Sometimes, it’s hard to have “The Talk” with clients but if you don’t, then not only are you asking for trouble on this shoot but also future shoots so you may as well get it over with.
What is “The Talk” you ask? It is when you explain to your client who may or may not be experienced in commissioning photography (or video, illustration, design etc.) that the price you are quoting is dependent entirely on the usage of the work. It has to do with the number of eyeballs that see your work in their marketing materials, on their website, on the outdoor advertising etc.
As an example, I had a new client contact me to do an image of a country music artist for a life sized cardboard cutout. Immediately, I began thinking of all the logistical things that have to happen in order to create this file and I turned in a quote. Then some weeks later when I was driving back from an out of town shoot (I get my best thinking done in the car) it hit me. I hadn’t asked one of the most important questions!
It was my understanding that they were in need of one cardboard cutout and when I asked where they were planning on putting it, the client replied “in our stores”. Oops. I then had to ask how many stores they had and she replied 8300 across the country!
Obviously I had under estimated the usage portion of the shoot and so I had to admit that I had misunderstood the assignment and politely ask her to take a Bic lighter to the estimate that I had already sent as the number of eyeballs that were going to be seeing my work went through the roof.
Getting your head around the requirements of a shoot is imperative if you are going to submit an accurate estimate!