Archive for the ‘Ask An Agent’ Category

Ask an Agent / Model fees for Moving Image

September 30, 2014

Ask an Agent is a regular monthly column that answers all your dilemmas about the business of photography – like a photography agony aunt. Whatever area of the industry you are in, or at whatever level, if you have any questions you’d like to ask please send them to askanagent@lisapritchard.com

Lisa

Dear Ask an Agent,

I am preparing an estimate for a shoot which involves stills and moving image. My question is, apart from my own fees and equipment for moving image do I need to allow for extra for the model fees?

Darren Orange, photographer, Leeds.

Hi Darren,

Whenever you are preparing costs or booking models be very clear about the final usage as this is the one area that can come back and bite you on the bum!

The thing to do is put the exact end usage in an email to the model agencies when you are gathering your costs. So even though it may be online and digital content, 2 years, for example, you should also clarify that this will involve stills and moving image. Then if you do get the job, put the usage in writing again along with the fee available based on your previous research and agreement with the client, and check the model booking forms have the correct information. I know I might sound a bit paranoid but I’ve had several instances where models have attempted to charge more after the shoot as they misinterpreted the usage, and if it’s set out in writing they don’t get very far.

JL_201308_Simple_2682

© Julian Love

Some model agencies might not charge any extra for moving image whilst some will, and it’ll be sods law that your client will want to use models from the agency that charge extra. As with any suppliers, we always get a number (usually 3) of quotes to check that we are in the right ball park and quote the client somewhere in between, or what we think is achievable within the clients budget and nature of the shoot.

I was recently quoted a day rate of 18K from one model agency for a small corporate job which involved moving image on the clients website, needless to say I didn’t think it a good idea to include this figure in my estimate if I ever wanted to hear from my client again! As I say most agencies quote pretty reasonable fees for moving image for digital content and at the end of the day it’s going to be your client who dictates the model fees available, not you – something which model agencies often fail to acknowledge.

Please Note:

We reserve the right to shorten questions due to space constraints.

We reserve the right not to enter into on going correspondence.

We reserve the right not to answer all questions.

Please state whether you would like to remain anonymous.

This advice should be taken as a guide only. Lisa Pritchard and LPA take no responsibility for any omissions or errors. Please seek professional legal advice should you require it.

Ask an Agent / Who wants to see my portfolio at an Advertising Agency?

August 29, 2014

Ask an Agent is a regular monthly column that answers all your dilemmas about the business of photography – a sort of photography agony aunt. Whatever area of the industry you are in, if you have any questions you’d like to ask please send them to askanagent@lisapritchard.com

Lisa

Dear Ask an Agent,

I’ve finally got a printed portfolio together with a view to trying to get my foot in the door with some ad agencies. Can you advise me on who I should try and show it to?

John Oliver, photographer.

Hi John,

The best people to show your book to in an ad agency are the art buyers, art directors and creative directors.

It is the art buyer’s job to source photographers suitable for a campaign, negotiate the shoot costs and oversee the production process, making sure everything is delivered on time and in budget. Some of the smaller agencies don’t have art buyers or they have different job titles such as creative services manager or project manager for example.

The art buyer liaises with the ‘creatives’ as to what kind of photographer would be right for the campaign they have created. The creative department is made up of teams of art directors and copywriters, with the art director creating the visual side of things and the copywriter the words, although the boundaries are often blurred these days.

The creative director oversees the creative output of an agency, they are also very good people to try and see but in the larger agencies they are generally very busy managing the creative team. The art directors are a really good contact to ‘get in with’.  If they like the way you see the world and your ideas it may well inspire them to create their next campaign with your work in mind. It’s all very much a collaborative and a people business, so networking with art directors often pays off for individual photographers.

L1001054

A few final words of advice:

• Don’t be put off if an art buyer books you in 4 months ahead, this is fairly normal.

• Try and book to see a few art directors (e.g 3 or 4), at say 15 minutes intervals as it’s likely some will cancel on the day as they suddenly have a pitch to work on. They aren’t being rude it’s just the way it is.

• Don’t be put off if you make 20 calls and send loads of emails and don’t get anywhere. It is part of an art buyer and art director’s job to see as many photographers as they can, so don’t think you are being a pain or wasting their time.

