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Thread: How now?

  1. #1

    Default How now?

    Hi guys,

    Recently, i've been getting quite a few photography jobs - events, sports, food adverts. The thing is, my clients as of now are my cousins. They pay me 50-70 bucks for a 4hr job. I realise this is a little low? But since i'm an untested photographer - i accept that it is a risk they are willing to take thus paying me this much. And also that they are my cousins i would accept whatever they give me.

    So far there haven't been any complaints. but i read somewhere here i think "if there are no complaints, i'm charging to low". i'm starting to think this may be true.

    Okay, so in total as of today, i've completed 7/9 jobs. 2 of them are still in my camera. This time round, someone calls me up. Not a relative/cousin. He asks how much i charge, i told him 70 bucks for 4hrs. Did i do something wrong here? Should i have brought my charges up to market prices because this guy is calling me "externally"? or was i right in telling him 70 bucks for 4hrs? I'm absolutely stumped as to how much i should charge.

    I need some advice here guys. Please help me out.

    PS: After producing a bunch of photos for my client, they own the pictures right? cos they paid for it. But are they allowed to re-produce the CD and sell it off to sub-clients? (i.e, parents whos kids were involved in the event)

  2. #2
    Senior Member limwhow's Avatar
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    Default Re: How now?

    Hello,
    You know, I can't really comment on the part where you asked if your clients have the rights to the photos as I am not a photographer by occupation.
    What I can say is, honestly, if all your clients have been your relatives and you're charging them $70 per 4 hours, so be it. Because as much as you are doing them a big favour, you are also laying down a lot of goodwill and encouraging referrals by word of mouth. This current new client (not related to you) most like was referred by one of your relatives, and I think it is fine to charge $70 for 4 huors. But as it goes on, and as you get more and more clients, it must not remain at $70 for 4 hours. Even as a layman to the pro photog industry, I would say you have to make it worth your while to shoot and increase your rates to market rates for (pardon me for saying this) amateur, hobbyist, semi-pro or pro rate, whichever class you belong.

    For the rights to the works, I would have to leave it to the pro to advise you.

    My humble opinion.

  3. #3

    Default Re: How now?

    maybe you would like to show us some of these photos you took on assignment?

  4. #4
    Senior Member hanqiang1011's Avatar
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    Default Re: How now?

    Quote Originally Posted by marco159 View Post
    Hi guys,

    Recently, i've been getting quite a few photography jobs - events, sports, food adverts. The thing is, my clients as of now are my cousins. They pay me 50-70 bucks for a 4hr job. I realise this is a little low? But since i'm an untested photographer - i accept that it is a risk they are willing to take thus paying me this much. And also that they are my cousins i would accept whatever they give me.

    So far there haven't been any complaints. but i read somewhere here i think "if there are no complaints, i'm charging to low". i'm starting to think this may be true.

    Okay, so in total as of today, i've completed 7/9 jobs. 2 of them are still in my camera. This time round, someone calls me up. Not a relative/cousin. He asks how much i charge, i told him 70 bucks for 4hrs. Did i do something wrong here? Should i have brought my charges up to market prices because this guy is calling me "externally"? or was i right in telling him 70 bucks for 4hrs? I'm absolutely stumped as to how much i should charge.

    I need some advice here guys. Please help me out.

    PS: After producing a bunch of photos for my client, they own the pictures right? cos they paid for it. But are they allowed to re-produce the CD and sell it off to sub-clients? (i.e, parents whos kids were involved in the event)
    Hi,

    I understand that you are still a start out. If helping relatives, yes, you can charge them that small amount they offer, but only if you feel comfortable.

    However, if it is outside job - those not your relatives' - you should not charge that low either. Uneven if untested, that sum S$70 for 4 hours is very 'little' in my humble opinion. Imagine, after the job, you will still have to travel back, do edit, use electricity, so it is not enough to cover the expenses... In fact, you will make a loss. However, on the hand, you will gain experience and learn on site. Which is an opportunity.

