QuestionWhat would be a fair charge to photograph a local live musical event?
A local band that is becoming very successful very fast. They are releasing a album under a label and like the work I have done for them in the past and have sought me out and asked to hire my services for this event. They will be using previous images of mine from a past show that i photographed for them for billboards, posters and flyers. There will me media coverage of the band by local t.v., radio and several magazines and papers. We are on very personable terms and respect each other greatly however I have no idea what to charge as my rate. I will be hiring a assistant/2ond shooter with possible pre-show portraits. The event will be about 3-4 hours in length and is to promote their new album. I have no idea what to charge without doing an disservice to the band, myself and local photographers Could someone please give me some advice about how to handle setting my rates?
Curtis, even though you and the band are on a personal relationship level, you need to be very clear with them (in writing) about what they expect/need and/or what you are delivering for the promised fee. (for example, if you're doing a series of pre-show portraits that could be used for promotion, album art, billboards, etc.) Shooting the show itself shouldn't really be costly for the band. Many competent photographers can cover a band's show for next to nothing - it happens every day. Obviously, you need to cover the cost of your assistant / 2nd shooter and a basic hourly fee for your time and effort.
But I would focus more on the licensing end of things for monetizing your efforts. After all, they don't benefit from you taking the pictures. They benefit when they USE them for something. I would charge $600 - $800 for the event itself, then address the licensing on an al-a-carte basis. I am not an expert on the licensing costs, but there are plenty of resources to help you with that end of it. I would recommend setting up an account with PhotoShelter, if you don't already have one. They have a great infrastructure for posting and archiving images, managing client access, and most importantly, built-in licensing calculators and e-commerce mechanisms. You can set up licensing amounts when you post your images (based on industry averages, or set your own), then the client can license and pay for any image of yours 24/7, as their needs dictate.
If you think these guys will get REALLY big, I would hook up with an IP attorney as well, to put some protections in place for future circumstances.
Also, copyright all your images from the project with the U.S. Copyright Office (www.copyright.gov/eco). I think it's still $35 to register as many images as you want, at a time. (just upload small JPGs to the site for registration.)
Best of luck with the project!
Curtis; I hope you retained the rights to the photos that they will be using on billboards, posters etc. They are your images and you have a right to be paid when they use them. Never give away your copyrights or work for hire.
I don't get paid by the hour, I charge for the skills I bring to a job. You give lots of extraneous details that don't have an impact on pricing but I am assuming that you will be shooting the concert as they are performing. For this type of photography, my fee would be in the $1500 - $2000 range with licensing extra. Ask them how the photos will be used and then a usage fee can be determined. Good luck - I hope the job goes well for you.