• Having said that, be respectful of peoples time and only show relevant, well edited and well presented work that is actually useful for the ad agency to see. Do your research before your meeting and familiarise yourself with their clients and recent work, everyone likes to talk about themselves!

• Don’t ever get shirty if your calls or emails don’t get acknowledged, if someone says they don’t want to make an appointment or gives you negative feedback. Sooner or later, if your photography is right for the brands an agency works for, your perseverance should pay off.

Good luck!

Please Note:

We reserve the right to shorten questions due to space constraints.

We reserve the right not to enter into on going correspondence.

We reserve the right not to answer all questions.

Please state whether you would like to remain anonymous.

This advice should be taken as a guide only. Lisa Pritchard and LPA take no responsibility for any omissions or errors. Please seek professional legal advice should you require it.

Ask an Agent / Shooting Without a Location Permit

July 30, 2014

Ask an Agent is a regular monthly column that answers all your dilemmas about the business of photography – a sort of photography agony aunt. Whatever area of the industry you are in, if you have any questions you’d like to ask please send them to askanagent@lisapritchard.com

Lisa

Dear Ask an Agent,

I’ve been asked by a regular client to do a shoot next week. They want me to cast the models before the shoot but rather than scout the locations, which will be cafes and shops, and get permissions beforehand they want me to just find them on the day. Do you think this will be ok?

Jerry Llewellyn

Hi Jerry,

Not really, no.  I think this is a really bad idea!

With any shoot that is going to be a potential hazard to the public you need to make arrangements before the day of the shoot for a number of reasons.

• As you will have a large crew in tow – models, stylist, hair & make-up, assistants, art director – plus wardrobe, props and kit, there is potential to cause damage to the location or even injury to the public. Dragging a clothing rail with wardrobe or your equipment across the floor might cause damage or a child might trip over your tripod and hurt themselves for example. To avoid this it’s wise to do a risk assessment before the day of the shoot and agree to have a section cordoned off for a set time period. Also, whoever is responsible for booking the location, which by the sounds of it could be you, needs to have at least 2 million pounds public liability insurance in place in the event that there is damage or injury.

maeveskitchen09

© Holly Pickering

• Not having the locations lined up before the shoot day may result in major delays to the schedule. Imagine how it might pan out on the day. Are your entire crew going to follow you around while you go into the various locations and try and find the right person to talk to? Chances are the only person with authority to grant permission and agree a location fee won’t be around on the day anyway. It can take a few days to negotiate a hire fee and grant proper written permissions once you’ve found somewhere. Delays usually have financial implications; overtime for the entire crew, additional expenses or even the cost of a potential re-shoot. You could be liable for these costs if you don’t do things properly.

• It’s usual on a commercial job to scout several locations so the client can have a choice and approve the one they think will work best. Chances are the senior client might not be on shoot and they will want to have their say when they see the final images – they might not like the location you and the art director have chosen, reject your images and refuse to pay you.

• Finally, it’s a matter of being professional. The shoot could end up being a complete shambles and the finger will be pointed at you. As a professional photographer it is your responsibility to adhere to industry codes of conduct and advise your client on the protocol. Aside from being made to look like a bit of an idiot who can’t arrange a shoot, you could ruin relationships with your crew, your regular client and even find yourself very much out of pocket.

I know no one likes say no to a client, but you really do need to shout up and explain why this is a bad idea sooner rather than later!

Please Note:

We reserve the right to shorten questions due to space constraints.

We reserve the right not to enter into on going correspondence.

We reserve the right not to answer all questions.

Please state whether you would like to remain anonymous.

This advice should be taken as a guide only. Lisa Pritchard and LPA take no responsibility for any omissions or errors. Please seek professional legal advice should you require it.

Ask an Agent / Student Exploitation?

