A while back I was involved in shooting a magazine cover for a national woodworking magazine. At this time I was rather green about negotiating my fee for such jobs, but I had done it in the past so it wasn't completely foreign to me. As a rule, I knew it was forbidden to blurt out numbers upon an initial phone conversation. It's just not done. To do so is a clear indication that you are green and ill-prepared.
Basically, the first couple of conversations are all about gathering information. Then I would collect the data and using past experience and other information, I would form a quote for the job.
Well, in my excitement and early morning stupor I broke my own rule and spat out a number.
When I was done with the call and had put the phone down I felt like kicking myself in the head. I knew I had broken my own rule, had probably lost respect of the client and at least 2 times the rate I could have gotten.
I have not worked for that client since.
Negotiating a rate for a job is an art. It also takes skill and experience. Having flubbed that quote I am reminded of those requirements every time I see a magazine cover. Especially a wood working magazine.
Today, I was reminded again as I looked over a post by a photo editor who recounted a project that a photographer was quoting on. This particular project was a book cover with an initial printing of half a million copies. The fee that was finalized was impressive and could easily pay my mortgage for 9 months. We don't see those types of fees here in Peterborough. But I can dream, right?
Shooting to spec is something that I really don't enjoy doing anymore. The stress of making an image to another person's specifications, under a deadline is not what I consider a good time.
I still envision creating amazing art and people clamouring over each other to buy it. What artist doesn't? Photography is my passion, art is my expression. I love to make images as I see them in my head based on what the camera is capturing. Knowing that others share my love of imagery is a wonderful feeling. Shooting to spec is too much pressure to perform. By the way I don't do weddings anymore either.
The site where I found the article about Pricing and Negotiating a non-fiction book cover is here. It's a good read if you are interested in learning about the real world of publishing and photography. I'll continue to create interesting imagery, doing it my way. If people find a liking to it and feel that it is a worthy investment then great. Maybe I'll pay the mortgage after all.
Today I was further aknowledged as a photographer by reading that the book I had submitted an image to, is even closer to publication.
Artist Jeffrey Macklin is the person responsible for this project. Todays email revealed that the opening party for the anthology project will be held on Sept. 6 at Market Hall in Peterborough. If you are inspired to support this worthy cause and purchase a book, they will be available at the opening.
They will also be available on Sept. 12 at the Circus Shoppe, 481 Aylmer street during the MAIN EVENT. The event will include readings from the anthology by local celebrities as well as musical talent entertaining the crowd.
If you are a frequent visitor to the Wed. farmer's market in Peterborough, you are encouraged to visit the table carrying Artsweek materials and of course purchase a copy of the anthology.
Be sure to watch for posters around town with details of the events.
Here is the image that I created that will be included in the Neighbourhood Anthology
Many thanks to Jeffrey Maklin for this opportunity and Claire Hogenkamp for kicking me in the butt.
Photo-Artist working a personal vision.