Ashley Morrison's Blog

May 29, 2014

Before and After.

Filed under: Web links — Ashley Morrison @ 9:35 am
Tags: , , , , ,

Updating the Before and After section on our website here…
Juliet-165713b
.. so as to not only let people see what was done, but also to show that there are more than 100 different ways to shoot any subject…
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.. and that all images…
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.. are not the same…
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.. or even close to being the same sometimes – even if they were taken by the same photographer.

Which is something we often need to point out to clients when they ask us for a price to take some pictures.

Because there is a big difference between giving someone a price to turn-up to take some pictures…
Juliet-173396b
.. and being asked to giving someone a price to produce some images…
Juliet-173396
.. that they would want to use.
As one could just involve turning-up and taking some snap shots of whatever happens to be there, like I do when we recce a place…
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.. whereas the other could involve hours of work…
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.. and a team of people, etc – especially if they are wanting some images created that they will actually want to use in various media for years to come.

Which is why we would often ask about their usage requirements – and then take that information into account…
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.. when quoting a fee for the use of our work…
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.. after we have created it.

Because 9 times out of 10, even when it looks to be sitting perfect to the eye…
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.. the sort of image that they will want to use…
Ashford-144137
.. may still need to be lit and styled, etc, etc – and so that is what this section on our website shows, i.e. I can take some pictures or we can create some images.

So which do you want me to give you a price for – to turn-up and take some pictures which you can use if you want to or to produce some images that you will want to use ?

If it’s just to turn-up and take some pictures, then that shouldn’t cost very much; however, if it’s to produce some images that you will want to use, then we obviously need to take your usage requirements into account first, as the fee would then be based on that information. Which can be paid for all at once or spread over the years that you want to use our work, in the various media that you need to use it in.

So enjoy this newly updated section by moving your mouse over the original picture taken to see the final image created – which includes images that were produced many years ago, which the clients are still using to this very day – as well as some of our most recent work.

Cheers
From Marie & me at ampimage.com

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February 16, 2014

Pay as you go.

Recently on Facebook, another Irish photographer said he was doing a little research on the hospitality side of things and I was wondering what people thought of this work?

Well naturally I had a look at this photographer’s website and noted under the photographer’s Services section, he said:

“Often hospitality photographers will discount the upfront shooting rate only to charge a licensing fee in the following years after the shoot.
We issue a copyright license for the client to use the photographs for any media for an indefinite period. This is built into our initial costs so the client pays once and once only.”

This made me smile, because in other words, what he is basically saying here is: some photographers give Hotels an option on how to pay for the use of their work, whereas he doesn’t.

So it would appear that his clients have to either agree to pay him the full amount up front, for him to provide them with images that would be ‘good enough’ for them to want to use in all media for the next 10+ years or else he’s simply not interested in taking the assignment on.

Whereas other photographers will be happy to take the assignment on and provide their clients with images that would be ‘good enough’ for them to want to use in all media for the next 10+ years – and then help their clients out, by offering them a ‘pay as you go’ type payment plan.

Which is what I do when asked to produce images like this…
The swimming pool with a view of the Mountains of Mourne sweeping down to the sea at the Slieve Donard Resort & Spa Hotel in the County Down town of Newcastle.
.. which the client by the way – before they saw the final result – didn’t want to pay much for. Because not every client can afford or will want to have to pay for what it costs to produce such an image, out of their current year’s marketing budget. So to help them spread the cost, without me having to drop the standard of my work to stay within their current year’s marketing budget, I offer them a ‘Pay as you go’ type payment plan – whereby they only need to pay for 1 years use at a time, for example.

Note: Hotels don’t ask their guests to buy the room of them, they just ask their guests to pay for the use of the room – be it for 1 night, 2 nights, a week or however long their customers need to use it for, i.e. ‘Pay as you go’ and see how it goes.

Same thing here.

So licensing my images this way, is simply a way to help my clients spread the cost of what those type of images may have cost me to produce, as producing images like the one above of the pool with a view at the Slieve Donard Resort & Spa Hotel – that this client then did actually wanted to use for years to come in various media, like on this double size billboard…
Billboard showing the swimming pool at the Slieve Donard Hotel.
.. after seeing the final results – will usually have cost me a lot more to produce, than an image like this…
The swimming pool at the Slieve Donard Resort & Spa Hotel in the County Down town of Newcastle.
.. which not surprisingly, they didn’t want to use at all wink

In other words, I do not ‘discount the upfront shooting rate’, I simply ask my clients to pay for the amount of use that they require of my work, AFTER have I have produced it – just as they would, if I were to ask them for a price.

