canon rumors FORUM

Gear Talk => Canon General => Topic started by: jdramirez on June 22, 2013, 10:13:56 PM

Title: REVISED W/ CONTRACT INFO Is this a fair offer for an on location job?
Post by: jdramirez on June 22, 2013, 10:13:56 PM
I'm an amateur photographer and I think I'm looking to take that step to semi-professional photog.  There is a Civil War reenactment coming up and the opportunity to hangout on the "battle field" and snap a few action shots  has come up.  If they paid me in donuts and cocaine, I'd probably do it despite being on a diet and drug free since '83 (I just liked the rhyme... there isn't a story about what happened in 1983 when I was 6 years old).

Well, compensation is $100 for the day which would amount to maybe a 90 minute round trip drive for me and probably a 2 hour "battle".  Seriously how long could a reenactment last?  I presume I would give up all copyright over my photos and they would potentially be published as a calendar, postcards, or in a book.  I might get a credit in a book, but I would doubt I would keep any rights to the images.

So is that a fair offer?  Again... I'm going to do it... but I read an article a few years ago about not working for peanuts or free because that just hurts the entire industry.

I haven't been offered the gig yet or told the specific details about residuals, but I am also trying to be realistic and not being too naive.

Thanks for responding.  John Mulaney has a line about being naive.  You're gonna give me a whole $100 for all my songs Mr. Gordy?!?
Title: Re: Is this a fair offer for an on location job?
Post by: Jim Saunders on June 22, 2013, 10:27:55 PM
$100 for a day of work?  Not like that.  If it were two or so hours at a venue close at hand then maybe.

Jim
Title: Re: Is this a fair offer for an on location job?
Post by: jdramirez on June 22, 2013, 11:00:09 PM
$100 for a day of work?  Not like that.  If it were two or so hours at a venue close at hand then maybe.

Jim

OK... then what would fair compensation for a job like that be including copyright?
Title: Re: Is this a fair offer for an on location job?
Post by: Jim Saunders on June 22, 2013, 11:06:41 PM
I look at it like this:

Money for gas for the drive
Money for a meal
Your time at the event
Your time on post-production
The rights to your work

What the last three are worth are flexible I suppose, but an hour and a half each way at 4 bucks a gallon is no small thing.

Jim
Title: Re: Is this a fair offer for an on location job?
Post by: Hobby Shooter on June 22, 2013, 11:06:49 PM
I would say that you have to start somewhere. Never mind about the industry, the industry doesn't care about you. If you think it's a good way to get experience, then go for it. At leat it's a paid job and you get one under your belt. Next one to hire you won't know how much/little you got paid. But try to get to keep the photos at least.

thanks
J
Title: Re: Is this a fair offer for an on location job?
Post by: dexstrose on June 23, 2013, 12:01:47 AM
At my previous job, they paid stringers 125 for about 1-2 hour event shoot.

I would do it to advance my skills and try something diffrent. Maybe you can build a relationship and get more referrals in the future. Also you can expose your equipment and self to a new expririence. Have fun and do something than the normal.

Good luck!
Title: Re: Is this a fair offer for an on location job?
Post by: Jim Saunders on June 23, 2013, 12:23:05 AM
At my previous job, they paid stringers 125 for about 1-2 hour event shoot.

I would do it to advance my skills and try something diffrent. Maybe you can build a relationship and get more referrals in the future. Also you can expose your equipment and self to a new expririence. Have fun and do something than the normal.

Good luck!

Right, so that for my time, gas money and a modest meal adds up to terms I'd consider at this point in my life.

Jim
Title: Re: Is this a fair offer for an on location job?
Post by: RGF on June 23, 2013, 12:51:19 AM
At my previous job, they paid stringers 125 for about 1-2 hour event shoot.

I would do it to advance my skills and try something diffrent. Maybe you can build a relationship and get more referrals in the future. Also you can expose your equipment and self to a new expririence. Have fun and do something than the normal.

Good luck!

Right, so that for my time, gas money and a modest meal adds up to terms I'd consider at this point in my life.

Jim

3 hours driving (90 minutes each way).  Call that 120 miles, 20 MPG, 6 gallons of gas @ $4/gallon = $25.
2 hours there, 1 hour wait time (getting set up, leaving), 2 hours post processing = 5 hours or $15/hour.  Barely above minimum wage.  If you post processing, send jpgs, agree upon starting and stoping time, then maybe.

Do you get photo credits?  That might be the draw to building a reputation.
Title: Re: Is this a fair offer for an on location job?
Post by: scottkinfw on June 23, 2013, 01:00:41 AM
Here is my 2 cents.

I agree that you need to start somewhere.

The $100.00 is really nothing, and will just cover expenses.  If this was a "meet up" would you do it for free just because it is interesting or because you could learn something?

Also, nothing like actually being paid to do something to really understand the responsibility.  You will learn a lot from the experience, and you may get leads.  This may be more valuable than the money.

I would keep the copyrights but allow them to use the pics with restrictions that you see fit- that is fair given the small remuneration. 

Title: Re: Is this a fair offer for an on location job?
Post by: Normalnorm on June 23, 2013, 02:00:03 AM
Consider the $100 a scholarship towards the tuition you are paying in the school of real life.

