Ashley Morrison's Blog

January 31, 2010

There are more any 100 different ways to shoot any subject.

Filed under: Licence fees — Ashley Morrison @ 11:18 pm
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When being asking to quoting a fee for the use of your images which you are about to create, there are basically two parts to the equation that need to be taken into account:
1. Value to you.
2. Value to them.

And it’s the 2nd part that is often the more important part – but yet it’s often the part that most photographers don’t seem to take into account when quoting a fee.

On the Photography Ireland forum yesterday, one of the members pointed out: Clients would often argue that it is not justified to charge for Usage e.g. “does a plumber get payed more if he is putting in a shower that will be used by a family of six rather than a single person”.

Which is a fair point.

So I asked the question: Do you know the answer or how to answer this ?

For those reading this and don’t know the answer – but would like to know – the answer lies in the simple fact, that there are more any 100 different ways to shoot any subject – which basically means that no two images are the same.
So depending on how you shoot the subject, that will have an effect on the value to the person, who is wanting to use your images i.e. the ‘value to them’ part.
(Our before & after images here – Before & after – clearly shows this)

Therefore, to determine the true value of your images – and what they may be worth to others – you need to look at the 2nd part i.e. the usage value to them.

Little use = Little value.
Greater use = Greater value.

So it’s that value to them – in terms of what all they will want to use your images for, that will determine what they believe your images are worth to them – beforehand. And so it’s that amount that will ultimately determine what you can afford to do, which in turn will effect the true value to them – afterwards.

Understanding this is important, for anyone who wants to be able to move their business forward, when negotiating the fee before the images have yet been created.

Which basically means, it usually comes down to your wording: Are you agreeing to do ‘work made for hire‘ OR are you just agreeing to ‘produce some images for them to use‘, for an agreed amount of use, to which the fee you have quoted relates to ?

If you present yourself as someone who is agreeing to do work made for hire, then you simply bill them for your time & your expenses – like the Plumber – and then once they have paid you for that, they will believe they have paid you in full. The usage doesn’t really come into it, because that’s not what you have billed them for – and so, they will believe they can do as they please with the images – after they have paid you for what you asked for (even though it may not have been what they actually asked you for in the first place).

Producing images for them to use; on the other hand, is where you just charge a fee (Licence fee) for the use of your images – which would therefore be based on their usage requirements. And so, you would then usually clearly state what the agreed usage is, to which the fee relates to.

So, if someone phoned to say they wanted (to commission) you to produce & then provide them with some images for them to use for “a one time only editorial feature in a local magazine”, then you would simply quote them a fee based on that information.

If on the other hand they said, they wanted you to produce & then provide them with some images for them to use in some brochures, as well as on some billboards plus in some international magazines too, which would be good enough for them to use for the next 3 years throughout Europe – well then, naturally you would need to take the information beforehand and quote them a fee based on that information instead.

Otherwise, you could get it badly wrong here and end up failing to provide them with what they would need, to met their needs.

So it’s all very well knowing what it would cost you to ‘take some pictures’, but since it not just ‘any old pictures’ they want, then it is important to take their usage requires into account too – especially since that is the thing that will determine the amount they are prepared to pay you, before they have seen the results or you have done any work.

In other words, it doesn’t really matter how much it costs you, it more to do with how much they are prepared to spend beforehand to get what they want – as that is what you are trying to figure out here.
So for example, for £500 what will they get from you or for another £500, what more will they get from you… because usually that is what they actually want to now.
How much it costs you, is therefore neither here or there – as far as they will be concerned – as that’s like your problem, not theirs.

So it’s the usage value that’s all important and that is what they will be looking at, to determine what they feel your images are worth to them – beforehand.

And so that’s what you need to go by, when trying to determine what the fee should be – because it’s that amount that will ultimately determine what all you can afford to do afterwards, which in turn will effect the value to them – since there are more any 100 different ways to shoot any subject.

So the difference is in your wording i.e. what you are actually asking them to pay you for.

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January 28, 2010

Wow… wonderful indeed.

Filed under: Web links — Ashley Morrison @ 2:31 pm
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A Wonderful Demonstration of Creating Interior Photographs.