    As for the copyright issue, you might wanna draw up a model's release form to ask permission from the parents to use the photos for your portfolio or whatever. Copyrights, by right should be yours and the parents, so the form is to protect your backside. Terms like use for what and whatever purposes must be drawn up clearly.

    In the commerical world, what I mean now is really BIG business - requires this terms and conditions so as to protect the interests of both parties. Usually, after client pay up big money and the images produced, they will own it. However, you can request them to let you have the pictures posted online or portfolio...etc, always asked for a black and white.

    Lastly, also regarding copyrights, your own produced photos, if one of these days you shot an image so stunning, you posted online, and some ppl use it for commerical purposes - to make money - then you have the rights to press charges against them. But you got to voice up to them, to request for a credit to your name besides the photo. Or monetary returns, if the other party unwilling, still continue to use, means to say no more room for negotations, in this senario, exposed their underhand means thru the press first.

    Hope it helps.

    (PS: If there is anything wrong, fellow CSers are welcome to correct me, thanks)

  5. #5
    Moderator Octarine's Avatar
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    Default Re: How now?

    Quote Originally Posted by marco159 View Post
    PS: After producing a bunch of photos for my client, they own the pictures right? cos they paid for it. But are they allowed to re-produce the CD and sell it off to sub-clients? (i.e, parents whos kids were involved in the event)
    For this you can read previous threads in this subforum. Same situation as with wedding pictures. Basically: the moment somebody pays you for the job and there is nothing else agreed (preferable in writing) the customer has the full right and ownership about the images, and therefore it's entirely their business whether they re-sell them or do whatever they want. (Just imagine you call a plumber to get your shower fixed - does the plumber acquire automatically any rights for using it? )
    In return, you are also required to ask for permissions if you want to use these ordered images for own purposes (e.g. portfolio, web publishing). If you want something else agreed then you better do it in writing and upfront.

  6. #6

    Default Re: How now?

    Thanks limwhow, hanqiang1011 and octarine for your quick replies.

    Geckoz: How would that help?

    Well it is true 70 bucks for 4hrs is low, but i think i'll have to make some sacrifices for now till i get more experienced. Yeap, its an opportunity to learn as well. However, the lowest i've heard is 50bucks/hr so far. I think. Would that be a reasonable amount to increase to? My expenses aren't high. Spare batts, CD-R's, etc.. but i just don't want to be taken advantage of.

  7. #7

    Default Re: How now?

    Just like you, I'm still new too. I'm doing budgeted services and even FOC's. Budgeted services as low as $50 for a few hours coverage of events. Many people will think it's foolish to do so, although sometimes I hope to charge at least a $50 per hour. But from the other hand, like what hanqiang has said, just treat it as an opportunity to learn and experience. As long as what my clients pay me are enough to cover for my expenses like lens rental, transportation and stuff, it's good enough. It doesn't have to cover my electric bills spent on editing the photos since even if I'm not editing, my com's still on.

    But if your photos have already reached a certain standard, then of cause, it probably means that you are ready to step out as a freelancer and start charging the market rates.

    afterall, it doesn't really matter if peoples' intention are taking advantage of you, it's about yourself whether you think what you deliver is worth that money they're paying.
    If say, you're still on the 1st stage of the learning curve, take your time to learn. When you get better, you don't have to worry about not earning back the money you once undercharge.

    no offence, just my 2 cents. Hope that helps. =)

  8. #8

    Default Re: How now?

    sometimes, its not ppl taking adventage of you, but you are putting yourself up for ppl to take adventage of.

    you price yourself how much you are worth and that's it.

    if you think you are taken adventage, then don't take the job.

    if you think you are worth the "market rate", you have to product "market result"

  9. #9

    Default Re: How now?

    Quote Originally Posted by jetspeed818 View Post
    sometimes, its not ppl taking adventage of you, but you are putting yourself up for ppl to take adventage of.

    you price yourself how much you are worth and that's it.

    if you think you are taken adventage, then don't take the job.

    if you think you are worth the "market rate", you have to product "market result"
    well said.