At this school you will learn:
What clients want and how quickly they expect it.
How to shoot an event
How to deal with the "models"
What things cost
AND how long an event takes
AND how long post processing takes

This will not be learned from this one gig but from many over a period of time. At the end of your education you will be well informed as to what you need to charge, if you have clients that will pay that, and, most importantly, if you want to make your living doing it.

Best of luck.
Title: Re: Is this a fair offer for an on location job?
Post by: bdunbar79 on June 23, 2013, 02:10:54 AM
At my previous job, they paid stringers 125 for about 1-2 hour event shoot.

I would do it to advance my skills and try something diffrent. Maybe you can build a relationship and get more referrals in the future. Also you can expose your equipment and self to a new expririence. Have fun and do something than the normal.

Good luck!

Right, so that for my time, gas money and a modest meal adds up to terms I'd consider at this point in my life.

Jim

3 hours driving (90 minutes each way).  Call that 120 miles, 20 MPG, 6 gallons of gas @ $4/gallon = $25.
2 hours there, 1 hour wait time (getting set up, leaving), 2 hours post processing = 5 hours or $15/hour.  Barely above minimum wage.  If you post processing, send jpgs, agree upon starting and stoping time, then maybe.

Do you get photo credits?  That might be the draw to building a reputation.

Actually, it's 45 minutes one way:  90 minutes round trip.
Title: Re: Is this a fair offer for an on location job?
Post by: CanadianInvestor on June 23, 2013, 06:22:48 AM
Keep the rights to your images, and, as for what you feel is a fair fee, ask them for a receipt in that amount if the organiser is a charitable outfit.  If your client is well endowed and they get money for their activities, you should bill them a decent amount as the Canon rumour-mongers here have stated.

Good luck and enjoy.  Only in my dreams will I have the good fortune to be in this quandary.
Title: Re: Is this a fair offer for an on location job?
Post by: bycostello on June 23, 2013, 06:41:29 AM
never give your copyright away....
Title: Re: Is this a fair offer for an on location job?
Post by: expatinasia on June 23, 2013, 07:08:52 AM
I presume I would give up all copyright over my photos and they would potentially be published as a calendar, postcards, or in a book.  I might get a credit in a book, but I would doubt I would keep any rights to the images.

Never, ever assume or presume when it comes to business. If they do not have a contract in place, make sure you outline exactly what you will provide them and if possible get them to sign or at the very least agree to what you have written.

Don't be afraid to put your foot down and ask for more money, or the right to a percentage of the picture sales (calendars, postcards etc.).

It may be worthwhile speaking to some of the guys taking part, sell them a package. People do buy pictures of themselves but you have to make it easy for them (automate it online etc).

Remember that you are providing a service.
Title: Re: Is this a fair offer for an on location job?
Post by: tron on June 23, 2013, 07:16:59 AM
I wouldn't do it if I didn't keep the copyright of my work period.
It isn't worth even for practicing. I believe they are trying to take advantage of you.
Title: Re: Is this a fair offer for an on location job?
Post by: jdramirez on June 23, 2013, 07:42:01 AM
I look at it like this:

Money for gas for the drive
Money for a meal
Your time at the event
Your time on post-production
The rights to your work

What the last three are worth are flexible I suppose, but an hour and a half each way at 4 bucks a gallon is no small thing.

Jim

I do agree that I would not drive 90 minutes... so that is an extra expense.  And I do realize people get paid for food when they are out on a job, but I'm pretty sure that I was planning on eating anyway that day... so I consider it a wash. 

My time at the event... if I was a professional and I could be doing something else that would be making money, sure... but otherwise I will be at the pool with the wife and kid wondering what time we are going to go home.  So I almost will give this up for free because it sounds more interesting and exciting than the alternative. 

I'm not sure about post... and it is a huge pain in the ass to work over 500+ photos in lightroom... But for publishing purposes, wouldn't someone want the raw image themselves and then adjust it to their liking.  I'm not sure, but considering this is supposed to be civil war reenactment, I would assume they would want to sepia everything.

As for the rights, I suppose I can negotiate the rights to those, keeping the copyright for myself, but giving them total unrestricted use of the images as long as they provide me a credit in the publication... and a copy of whatever is produced. 

They may be getting me on the cheap... I realize that, but this would officially vault me from amateur to semi-pro with a near guaranteed publishing credit.  Seems like I'm getting a good deal more out of this just for giving up a weekend.
Title: Re: Is this a fair offer for an on location job?
Post by: jdramirez on June 23, 2013, 07:45:26 AM
I would say that you have to start somewhere. Never mind about the industry, the industry doesn't care about you. If you think it's a good way to get experience, then go for it. At leat it's a paid job and you get one under your belt. Next one to hire you won't know how much/little you got paid. But try to get to keep the photos at least.

thanks
J

I agree... but I have mostly been shooting for praise... the last 5 years...  Praise can't buy me a double cheeseburger and McDonalds. 

"Um, I got this very nice thank you letter for taking photos... Will I be getting any change back?"