For those that may not have noticed Jeremy Esland’s thread in the PFRE flickr group recently, I think it is worth posting here again. This before and after gallery is from ampimage.com. The owner of the site, Ashley Morrison, specializes in interior and hotel photography. Ashley works with Marie McMillen an interior designer when shooting hotel interiors. While this is technically not real estate photography the concepts are very relevant to shooting and marketing real estate photography.

As Jeremy points out, “…there’s immense educational value in lengthy examination/dissection of these examples“.

Before & After

From a marketing point of view, this sequence of before and after shots shows that the difference between a casual snapshot and a carefully crafted and staged image is huge. This simple display is a powerful marketing presentation for why a client would want to pay top money for their services.

The other aspect of interior photography that Ashley and Marie’s before and after sequence illustrates is the impact of staging interiors. It is well known that a staged home will sell for more and sell faster than a vacant or unstaged  home and Ashley and Marie’s before and after sequence demonstrates why.

Thanks Ashley and Marie for this great set of examples and thanks to Jeremy Esland for pointing it out.

For more on this visit: Photography for Real Estate… as this is indeed wonderful stuff 🙂

January 27, 2010

Honeymoon suite plus.

We were back down at Doonbeg Golf & Spa Resort this week, to produce some more images to cover weddings and show their newly refurbished Link Cottages.

To the eye, the newly refurbished Link’s Cottage looked great; however, the camera does sometimes see things very differently – as you can see here…
Setting-up the Link's cottage shot.
.. but with a wee bit of pushing & shoving, a blast of light, plus some Marie magic added to the mix…
The link cottages.
.. we had out first image in the bag pretty quickly- as this is what we do.

First I set up the camera to get the framing…
Setting-up the kitchen shot in Link's cottage.
.. then we re-arange things to suit the camera – and while I work on the lighting, Marie adds the finishing touches…
Setting-up the kitchen shot in Link's cottage.
.. without saying anything to one another sometimes, until we both stop – and say…
The kitchen in the Link's cottage.
.. I’m happy with that.

Anyway, shooting the cottage was just like shooting a home – which we regularly do for the national magazines – so that was easy 🙂

The tricker shots where the wedding ones – as those actually needed to be created.
So after some discussion with Ray (the marketing manager) and having looked a few different rooms, we decided that this one…
Setting-up the Honeymoon suite.
.. would be the most suitable, to be turned into a honeymoon suite.

So once again, while I worked on the lighting, Marie…
Marie McMillen.
.. when about doing her thing.

It took forever – but in the end we where all very pleased with the final result…
Honeymoon suite at Doonbeg Golf & Spa Resort.
.. and so now Doonbeg has officially got themselves a Honeymoon suite 🙂

Anyway, that’s what we were up to this week – as we worked with Ray here, to let the world see what this amazing place has to offer.

Cheers, from Marie & me.
www.ampimage.com

January 11, 2010

Facebook

Filed under: Web links — Ashley Morrison @ 1:40 pm

ampimage joined Facebook.
So you can visit our Page and become a Fan 🙂

January 7, 2010

Christmas at Doonbeg.

Yes, we are still producing Christmas images one week into January – so as you can see here behind the sliding glass entrance door into the lobby…
Setting up the fireplace shot at Doonbeg.
.. it was all hands on board, as Paul & Marie worked their magic to help create what has got to be one of my all time favour Christmas images…
Christmas at Doonbeg Golf & Spa Resort.
.. which really does say, in my opinion, “A very warm welcome” to Doonbeg at this time of year.

But it wasn’t all about Christmas, as they also needed some images created to show their beautiful Spa area too – which is called ‘White Horses’ – down in the basement…
White Horses Spa.
.. meaning: not much natural light.
Still, after setting up a few lights and Paul lit a few candles…
Setting up in the Spa.
.. it was showtime..
The Spa area.
.. and another “Money shot”, as Ray the marketing manager calls them, in the bag.

However, with no natural light down here…
Setting up in the Spa.
.. needless to say, it was a challenge to create images like this…
The Spa area.
.. or even this one in the hot tub – which I completely missed the focus on…
Hot tub.
.. but everyone still seemed to love it anyway – so go figure that wink

So yes, it was a pretty major lighting job for sure…
Setting up in the treatment room.
.. as Paul had to work hard here…
Setting up in the treatment room.
.. and Marie naturally too on the styling – but I’ve got to say, I think it was worth it – as this has got to be one of the nice spas in the country…
The treatment room at Doonbeg.
.. in what I would say is one of the best hotels in the country too smile

Anyway, next Christmas you will no doubt see many of the other images we created here – but until then, this is how we will remember Christmas at Doonbeg – which was a great way to start the New Year.