January 9, 2014

What difference does it make ?

Six months after Marie was pictured here smiling, in the living room of a new property…
Marie standing in Ascot Park on the 29th July 2009.
.. which she & her husband Alan had just bought – she was once again pictured smiling, as she sat on the stairs…
Marie McMillen on the stairs in her 1950's cottage in Belfast on the 1st February 2010.
.. of this exact same room.

Wow, I hear you say, what a difference !!.

But what is the real difference here, between this image…
The living room in 36 Ascot Park on the 29th July 2009.
.. and this one…
The living room in Marie and Alan McMillen's 1950s cottage in Belfast on the 1st February 2010.
.. from a Professional photographer’s point of view ?

A photographer [the Greek φῶς (phos), meaning “light”, and γραφή (graphê), meaning “drawing, writing”, together meaning “drawing with light”] is a person who takes photographs. A professional photographer uses photography to earn money; amateur photographers take photographs for pleasure and to record an event, emotion, place, or person.

So why on the 29th July 2009, when I took this image…
The living room in 36 Ascot Park on the 29th July 2009.
.. did I as a Professional photographer, not think it was worth my while to use anything more than just a basic point & shoot camera system – whereas when I took this image of the exact same room…
The living room in Marie and Alan McMillen's 1950's cottage in Belfast
.. I felt I needed to spend a lot more time – use a medium format ’tilt & shift’ camera system, thousands of pounds worth of lights and shoot to a laptop – so as Marie could then tweak things and style it to within an inch of her life.

What difference does it make to a Professional photographer?

Because let’s face it, from my point of view as a Professional photographer – what I’m looking at here…
The kitchen in 36 Ascot Park on the 29th July 2009.
.. and what I’m seeing here…
The kitchen in Marie and Alan McMillen's 1950's cottage in Belfast.
.. is just two pictures of basically the same room.

Okay, so the first images don’t look that good – and the other one looks really nice – but besides what Marie had done here…
The dining area in 36 Ascot Park on the 29th July 2009.
.. over a six month period, to transform this space into something very different…
The dining area in 36 Ascot Park on the 1st February 2010.
.. what’s the real difference between these two pictures?

Is this picture better…
The TV area in 36 Ascot Park on the 29th July 2009.
.. than this one…
The TV area in Marie and Alan McMillen's 1950's cottage in Belfast.
.. or could it be the other way around?

For example, if someone wanted to use this image…
The master bedroom in 36 Ascot Park on the 29th July 2009.
.. and was prepared to pay me for that – even though I didn’t spend much time on shooting and just used a point & shoot camera system – and no-one wanted to use this image…
the master bedroom in Marie and Alan McMillen's 1950's cottage in Belfast.
.. even though Marie had spent 6 months working on it and we then spent hours shooting it with top-end camera gear, etc – would that mean the first image is actually better?

Because you see, from my point of view – as a Professional photographer, rather than just someone who likes to take pictures in their spare time – the only real difference between this image…
The master bedroom in 36 Ascot Park on the 29th July 2009.
.. and this image…
The bathroom in Marie and Alan McMillen's 1950's cottage in Belfast.
.. is to do with the amount that someone else may be prepared to pay me for use it – and that’s really about it.

Sure, I’d much prefer to take pretty pictures – but being a Professional photographer isn’t really about taking pretty pictures – it’s about making money or making a living – from producing images that others will want to use, and use enough that they will be prepared to pay you some money for.

So in theory, as crazy as it may seem – from a Professional photographer’s point of view, Marie didn’t do anything here – besides provide me with something, which I now felt was worth spending a lot more time on shooting.
The reason being, because I now felt others may want to use these images and would, therefore, be prepared to pay for that use – so that’s why I went the extra mile.

Take that incentive away, and all you are left with is two pictures or two sets of images – that are worth the same to the guy behind the camera.

So to answer my own question here: What difference does it make ?
As a Professional photographer, the difference has to do with the use of the images and the amount that others are prepared to pay for that.

Little use = Little value.
Greater use = Greater value
… to both them & me.

Anyway, as a Professional photographer, I’d just like to say big thanks to Marie & Allen for making a difference here – because I really don’t think that anyone would have wanted to use those first set of images – no matter what camera system I would have used or how much time I would have spent on the lighting them wink

Smiling from behind the camera smile
Ashley
www.ashleymorrison.com

April 1, 2013

Who pays photographers?