I don't want to become a full time photographer, but to become a freelance doing an occasional fun event with the ability to roam where I want and to do interesting things (I presume) simply because I have a camera in hand... That seems more like fun.
Title: Re: Is this a fair offer for an on location job?
Post by: jdramirez on June 23, 2013, 07:47:18 AM
At my previous job, they paid stringers 125 for about 1-2 hour event shoot.

I would do it to advance my skills and try something diffrent. Maybe you can build a relationship and get more referrals in the future. Also you can expose your equipment and self to a new expririence. Have fun and do something than the normal.

Good luck!

The outfit is a small organization, doing mostly self-published books about fishing.  I think they are branching out... so I don't think more jobs will come directly from them, but having a letter of recommendation certainly might help get more little jobs.  So that would be a plus. 
Title: Re: Is this a fair offer for an on location job?
Post by: nebugeater on June 23, 2013, 08:01:16 AM
On of the Mud Runs in the area was advesting on Craigslist for a gig like this a little over a month ago.  To the best that I remember there ad specified close to teh following.

Must have a DSLR and lens   Specifiy in the respose what you have
Must have multiple bateries   Specify in resonse
Must be willing to be at event 8 + hours
Will be located at one location for the day
Event will supply memory cards
Expect to take between 1000 - 2000 photos
Photos are owned by the event
Compensation = $200

Not of interest to me but I am guessing they got plenty of response.
Title: Re: Is this a fair offer for an on location job?
Post by: docholliday on June 23, 2013, 08:06:11 AM
You could take the $100, chalk it up to experience. Only send them full size edited JPGs. Enjoy the shoot, rub some elbows, and have fun.

However, I would give them only the JPGs WITH a release authorization for publication/web/whatever you feel is acceptable. That way, they know you mean business. They'll get to use the images for the intended purpose, but since you've handed over the release for specific purpose, they don't take advantage of you.

Be sure to get it up front what is expected AND written on paper. You could even send an email as a follow up before shooting "just to be sure things are in order". A contract is only worth the paper it's written on. The email is better than nothing. I usually do an "agreement" (contract is a bad word) and follow up with an email 24-48 hours before the shoot. That way, there are no surprises.
Title: Re: Is this a fair offer for an on location job?
Post by: Hobby Shooter on June 23, 2013, 08:32:12 AM
I would say that you have to start somewhere. Never mind about the industry, the industry doesn't care about you. If you think it's a good way to get experience, then go for it. At leat it's a paid job and you get one under your belt. Next one to hire you won't know how much/little you got paid. But try to get to keep the photos at least.

thanks
J

I agree... but I have mostly been shooting for praise... the last 5 years...  Praise can't buy me a double cheeseburger and McDonalds. 

"Um, I got this very nice thank you letter for taking photos... Will I be getting any change back?"

I don't want to become a full time photographer, but to become a freelance doing an occasional fun event with the ability to roam where I want and to do interesting things (I presume) simply because I have a camera in hand... That seems more like fun.

I think we agree on this. Ive 'given' away a few shoots to gain experience but think now that next time I will charge for it. The only money Ive made has been from print sales of some portraits and street photography. I'd also like to put myself  in the situation where I can take a paid gig every now and then. It might be naive but at least Im not financially dependant on it.
Title: Re: Is this a fair offer for an on location job?
Post by: dstppy on June 23, 2013, 08:39:39 AM
At my previous job, they paid stringers 125 for about 1-2 hour event shoot.

I would do it to advance my skills and try something diffrent. Maybe you can build a relationship and get more referrals in the future. Also you can expose your equipment and self to a new expririence. Have fun and do something than the normal.

Good luck!

The outfit is a small organization, doing mostly self-published books about fishing.  I think they are branching out... so I don't think more jobs will come directly from them, but having a letter of recommendation certainly might help get more little jobs.  So that would be a plus.

A picture is worth a thousand words, as they say.  A letter of recommendation is just a bunch of words, so, an amazing shot in your portfolio will speak volumes more to a potential client.

The only advice you were given in any of the posts here that I have an opinion on is copyright.  I've never dealt with (as a client) a photographer that was willing to release it cheaply.  Now, being on the other end of the lens, I have a very possessive attitude about my photographs.

If you think you'll get interesting/good shots, go for it, but even if you give them the right to publish/print, keep your rights . . . require credit when published, set parameters on how it can be sold.
Title: Re: Is this a fair offer for an on location job?
Post by: paul13walnut5 on June 23, 2013, 09:34:18 AM
You aspire to be a semi-professional? 

What is a semi-professional?  It's a term devised by marketing folk to upsell from base models. 

If you want to be a professional then take out liability insurance (in case any of the actors fall over your gear) equipment insurance (in case your gear gets pranged) and indemnity insurance (in case your photos don't work out for any reason and the event promotors seek redress - if you enter a contract to take images for them and you for some reason don't then they will probably sue you) remember also to do your books, so you can pay your dues of income tax and corporate tax (hire an accountant to see what of your expenses you can claim against the $100)

I'm not saying this to be facetious, just that is what professional means, and your are either doing it as a professional (with the pressure and expectations and legal ramifications) or you are doing it because you'll enjoy it and learn from it and get your petrol money and lunch covered.

Regarding copyright, this would be covered in the contract.  You may decide a limited license, stating that copyright cannot be transferred to a third party other than by you, or define explicit terms of use. 

