside from one I sling up in a double garage for the shoot, four Bowens mono lights, suspect 35mm digital will suffice.

What's the young rate I wonder?
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louoates

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Re: CD portrait cover image & what to charge?
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2015, 10:22:41 pm »

If they are paying a studio for recording studio time they should pay you your regular rate. All this about "just a demo", and "little hobby" is code for "we think you are dumb enough to do this for near zero." If you consider yourself a professional, get a reasonable return on your time, especially since they are serious enough to expect to "...use any resultant images in self promotions".  Also, you're selling your creative results, not a fancy photography studio experience. It sounds as if you are explaining a reason to charge very little. Your samples should tell your quality story and justify your going rate wherever the shoot location.
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Ellis Vener

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Re: CD portrait cover image & what to charge?
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2015, 11:07:09 pm »

Do it for a little cash, lots of CDs (that you send out as gifts if you like the music and make sure you keep all the rights and get a good readable credit line on the packaging.
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Gilgamesh

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Re: CD portrait cover image & what to charge?
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2015, 04:43:10 am »

Thanks

but not really answering the question: "what to charge"?

They are musical part-timers & so have day jobs. A run of 200 is small scale and so the fee needs to be proportionate - since this is not what I normally do I am at a loss as to the amount to charge - else they go elsewhere (I know I would).
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Ellis Vener

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Re: CD portrait cover image & what to charge?
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2015, 11:15:42 am »

50-200 pounds. And like I said don't give away the copyright.
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Gilgamesh

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Re: CD portrait cover image & what to charge?
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2015, 11:20:09 am »

"Never give up the copyright" - I think that should be tattooed inside every "creatives' " eye lids.

Thanks.
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Colorado David

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Re: CD portrait cover image & what to charge?
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2015, 12:32:36 pm »

That makes my eyes water just reading it.  I think people can get the concept of never giving away copyright with tattooing it on the inside of your eyelids. I knew a guy who had some unreasonable fears.  One of them was eyeball paper cuts.  Think about that for a moment.

Gilgamesh

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Re: CD portrait cover image & what to charge?
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2015, 01:39:36 pm »

A neighbour had eczema on and around her eyelids.

I had my L nipple bitten off. Paper cuts? Pah!
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MarkM

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Re: CD portrait cover image & what to charge?
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2015, 07:55:00 pm »

…but not really answering the question: "what to charge"?

Nobody can answer that for you. To know what to charge you need to know your cost of doing business, what similar competition charges in your area, and what your value proposition is. This is different for every photographer, especially in a geographically diverse forum like this.

Once you really figure out your cost of doing business and decide that you are serious about building a sustainable business, you will understand that you have a minimum price which is actually (significantly) more than people like this are willing to pay. You will also be more expensive than part-time hobbyists trying to justify gear purchases while making their real income at another job. Once you've decided you need to charge these fees, then you nee a product that justifies those fees. You will need to be better that the hobbyists and have a consistent, unique voice.

The studio where this band is recording has done this. The band could easily find a friend with some mics and a recorder to make the recording for them, but they didn't. They got a grant to get recorded in a "proper studio." But they apparently didn't feel the need for a "proper photographer" and so they're giving you the "little hobby" runaround. For me, that is the definition of a bad client who doesn't value your product and will never support a serious business.

If you are only doing this for the experience and for portfolio piece, it doesn't matter what you charge — as Ellis recommends, just make sure you get some CDs and a readable credit. And make sure you have the time and motivation to create portfolio-worthy work.
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Gilgamesh

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Re: CD portrait cover image & what to charge?
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2015, 12:51:04 am »

I think the previous answer without the condersending pseudo business lecture was far the better reply.
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MarkM

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Re: CD portrait cover image & what to charge?
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2015, 02:33:36 pm »

I think the previous answer without the condersending pseudo business lecture was far the better reply.

Gil, you either know that this question is unanswerable, in which case you're wasting everyone's time by asking, or you think that a forum full of strangers who know nothing about your business, location, expenses, and competition can give you a meaningful answer, in which case a business lecture is exactly what you need.

We all have better things to with our time than answer one of the most asked questions on the internet. If you're sincere about learning anything I suggest you either accept what people are offering or move on. Snapping back at a genuine attempt to be helpful is rude.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2015, 04:11:34 pm by MarkM »
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louoates

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Re: CD portrait cover image & what to charge?
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2015, 07:17:34 pm »

Gil, you either know that this question is unanswerable, in which case you're wasting everyone's time by asking, or you think that a forum full of strangers who know nothing about your business, location, expenses, and competition can give you a meaningful answer, in which case a business lecture is exactly what you need.

We all have better things to with our time than answer one of the most asked questions on the internet. If you're sincere about learning anything I suggest you either accept what people are offering or move on. Snapping back at a genuine attempt to be helpful is rude.

+++1
There are also many readers here with widely different levels of business sense. So what may be "duh" to one may be "yes, that's something to think about" to another.
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LKaven

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Re: CD portrait cover image & what to charge?
« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2015, 10:24:05 am »

I own a jazz record label and have produced more than 55 jazz records.  I do most of the photography for my own label, but also have done photography for jazz artists for pay.

You would need to assess the overall economic situation to set a price. 

Are these wealthy people out to boost their musical hobby?  Are they under-recognized artists struggling to make the rent? 

Do they care whether their cover photograph is good or not?  Not all know the difference, or even care.  Do they see the value in your photograph to boost their public profiles?  They should see that, if you're good.

Sad to say, that very few jazz records break even outside of pop-jazz records for major labels.  As an economic proposition, there is not enough money in the system to pay everyone. 

Where you really can make a small payday is where the artist is self-producing a release in preparation to make a major move.  You can sell them on the idea that their photograph will sell /the artist/ as well as their record.  Every artist with any ambition should have a hero photograph that they can send to press.  A good one really does make a difference, and you should educate the artists on the value of having a "real photographer" do it.  Rarely can you charge full rate, but if the artist has money in his/her background, then you will need to stand firm in the knowledge that the artist can really afford to pay for what they get.  Many artists have families who are willing to put up -- on a one-time basis -- enough money to do a debut recording properly.  After that, it's another story.

But remember, you have very little leverage, and should be prepared to walk away if you think the arrangement does not benefit you sufficiently, either monetarily or in spirit.  I have had several famous photographers do work for my label while refusing pay.  There isn't a real market with supply-and-demand pressures there.

But in the case where you have an artist with money in his/her background, I would not do the work for free, and would charge somewhere around $200 for one photo session and about 5 images delivered. 
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