Shakodo website

By Juergen Specht, on the Shakodo Blog a few days ago – where yours truly got a wee mention, for trying to answer this question about How best to charge for high end commercial architectural photography? 🙂

Juergen Specht wrote on the 29th March 2013:

Who pays photographers?

I just got tipped to a new site named “Who pays photographers?“, which collects anonymous contributions from photographers and how much they earned for a specific job from different outlets. Needless to say, it’s depressing to see these low rates collected together in one spot.
However, the more I look through it, the more I agree with some comments about the site, that “only dissatisfied [photographers] … working for niche websites or newspapers” report their income there. The main problems I see, based on what I read on Shakodo every single day, is that most photographers still don’t know how to charge properly and what they actually sell. And this is one of the core reasons why so many photographers have such a frustrating low income.

Let’s take for example the concept of “work by the hour”. I really, really don’t understand why photographers do this to themselves. Imagine there are 2 photographers, a very experienced professional and a not that experienced semi-professional. They both get hired to take the portrait of a busy, high-end subject. The experienced photographer comes out of the session with a great portrait in 5 minutes, because of his experience to grasp the situation, the available light and the attention of his subject. The not so experienced semi-professional needs 20 minutes for the image. Now, who should earn more? The professional who didn’t waste much time on his subject? Or the semi-professional, who needed 4 times the time for a picture? And what happens if the semi-professional become more experienced? Shall he suddenly earn less, because he can get the results faster?

This is just one example why “work by the hour” is not such a great idea. To quote Jim Greipp again “You get paid for your talent and not your time”.
And in the end, it all boils down to one thing: The value of your images to the client.

Nobody can explain this concept better than Shakodo Member Ashley Morrison in his answer to this question.

So instead of complaining about low fees, educate yourself and learn from the people who are busy making money with photography. You probably will not find them on “Who pays photographers?“, because they actually have work to do.

Where I tried to explain to Steve, a London based photographer, the difference between giving a price to take some pictures that a client could use if they wanted to, and give a price to produce some images that a client would actually want to use, to meet their usage requirements.

Where I included some images of the same buildings, to help illustrate my point …
The Carlton Atlantic Coast Hotel in Westport.
.. that all images are not the same……
The Carlton Atlantic Coast Hotel in Westport.
.. and so this is why it’s often very hard to put a price on what we are being asked to provide our clients with – especially beforehand.

Anyway, just thought I’d post this on my own Blog here, as it’s nice to be mentioned – and to know that someone else out there in the world, thinks I’m not way of the mark on my thinking here, on how to go about putting a price on an assignment like this… before the actual images exist.

March 2, 2013

An analogy would be.

In a recent discussion on a photographer’s forum, about how one goes about putting a price on what ‘we’ do – this is the analogy I gave, in reference to a job I have recently been asked to quote for – whereby the client was wanting to know what my ‘day rate’ was, to take some pictures at a nearby hotel.

So to try and explain why I, like them (the hotel), quote the way I do, this is how I explained it – so as the hotel could see, that how I put a price on ‘my thing’ is very similar to how they put a price on ‘their thing’ – should someone ask for a quote.

There are basically 4 things that will determine the fee:

1. Number of images: 15 images – is like saying: 15 people.
2. Media use: Worldwide web & promotional emails only – is like saying: Bed & Breakfast only.
3. Period of use: 2 years use (ends 31/3/2015) – is like saying: 2 nights (ends the following day).
4. Territory of use: Internet only – is like saying: their hotel only.

So, just as the price that they would quote you, would also be based on the above information – so is mine…
Quote-00016764 by Ashley Morrison for producing and then providing 15 images of various rooms at a Hotel in County Down for them to use as stated.
.. which means, if I would like them to pay more than this, then it would then be up to me to try and produce some images that they would actually want to use for more than this…
Quote-00016764 by Ashley Morrison for producing and then providing 15 images of various rooms at a Hotel in County Down for them to use as stated.

.. if I was to expect them to pay me more than this afterwards (just as they will want their customers to use their hotel for more than the minimum amount too) – which is therefore my incentive (or their incentive) to go the extra mile for my clients (or in their case, their guests, who want to use their hotel).

So the more that other people want us to provide them with or the more that they get from us to use afterward, then the more I would charge – which I believe is only fair.

And that’s basically how I go about it these days – as times have changed and most of my clients now just seem to want ‘some images to use’ – rather than specific images to use for a specific ad – which is how it would have been back in the days of film, when I would have quoted a ‘day rate’.