This is the problem with amateurs vs professionals...  amateurs get a bit possessive about money after the event, professionals have it all sorted before they turn a frame.

I do video professionally, for a large media company and some freelance.  If I'm getting paid for time and for the use of my equipment then I just see it that whoever paying me has the copyright. 

Would you otherwise be taking images of the event?  It sounds like yes.  Will this offer give you better access and potentially better pictures?  It sounds like yes.  If you refuse the offer will they hire in a professional?  It sounds like no.

Not much help I know, but some issues to think about.  And never use the term semi-professional.  It only exsists in camera shops.  If you do start making money from your hobby and turn it into something else (and this is a whole new debate, the fun starts to go, it's no longer yours) do you expect to only get semi-paid?
Title: Re: Is this a fair offer for an on location job?
Post by: jdramirez on June 23, 2013, 09:46:43 AM
 I appreciate the help.  I consider professionals as someone who earns the bulk of their income from being in their profession,  in  this case as a photographer.  I  consider a  semi-pro  as  someone who earns money  but if they stopped tomorrow,  they  don't have to sell their house or car.

 Regardless of whether you are a semi-pro or pro,  professionalism  should be a given.   showing up on time and prepared,  with quick turnarounds,  with a high quality product. 
 
You aspire to be a semi-professional? 

What is a semi-professional?  It's a term devised by marketing folk to upsell from base models. 

If you want to be a professional then take out liability insurance (in case any of the actors fall over your gear) equipment insurance (in case your gear gets pranged) and indemnity insurance (in case your photos don't work out for any reason and the event promotors seek redress - if you enter a contract to take images for them and you for some reason don't then they will probably sue you) remember also to do your books, so you can pay your dues of income tax and corporate tax (hire an accountant to see what of your expenses you can claim against the $100)

I'm not saying this to be facetious, just that is what professional means, and your are either doing it as a professional (with the pressure and expectations and legal ramifications) or you are doing it because you'll enjoy it and learn from it and get your petrol money and lunch covered.

Regarding copyright, this would be covered in the contract.  You may decide a limited license, stating that copyright cannot be transferred to a third party other than by you, or define explicit terms of use. 

This is the problem with amateurs vs professionals...  amateurs get a bit possessive about money after the event, professionals have it all sorted before they turn a frame.

I do video professionally, for a large media company and some freelance.  If I'm getting paid for time and for the use of my equipment then I just see it that whoever paying me has the copyright. 

Would you otherwise be taking images of the event?  It sounds like yes.  Will this offer give you better access and potentially better pictures?  It sounds like yes.  If you refuse the offer will they hire in a professional?  It sounds like no.

Not much help I know, but some issues to think about.  And never use the term semi-professional.  It only exsists in camera shops.  If you do start making money from your hobby and turn it into something else (and this is a whole new debate, the fun starts to go, it's no longer yours) do you expect to only get semi-paid?
Title: Re: Is this a fair offer for an on location job?
Post by: paul13walnut5 on June 23, 2013, 10:23:05 AM
Good luck with it if you take it on, would be interested in seeing your images.  I'm snapping some jousting at linlithgow next weekend, just for fun, hopefully have my 7d back by then
Title: Re: Is this a fair offer for an on location job?
Post by: Pag on June 23, 2013, 10:44:21 AM
I'm looking into offering my photography skills for money too, so this discussion is of interest to me. Regarding fees, one thing that can be educational is to look at gear renting service (like http://www.lensrentalscanada.com/ (http://www.lensrentalscanada.com/)) and see how much it costs to rent the gear you need for the shoot.

For example, the minimum to rent a 60D, a 18-200mm and a 10-22mm (which seems like a low cost combo that would cover your needs for this event) is 234$ (probably plus shipping and taxes). If it costs 234$ to rent the equipment for the shoot, why should it cost less than that to rent the equipment in addition to a skilled person to handle the equipment and process the pictures? If you weren't there, they would have to pay more to have just the camera and the lenses!

Here's another way to look at it. Around my place, you would be hard pressed to find a plumber to work for much less than 100$ per hour. You are providing your clients with marketing material that will help them promote their event and sell various products (calendars, etc.) -- to me that sounds more valuable than hiring a plumber. It may sound like a lot of money per hour, but remember that you're also paying for transport, equipment, insurance, marketing, time spent negotiating the contract, accounting, heck even the downtime between projects (I bet your day job keeps paying you even if work is a bit low one week), etc.

With that said, I'm not saying you should necessarily say no to this offer. If it sounds like fun, or a great learning opportunity then maybe it's worth it. But don't think you're doing it for the money, because I don't think they're paying you fairly. You're doing it for fun, and the money is a nice extra. And keep the copyright, otherwise you won't even be able to use those shots in your portfolio.
Title: Re: Is this a fair offer for an on location job?
Post by: alexanderferdinand on June 23, 2013, 11:37:39 AM
Its not only a matter to ruin the other photographers income, you should never sell yourself too cheap.
It seems to be a psychological fact: if this is so cheap, can't be worth much.
And to postprocess this amount of pictures will last, I know this; cause you want to the pictures to look good.

