Hired Gun?

 
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shanekislack
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 11:27 pm    Post subject: Hired Gun? Reply with quote

I've been approached to do some "hired gun" shooting for a local studio. Pretty standard set up: their studio, their camera/lighting gear, their client, they bill the client, their production staff, their assistants, etc. All I do is show up, light, push the button.

Problem is, I have no idea what a good rate for something like this is. It could be an ad one day and a catalog shot the next. I understand it would be much lower than if it were my own client and I was producing...but how much lower? 50%? 80%? Also, they pretty much pay a day rate, no matter what the usage or client.

Anyone have experience working for a production studio like this?
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Gordon Moat
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2009 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Factor your normal proposal for doing such a gig. Then find out the rental rates for everything they provide. Subtract the difference.
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bubs
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2009 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm guessing you have never worked in a catalogue house before Gordon. They usually pay $250-350 for a product day and $450-550 for on figure/fashion day. FLAT
Nothing else, you get a cheque every two weeks and bring your own lunch unless you are on location.
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Mike
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2009 2:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As far as $ goes Bubs is right, a friend of mine did that for a while in Kmart's studio. Then he got 'promoted' and had to supervise 13 photographers of varying skills. He liked the worker bee position better. No worries about usage, or getting paid, just full benefits and punching the clock and going home at 5. The older I get the better that sounds!
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shanekislack
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2009 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys. That's pretty much the range they are paying
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Jon DeVaul
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2009 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike wrote:
As far as $ goes Bubs is right, a friend of mine did that for a while in Kmart's studio. Then he got 'promoted' and had to supervise 13 photographers of varying skills. He liked the worker bee position better. No worries about usage, or getting paid, just full benefits and punching the clock and going home at 5. The older I get the better that sounds!


Mike, you're not the only one that thinks that sounds good these days. Back in the early 90's I was making $325/day as a freelance shooter for The May Co. I'd come in for 1-2 weeks at a time shooting anything from pots and pans to clothing for all of the catalogues throughout the year. I was on the staff previously, and could shoot all of this stuff with my eyes closed(well almost). The worker bee comment was right on. The merch. coordinators would just bring me boxes of pots, pans, shoes, etc. I set up the lights, and shoot all this stuff day after day at $325. Smile

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shanekislack
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2009 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Security is nice, but it's an illusion. I know a guy that has been shooting for years, gets laid off from studio, now basically has to start marketing himself all over from the beginning because he's been out of that loop for so long.
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bubs
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2009 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This brings back a story I remember from the 90's. Just wondering if anyone else here remembers it?
There used to be a guy (european I believe) living in the back country of Idaho or Oregon or somewhere. He had this old cabin and farm set up that he used as a location. Between renting the location and shooting the jobs for Eddie Bauer, Norm Thompson and such he was making close to 5k a day, for over 200 days a year. If I remember right he also had twins back then.
Ahhh, the 90's if only I knew back then what I know now.

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Gordon Moat
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 12:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bubs wrote:
I'm guessing you have never worked in a catalogue house before Gordon. They usually pay $250-350 for a product day and $450-550 for on figure/fashion day. FLAT
Nothing else, you get a cheque every two weeks and bring your own lunch unless you are on location.
r


You are exactly correct. While it might sound enticing with the potential for a steady paycheck, it is not the type of work I would want to be doing. So for me, I enjoy working on projects in which I am interested.

I don't think it is a bad choice for others, but it does make this type of photography seem more like a commodity. What's to keep manufacturers from simply setting up their own studio and having a temp worker crank out images?
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Mike
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 5:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gordon Moat wrote:
bubs wrote:
I'm guessing you have never worked in a catalogue house before Gordon. They usually pay $250-350 for a product day and $450-550 for on figure/fashion day. FLAT
Nothing else, you get a cheque every two weeks and bring your own lunch unless you are on location.
r


You are exactly correct. While it might sound enticing with the potential for a steady paycheck, it is not the type of work I would want to be doing. So for me, I enjoy working on projects in which I am interested.

I don't think it is a bad choice for others, but it does make this type of photography seem more like a commodity. What's to keep manufacturers from simply setting up their own studio and having a temp worker crank out images?


That's what they used to do before the accountants decided to job it out. GM Photographic had a huge staff up until the 70s. And they had a stock photo library of 2million images which I think they sold. Currently The Gap, Rest. Hardware, Banana Republic etc. have very nice studios in the bay area. There are not so nice studios in China next door to the factories shooting the plastic stuff we buy, for a couple $ per shot.
If you are making a good living picking and choosing the projects you are interested in, more power to ya!

But you know what? in Photography every job is a temp job.
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bubs
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 7:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Gordo
When are we going to see some new stuff of yours?
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Gordon Moat
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike, I like that comment about every photography job being temporary ... I recall a few PDN articles about product photography moving closer to the factories. You could also add Maintenance Warehouse, which is under Home Depot, to the list of places that have in-house product photography, and they do a ton of it.

Jeez, I know I am behind on updating my website, but did you have to remind me? Oh well, I hope to get some more transportation images up soon, since the embargo on a few images expired recently. A broken shoulder blade slowed me down for the first half of the year, though I also have some more recent personal work that I might use to update my portfolio.
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