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Photography Question 
Patricia Marroquin
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/3/2002
 

Photo Pricing for Realtor's Ad Campaign


Here's another question regarding what to charge for images:

A Realtor starting out in a "luxury" residential market would like to use some of my images. She plans to make postcards to send to 2,000 households. She would like 8 images to use for these postcards. She would also like to use the same images for other marketing materials and/or ads to create integrated campaigns. Since she has taken design courses, she will design these materials herself.

Question: What should I charge for these 8 images? What other sort of stipulations should I make (i.e., one-time, non-exclusive rights, etc.).

I would appreciate any and all input. Thanks!


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1/2/2006 1:17:45 PM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Before I give you a few suggestions Patricia, let me ask you a couple of questions:

First, what do you suppose the value of your work is to the client? And, is this 8 images on 2000 post cards (what size cards?) or 8 separate images on 2000 separate post cards, for a total of 16,000 cards?

How much time was involved to complete the work, not just actual shooting time? Do these images have any additional value to you, eg. for stock self-promotion, publication value? Is she buying first time North American Publication rights for magazine ads, etc.?

Once you've answered those questions and narrowed the field somewhat, my next question is what is the usage she proposes worth to YOU? C'mon, surely you have some numbers in mind. Tell us what YOU think you should charge for this work and the intended usage fees. Let us know and I'm sure you'll get a few responses here, at least one from me (for what that may or may not be worth to ya. ).
Take it light.
Mark


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1/2/2006 3:54:56 PM

 
Patricia Marroquin
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/3/2002
  Mark, here's some more information. She was thinking of creating one postcard design, and using the eight images separately in that design. This would be for a one-year period. I don't know what size postcard she was thinking of using. She would use photos I've already taken that she saw in my BetterPhoto gallery; I don't yet know which ones. And if I had any idea what to charge, I wouldn't be posting a question here. I do not have experience in this area. I don't want to charge too much, whatever "too much" is, but I don't want to undersell myself either. I would be thrilled to get $500 for this, but I'm just pulling this figure out of thin air; it's not based on anything.


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1/3/2006 1:21:57 AM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Ok, so let's start with $500 for 8 images printed 2000 times. That works out to be 16000 divided by 500 = .032 per image. It's basically stock photography right? So in exchange for granting her a license to presumably publish these images for the first time (First North American publication rights) (thereafter the value to a publisher is decreased) it works out to be about $82 bucks per image purchased or .032 cents per image printed. Cheap.

In 1999, Advertising Photographers of America (APA) surveyed members on usage fees. That survey is available at our web site http://www.apanational.com.
For what it's worth to you, APA photographers in the San Francisco region, on the average received (you might want to sit down for this one) $1,350.00 PER IMAGE used in collateral, regional marketing materials (like the one you propose here) when the press run was under 25,000 pieces or post cards.

That translates to usage fees (without photo credit, btw) of around $10,800 for the 8 images.

The fees of course, vary a bit by region though not altogether that much. So Patricia, this is how I'd price it whether it was for a Realtor or Union Pacific Corp. If you tell her you want $10,800 for this deal, before she faints, ask her how much her commission averages for one of those luxury houses she sells. At 6-8% of the home sales value as commission, I'll lay odds it's about the same as you're selling her to market to at least 2000 prospects. When you consider it in those terms, the value to her, $10,000 on marketing is cheap.

Seewhatimean? It's value to the client, diminished value of the work to you in terms of stock photography, and a reasonable fee given the nature of the work. Now, if she 's willing to give you photo credit, take off a few percent. Give her an additional break for additional usage like web pages, transit ads (like the sides of busses), etc.

And you thought $500 bucks was too much!! Don't sell yourself or your work short Patricia. It's a disservice to yourself and those of us who earn a living full-time at this. [That last part is my editorial].
Be well
Mark


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1/3/2006 12:41:55 PM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  BTW, one way to sell these things, is to offer her a payment plan with say 50% up front before press time, and a percentage thereafter each month until it's paid for.

Mark


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1/3/2006 12:43:40 PM

 
Todd Bennett
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/8/2004
  Patricia,
There is also a product out there called FotoQuote. www.fotoquote.com. Sells for about 140.00 if you download it.


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1/3/2006 1:46:17 PM

 
Bob Fately   You know, before we get all highfalutin' with fotoquote and $1300+ bucks per image for stock usage, I would have to guess that a local realtor who's sending out cola-call cards is anticipating something like what Patricia first mentioned - if that.