Ok, you will learn. But the others have too.
Title: Re: Is this a fair offer for an on location job?
Post by: unfocused on June 23, 2013, 11:44:51 AM
Paul Walnut makes some good points. I'll add a few thoughts of my own.

If this a public re-enactment? In other words, do they invite the public to come out and watch? Or is it a closed set, such as for a movie or documentary.

I'm guessing it's a public or semi-public event, in which case anyone with a camera could come out and shoot pictures. They are then paying you $100 so they can get guaranteed access to your pictures and the ability to use those pictures.

Are they paying you enough? Is it fair? Not really, but then again, they are paying you $100 and presumably giving you some access that others don't have. Also, they may or may not be publishing your pictures. Since this a resume builder for you, only you can decide if it is worth it.

What I would not do, though, is offer them any sort of exclusive right to your photos. You want to retain your own ability to use the photos in your portfolio. If they just want a hundred or so nice JPGS that are processed and ready for conversion into CMYK, that's one thing. If they want you to agree not to use the pictures yourself, that's quite another. That's why it is important if this is a public event. If it is, then they don't really have much ability to restrict or limit how you use the pictures.

Personally, I'd try to negotiate photo credits and 25-50 copies of any publication they may use them in. That's far more useful to you than the $100.

Most importantly, I would strongly urge you to treat this like a job paying $10,000.

That means, doing research on the group beforehand. Clearing your day of everything else. Getting there early in the morning and shooting them setting up, getting ready, etc. etc., talking to the re-enactors to find out what roles they are playing (most model themselves after a specific person or create their own persona), asking them how the "battle" has been scripted (who gives the orders to charge, fire, etc. and etc.,) scope out the best vantage points, shoot detail shots before the action happens, shoot portraits before the action happens, etc. etc.

Many times, the re-enactors come in the night before and set up camp with tents, etc. Find out if that is the case and be prepared to show up the evening before to shoot some of that activity.

Why do this? First, to get the best pictures possible and second, to show them that you are a professional, even if they don't pay you like one. If people ask you what you are getting paid, tell them you are doing this as a pro-bono project because you want to help the organization.

After the event, turn around the images as quickly as you can. Give them a great selection of nicely processed images in both full size jpg and web-optimized formats. Make sure you clearly label them as such in their file names, so they don't try to use a 72ppi image in a publication. Give them the images on a USB drive.

You want to leave them with the impression that you are professional and you want them to spread the word around their peers that this person is a real pro and shot the best pictures they've ever seen.

Finally, by treating this as a professional job, you'll get a taste for what it entails. You'll understand better how many hours such an assignment really requires and you'll be better able to gauge 1) if doing this on a professional basis is worth it to you and 2) if the market could ever bear the cost that would be required to make this profitable for you.
Title: Re: Is this a fair offer for an on location job?
Post by: infared on June 23, 2013, 11:57:14 AM
For that amount of compensation, I would leave my camera at home and just bring a musket for any shooting I would be doing.  :D
Title: Re: Is this a fair offer for an on location job?
Post by: zim on June 23, 2013, 12:53:53 PM
Paul Walnut makes some good points. I'll add a few thoughts of my own.

If this a public re-enactment? In other words, do they invite the public to come out and watch? Or is it a closed set, such as for a movie or documentary.

I'm guessing it's a public or semi-public event, in which case anyone with a camera could come out and shoot pictures. They are then paying you $100 so they can get guaranteed access to your pictures and the ability to use those pictures.

Are they paying you enough? Is it fair? Not really, but then again, they are paying you $100 and presumably giving you some access that others don't have. Also, they may or may not be publishing your pictures. Since this a resume builder for you, only you can decide if it is worth it.

What I would not do, though, is offer them any sort of exclusive right to your photos. You want to retain your own ability to use the photos in your portfolio. If they just want a hundred or so nice JPGS that are processed and ready for conversion into CMYK, that's one thing. If they want you to agree not to use the pictures yourself, that's quite another. That's why it is important if this is a public event. If it is, then they don't really have much ability to restrict or limit how you use the pictures.

Personally, I'd try to negotiate photo credits and 25-50 copies of any publication they may use them in. That's far more useful to you than the $100.

Most importantly, I would strongly urge you to treat this like a job paying $10,000.

That means, doing research on the group beforehand. Clearing your day of everything else. Getting there early in the morning and shooting them setting up, getting ready, etc. etc., talking to the re-enactors to find out what roles they are playing (most model themselves after a specific person or create their own persona), asking them how the "battle" has been scripted (who gives the orders to charge, fire, etc. and etc.,) scope out the best vantage points, shoot detail shots before the action happens, shoot portraits before the action happens, etc. etc.

Many times, the re-enactors come in the night before and set up camp with tents, etc. Find out if that is the case and be prepared to show up the evening before to shoot some of that activity.

Why do this? First, to get the best pictures possible and second, to show them that you are a professional, even if they don't pay you like one. If people ask you what you are getting paid, tell them you are doing this as a pro-bono project because you want to help the organization.

After the event, turn around the images as quickly as you can. Give them a great selection of nicely processed images in both full size jpg and web-optimized formats. Make sure you clearly label them as such in their file names, so they don't try to use a 72ppi image in a publication. Give them the images on a USB drive.

