Ashley Morrison's Blog

December 31, 2013

To take a picture or to create an image !

That’s often a question I ask, because I need to know, which do they want me to give them a price for.

So what’s the difference ?

Well as we approach the end of another year, I like to look back on what all we have done and what all we have achieved – as I look forward to the year ahead.
So I’ve been updating some of my earlier 2010 Blogs, to show more of what we actually did and still do – by showing the original capture file and then the final image – so as to let people see that it just didn’t happen to look like that at the time, but was in fact created to look like that instead.

Because very often, all that anyone will ever see – including the client – is the final image. So one could therefore easily just assume, that all I did, was turn-up and take a picture of what was already there.

Which doesn’t sound that hard, if you’ve got a decent camera – right ?

Anyway, while looking back I came across this set of capture files…

.. from a shoot I did back in 2007, of a kitchen in Robinson Interior’s showroom.
So this frame show what it actually looked like, because all I had done here was set-up the camera and pressed the button, i.e. I took a picture.

And because they not only wanted to use the image on their website but in other media too – to promote and advertise their business – then I took a picture of the top as well…
Capture-073276
.. which when jointed together, ended up looking like this:
What the image of the high gloss white kitchen in Robinson Interior's Belfast showroom could have looked like.

So what do you think ?

Do you think they would they be happy with that and would therefore want to use it – and if so, how much do you think that image would be worth to them ?
Because that’s usually the very first question that a client will ask, i.e. How much would you charge to take some pictures for me ?

Anyway, personally I reckon it wouldn’t have been worth very much to them, as they probably wouldn’t have wanted to use it very much (if at all) – even if I’d said they could use it, as much as they liked for the price I’d quoted.

So rather than just take a picture of what was there, I decided to create an image instead…
Capture-073374
.. by lighting up, etc- and adding the top part…
Capture-073403
.. which when jointed together, ended up looking like this:
What the image of the high gloss white kitchen in Robinson Interior's Belfast showroom could have looked like.

So what do you think ?

Do you think they would they be happy with that and would therefore want to use it – and if so, how much do you think that image would be worth to them ?

Or what about this…
High gloss white kitchen in Robinson Interior's Belfast showroom.
.. which is actually the final image which I provided them with, to help them promote and advertise their business.

So what do you think ?

Do you think they would they be happy with that and would therefore want to use it – and if so, how much do you think that image would be worth to them ?

Well looking back – which as I said before, I tend to do at this time of year – I see that they used it quite a bit…
The cover plus an double page spread advertisement and an Advertorial feature for Robinson Interiors in the Irish Kitchens magazine showing the high gloss white kitchen in their Belfast showroom.
.. and it also made it onto the cover of the best of Irish kitchens magazine too.

And as we approach the year 2014, I see they are still using this image 7 years on…
Screen grab of Robinson Interior's website showing the high gloss white kitchen in their Belfast showroom.
.. as one of the main images on their website.

Anyway, hopefully that will help explain the difference between taking and creating – and also help explain why I charge for the use of my images, rather than just for my time to turn up and take some pictures – which unfortunately, is very often all that a client thinks they will need to pay for, when they first ask the question: How much would you charge to take some pictures for me ?

So to answer that question this coming year, I think I’ll simply reply: I don’t take, I give… by adding – so would you like me to give you a price, for me to create some images for you to use instead ?

In other words, I usually create images for others to use, rather than just turning-up and taking some pictures – so I charge for the use of my images, after I have created them.
Which means, I simply ask clients to pay me for the use of my work, rather than to do some work – as the amount of work involved in creating an image that they will want to use a lot, often goes way beyond just turning-up and taking some pictures of whatever happen to be there.

Which is the part that most people don’t ever see, but yet, it’s that creative part that could make a huge difference – as it’s that part that could make them want to use the images a lot or not at all – which in this example, has been to use this image for 7 years in multiple media so far.
So an image which someone wants to use for say 7 years in 4 different media, is obviously worth a lot more to them than an image that they only want to use for 1 month in 1 media – and so that’s what I go by, when trying to determine what the fee should be, for me to produce and then provide them with some images for them to use… which I’m saying I will create, rather than just take smile

And so on that note, I wish you all a very happy & prosperous New Year.

From Marie, me and the rest of the team @ ampimage.com

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2 Comments »

  1. Hi Ashley..
    This is a very good write up! Really hit the core of the actual issue usually faced in photographer – client relationship especially during its initial stage. From your previous long writing & some great articles buy other contributors on shakodo (too bad they already shut this down now) I just always have a side question out of this approach: How did you manage to apply this approach when you are still in your early stage of your career, well you know, when your work are yet broadly known or people haven’t seen your work much. Do you think there are better start with any staged steps or you might have another better approach for someone who just starting the roll out..

    Appreciate your effort writing the article & hopefully your answer here..
    Cheers!

    axn2ate

    Comment by axn2ate — January 9, 2014 @ 3:05 am | Reply

    • My early days where before the ‘Copyright Designs & Patents Act 1988’ came into place – so it was different back then, as ‘we’ all basically just worked for hire. Today, however, it’s the Rights to use one’s images that ‘we’ are selling most of the time – so when quoting a fee, it’s therefore important to clearly state what those Rights are.

      So basically it’s up to you to be clear about what you are agreeing to, when you quote a fee – so therefore, I’d highly recommend you always fill out this type of form: https://ashleymorrisonphotography.wordpress.com/2010/12/29/licence-to-use/ – so as to avoid any misunderstandings down the road.

      What boxes you tick is totally up to you – but since this is basically what your clients are paying you for, then be sure to give them a signed copy of it, so as they (and you) know what they have paid you for.

      So… I’d suggest you start with that form and then work backwards from there – as that’s basically what I did, when I first started using it. Which means, the words on you Invoice should therefore tally with this – and so should the words on your Quotes – as this is the end result… which is a ‘Licence to use’ your images, after you have created them.

      Comment by Ashley Morrison — January 9, 2014 @ 9:37 am | Reply


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