June 27, 2014

Ask an Agent is a regular monthly column that answers all your dilemmas about the business of photography – a sort of photography agony aunt. Whatever area of the industry you are in, if you have any questions you’d like to ask please send them to askanagent@lisapritchard.com

Lisa

Dear Ask an Agent,

I’ve just been approached at my end of year show by a business who would like to commission me to shoot some images for their advertising. Whilst I find that very flattering, they are only offering minimal expenses (travel,subsistence etc) and no fee, should I at this stage of my career accept something like this? The end usage is quite extensive and includes packaging, brochures, point of sale and web, but not only that they actually want ‘outright ownership of images’. I’m worried if I say no I’ve blown my chances of having them as a future client.

A Photography Graduate 

Thanks for getting in touch about that and congrats on your photography degree. This is pretty cheeky and not really on.

Very occasionally it’s worth accepting a job for no fee, for example if it’s an amazing brief that’s perfect for your book, full shoot expenses are paid and there’s a really good reason why there is no fee ( maybe it’s a charity or a very good cause or a test shoot for an unlaunched company). It doesn’t sound like this is one of those occasions. Aside from that you should never assign ownership of images (see an earlier Ask an Agent on Copyright). And that old chestnut of the promise of more work in the future rarely comes off in my experience.

Reading between the lines someone in the marketing department has come up with what they probably think is a genius idea, ‘Hey I know what, we can headhunt graduate talent at the final degree shows, and they’ll be so excited and flattered to be given the opportunity to work with a big brand that they won’t want a fee, it’s a win win situation’.

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© Andy Smith

Well the thing is, it’s unreasonable to the point of being exploitative. Even though you have only just graduated and may not have a long list of clients (yet!) your work still has a value, which is why they want it all over their marketing communications. I’m sure the marketing department aren’t working on this for free, neither are the graphic designers that have designed the packaging or the web developers, not to mention the printers who are printing the brochures or the point of sale material. And we haven’t even gone onto the fact that your amazing photography might end up being integral to their sales and profit, and they don’t feel that you should be paid?!

So I would advise you politely telling them how you intend to run your business professionally. Pointing out what is standard industry practice – to be paid a fee that reflects the usage and not to assign copyright. Inform them that you want to protect your business and integrity, establish a standard and only accept fee paying jobs. Offer to prepare a full and professional estimate for shoot fees including usage, plus all shoot and production expenses. And ask them how they would like to progress.

At best you may educate them, at worst you may need to walk away from a job that’s not worth doing and I’m sure there will be plenty more to come.

Keep me posted, but if any students are reading this in a similar situation, don’t sell your self short!

Please Note:

We reserve the right to shorten questions due to space constraints.

We reserve the right not to enter into ongoing correspondence.

We reserve the right not to answer all questions.

Please state whether you would like to remain anonymous.

This advice should be taken as a guide only. Lisa Pritchard and LPA take no responsibility for any omissions or errors. Please seek professional legal advice should you require it.

Ask An Agent / ‘Off The Shelf’ Photography

April 29, 2014

Ask an Agent is a regular monthly column that answers all your dilemmas about the business of photography – a sort of photography agony aunt. Whatever area of the industry you are in, if you have any questions you’d like to ask please send them to askanagent@lisapritchard.com.

LisaASKanAgentsmaller

This month on Ask an Agent, a question that comes up now and again from our clients , so I thought it would be helpful to publish the answer by kind courtesy of Peter.

Dear Ask and Agent,

I need to get together a bank of images by the same photographer for a client of mine (I’m a freelance creative and they are a large media company). I don’t think they would have the budget to commission this time, although if the images work well they may be persuaded to next year. I don’t really want to go the photo library route as the images will all be by different photographers and won’t be consistent. Would it be possible to have access to one of you photographers back catalogues to choose a collection of images? I probably need about 50. I thought this might be a good middle ground and will give my client access to a photographic vibe that they can buy off the shelf and use to re-energise their visual cache.

Peter Robinson

Thanks very much for your question Peter. Although this is a nice idea in theory, in practice I’m afraid you might come up against a few barriers if you need to licence a large amount of existing imagery by the same photographer. (Although never say never and if you can give me a few more specifics, I can certainly have look; for example are you looking for more lifestyle, ‘real’ looking shots of people in real situations or something slightly more stylised/aspirational/filmic. Spontaneous moments or posed? Do you need people in the shots at all? What sort of locations are they in?).