  10. #10
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: How now?

    Regarding local copyrights issue, many local photographers have miscoception, we do not follow the copyrights law of US..

    I research the copyrights and ownerships issue on portrait photography, this is what I found

    Ownership

    Generally, the person who created the work (i.e. the author) owns the copyright in the work. However, there are exceptions to this general rule. Some exceptions are:

    Employment: If the work is created by an employee pursuant to the terms of his employment, the employer owns the copyright in the work.

    Special situation for newspaper/magazine/periodical employees: Where an employee of a newspaper, magazine or periodical creates a literary, dramatic or artistic work pursuant to the terms of his employment and for the purpose of publication in a newspaper, magazine or periodical, the proprietor of the newspaper, magazine or periodical owns the copyright in respect of publication in or reproduction for the purpose of publication in any newspaper, magazine or periodical. The employee owns the remaining rights that make up the copyright bundle of exclusive rights.
    Commissioning: If a portrait/photograph/engraving is commissioned by another party, the commissioner owns the copyright in the work. If the portrait/photograph/engraving is required for a particular purpose, this purpose must be communicated to the commissioned party. While the commissioner is the copyright owner, the commissioned party has the right to stop others from doing any act comprised in the copyright, unless such act is done for the particular purpose for which the portrait/photograph/engraving is created.

    For other types of commissioned works, ownership belongs to the commissioned party, unless the commissioner and commissioned party otherwise agree.

    As mentioned in the introduction, the copyright owner may transfer his rights to another party or entity either partially or wholly.

    taken from http://www.ipos.gov.sg/leftNav/cop/O...and+Rights.htm

    and also this

    1. Copyright Copyright at Work
    I provide photography services. Do I own the copyright to the photos that I take for my clients? If I don't, is there any way that I can own the copyright? I want to showcase the best photos in my website and brochures.

    In general, clients who pay for your services own the copyright to the photos taken. However, you have limited rights in that if the photos are required for any particular purpose (e.g. a corporate client wants glamour shots of the senior management, to use in its annual report), your clients should tell you and you are entitled to prevent the photos from being used for other purposes.

    In practice, however, many photographers have their own terms of engagement with clients. The parties are free to have their own agreement, which automatically overrides the above default position. Thus, for example, you and your clients can mutually agree that you will own the copyright in the photos but that your clients can use the photos for certain purposes; or that your clients own the copyright but you have the license to reproduce the photos in your website and brochures.
    In simple words, photographers does not own the copyrights of the photographs, from the moment we collect money from the our customers, unless both parties enter an agreement to supersede the default law. (see the print in blue above)
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  11. #11
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: How now?

    regarding model release agreement.

    Only when you use the images with the model is recognizable for COMMERCIAL usage, than you need to provide the model release, the model release agreement is not to protect you (as a photographer), is to protect the user of the images (person/company who buy and use the images of the model) free for legal harassment.

    If you intend to use the photos for portfolio, all you need is the basic courtesies, inform the subjects in the photo of your intension, and get their permission, be it verbal or written, that is good enough.
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  12. #12
    vince123123
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    Default Re: How now?

    Catchlights has correctly stated the position in relation to copyright of photographs.

    However, for model releases, it has always been my view that Singapore has yet to recognise the requirement of model releases and that it will be an uphill struggle for anyone who tries to assert a new cause of action based on model releases like in US. The difference in USA is that they have specific legislation giving models the specific right to sue in caes of commercial usage without a model releases.

    Nevertheless, if it doesn't cost you anything (ie your model doesn't jack up the cost) to get one, just get lor; kiasu cover backside. But I don't believe they are necessary.

    For portfolio, the whole seeking of permission thingy can be characterised legally as the couple giving you permission, aka a license, for you to use in your portfolio. That is also to say that if you do not seek permission, you don't have a license, and technically and legally, this is infringement. However, I doubt any couple will want to sue for such infringement so many photographers may not bother and just use.

