UNDERSTANDING THE PHOTOSHOOT BOOKING PROCESS AND WHAT YOUR COST COVERS

The first step in booking is understanding the photoshoot booking process and exactly what it is that you are looking to achieve. It is natural to reach out to a photographer and ask the cost of a photoshoot but any proper photoshoot will come with several moving parts that must be realized before an actual quote can be established.

  1. Photoshoot Expenses. There are cost associated with any studio photoshoot. This can be studio, staffing, and equipment cost. An ideal commercial photoshoot should take place in a controlled environment. There is nothing worse than having something like the weather, permits or just unflattering conditions impact or ruin your shoot. So to prevent this, we always suggest a studio environment unless of course the assignment is scheduled to be on location.
  2. Makeup, Wardrobe, and Hair. The three vital components to every shoot. Many clients will opt to take care of their own hair and wardrobe needs however makeup should always be applied by a professional makeup artist. There are several reasons for this but to keep things simple, professional photography gear and lighting will show every detail of the skin. It is important to work with a makeup artist that understands how to apply make that is not over done but at the same time makes your skin look it’s best while you are photographed.
  3. Photography Creative Fees. This is where most may think we start but as you can see from above, this is the step that is actually number three in the process. The creative fees are the actual process of creating the images. If you are selecting a photographer that provides high impact imagery, they won’t be the type of photographer that just has the camera on a tripod, sets the lights to one setting, and shoots aways for the entire session. They more than likely will be a photographer that moves and poses you, provides different and creative lighting scenarios, and moves around (even if slightly) to give your images even the slightest edge. In the creative fees you are essentially paying for the years of experience and talent being added to your shoot through your photographer.
  4. Image Culling/Sorting and Proofing. After your shoot, the photographer will take the time to go through your many images and sort your images based on several factors but mainly to provide you with a great pool of images to select from as you prepare your images to be finalized for delivery. This will usually take place on an online proofing gallery unless you selected your images immediately following your photoshoot.
  5. Post Production. Many images look good right of the camera but we don’t look for good, we look for great! This can only happen once the images are taken in to the computer and go through post production which is editing. Now, understand, different photographers will have different levels (and possibly price) for post production. Typical post production will include tonal adjustments, exposure adjustments and blemish removal of anything that would typically not be present in two or three weeks such as a pimple, acne or light scar. Body manipulation/reshaping and other detailed and complex editing most of the time will come with an additional cost and that cost will vary based on the photographer/studio.
  6. Image Delivery. This is the fun part! The wait is over and you are ready to receive your final images. If you are receiving digital only files, this will take place via a specific download process from the studio. It will allow you to download your images directly to your computer.
  7. Image Usage Rights. This is often the most misunderstood part of the process. The photographer/studio will always own the rights to the photographs. But what is conveyed to the client are limited usage rights which typically will include the rights to use the images online, for promotional and advertising purposes etc. What it excludes are the rights for clients to sell the images or to profit from the images. For commercial clients, they will often purchase exclusive rights to the images for a specific amount of time. This time could include one year, two years, three years up to a lifetime. In situations such as this, the fees will be in alignment to cover that period of time. During this time, the photographer will not be allowed to use or promote the images. This is the case with most big advertising campaigns and brands.

A question we often receive is “How long in advance should I book my shoot?” As always, availability can change at any moment so if you are looking to book your photographer during what could be the busy seasons, you should do that as soon as possible. Also, understand that when it comes to studio time, it is always on a first come, first serve bases. This also includes any of the personnel that will be involved with making the shoot happen. For this reason alone, I suggest as soon as you know of a date that you would like, book it. There will be a retainer or full payment (depending on the timeframe) to secure your shoot to take care of the preceding items.