Using Assistants?
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    ProPhotoForums.com Forum Index :: Photographer's Support
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
geek
Forum Regular


Joined: 23 Apr 2010
Posts: 26

PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 6:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a former assistant I pay my assistants at the end of the day of the shoot. They did their job why should they wait? I am a small photographer doing small jobs but I remember chasing down BIG photographers I assisted on BIG jobs who owed me $250 for 2 years and it's truly humiliating. I never want to be like that. I do (naively) believe that by example we can change this industry. And by that I mean clients and fees too!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Ashley
Forum Regular


Joined: 27 Feb 2010
Posts: 84
Location: Europe

PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 1:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Using Assistants? Reply with quote

Jon DeVaul wrote:
Just wondering how often you use assistants on jobs...100%, 75%, 50%...how many of you hardly ever use assistants? I'm not talking about stylists or MUA, but photo assistants. Thanks.

Jon

It's would very much depend on the assignment - but more often than not, it will have more to do with the budget. Because it's the budget that will ultimately determine what all I can afford to bring to the table. i.e.
time spend on the project, number of people involved, camera system I use, lights or no lights, etc, etc.

Which means on assignments where the client's usage requirements were low, I would rarely hire an assistant. However, on assignments where the client's usage requirements where greater than Standard Use, then I would consider hiring one or more - should I feel they could help me produce more images or better images, within a given period of time - that the client would want to use.

So a lot would come down to the type of assignment and the client's usage requirements / budget / Licence fee.

N.B. I hire assistants to help me produce more images or better images. So they do not appear as a line item on my quotes or invoices. They are paid for out of the BUR+% part, which I use to determine the Licence fee... which is for the Use of the images, which I will produce & provide them with.
_________________
Cheers,
Ashley

Ashley Morrison
http://www.ampimage.com
http://www.ashleymorrison.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
bubs
Forum Regular


Joined: 22 Mar 2006
Posts: 303
Location: hermosa beach

PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If the client doesn't have the budget for an assistant for the shoot I would say it wouldn't be worth my time doing. Like those times the client tells you it will just be a couple of hours and you won't need an assistant.
An assistant is primarily there at the shoot to help me produce more/better images. If it is carrying the gear, setting lights, getting lunch or whatever I would have to do if he/she wasn't there. I would say that outside of scouting days I use assistants 100% of the time. It just makes my life easier.
_________________
r.c. durston
photographer
http://www.durstonphoto.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Ashley
Forum Regular


Joined: 27 Feb 2010
Posts: 84
Location: Europe

PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bubs wrote:
If the client doesn't have the budget for an assistant for the shoot I would say it wouldn't be worth my time doing.


It's you that needs to have the budget in place for an assistant, not your client. Because you are the one who is going to be producing and creating the images - simply for them to Use.

This is assuming you are billing them for the Use of your images, as opposed to agreeing to 'work for hire'.
_________________
Cheers,
Ashley

Ashley Morrison
http://www.ampimage.com
http://www.ashleymorrison.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Leslie
Forum Regular


Joined: 14 Mar 2006
Posts: 227
Location: San Diego

PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I disagree with Ashley's method for billing and choosing to use an assistant. Assistants need to be billed as line item production costs to clients, especially advertising clients. Rolling assistant costs into your fees is a dangerous pricing strategy and can easily result in a reduction in profit for a photographer, especially if there are long days (overtime) or client changes in the project. Or even in the usual fee negotiations which take place.

Let's say you have a shoot you estimate for $5K fees and you'll pay $500 in assistant costs from that (Ashley's system). The client needs you to come down to $4500 in fees. You are now getting only $4000 for that shoot. But if you line item the assistant(s), the client knows that crew is necessary and usually will not ask you to drop assistants. You would still get $4500 and keep your assistant(s), if they were line itemed in the estimate.

Also, depending on how your accountant and tax laws work, you could have more difficulty in your accounting. Proper accounting means keeping things in their proper categories: you match revenue with expenses. That is easier and clearer when you line item crew (assistants, et al).

Most of all, agencies expect assistants to be line itemed. If they don't see that on your estimate, they will very likely see you as a rube and think you don't know what is necessary to produce their project. For that reason alone, line iteming crew is vital.
_________________
Leslie Burns
Creative/Marketing Consultant
http://www.burnsautoparts.com/blog
http://facebook.com/burnsautoparts
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Ashley
Forum Regular


Joined: 27 Feb 2010
Posts: 84
Location: Europe

PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Leslie wrote:
Let's say you have a shoot you estimate for $5K fees and you'll pay $500 in assistant costs from that (Ashley's system). The client needs you to come down to $4500 in fees.


Clearly you don't understand how the AOP's BUR system works.

Good negotiating skills are critical to the success of any independent photographer..
_________________
Cheers,
Ashley

Ashley Morrison
http://www.ampimage.com
http://www.ashleymorrison.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Leslie
Forum Regular


Joined: 14 Mar 2006
Posts: 227
Location: San Diego

PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ashley, I helped write the ASMP Business Practices book.
_________________
Leslie Burns
Creative/Marketing Consultant
http://www.burnsautoparts.com/blog
http://facebook.com/burnsautoparts
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Ashley
Forum Regular


Joined: 27 Feb 2010
Posts: 84
Location: Europe

PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Leslie wrote:
Let's say you have a shoot you estimate for $5K fees ... the client needs you to come down to $4500 in fees.