So from Marie, Paul & me @ ampimage.com, make it a good one smile

January 6, 2010

Let there be light…

.. was the title of 2 out of the 3 features we have on the bookshelves this month.

Pages 142 to 145 in the February 2010 issue of 25 Beautiful Homes magazine…
Pages 142 to 145 in the February 2010 issue of 25 Beautiful Homes magazine - featuring Amanda and Dorian Grayson's architect-designed new-build in Huddersfield.
.. featuring Amanda and Dorian Grayson’s architect-designed new-build in Huddersfield.

Pages 48 to 53 in the February 2010 issue of Real Homes magazine…
Pages 48 to 53 in the February 2010 issue of Real Homes magazine featuring Gail Redmond's 19th-century townhouse in the historic village of Hillsborough in County Down. .
.. featuring Gail Redmond’s 19th-century townhouse in the historic village of Hillsborough in County Down.

The cover plus pages in the February 2010 issue of Ireland’s Homes Interiors & Living magazine…
The cover plus pages in the February 2010 issue of Ireland's Homes Interiors & Living magazine featuring Claire and Stephen Macartney's Irish farmhouse near Whitehead in County Antrim.
.. featuring Claire and Stephen Macartney’s Irish farmhouse near Whitehead in County Antrim.

January 5, 2010

Quoting a fee: the brief.

Filed under: Licence fees — Ashley Morrison @ 9:08 am
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I received is email today from a web design company, asking for a quote:

Hi Ashley,

Happy New Year to you and all the best for 2010. I have a few new design jobs that we’re going to need to get some photography quotes for. The first is for a large mostly _________ based hotel group, _______ Hotels. We are looking to get a quote which includes 5 shots of each property in the group. These shots are not just room specific, as we are looking to highlight the property, not only the rooms. There are 7 properties in the group, so if you could quote me for 5 shots for each property.

The second project is a new site we are doing for _________ hotel in ______. Here the client was looking for recommendations for photography, so I have passed on your details to _________________, who is the GM there. He should be calling you soon to discuss what he requires.

If you have any questions on the above, please let me know. Looking forward to working with you in 2010.

Thank you,
M__________

So I need to give them a price based on this information.

But where does one start ?
Keeping in mind that there are more than 100 different ways to shoot any subject – and therefore all images are not equal or even close at times.
The Before & after section on our website clearly shows this – same room (subject) but very different looking final image.

So how do you go about quoting a fee – for something where there are possibly hundreds of variables – that’s the big question.
Keeping in mind: if you quote to much you won’t get the job and if you quote to little, you may not be able to afford to do what you would like to do.

January 2, 2010

From Russia with love…

Filed under: Publish work — Ashley Morrison @ 10:45 am
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.. is the title of our current work in the January 2010 issue of 25 Beautiful Homes magazine…
Pages 46 to 50 in the January 2010 issue of 25 Beautiful Homes magazine - featuring Lisa and Julian Moisevitch's apartment on The Bishops Avenue in London.
.. on pages 46 to 50 featuring Lisa and Julian Moisevitch’s apartment in The Bishops Avenue area of London.

Also this month we have one in GoodHomes magazine, titled “Making history” on pages 74 to 79…
Pages 74 to 79 in the January 2010 issue of GoodHomes magazine featuring Annette and Colin Spencer's modern cottage-style house near Downpatrick in County Down.
.. featuring Annette and Colin Spencer’s modern cottage-style house near Downpatrick in County Down.

January 1, 2010

Hello world!

Filed under: Licence fees — Ashley Morrison @ 10:22 am
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Welcome to my Blog.

Pricing what we do as photographers and putting a value on our work, is one of the toughest things to get right.

So after nearly 30 years of doing this for a living, I will be using my Blog here to cover my thoughts on this subject; as well as showing some of the projects we are currently working on, plus our latest published work… because “the proof is in the pudding” as they say.

Your comments, thoughts and opinions are always most welcome.

Cheers,
Ashley

Ashley Morrison
www.ampimage.com
www.ashleymorrison.com

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