You want to leave them with the impression that you are professional and you want them to spread the word around their peers that this person is a real pro and shot the best pictures they've ever seen.

Finally, by treating this as a professional job, you'll get a taste for what it entails. You'll understand better how many hours such an assignment really requires and you'll be better able to gauge 1) if doing this on a professional basis is worth it to you and 2) if the market could ever bear the cost that would be required to make this profitable for you.

that advice is worth more than $100 !
Title: Re: Is this a fair offer for an on location job?
Post by: bdunbar79 on June 23, 2013, 01:25:38 PM
I don't give out advice on message boards, because I'm just too big of a pro.  (grins)

Anyways, my advice.  Do it for $100.  Learn as much as you possibly can and time everything.  See how long it takes you from start to finish.  This will give you a good idea of what kind of an effort this takes.  I know $100 isn't much, but I help out the Mansfield News Journal, and they pay me $40 to show up, $10 for front page photo, and then $2/photo for the gallery.  If I give them 65 photos, that's $180 but that's a full-rate professional shoot, so to speak, so doing this for $100 isn't that bad.  You may love it or not like it at all, and this will be a great gauge to tell if you'd like to keep doing jobs for money, or remain doing it just for fun.
Title: Re: Is this a fair offer for an on location job?
Post by: docholliday on June 23, 2013, 01:33:29 PM
I appreciate the help.  I consider professionals as someone who earns the bulk of their income from being in their profession,  in  this case as a photographer.  I  consider a  semi-pro  as  someone who earns money  but if they stopped tomorrow,  they  don't have to sell their house or car.

 Regardless of whether you are a semi-pro or pro,  professionalism  should be a given.   showing up on time and prepared,  with quick turnarounds,  with a high quality product. 
 
You aspire to be a semi-professional? 

What is a semi-professional?  It's a term devised by marketing folk to upsell from base models. 

If you want to be a professional then take out liability insurance (in case any of the actors fall over your gear) equipment insurance (in case your gear gets pranged) and indemnity insurance (in case your photos don't work out for any reason and the event promotors seek redress - if you enter a contract to take images for them and you for some reason don't then they will probably sue you) remember also to do your books, so you can pay your dues of income tax and corporate tax (hire an accountant to see what of your expenses you can claim against the $100)

I'm not saying this to be facetious, just that is what professional means, and your are either doing it as a professional (with the pressure and expectations and legal ramifications) or you are doing it because you'll enjoy it and learn from it and get your petrol money and lunch covered.

Regarding copyright, this would be covered in the contract.  You may decide a limited license, stating that copyright cannot be transferred to a third party other than by you, or define explicit terms of use. 

This is the problem with amateurs vs professionals...  amateurs get a bit possessive about money after the event, professionals have it all sorted before they turn a frame.

I do video professionally, for a large media company and some freelance.  If I'm getting paid for time and for the use of my equipment then I just see it that whoever paying me has the copyright. 

Would you otherwise be taking images of the event?  It sounds like yes.  Will this offer give you better access and potentially better pictures?  It sounds like yes.  If you refuse the offer will they hire in a professional?  It sounds like no.

Not much help I know, but some issues to think about.  And never use the term semi-professional.  It only exsists in camera shops.  If you do start making money from your hobby and turn it into something else (and this is a whole new debate, the fun starts to go, it's no longer yours) do you expect to only get semi-paid?

That's the wrong way to look at it. A pro is somebody who knows 1) how to get the job done, no matter what gets thrown at them 2) has the gear at hand to do so 3) may or may not make money on the job (charity work anybody?) and 4) has the skills, insight, foresight, hindsight, and balls to output exactly what the client (even if that is themself) wants. It has nothing to do with money. I absolutely hate it when amateurs call themselves "pros" or "semi-pro". I prefer the word pro to mean "proficient", not "professional". A professional is anybody who does something for a living - doesn't mean they even need to know what they're doing. There are some "professionals" that suck at their job - but they make money at it. Remember that even in medical/law/nuclear science schools - somebody had to graduate last.

An amateur is somebody who dabbles - has fun, and may make some money on the side. They usually don't have one of the following: gear, skills, knowledge, and/or experience to get a job done when all hell breaks loose. When a shoot suddenly gets dark and needs light, they usually give up. Or, when a lens gets dropped, they don't have a backup/overlap to get the job done. The rich amateurs usually have the gear, and some knowledge, but not enough experience to fix a shot in < 10 seconds under pressure. BUT, it's not required to be an amateur - you can just say screw it and walk away! The pro has to produce the final output - or they're going to get the screwing in the end!

That's what I was saying in my last post - don't tell them your a pro, don't act like a pro - unless you plan on being dead-nuts-on proficient at producing the necessary output. And, if that's the case, I'm sure you aren't going to settle on low $$$, no contract, and lost copyrights. Instead, take the $100 as some gas money, go have fun, but be sure to let them know (in writing/email/etc) what to expect first. That "contract" is as semi-pro as you should ever be. BUT, if you want to be pro, then it's time to act like one - charge accordingly, contract solidly, backup appropriately, and know what jobs to pass on!