If I was Quoting for a project and the client said they only had $4500 to spend - but insisted on the the same amount of images and the same amount of Use - then I'd either drop the idea of using an assistant or reduce the time I was planning on spending on the project.

Because I know there are more than 100 different ways to shoot any subject.

I don't see why you think I would automatically have to drop my fee and / or still give them the exact same thing.

They would just get less, that's all ... which if you watched that video, you would hear them talk about.
_________________
Cheers,
Ashley

Ashley Morrison
http://www.ampimage.com
http://www.ashleymorrison.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Leslie
Forum Regular


Joined: 14 Mar 2006
Posts: 227
Location: San Diego

PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ashley
If you would do your research, you would know that, in fact, I am considered a top expert in the industry.

You would know, for example, that Barbara was speaking as a part of the ASMP Strictly Business 2 events. I was a featured speaker at those events. I am more familiar with those videos than ever you could know.

Relatedly, I helped write the ASMP Business Practices book, which included sections on negotiating, etc.

If you look on the right side of the page of the link you sent, you will find my name listed as one of the regular contributors to the ASMP SB blog.

Finally, I have been studying negotiations extensively as a part of alternative dispute resolution in my law school classes.

As for the drop in price, I was simplifying things for the purposes of the point I was making. Of course one should never give without getting. But that wasn't the issue on the table. The issue was about line iteming assistants.
_________________
Leslie Burns
Creative/Marketing Consultant
http://www.burnsautoparts.com/blog
http://facebook.com/burnsautoparts
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Ashley
Forum Regular


Joined: 27 Feb 2010
Posts: 84
Location: Europe

PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 8:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Leslie wrote:
The issue was about line iteming assistants.


Which I don't do nor would I recommend any photographer does - unless they are agreeing to work for hire in some shape or form.

People don't call me up, because they want to hire me or employee me to make an 'appearance' for so many hours.
They call me because they want me to produce some images - and provide them with those images - so as they can Use them.

So I simply charge them a Licence fee for the Use of my images.
Images which I will produce and create, based on what they have asked for.

Therefore, if I feel I need an assistant to help me produce those images, I don't ask the client what he / she thinks or present it like it's some sort of optional extra - especially if it's not an optional extra in my opinion. I hire an assistant based on what I think is needed, because these are my images we are talking about, not their images. Which means the assistant would be part of my production costs, not their production costs.

So the deal is clear - they are just being asked to pay for the Use of my images - and nothing else.

Added note:

Which means, when I'm negotiating the deal (quoting a fee) I stay focused on the 4 things that are of value to them - number of images, media use, period of use & territory of use - rather than talking about the things that are of value to me. Keeping my cards close to my chest, rather than laying them on the table, face-up, for all to see.
Because I know there are more than 100 different ways to shoot any subject - and it will be the final 'agree fee & deal' that will determine what all I can afford to bring to the table - not the other way around.

As a working photographer who has been doing this now for 25+ years , I can assure you: Clients don't care how many assistants you use or what lenses you use or what computers you use or how many hours you spend travelling or retouching or even shooting in a lot of cases. They only care about what they are going to get in their hands at the end of the day, for the fee i.e. images that they can Use.

So when negotiating 'the fee & the deal', I would strongly recommend you keep that in mind - and stay focused on the things that are of value to them, rather than on the things that are of value to you.

_________________
Cheers,
Ashley

Ashley Morrison
http://www.ampimage.com
http://www.ashleymorrison.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Leslie
Forum Regular


Joined: 14 Mar 2006
Posts: 227
Location: San Diego

PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 11:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To be clear, I strenuously disagree with Ashley's business theories/practices and discourage all the readers of this forum from following them.

Not line iteming things like crew (assistants, et al) and other production charges will get you rejected from estimate review by almost all advertising agencies, as well as most other potential clients (corp., edit., design).
_________________
Leslie Burns
Creative/Marketing Consultant
http://www.burnsautoparts.com/blog
http://facebook.com/burnsautoparts
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Mike
Forum Regular


Joined: 22 Mar 2006
Posts: 231
Location: Los Angeles, where fun goes on vacation

PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FWIW I think Ashley has his system and is happy with it as are his clients. I don;t really understand it but I don't understand a lot of things (like the Grateful Dead, what's the deal with that?). IIRC Ashley is in the UK or Europe(?) so maybe things are different that in the USA.