PH © Patrick Harrison / British Gas

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LPA Portfolio Reviews

April 4, 2014

Would you like an honest appraisal of your photography and photography ‘brand’ by one of the industry’s leading experts? Each month Lisa Pritchard, founder of LPA, offers a limited amount of one to one sessions at the LPA HQ in central London.

Being a photographer can sometimes feel a bit insular and although you might get regular comments and advice about your work, sometimes its difficult to know which to take on board and which to take with a pinch of salt. Lisa can offer you some unbiased, no nonsense feed back based on years of experience. So, whether you’d just like a one hour general review, a serious editing job on your website, or a full brand and marketing overhaul now’s your chance. Please email hello@lisapritchard.com for a full menu, price list and availability.

“I set up LPA Portfolio Reviews nearly a year ago as a result of a huge demand from photographers of all levels asking if they could pop in for a chat about their work. I can only spare a certain amount of time but I thought it would be a good idea to set aside some time each month and offer formal review sessions. It’s often much easier for me to be subjective , identify weak ( and strong!) areas and give photographers a firm nudge in the right direction. I really enjoy the sessions and meeting so many different types of photographers, and the feedback about how useful the sessions are makes it even more rewarding”

Here’s what a few happy punters had to say…

Louise Adby

“I was so excited to discover that LPA offered portfolio reviews – I felt I really needed a honest review of my work, and with LPA representing some of the best lifestyle photographers in the industry I knew that Lisa would be able to help me move forward with my business. My meeting with Lisa couldn’t have been more inspirational and really helped with building my confidence to promote myself. I am currently in the process of getting my first printed portfolio assembled and I really can’t wait to start marketing myself more effectively. Thank you so much for your honest opinion and making me feel excited about my work. I will definitely be booking more reviews in the future.”

www.louiseadby.com

LA

‘Outside St Paul’s Cathedral London, for Pure Student Living’ © Louise Adby

Nathan Gallagher

“A visit to Lisa Pritchard Agency was exactly what I needed to help me progress as a photographer. I found their knowledge and experience invaluable and would recommend their service to anyone looking to take a photographic business forward. Nice biscuits too.”

www.nathangallagherphotography.com

NG

‘Charlotte Bradbury, Loughborough for Lloyds Banking Group’ © Nathan Gallagher (more…)

Ask An Agent / Can A Photographer Have Another Job?

March 28, 2014

LisaASKanAgentsmaller

Ask an Agent is a regular monthly column that answers all your dilemmas about the business of photography – a sort of photography agony aunt. Whatever area of the industry you are in, if you have any questions you’d like to ask please send them to askanagent@lisapritchard.com

Dear Ask an Agent,

I wanted to ask you what you thought about a photographer having another job as well as being a photographer? I left University just over four years ago and since then have been assisting, retouching and doing the odd commission myself. I must admit I didn’t quite realise how difficult it would be to earn a decent living as a photographer and expected just to be doing my own photography by now. Will it always be like this? Should I keep striving to be a full time professional photographer or do you think in fact there is no shame in doing other jobs and should I accept that this is the way it will always be?

Anonymous photographer

Many thanks for your question. If it makes you feel any better there are many, many other aspiring and more established photographers in the same boat as you. Coming out of University and breaking into the industry is difficult enough and the on going, challenging economic climate doesn’t help.

But don’t feel despondent, it’s a brilliant industry to be in and there is no shame in having another ‘job’ whilst you build your career as a photographer or in fact decide that you quite like the security of having other paid work and want to continue to do this.

Ideally of course it’s preferable to combine a photography related vocation at least with being a photographer, enabling you to make contacts and get more valuable experience in the industry. Having said that, it probably needs to be a job with some flexibility, either freelance or part time would enable you to continue to build you own business.

Like any business I guess the only downside is that while you are taking on other work, you might end up spreading yourself too thinly and lack focus on building up your own photography business. At some point you probably will need to come to a decision. The way I see it is that you basically have three choices:

1) Find funding from elsewhere and throw your all into your own photography business, shooting personal work, marketing and networking. The more time, effort (and money is cleverly spent) you put into it, the quicker you’ll reach your goal. But then of course you need to be 100% confident that you have what it takes to succeed and most importantly can build a strong brand that the market will buy into.