And, for gods sake, don't EVER give away copyright blatently and blindly to ANYONE. You shot it, so it's yours - they can have USAGE right, but you should NEVER give away images.
Title: Re: Is this a fair offer for an on location job?
Post by: Dylan777 on June 23, 2013, 01:40:09 PM
I have 4 friends(Pro wedding), they started to shoot wedding in 1996. In the first 2 years, they made almost no money. The only thing that kept them going was "PASSION".

Why?
1. Competition
2. Build your own portfolio and Reputation
3. Understand photography business
4. Strong advertising
5. ADVERTISING
6. MORE & MORE & MORE ADVERTISING

They now rent 10,000 square feet warehouse as their studio. Customers are booking them every single weekends. They even hire 4 assistants to answer phone calls etc,,,while they are out in the weekend shooting weddings. 

If you serious about photography - take the offer and get ready. Even they ONLY pay you gas money and a burger + drink. Tell them you will be using the pictures as your portfolio.

Wishing you the best and post some pictures ;)
Title: Re: Is this a fair offer for an on location job?
Post by: bdunbar79 on June 23, 2013, 01:46:30 PM
Even the universities I shoot for don't take copyright from me.  They're still all my photos as they just want useage rights.  Good point.
Title: Re: Is this a fair offer for an on location job?
Post by: tpatana on June 23, 2013, 04:15:41 PM

If you want to do it, then do it. It's not about money (always).

But, make sure to clarify with them:

For that money you'll deliver FB-quality jpegs, and you can use the photos for your own use/portfolio as you please.

If they don't accept that, well... you should still do it if you want, but try to gain leverage at least on the copyright that you _also_ can use the pics.
Title: Re: Is this a fair offer for an on location job?
Post by: emag on June 23, 2013, 04:27:31 PM
Bring the family and have fun.  Keep copyright.  Bring the fisheye.  Post some photos.
Title: Re: Is this a fair offer for an on location job?
Post by: jdramirez on June 24, 2013, 08:35:53 PM
 So to follow up, I  got the  job.   I'm getting a letter with  the details in  the  mail.

I  went ahead and got a p o  box  so I didn't have to give out my home address.   so that's 18  bucks that goes against whatever I actually make.

 so when I get the contract... I  will be picking yall's brain once again.  Thanks for the help  so far.
Title: Re: Is this a fair offer for an on location job?
Post by: tron on June 26, 2013, 09:39:22 AM
And, for gods sake, don't EVER give away copyright blatantly and blindly to ANYONE. You shot it, so it's yours - they can have USAGE right, but you should NEVER give away images.
I am not a pro, neither wishing to be one and I have another job. So I cannot comment on your generally helpful and interesting suggestions.

BUT, the above quoted phrase I believe SUMS it up as good as possible for EVERYONE (amateur or professional).
Title: Re: Is this a fair offer for an on location job?
Post by: jdramirez on June 28, 2013, 08:48:44 PM
So I got the contract today... and ouch. 

The guy did give me a free book... and if I were to be down there on Tuesday (which I won't be) I would also get a $30 meal.  And if I cared about that topic at all, it would be an awesome experience because I would meet with people I otherwise wouldn't have access too... if I have a uniform, I could be on the field taking pictures...

But I don't have a uniform, so I will ultimately be in a tower... and my mkiii plus the 200mm isn't going to have a ton of reach to get WOW photos... so I think we are going to wind up doing it all for naught... because being 100 yards away from the battle will only get you wide angle shots and not really nice close ups where you can see the faux tension of battle. 

But I have to give up all rights to the photos... which is wild.  As it reads, I won't even be able to have them in my portfolio... but I would be published.  I wasn't planning on doing anything that weekend... so I might as well do it... even though I am basically being raped by the publisher. 

So tell me what yall think... I want the job for the sheets and gigs... so I don't want to renegotiate to the point to where I'm told to stay home... but it feels like there is a GOOD deal of room to negotiate. 

But it would also basically be $100 per day just to sit at the sidelines filling up a few cards of what I presume will be very mediocre photographs... so it is at least something to do.
Title: Re: Is this a fair offer for an on location job?
Post by: Ripley on June 28, 2013, 10:11:38 PM

So tell me what yall think... I want the job for the sheets and gigs...

So you want to do it just because, which is completely understandable - done. The money covers your expenses plus a little extra - done. The only thing left to work out is quality of work and portfolio material.

I would at minimum try to get the contract amended to state that you can use a portion of the photographs for portfolio reasons, not to be printed, and not to be sold or relicensed or published. I think if you word a paragraph properly and thoroughly, you could sell this. As long as the clients interests are addressed and protected, they won't care. Make sure you stress why you want to reuse only a few of the pictures and legally restrict yourself to doing just that. It's not great, but it's better than what you have on paper now.

As far as quality of work, you need vantage points and access. I would try to get a little more verbal leeway to get the shots somehow, someway. And come the day of the shoot, as the day wears on, remember the old adage: "It's easier to get forgiven than it is to get permission".

