How to estimate lots of shots for catalog

 
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Mike
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2009 5:46 am    Post subject: How to estimate lots of shots for catalog Reply with quote

I need to to put together an estimate for a catalog job, more than 3000 items with 4 views of each (front-back-leftside-rightside). Not pretty shots of pretty stuff. Sort of like mug shots of each item. I don't know whether to do a day rate or a piece rate or one number for the project. I am leaning towards a per piece price but don't really know if that's best way to go. Planning on 2 photogs a digital guy and a couple helpers.
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Brooks Ayola
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 12:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

These are the only type of jobs where I often charge by time... The key is to not let the client rush you to get more done than you feel comfortable with. I try to spend the appropriate amount of time adjusting lights and reflectors for each shot.

If you don't control the pace, you can end up working for minimum wage when it's all done. :-)
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PeterValk
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 10:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike,

I've done my share of jobs like this, though never that many at once.
But I do know that you need to consider ( and maybe explain to the client ) how much time it takes unpack, clean and then repack the objects.
But I guess that's where the "helpers" come in, right?
And I hope you know what kind of stuff you're getting.
Discuss the delivery schedule with the client, so you can group similar ( like shiny or large ) items together for a shooting day.
I've learned that planning is everything with this kind of project.
And - to answer your original question - I would probably go for a day rate and calculate, based on the list of items, how many days you need to do the job, add the other fees and there you have your total.
If you want you could then divide this total by 3000 or whatever and you have a per item price.
Just make sure the client has everything in stock....

Peter
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Mike
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 1:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your suggestions. Theoretically they would have it all in stock as they want to shoot in their warehouse. I'm trying to figure it both ways and it seems to come pretty close $ wise.
I used to shoot 6 medical catalogs a year so I am not a total noob but that was back in the film and polaroid days, not the digital Lightroom days thank god!
I'll also need a way to keep the part numbers with the parts...maybe the voice recorder feature? Anybody ever use that?
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Frank Nagy
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 4:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike,

Just a suggestion, first shot of any item, small erasable marker board, part # and successive shots will be more manageable.
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Brooks Ayola
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 5:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike wrote:
Thanks for your suggestions. Theoretically they would have it all in stock as they want to shoot in their warehouse. I'm trying to figure it both ways and it seems to come pretty close $ wise.
I used to shoot 6 medical catalogs a year so I am not a total noob but that was back in the film and polaroid days, not the digital Lightroom days thank god!
I'll also need a way to keep the part numbers with the parts...maybe the voice recorder feature? Anybody ever use that?


One thing I do is stop every ten shots or so and name the RAW files with the model number or name. It's keeps you organized, but also puts some of the post production into the shoot day so you don't end up doing that stuff when the client considers you "off the clock."
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bubs
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've done this for cosmetic companies in the past. Two assistants, one packing/unpacking/cleaning, the other on the tethered end of the computer dropping sku's into the file names. Shoot the four views in sequence, you call out the sku, he reads back the sku and all is good, next item.
As far as pricing, I used to quote on a day basis saying usually 100 or so a day; if we get lucky and we have a lot of similar items, cool but if not then we have to dick around with the lights and that might take some extra time.
Then about 5 or 6 years ago when the really cheap digital cameras came along the pricing on this stuff fell through the cellar. I've been out bid at $6/sku and have seen big jobs go off shore for as little as $3/sku.
Good luck.
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Mike
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all the info, I most likely gave too high of a price but we'll see what happens.
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