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Bruce Schultz
18-May-2017, 14:09
I have been approached by an interior decorator who saw my website and she wants to use my tintype images in a new boutique hotel.
Sounds great, but I don't have a clue about pricing for this type of market. It would be a fairly large volume, and for much of it I would have to shoot new pictures.
So just how much do photographers get for lodging imagery? Most of the pictures I see in hotel rooms are pretty bad, but I can't help believe that someone is making a nice chunk of change.
I don't want to sell myself too cheaply but I'm thinking this has good potential for more work so I want to be reasonable in pricing. I'm going to stall on pricing for a few days.

Mark Sampson
18-May-2017, 14:17
Check with ASMP. If you're going to sell your work, you should know how the business of photography operates, and that's their purpose.

bob carnie
18-May-2017, 14:23
Bruce - most of the budget is on framing and it can go pretty cheap or expensive depending on the tastes of the owners and how much is allocated for each room for wall art.

You are competing with drapes, flooring , fixtures and mattresses.



I was involved with a hotel art purchase, a couple of times and its really surprising what the artist ends up getting.

You need to be prepared to have a price for usage, anywhere between $2500 - $15,000
Then you need to be able to project and produce the images and for that you will need to estimate the budget for that.

Combine these two items with a solid contract, see a lawyer that works in this field to protect yourself and see where it takes you.


I have seen the framing side of this as well and the $ can be very high and eat up most of the budget.

bob

David Lobato
18-May-2017, 15:28
Bruce,

Does the decorator want to buy your original tin tintypes? Or reproductions at original size, or possibly larger? That makes a difference in your pricing. Your website doesn't state the sizes of your tintypes, if the originals are for sale, or if reproductions are for sale. It's important to clarify exactly what the decorator has in mind.

Just my opinion, I'd insist on advantageous-for-you prices for original tintypes, even if it meant selling fewer pieces, to avoid undercutting their value.

And what bob said about the framing costs. Be careful there.

Bruce Schultz
19-May-2017, 01:14
Yep, the decorator said they want to put tintypes on their walls.

I'm assuming the decorator will want to make frame choices, but I need to clarify that as well.

I've worked for TV shows and films and I learned quickly that most of the time these folks really don't know what they want, and they change their minds quickly.

I have considered pitching an offer based on a flat amount per room instead of negotiating a price on individual images.

bob carnie
19-May-2017, 07:00
Yep, the decorator said they want to put tintypes on their walls.

I'm assuming the decorator will want to make frame choices, but I need to clarify that as well.

I've worked for TV shows and films and I learned quickly that most of the time these folks really don't know what they want, and they change their minds quickly.

I have considered pitching an offer based on a flat amount per room instead of negotiating a price on individual images.

I would do this as well a flat rate per room that clearly outlines your responsibility and their responsibiity..
Also needless to say 50% deposit 25% 3/4 through completion balance upon shipping.

Kevin J. Kolosky
6-Aug-2017, 11:13
If I was the decorator and you started dictating to me how you were going to do it I'd start looking for another artist.
Instead of guessing on all of this set up a meeting and find out exactly what they want and what their budget is. Then decide whether you can work with them.

consummate_fritterer
6-Aug-2017, 14:35
From what I've seen, interior decorators prefer VERY PRICEY items because they charge a PERCENTAGE of each item they buy for their client.

AtlantaTerry
6-Aug-2017, 20:21
My 2 cents:
* don't get involved with the framing, let the decorator deal with that. This way you won't have to put out a bunch of money then wait to be reimbursed.
* do work with the decorator giving your ideas about the framing but they might want something else in mind depending on the room style, design, etc.
* in my experience, hotels do not put up original works of art whereas yours will be. What will happen when something is stolen?
* instead of originals, what about having quality scans made then your images printed on metal? I have seen some ads by labs offering prints on metal.
* along with the seggestion above, every room really does not need to have an unique image; you could do a Signed Limited Edition series of (for example) 12 or 24, etc.
* what will happen to your original art pieces in the future if the hotel is sold or changes their decor?
* if you have people in your images, you need to have Photo Releases on file. This is because their images will be used for commercial purposes. (Don't make a lawyer rich.)
* be sure to retain copyright. You might want to consider licensing your images.