2) Continue bringing in other revenue streams whilst you build up your career as a photographer. Just as you are with assisting and retouching.

3) Resign yourself to the fact that you won’t be able to make as much money as you want or need with just your own photography and put just as much importance on building up a compatible side-line. Again your retouching could work. It may be that this other ‘job’ might take over and you might end up taking a different career path than you first set out to do. But then again you may find a fabulous new revenue stream that will compliment and drive forward your photography career perfectly. It doesn’t have to be retouching, although it’s easier to play to your strengths and experience. I’ve met photographers who, aside from shooting their own commissions, shoot moving image and behind the scenes videos for other photographers; those that run workshops and teach; those that are location scouts and producers; some that also picture edit or write; and I was just reading the other day about a pet photographer who has also set up a dog modelling agency – the possibilities are multiple and varied!

Only you can decide.

Please Note:
We reserve the right to shorten questions due to space constraints.
We reserve the right not to enter into ongoing correspondence.
We reserve the right not to answer all questions.
Please state whether you would like to remain anonymous.
This advice should be taken as a guide only. Lisa Pritchard and LPA take no responsibility for any omissions or errors. Please seek professional legal advice should you require it.

Ask An Agent / Photographing Kids

February 28, 2014

Ask an Agent is a regular monthly column that answers all your dilemmas about the business of photography – a sort of photography agony aunt. Whatever area of the industry you are in, if you have any questions you’d like to ask please send them to askanagent@lisapritchard.com

 LisaASKanAgent5

I’ve been asked to put some costs together for a shoot with babies and toddlers. I have some personal shots of kids in my folio but have never been commissioned by a client to photography them. Can you tell me the things I need to be aware of when organising a shoot with kids. The client is a supermarket and the shoot is through an advertising agency.

Rebecca Dixon, Photographer.

I can indeed, here at LPA we have done lots of shoots with children and there are some specific things that you need to bear in mind as it can be a minefield!

Children’s Performance Licences

A performance licence is required in the UK (and many other countries) when a child under the age of 16 is required to work on a shoot as a model. This is to protect the welfare of the child, for example to check that they are fit and healthy enough to work and are not working too many days in a given year.

You need to apply for the licence from the children’s employment officer at the borough council where the child lives. It isn’t expensive, is usually a straightforward procedure and the councils rarely reject the application. You should allow up to 10 days but be aware it can take up to 21 working days. You must take this paperwork to the shoot, we have been inspected several times! Not getting a licence can result in a hefty fine.

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© Michela Nale

KH_WhiteRose

© Kerry Harrison (more…)

Ask An Agent / Photographers Dining Club Special / Getting Commissioned

January 31, 2014

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© Chris Brock / Lisa chatting with Christine de Blangy and Harry Borden


Ask an Agent is a regular monthly column that answers all your dilemmas about the business of photography – a sort of photography agony aunt. Whatever area of the industry you are in, if you have any questions you’d like to ask please send them to askanagent@lisapritchard.com

Lisa recently hosted a panel discussion at recent venture Photographers Dining Club on the subject of Getting Commissioned. The panel included influential commissioners Christine De Blangy from Leo Burnett, Daniel Moorey from Adam and Eve DDB and Emma Bowkett from FT Weekend Magazine plus legendary photographers Harry Borden, David Stewart and Chris Floyd. This month, in an Ask an Agent special, we bring you an agent’s perspective on the questions tackled.

What do you think is the most effective approach to getting commissioned?

a) Approaching clients directly with fully formed ideas the client just needs to find space and budget for.
b) Approaching clients directly with your portfolio and letting them know you’re available for commissions of their choice.
c) Putting work out there through your own channels and waiting for clients to contact you.

Andy Waterman

I’ve always maintained that getting commissioned is rarely a result of a one off marketing tactic. I read somewhere once that you need to make contact with a potential customer seven times before even registering in their consciousness; whether that includes a folio meeting, a really cool mailshot or a top ranking place when you are googled it doesn’t really matter.