Anyway, just thought I’d share this analogy – which is based on a real example – of how I put a price on what ‘we’ do – before any images have been created or produced, for others to use these days.

ampimage.com… just for you!

June 4, 2012

Usage calculator.

By the Association of Photographers, which one can use to help determine what the fee would be for the ‘Additional use’ of one’s work.

So if you start by letting the client know what the fee would be for ‘Standard use’ first – which would be the amount that you would want to be paid for the use of your work in either 2 media for 1 year or 1 media for 2 years, in 1 country, i.e. your Base Usage Rate (BUR) – then should they want you to provide them with more than that, you can use this Usage Calculator here…
AOP-BUR
.. to help you determine what the additional (+%) fee would be, for that amount of ‘Additional use’ of your work.

Very useful – so a big thanks to the Association of Photographers for this.

August 9, 2011

Sorry about that…

Filed under: Licence fees,Web links — Ashley Morrison @ 11:36 am
Tags: , , ,

.. but you need to pay a license fee if you want to use our pictures…
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.. especially if it’s to promote your business.

Plus you should not be using an image which we produced at a totally different hotel neither…
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.. as that is really breaking all the rules of advertising.

Sorry about that – but just because something is available (a room in their hotel or one of our images, for example) doesn’t mean it’s free… as in for you to use it, without paying something towards the amount you want to use it.

We recommend everyone reads the information at: Copyright 4 Clients – if you are unsure about the basic laws surrounding photography, ethics & standards of practice – before using someone else’s pictures.

March 23, 2011

All Media

Filed under: Licence fees — Ashley Morrison @ 7:17 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Recently a photographer asked what he should charge for ‘All Media’ use, in the UK for 1 year.
He knew the AOP’s guidelines recommended +750% for ‘All Media’ use; however, he felt that was totally wrong.

He claimed his BUR was £2000 (“my basic day rate for advertising is £2000.00, which gets them ONE yr UK, 2 media”) – but reckoned for ‘All Media’ use, £2,500 would be about right i.e. an additional £500.

So is the AOP’s BUR system wrong !!
Your BUR+750% = All Media.

Well, let’s look at it the other way around:
All Media-750% = your Base Usage Rate (BUR).

So if one says £2,500 is for ‘All Media’, then £2,500-750% would suggest one’s BUR is only £333.33 i.e. your basic rate for ‘standard use’.

Garbage In, Garbage Out – as they say.
If the figures don’t stack-up, then obviously your BUR figure must not be right – is the way I would see it.
The figure you are referring to may be based on something, but it should be obvious it’s not your Base Usage Rate – and if it is not your BUR, then naturally the AOP’s pricing guidelines will not make any sense.

So if you are wanting to use their pricing system, to help you work out what the fee should be, then obviously you need to get this bit right first.

Now let’s look at what ‘All Media’ actually covers.
Media use is broken down into the following sections and the recommended percentage figures for each media can be found in the AOP’s book Beyond the Lens:-

. Ambient (includes: garage forecourt, airport and rail station screens and all public areas where advertising is screened).
. Billboards / Posters (includes: 96/48/16/12/4 sheet, superlites, escalator panels, bus sides & panels, taxis wraps & seats, bus backs, tube, underground).
. Brochure / Catalogue.
. Direct Mail (includes: door drop leaflets & postcards).
. Inserts / Prints.
. Marketing Aids (includes: umbrellas, ashtrays, beer mats, exhibition panels, trolley panels).
. Magazine ads (includes: advertorial features, ads & PR).
. Magazine editorial.
. Newspaper (includes: advertorial features, ads & PR).
. Packaging.
. Point of sale.
. PR (includes: images used to promote within a press editorial/advertorial or trade handout).
. Press (includes: trade, consummer, local, national, magazine & newspapers).
. Television / Cinema (includes: interactive TV, Video, mobiles, CD ads).
. Worldwide web ( includes: email ads & internet use).

So if a client says they need to use the images in ‘All Media’, then this is all the things they are saying they need to use the images for. Which would indicate they are about to spend a lot of money here, over the next 12 months. Naturally that needs to be taken into account when you are quoting a fee, because clearly these images are hugely important to them.
Hence the +750% figure.
Which is there to help you meet their needs.

A useful link to terms used by Ad agencies and information on usage: A PhotoEditor.

December 29, 2010

Licence to use.

And why you should use it to avoid misunderstandings down the road.

It is, in my opinion, a very important document, which every Photographer should be making use of – especially today in this digital age.
It’s not an Invoice or a Model Release form – it’s a separate document – which is basically​ designed to help avoid misunderstandings, between you and your Clients or anyone else who may be handling or wanting to use your images.