I do estimates and invoices with Fees and Expenses (sort of like the ATL and BTL system but not 100%) line itemed but that's how my software is and I like to keep the categories separated so if there are changes I know what to add or subtract so I still l make a $. I know a guy who just says it will cost X to do the job, and if the costs change he changes his one line item, the bottom line.... For some clients, that's enough while others want to see how the money is being spent even though the same amount of money is being spent.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
bubs
Forum Regular


Joined: 22 Mar 2006
Posts: 303
Location: hermosa beach

PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm enjoying two people rationalize their own thoughts on billings. It a refreshing change to LL, where once one person agrees to something it just ignorantly snowballs untill everyone is patting each other on the back.
Thanks Leslie and Ashley for voicing your methods.
Leslie, have you ever thought of coming over to the UK to speak?
_________________
r.c. durston
photographer
http://www.durstonphoto.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Ashley
Forum Regular


Joined: 27 Feb 2010
Posts: 84
Location: Europe

PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike wrote:
FWIW I think Ashley has his system and is happy with it as are his clients. I don't really understand it ..


I guess it may be a result of me see 'photography' differently to most of you.

To me it's an Opportunity - to produce some great images for others to Use, as opposed to being a Job - which you are doing for a client.
So therefore, I simply bill them for the Use of my images - as opposed to billing them to do a Job for them.
_________________
Cheers,
Ashley

Ashley Morrison
http://www.ampimage.com
http://www.ashleymorrison.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Ashley
Forum Regular


Joined: 27 Feb 2010
Posts: 84
Location: Europe

PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Example of wording used on a recent Quote, which was signed off, then invoiced and has since been paid for ..


Which was later followed by a request to use 13 of these images for: 'Multiple media use', for 2 years.
So using the AOP's BUR system, I was able to quickly work-out the Licence fee - and now that deal is done, invoiced and paid for.

Not once did they ask about my production costs or what the assistants cost per day or even if I was going to use one in the first place.

Why ?
Well I guess they were much more interested in themselves and what they were going to get - as opposed to caring about me.
Which I find is often the case these days - and so I've stopped talking about the 'me, myself & I' stuff - and now stay focused on them and the things that are of value to them - when negotiating the deal.

So it's: "this is what you are going to get", as opposed to: "this is what I am going to do".

And I have found they tend to pay a lot more for that.
_________________
Cheers,
Ashley

Ashley Morrison
http://www.ampimage.com
http://www.ashleymorrison.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Leslie
Forum Regular


Joined: 14 Mar 2006
Posts: 227
Location: San Diego

PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, you certainly seem proud to have been seriously underpaid for that project.
_________________
Leslie Burns
Creative/Marketing Consultant
http://www.burnsautoparts.com/blog
http://facebook.com/burnsautoparts
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Ashley
Forum Regular


Joined: 27 Feb 2010
Posts: 84
Location: Europe

PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Leslie wrote:
Well, you certainly seem proud to have been seriously underpaid for that project.


Oh!!!

What makes you think I was "seriously underpaid" Leslie, if you have no idea of what my production costs where or what was involved or how long it took me ... or even what the project actually was ?
_________________
Cheers,
Ashley

Ashley Morrison
http://www.ampimage.com
http://www.ashleymorrison.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Leslie
Forum Regular


Joined: 14 Mar 2006
Posts: 227
Location: San Diego

PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

2 years web & email usage license alone are worth more than that for that many images. The per image rate is too low for the usage value alone.
_________________
Leslie Burns
Creative/Marketing Consultant
http://www.burnsautoparts.com/blog
http://facebook.com/burnsautoparts
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Ashley
Forum Regular


Joined: 27 Feb 2010
Posts: 84
Location: Europe

PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Leslie wrote:
2 years web & email usage license alone are worth more than that for that many images. The per image rate is too low for the usage value alone.


Really!!
What should it have been then Leslie - and where can one find these facts & figures that you are referring to ?

According to the AOP, Standard Use is either for 2 media, for 1 year or 1 media, for 2 years Use.

As this was only one media, that I was originally quoting for here, then my base rate fee was for 2 years Use in one media.
(Know as ones Base Usage Rate or BUR figure - which the AOP talk about in their book Beyond the Lens, in Chapter 5.)
_________________
Cheers,
Ashley

Ashley Morrison
http://www.ampimage.com
http://www.ashleymorrison.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Leslie
Forum Regular


Joined: 14 Mar 2006
Posts: 227
Location: San Diego

PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't care if you want to call the number the BUR or "the parson's beanie"--the simple fact is that works out to about $525 per image (US) and that is not even what you'd likely get for editorial usage alone for a small image.
And editorial is the worst paying.

Getty has a generic outdoor pool shot... I've seen your work and it's close enough for our purposes here. I priced it and just for the web use and just in the UK (not email even) for two years, not the home page and not full page or anything like that. Their number? $1385. For one shot. And that is just usage!

Moreover, you are rolling in your production costs into that number.
Therefore, you are simply undervaluing the placement value plus you are undervaluing the production value. That is a whole bunch of bad business.


I cannot in good conscience let newbies (and others) be influenced, unchecked, by your bad business advice.
_________________
Leslie Burns
Creative/Marketing Consultant
http://www.burnsautoparts.com/blog
http://facebook.com/burnsautoparts
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    ProPhotoForums.com Forum Index :: Photographer's Support All times are GMT
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3  Next
Page 2 of 3

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum




Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group
Charcoal2 Theme © Zarron Media