Kirk Gittings
7-Aug-2017, 13:22
I have done a fair amount of this and similar projects. I fairly recently did one in for a car dealership that ran 30k for 8 large prints and was asked by a new high end boutique hotel to do 55 rooms, 4 11x14 prints per room, with some variation (not all rooms the same). They were doing the framing. I quoted them 38K (which I thought was a very good deal) and they countered with 6K. I told them my costs would be much higher that that. I offered to negotiate and they said they were firm at the 6. They said I would get great exposure. I said I didn't need exposure-everyone pretty much in this state know what I do-I needed income. They stuck with 6 and I walked away.

There are no rules in this game. ASMP does not publish their rates guide anymore AFAIK. Don't sell yourself short. KNOW WHAT YOUR TIME IS WORTH. Know what your costs are to the penny. Don't be afraid to walk away. Quote a fair price and stick to it.

goamules
8-Aug-2017, 06:06
Kirk is right. One of the things that the "information age" and it's Internet brought was the belief that everything can be free, or almost so. Content in the form of music, videos, drawings, photos, technical writing, creative writing and more are easy to find and look at online. Many people have grown up downloading songs or books or hobby information (this forum) for free. They have come to expect it. They forget about their own work, and what they pay employees per hour, when it comes to creative "stuff."

For 20 years people have gotten used to free Internet entertainment and content. But because the Internet has no credentials, and people have no taste, the quality of that content is quite variable. I'm a training designer. It's easy to find some free background music or clip art for my web-based training, but hard to find GOOD stuff (for free). The decorator is in the situation. They need their hotel rooms to be decorated, and have a vague notion of what they want (wetplates). But they are from a generation when everything is free, so they cannot fathom that it would cost as much as the lamps or furniture that has to be actually built (in China at $1.15/hr).

Do not undercut your career by giving in and letting buyers get your creative content for almost free. It just perpetuates the false belief that a hotel room couch may cost $300, but a custom large format, framed photograph should cost $3.00. Your time and experience and creativity are more valuable than the average hack with a DSLR trying to "break in" (there is no career to break into - they're fooling themselves when they work cheaply) and off shore made plastic frame.

goamules
8-Aug-2017, 06:18
If I was the decorator and you started dictating to me how you were going to do it I'd start looking for another artist.
Instead of guessing on all of this set up a meeting and find out exactly what they want and what their budget is. Then decide whether you can work with them.

The problem is most people ready to buy creative work have no clue what it will cost. I place training professionals (mostly Instructional Designers, Graphic Artists, and Online Training programmers) on contracts for a living. You'd be surprised how many clients call me, and say they want a very experienced ID, to create some very important online training, in a very esoteric field (like thermodynamics). They call because they cannot do it themselves (same as the hotel decorator). They know what they want. They just don't know what it will cost. Sometimes, they have an extremely wrong impression of what it should cost. I have to advise them that they cannot get the work done at that budget. They are often very surprised, but I explain what an ID gets paid, and how many hours of billable work their project should be. Like building a new house, or a ship, or a guitar....it's all simple math. When a client tells me they need 3 one hour classes of online training built, but only have budget to pay an ID $20/hr, I tell them I cannot find someone that cheap. The going rate is $40-65/hr for that skill. They will have to A) cancel the project, B) find someone in India that will work for peanuts, C) get more funding.

If a construction company is called to "build us a new office", and they say "our budget is $6,000", the same thing would happen: the builder would advise it cannot be done. Could they get some inexperienced kids in high school to try to build the office for the budget? Sure....but they'll get what they pay for.

Hans Berkhout
8-Aug-2017, 06:33
You may find helpful information in "Truth needs no ally" by Howard Chapnick.

Lungeh
19-Sep-2017, 14:02
How did it go?