Remember, the guys in the ‘art department’ ​may never see your Invoice – which contains the usage agreement information – because it may have been sent straight to the ‘accounts department’. So that’s where this document comes into play – it’s a separate document, that stays with your images – designed to help prevent misunderstandings down the road.

Filling this document in is simple – just tick the boxes & fill in the blanks.
Then print it out and staple it to your contact sheets, put a pdf file of it on the CD along with your images, email it to your client… whatever it takes – so as everyone knows what has been agreed (which obviously needs to tally with what you have written on your Invoice) – as well as what has not been agreed to, which can be even more important to sometimes clearly show too.

The example below is based on the Association of Photographers’ Licence document, which can be downloaded from their website at AOP Downloads – along with other useful documents & forms.

(Please note: Having used this document for a number of years now, I have made a few minor changes to their standard template, but it’s basically still the same)
Licence to use example
Then print their standard Terms & Conditions on the back, which is relevant to where you are based.

That’s it – my No.1 tip of the day for all Photographers – to help avoid misunderstandings down the road.

Below are the basic definitions of the Media Use terms and what each covers:-

. Ambient – includes: garage forecourt, airport and rail station screens and all public areas where advertising is screened.
. Billboards / Posters – includes: 96/48/16/12/4 sheet, superlites, escalator panels, bus sides & panels, taxis wraps & seats, bus backs, tube, underground.
. Brochure / Catalogue.
. Direct Mail – includes: door drop leaflets & postcards.
. Inserts / Prints.
. Marketing Aids – includes: umbrellas, ashtrays, beer mats, exhibition panels, trolley panels, etc.
. Magazine ads – includes: advertorial features, ads & PR.
. Magazine editorial.
. Newspaper – includes: advertorial features, ads & PR.
. Packaging.
. Point of sale – also known as ‘Point of Purchase’.
. PR – images used to promote within a press editorial/advertorial or trade handout.
. Press – includes: trade, consummer, local, national, magazine & newspapers.
. Television / Cinema – includes: interactive TV, Video, mobiles, CD ads.
. Worldwide web – includes: email ads & internet use.

For more information on this, buy the AOP’s book Beyond the Lens“the essential guide to rights, ethics and business practice in professional photography” – which can be purchased from their website in one of two forms: conventional printed book form or immediate electronic downloads.

October 3, 2010

All Rights…

… and understanding what it is you are asking for.

Asking for ‘All Rights’ is saying you need to use the images in every media, for unlimited years, throughout the world – which would imply you are about to spend millions on advertising, in every country throughout the world, over the next 10 years.
On top of this, you are implying you need to be able to sell the images to others too – which would include Stock Libraries, etc.

So if we were to relate that to you booking into a Hotel – the Hilton Hotel, for example, (where they provide hotels for people to use, just as we provide images for people to use) – it would be like asking them to give you a price for this:

Media Use: All Media – asking for this is like saying to the Hotel you need the use of all their facilities and all their rooms.
Period of Use: Unlimited – is like saying you need to stay for as long as you like.
Territory: Worldwide – is like saying you need to say in all their other hotels around the world too.

So what you are asking for here is: every room and full use all their facilities, in all their hotels around the world, forever.
On top of this, you are also asking them to agree to you being able to sell all their facilities and rooms, in every hotel around the world, onto whoever you want, whenever you want.

So as you can see, asking for ‘All Rights’ is asking for a lot.

I’m quite sure the Hilton wouldn’t say yes to this, especially not for the same price as a one nights B&B, in one of their hotels 🙂

When quoting a fee, the 4 main things that will, therefore, determine the license fee are:
1. The number of images you want to use.
2. Media use.
3. Period of use.
4. The territory of use.

So naturally, the more you say you need to use the image or images…
Slieve-04
.. the greater the fee will be – because we will be using this information to determine what all we need to do, to meet your needs.

We use the Association of Photographers price guidelines, which can be found in their book Beyond the Lens, to help us determine the fee – based on what you say you need to use the images for.

Remember: ‘Want’ is not the same as ‘Need’.

So… if you really do need some images produced, because you need to use them in All Media, for Unlimited years, throughout the world – then naturally we will assume you have the budget in place, to help us meet your needs. Because obviously those images will need to be amazing (if you are about to spend millions on advertising, in every country throughout the world, over the next 10 years) and that’s what we will, therefore, need to take into account, when quoting a fee.

Because there are more than 100 different ways to shoot any subject.

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