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What is your rate? - Pricing Questions & Answers

The above are among the most common questions that I always get from peoples/clients alongside with what camera is the best and what to eat today?


As I am finally catching up with my backlog work since the reopening of covid lockdown, I have finally found some time to write and answer some questions in general. The question above have been one of the most challenging subject to tackle and certainly attracts a lot of curious noses.


Pricing for a commercial shoot is tough because it depends on a lot of factor, namely your experience, image usage licensing, track record, complexity of the setup, etc. Often times clients will simply ask "What is your rate?". As much as I would like to answer you right away with x figures, I couldn't do it as that's like asking "How long is a piece of string?". There isn't enough information for me to establish a context yet alone giving you an accurate estimate.


For starters, what we really need to know is your budget range. This alone will allow us to establish a parameters into understanding what can be achieve with the set of budget that you have. Of course some clients may shy away thinking we would probably shave off all their budget amount. But let me assure you, 85% of our clients are happy to make adjustments after a thorough sharing and discussion on their thoughts and budgets. Whereas the remaining 5% find it too troublesome, 5% find it too overwhelming and 5% are clueless.


Pricing is highly subjective be it for food, beverage, product or architecture photography and even based on location. With the same price it may be expensive to some and cheap to the others. It all depends on your budget range and the complexity of the setup (Depending on your needs). This one info will allow us to better predict, plan, and produce the best imagery that you desire at the most cost effective way. Believe it or not, we want every project to turn out looking good as much as you want it too if not more. As our reputation is always at stake you as a client can trust us into putting 200% effort to work on your project .


Applying it to a practical scenario, let's say the client has a bottle of beverage that is required to be photographed. Without knowing the client's budget and other details, everything is a guessing game. For a more affordable option, I could grab their product, set it on a white surface and background, get a nice simple light setup on them and grab the shot, probably throw in a little retouching to clean up and bam work done. Or alternatively I could fly my crew and equipments to some nice fancy restaurant or brewery and hire some super model to come for a day where he can pose and drink that bottle of beverage just to get that shot. Both are on the extreme end of budget range. Hence, why we need to know what's your budget range to establish the parameter for the shoot.


Thanks for reading, hope there's some useful takeaways from this article that will allow you to get the most out of your next photoshoot. Keeping this article easily digestible, next up I will share more details on "which and why certain type of charges" and "identifying and understanding your photography needs".

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