  13. #13
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: How now?

    Thanks vince123123,

    For model release agreement, as in local context, agree with your point of view, but most companies or stock agencies (not local) won't touch a images came without model release agreement.
    it is not hard to get model release agreement signed, since a professional model know signing a model release is mandatory, the only issue is how to explain these model release thingz to XMM models or laypeople to pose as model.

    and for using photos for portfolio, when the photos does belong to the photographer. it won't be much problem at all, but when the customer paid for the photos, photographer does not own the photos legally anymore, he can't really use it as the way he/she likes. So it is better to ask before post it up, rather than people demand you to remove it from your site.
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  14. #14

    Default Re: How now?

    When there are too many pro photographers who have reached that 'pro' level the market herer may be a little tight for all of them. Here is when service, attituded and pricing comes in.

    I believe charges also depends on the nature of the event you cover. Maybe instead of quoting your service ask, learn what is the budget they have, the nature of events, photocopyrights etc first before you even quote. Its like quoting a computer repair service when you don't even know if it is a minor glitch or if the system needs a major overhaul.

  15. #15
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: How now?

    Quote Originally Posted by marco159 View Post
    ......................

    PS: After producing a bunch of photos for my client, they own the pictures right? cos they paid for it. But are they allowed to re-produce the CD and sell it off to sub-clients? (i.e, parents whos kids were involved in the event)
    yes, there can do whatever they like to the images, even resell the images to other people, since they had already paid for that, whether is $70, $700 or $7000, that doesn't really matter, since you didn't enter an ageedntment with them about limit/condition use of the images before collect the money.
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  16. #16
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: How now?

    sometime, potential customers do not know the value, or cost for photos they want, so they just look for people around them think maybe they can help them, it is the photographer duty to educate customers about the expected cost to pay.

    if such customers fail to understand or decline to pay the expected amount, the easy way out is just refer them to other photographers, if you intend to do it for exchanging experience or portfolio, please make it very clear to them. So in further you able to command a more realistic rate, or decline such offers.
    and customers will also understand it what is the expecting rate for a similar jobs and appreciate your hard work.
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  17. #17
    vince123123
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    Default Re: How now?

    The reason for that is because these foreign agencies need to comply with their own laws, and their own laws and practices require a model release which is why they are asking you, the Singapore photographer, to give them one.

    But as a Singapore photographer, I am not afraid of a local model or subject threatening to sue me because I published their photo without having obtained a model release from them.



    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    Thanks vince123123,

    For model release agreement, as in local context, agree with your point of view, but most companies or stock agencies (not local) won't touch a images came without model release agreement.
    it is not hard to get model release agreement signed, since a professional model know signing a model release is mandatory, the only issue is how to explain these model release thingz to XMM models or laypeople to pose as model.

    and for using photos for portfolio, when the photos does belong to the photographer. it won't be much problem at all, but when the customer paid for the photos, photographer does not own the photos legally anymore, he can't really use it as the way he/she likes. So it is better to ask before post it up, rather than people demand you to remove it from your site.

  18. #18

    Default Re: How now?

    Marco159

    let me ask you these questions- do you want to shoot for anyone at $70 for 4 hours ?
    Are you worth more than that - remember the shoot is 4 hours, the transport back and forth around 2 hours, the editing/post processing time is at least 4 hours if not more so now you are being paid $70 for how many hours of your life ?

    I wonder why asian have this need to fxxx over their near relatives in business - you are my relative I must get super cheap price from you. My answer to this has always been - this is the rate, what you want cheaper can loh like its free if you shoot it yourself, and by the way its ok if I pay you 20% of the price in your shop because I am your cousin hor ? Then see and hear the tune change.


    My opinion is that even for so called experience - which is just so much bull **** since even from event to product you can just go and shoot on your own time - the lie that all newbies tell themselves is that once I get better I will charge more. Remeber what you just did. You can get your own experience shooting situations on your own question is do you have the drive to do it ?