A few things about negotiating - 1) You'd be surprised how much you can get away with as long as you address the clients concerns and agree to what they are willing to pay. Which in your case sounds like "Here's a hundred bucks, go get me some decent shots. I don't want to incur any liability and I don't want to give you access so you can turn around and outsmart me on a way to make money off pictures of my venue". Standard beginner stuff. 2) Always keep the tone positive and when you can't get something you want, force them to give up something they want (or lighten your load). For example if I can't get decent shots and I can't use any of them for my portfolio - Fine no problems, sounds good I'll see you then. And then I'd show up with my spare camera, my cheapest lens, and have the best time I could possibly have enjoying a free reenactment while taking a couple hundred photos I don't care about. All of which will have been disclosed to the client verbally via a statement such as "I told you when you wouldn't grant me access to the key locations the images would suffer". And they're going to. And it's not your fault.

Anyways, I hope you enjoy it.
Title: Re: Is this a fair offer for an on location job?
Post by: expatinasia on June 28, 2013, 10:29:25 PM
So I got the contract today...  if I have a uniform, I could be on the field taking pictures... But I don't have a uniform, so I will ultimately be in a tower...

Oh come on! This is part of being a photographer, you do what you have to do to get the best pics from the job you are given, so get a uniform!!

Surely you can make, rent or borrow one!
Title: Re: Is this a fair offer for an on location job?
Post by: jdramirez on June 28, 2013, 10:48:47 PM
So I got the contract today...  if I have a uniform, I could be on the field taking pictures... But I don't have a uniform, so I will ultimately be in a tower...

Oh come on! This is part of being a photographer, you do what you have to do to get the best pics from the job you are given, so get a uniform!!

Surely you can make, rent or borrow one!

The uniform isn't easy to find.  It's not like it is Halloween time and I just need to get a Spongebob outfit.  This is the 150th anniversary of the Battle at Gettysburg.  30,000+ people are coming in and are going to flood a pretty small town.  I'm SURE some have been planning this trip for 5 years.

The rules for reenactors require that they have period style eyeglasses (wire rims).  So I'm guessing buy a bluish grey long sleeve t-shirt will fly. 

I want to get closer to the action... I thought we would have a chance to do so if we worse muted colors... but nope.  And maybe I can rent the one costume that is in my size that wasn't reserved by the other 30,000 people. 

Having said that... I agree with you... I wanted to be in the thick of things... and I don't want spectator positioning. 
Title: Re: REVISED W/ CONTRACT INFO Is this a fair offer for an on location job?
Post by: Ripley on July 11, 2013, 06:17:09 PM
Well, what happened?    :)
Title: Re: REVISED W/ CONTRACT INFO Is this a fair offer for an on location job?
Post by: tron on July 11, 2013, 07:18:51 PM
I would never agree giving up the rights but it's your call. What has happened ?
Title: Re: REVISED W/ CONTRACT INFO Is this a fair offer for an on location job?
Post by: jdramirez on July 11, 2013, 09:25:50 PM
Well, what happened?    :)

I went out with my best gear... I shot from the fringes of the action because I didn't have anything that was even close to being consider period specific, and most of my photos were... ehhh... meh... ok... good... but not anything that I would really fight tooth and nail for. 

Part of it was shooting from the fringes... the other part is that it is really difficult to recreate the sense that you might die during a reenactment.  Heck... no blood, no guts, it just simply was a tough venue when you weren't embedded in the action. 

There were some shots the other team members got that were WOW (as viewed on a 3inch lcd screen), but I didn't even see any compelling images that warranted being captured. 

So there I was... having a GREAT time... getting paid a little, getting treated much better than the paying patrons, getting free water, free potato chips, free peanut butter crackers, primo shooting from the fringes, and chit chatting a great group of guys. 

Honestly... I got a great experience out of it... and the publisher got about 1000 photos using pro levlel gear, but that were ok.  It painted a picture of the battle, but not of the depth of emotion and feeling. 

Oh... and I got primo parking and rides on a golf cart to/from wherever I wanted on the battlefield. 

So I had fun and I'd do it again... but I'd make a stop at ye old goodwill and see if I could find something that was period specific so I could get up close to the action.
Title: Re: REVISED W/ CONTRACT INFO Is this a fair offer for an on location job?
Post by: Ripley on July 15, 2013, 04:51:36 PM
Well, what happened?    :)

I went out with my best gear... I shot from the fringes of the action because I didn't have anything that was even close to being consider period specific, and most of my photos were... ehhh... meh... ok... good... but not anything that I would really fight tooth and nail for. 

Part of it was shooting from the fringes... the other part is that it is really difficult to recreate the sense that you might die during a reenactment.  Heck... no blood, no guts, it just simply was a tough venue when you weren't embedded in the action. 

There were some shots the other team members got that were WOW (as viewed on a 3inch lcd screen), but I didn't even see any compelling images that warranted being captured. 

So there I was... having a GREAT time... getting paid a little, getting treated much better than the paying patrons, getting free water, free potato chips, free peanut butter crackers, primo shooting from the fringes, and chit chatting a great group of guys. 

Honestly... I got a great experience out of it... and the publisher got about 1000 photos using pro levlel gear, but that were ok.  It painted a picture of the battle, but not of the depth of emotion and feeling. 

Oh... and I got primo parking and rides on a golf cart to/from wherever I wanted on the battlefield. 

So I had fun and I'd do it again... but I'd make a stop at ye old goodwill and see if I could find something that was period specific so I could get up close to the action.

Awesome!!! Thanks for sharing.