Q&A: 7 Things A Good Photographer Will Ask You When Preparing Your Quote
You’ve got your short list of two or three commercial photographers you like the look of. You’ve seen their portfolios and you think it will appeal to your target market. Not only that, but you like cut of their jib and now you want to make contact… [insert space odyssey music here] What the &*^% happens now? Well, a conversation, then maybe a quote.
One way or another the photographer is probably going to want to talk to you - Yes. Have an actual conversation where words are exchanged. At least, the good ones will.
This is because they’ll want to ask you a few questions – some of which you may not know the answer to. That’s okay, but the more information you can give them, the more accurate your quote will be. Here’s a list of what an experienced photographer should ask you.
What do you want shot?
It could be your staff, an office space, a piece of equipment, your field specialists at work, your onsite operations, an aerial view of your site… anything!
This tells the photographer what kind of job it is, if they are likely to need assistance from other professionals (like makeup artists), and what specialist equipment they may need to source (like a helicopter).
Who is your target market for this shoot?
It could be your clients, your staff, your shareholders, your stakeholders, the government, lobby groups, or the general public. Are they predominantly male or female? Which age group do fall into? What defines your target market?
This tells the photographer how they need to shoot the images to make sure they appeal to your intended market.
Why do you want these things shot?
Are you trying to show your clients how you utilise technology in your operations? Do you want to show your clients how experienced you are? Are you trying to give your company a real face by showing off your wonderful staff? Do you want to sell your products online?
This helps the photographer understand what you think the important features of the images are, which tells them what they need to prioritise.
What do you want your target market to feel or experience when they view the images?
Do you want your clients to have confidence in you as a market leader? Do you want your stakeholders to have faith that you are treating the environment respectfully? Are you trying to wow your shareholders with the amazing goals your team has achieved this year?
This helps the photographer figure out how the job will need to be shot, both in terms of style and logistics, to achieve the feeling you’re chasing.
What will you use the images for?
Are the images going in an annual report, on a website or billboard, are they simply for record keeping, all or none of the above?
This tells the photographer not only what equipment is required for the shoot also how the files will need to be prepared after they’ve been shot.
Where will the images appear?
Are the images just for use in your local area, across the state, Australia-wide, international?
This helps the photographer figure out what type of licencing agreement will be required.
Specific retouching requirements
Are you trying to combine multiple images or need very high end retouching of your images?
This tells the photographer if they can complete the post production themselves or if they need to hire a specialist to complete the job with them.
Why all the freakin' questions, man?
All these questions give an experienced photographer important information, helping them prepare a highly accurate quote. This means you get no nasty surprises during or after the shoot.
- Well, if you've already narrowed down your short list of photographers, and know what's going to happen beginning to end, the next step is to ask the photographer some pointy questions to help determine if they're the right one for you.
- If you're brave you could dive right into copyright & contracts, or
- You could contact me if you want some help preparing a brief or a quote