If there are to be 8 images on a postcard (even an oversized postcard) then each one will be what - about 1-2 inches on a side? ANd the local quickie-print shop isn't going to use photograveure presses to make the things...else the realtor might be printing on her own inkjet using Avery postcard paper.

SO for a limited (one-time)use with very small images, I would imagine that, unless we're talking about pictures of Aaron Spelling's mansion, $500 is going to be about all the market will bear. Much more than that, for this type of use, and the realtor will spend $1000 on a prosumer digicam, drive by the houses she already knows all about anyway, and snap away. Or get her nephew to do it.

Technology is a two-edged sword, and for all the fantastic advances that give enthusiasts and pros lots of nifty capabilities there is that niggling issue of more and more "Uncle Jack's" being able to produce quite serviceable output - particularly if we're talking about postage-stamp sized prints.

Stock, which is having problems of its own anyway, charges valid rates for work to be used in ad campaigns with real marketing budgets etc...but for a realtor's throw-away card I would be surprised if payment will be anywhere near the "going rate".


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1/3/2006 2:00:43 PM

 
Todd Bennett
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/8/2004
  Bob,
It was just a suggestion. Who said anything about $1300.00. And besides, people have to use a little common sense. FotoQuote is a GUIDE and there are a few things that have to be taken into account i.e. location, market conditions, etc. Take a chill pill dude.


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1/3/2006 2:15:03 PM

 
Bob Fately   Well, Todd - if you happen to read mark F's comments you will see where the $1300 figure came from. Perhaps you want to read everyone else's commentaries before throwing in your own...


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1/3/2006 2:47:32 PM

 
Bret Tate
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/12/2005
  Bob:

I find your logic in pricing very flawed. While it is true that the realtor could take the photos or have a relative take them for no charge, that cannot be compared to hiring a pro to do the job right and to help you generate the highest possible income.

The photographer should have the equipment, knowledge, and skill to show the properties looking their best. You are paying for that expertise to help increase your sales. Plus, how much, in time spent doing photo work that could be spent selling property, will it cost the realtor.

Let's look at it this way -
I want to sell my home so I want to have my lawn, trees, and plants looking their best. My local lawn care service is going to charge me $5,000.00 to do the job. Wow! I can rent/buy the equipment and hire my nephew to do the job for $100.00 or I could take time off work and do it myself for "free". Which is the better value?

Patricia also said that the realtor wants to use the photos in other marketing materials and campaigns, so this is not just for some postcards.

Patricia needs to take all of this into consideration for her pricing. As a point of reference, my photo company just sold two images to an organization for marketing purposes. Our charge was $1,100.00 per image. That was neither the high nor the low for our market(which is a city of only 60,000). We also have a contract with local realtors to provide one 8x10 photo of families at their new home for $50.00 each.

Bret


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1/3/2006 2:50:40 PM

 
Bob Fately   Bret, I certainly know what you are saying - but let's think of this realtor...and the usage of the photos. They are not for a glossy 8x12 brochure. They are not going to be used in a poster on the walls of the neighborhood. They are not one-off's of the family in their new homes. They are not even going to be enlarged bigger than postage stamps, and the printing quality will be mediocre at best (have you never received postcards like these?).

So my point is, FOR THE INTENDED USE, the realtor may not see some fantastic intrinsic value in the images, and will probably balk at paying more than the combined postage and printing fees for the postcards themselves.

I've sold stuff too - if you're in SoCal you can see some of my floral macros at Kaiser Permanente hospitals - in posters and tabletop cards. But what this realtor is looking to do does not compare. Any difference between a shot taken at the sweet time of day with a 4x5 view camera and a snap grabbed from the same basic location with a 3MP digicam will be lost in a print that will be about 1x1.5 inches in size.


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1/3/2006 3:04:56 PM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  So Bob, you're electing is to sell Patricia's work short before she has a chance to do it? I think you're wrong for a number of reasons.

Sure, she could get her nephew to shoot it, and get the kind of images nephews usually tend to produce. Then, using those images, send them out to prospects suggesting that they contract with her to sell their home worth say over a million bucks. By initial trade, it appears that Patricia's client is a designer / graphic artist. Assuming she's been to school, she learned that cheap promo materials get trashed or shreaded after they're given a cursory glance. Really cheap stuff gets tossed or shreaded with the junk mail.