To get commissioned you need to remain in the back of the minds of potential commissioners at all times, and you can utilise a variety of methods to do this. Having said this, it’s not just about a tactical, consistent marketing approach. You can be reaching your potential commissioners constantly with your images, whether or not they connect and remember those images and whether or not they are then encouraged to commission you is a different matter. It’s a waste of time if the images don’t make the right impression.

In fact, it always surprises me how many successful photographers don’t seem to have a formal marketing plan, they appear to go from one commission to the next almost by luck, and this was confirmed to a certain extent by the photographers talks at the recent Photographers Dining Club. But what did occur to me is that these types of photographers have something in common. They consistently create great images that have impact and they are passionate and driven about their work, and I reckon this is what creates the luck (and therefore the commissions!)

So, my answer would be a combination of a), b) and c) at the very least but it only works if you produce consistently strong images and are passionate about your work.

AskAnAgent4

© Rowan Fee
A personal project by Rowan (the boots on the left) which inspired agency Kitcatt Nohr Digitas to commission him to shoot this Nikon camera in a similar way for John Lewis


To specialise or not. When viewing a folio would you like to see a variety of work or only the most relevant images?

Travis Hodges

3rd

Above: Example of a portfolio bound by Delta Design (more…)

Ask an Agent / Christmas in Summer!?

December 18, 2013

Ask an Agent is a regular monthly column that answers all your dilemmas about the business of photography – a sort of photography agony aunt. Whatever area of the industry you are in, if you have any questions you’d like to ask please send them to askanagent@lisapritchard.com. 

_NIC7496A-SANTA

I noticed on Twitter that you’ve been shooting a Christmas themed shoot over the past week – how on earth do you do that in this weather?!
Chloe Whitehouse

Thanks for your question Chloe ( and thanks Tom for my lovely beard!) I’ve been saving this one for my annual festive themed ‘Ask an Agent’! The shoot you’re referring to was for Coca-Cola, shot by Nick Daly in the middle of the heat wave this summer. It must have been 35C when the team were having to get  estive with roast turkeys, Christmas trees and presents! In addition to Coca-Cola, we’ve also shot ‘Christmas’ in the summer for clients such as Boots and Harvester – we even did Halloween in January! We asked supremely talented LPA stylist Alice Timms how she makes it look like Christmas whatever time of the year it is.

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Alice Timms and Ros Keep (in sandals!) decorating a tree on set for the Boots Christmas catalogue.

Much of the Christmas shoot styling for advertising is done in July, which can bring quite a unique set of challenges. One of the main challenge is getting hold of all the decorations so far away from Christmas, so this requires a bit of forward planning and a  good knowledge of where to go.

There are props houses that stock a selection, but you can’t just rely on these, so luckily there are specific shops that specialise in Christmas all year round. I have also been buying up decorations in the January sales for a while so have built up a good selection now of my own which I can use. It encourages you to be more creative and I have also made decorations from items available in haberdashery shops all year round, such as tassels and sequins. Paper wedding decorations also work well, and wrapping paper makes good paper chains.

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Alice and her home-made paper chains.

Christmas trees can be quite tricky to source in July, so I have a couple of back up fake trees at home, but if we need a real one then I have used a Christmas tree farm up in the far north of Scotland. The tree had to be cut at midnight the evening before the shoot and couriered down overnight. The problem in July is that the trees get lots of new growth which is a different colour so it needs trimming and lots and lots of water, as they don’t like the heat. It needs to be kept outside in the shade until the last minute when you need to dress it, and then you have to be careful as the branches are too floppy to hold decorations that are too heavy. Tree branches with fairy lights also make good out of focus backgrounds.

IMG_5110
Getting that troublesome tree to look its best!

It might be 35 degrees and a heatwave, so I am used to decorating trees in my sandals now, we put on Christmas hats and listen to some jingle bells and get into the festive spirit. By the time Christmas really comes around , I have set it up already on 5 shoots so I leave it to my children to decorate our tree at home!

Thanks for that Alice! From a production point of view, we’ve covered everything from getting fake snow in the summer to arranging holiday shoots in the thick of winter – we know how to get the results whatever the weather or season!

Hopefully this has been helpful – make sure stay tuned for lots more handy tips and advice in 2014 – Merry Christmas to you all!

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29 Oct 2014