    Singapore Law - if you do commission work for some one without any agreement otherwise the copyright passes to the job comissioner. Welcome to the wonderful world of shoot for the money.

    Quote Originally Posted by marco159 View Post
    Hi guys,

    Recently, i've been getting quite a few photography jobs - events, sports, food adverts. The thing is, my clients as of now are my cousins. They pay me 50-70 bucks for a 4hr job. I realise this is a little low? But since i'm an untested photographer - i accept that it is a risk they are willing to take thus paying me this much. And also that they are my cousins i would accept whatever they give me.

    So far there haven't been any complaints. but i read somewhere here i think "if there are no complaints, i'm charging to low". i'm starting to think this may be true.

    Okay, so in total as of today, i've completed 7/9 jobs. 2 of them are still in my camera. This time round, someone calls me up. Not a relative/cousin. He asks how much i charge, i told him 70 bucks for 4hrs. Did i do something wrong here? Should i have brought my charges up to market prices because this guy is calling me "externally"? or was i right in telling him 70 bucks for 4hrs? I'm absolutely stumped as to how much i should charge.

    I need some advice here guys. Please help me out.

    PS: After producing a bunch of photos for my client, they own the pictures right? cos they paid for it. But are they allowed to re-produce the CD and sell it off to sub-clients? (i.e, parents whos kids were involved in the event)

  19. #19

    Default Re: How now?

    Quote Originally Posted by vince123123 View Post
    The reason for that is because these foreign agencies need to comply with their own laws, and their own laws and practices require a model release which is why they are asking you, the Singapore photographer, to give them one.

    But as a Singapore photographer, I am not afraid of a local model or subject threatening to sue me because I published their photo without having obtained a model release from them.

    to the point. Thanks.


    Quote Originally Posted by ellery View Post
    Marco159

    let me ask you these questions- do you want to shoot for anyone at $70 for 4 hours ?
    Are you worth more than that - remember the shoot is 4 hours, the transport back and forth around 2 hours, the editing/post processing time is at least 4 hours if not more so now you are being paid $70 for how many hours of your life ?

    I wonder why asian have this need to fxxx over their near relatives in business - you are my relative I must get super cheap price from you. My answer to this has always been - this is the rate, what you want cheaper can loh like its free if you shoot it yourself, and by the way its ok if I pay you 20% of the price in your shop because I am your cousin hor ? Then see and hear the tune change.


    My opinion is that even for so called experience - which is just so much bull **** since even from event to product you can just go and shoot on your own time - the lie that all newbies tell themselves is that once I get better I will charge more. Remeber what you just did. You can get your own experience shooting situations on your own question is do you have the drive to do it ?

    Singapore Law - if you do commission work for some one without any agreement otherwise the copyright passes to the job comissioner. Welcome to the wonderful world of shoot for the money.
    That is the national past time.

    You should charge more for relatives. More pressure to deliver!
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  20. #20
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    Default Re: How now?

    i'm a part-time shoot-to-pay-for-hobby kind of person. when i started out, i started at $80 per hour for events. had a few grumbles about being expensive, but i told them that was the market rate (which they knew), and i didn't have a portfolio or anything to show.

    now, instead of working for clients, i work with them. some jobs i can go a little lower because they don't have a budget, others i take them to the slaughterhouse because they have a huge budget for the event. case in point: i did about 4-5 small events for $180 for 2.5 hours, then charged almost $5k for covering a 4-day event.

    so don't let "no experience" be an excuse for not making more! it's about having the confidence to deliver the results. at the very worst, if your photos truly, deeply suck, they won't come back to you again. but you already have the $80/hour in your pocket! it's just like going to an expensive restaurant...you pay market rates, but the food sucks. you won't go back again, but you have to pay for the first time!

    if the clients insist on lower rates, then just smile and politely hand them a broom/feather duster/carrot and suggest what they can do with it. then tell them horror stories about the $400 wedding photographer who delivered photos that were 75% "artistic". that's what he called those shots that were blurred. hahaha
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