Patricia looks like she puts out a nice work product, something worthy of reasonably good printing on good card stock. If her client is like real estate agents or brokers around the coastal region of Northern Calif. (Where I live and work a lot of the time) then from my own experience with outfits like Coldwell Banker and Remax, among others, their firms pay a lot of money for higher end marketing programs which includes collateral materials like post cards and whole ad campaigns using TV, display ads like billboards and the sides of busses.

I didn't set the criteria Patricia offered and I certainly didn't establish the rates. I'm merely saying what it's potential value or worth is to both her and the client. Assuming for sake of arguement that the images she's selling are memorable, regardless of the finished size, and the kind that people might keep around on their bulletin board or hanging on the fridge, and it keeps the realtor's name in front of people rather than getting it shredded, then as I said, $1300 bucks per image is pretty reasonable and probably cheap. So, who said anything about "throw away" anyhow?? If Patricia's work was of the throw away variety, I surely wouldn't be using it to market a high end business. Would you? [No, never mind].

Remember as I indicated earlier, if this gal sells a single home based on 2000 post cards and earns a $30,000 commission off of say a $15,000 investment, then I'd say she's $15 grand ahead of the deal. And THAT is what high end photography used in any marketing campaign can do and is worth to the client. And that, btw, is also the philosophy of the agents and brokers dealing in homes worth a million bucks or several. Advertising revenue to these folks is nothing compared to the commissions on one sale. THAT to me is common sense and an investment in their business.

As I've said here (and elsewhere) many times before, if someone is kind of dabbling in photography and longs to be published, at any cost, they're only going to set themselves up for getting locked in at lower fees later on, likely will get a reputation for that. The old "but last time you only charged me...." And send them off looking for someone else to low ball your now accurate industry rates.

OK, let's all take a chill pill and wait to hear from Patricia. She may be busy negotiating a print deal with GAP so we may have to wait a while.
Take it light gang.
Mark


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1/3/2006 3:19:23 PM

 
Patricia Marroquin
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/3/2002
  Hello everyone. Wow, thank you all so much for the input. I guess I need to clarify some more things. From what I gather, throughout the one year she would switch off to a different photo on the postcard. There would not be 8 images on one postcard. Throughout the year, she'd switch to a different photo, using the same design she initially created for the cards. I would not be photographing people's homes. She said these potential clients are probably into artistic images, so I'm assuming the Realtor would like to use some of my nature and landscape images. I took everyone's comments into account and came up with a figure I felt comfortable about. I will see what she says. Again, I really appreciate everyone's input and the advice not to sell myself short.


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1/3/2006 3:30:54 PM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Interesting. Bret's company sold an image for $1,100.00 I said $1,300. Patricia, split the diff. I say $1,200 bucks per image and not a penny more. And Bob added all kinds of facts that Patricia didn't supply us with. LOl !! C'mon Bob. Cut it out will ya. Stop creating/assuming facts not in evidence. It's chaotic enough around here. LOL !!
Mark


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1/3/2006 3:52:51 PM

 
Peter Höhsl   Well, I have just been to www.fotoquote.com and downloaded the trial. Guess what, the setup.exe does absolutely nothing and there is no email adress on the entire site what so ever - no support - nothing to be found. So much for fotoquote.

Regards,
Peter


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1/11/2006 11:56:08 AM

 
Todd Bennett
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/8/2004
  Peter,
My demo does. If you read on the website they chose to only allow the demo version to figure the charge on stock photo's for brochures. If you click on the different quantities and layouts you will see that the price does change.


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1/11/2006 12:00:18 PM

 
Peter Höhsl   Todd,
The sofware doesn't even install.


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1/11/2006 12:33:19 PM

 
Todd Bennett
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/8/2004
  Peter,
All I can say is, maybe you need to try to download it again. Maybe something happened in the download. Mine installed fine. I am not trying to insult your intelligence; but, you did unzip it first and then run the install didn't you? I have seen one .exe file that would not run from the zip file. It had to be extracted first.


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1/11/2006 12:38:24 PM

 
Peter Höhsl   Yes did all that - insult forgiven :-) There is a problem when running setup.exe in that the screen just flashes once and then nothing. What irritates me is that there is no way of contacting these people. The toll free no. on their website doesn't work from outside the US.


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1/11/2006 9:47:23 PM

 
Todd Bennett
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/8/2004
  Peter,
I don't know what to tell ya bud. The only other thing I can think of is maybe your firewall is creating the problem.


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1/12/2006 5:43:24 AM

 
Peter Höhsl   I'll live without the program :-)


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1/12/2006 6:11:49 AM

 
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