The pricing for commercial photography is different than that of portrait pricing. One of the simplest reasons for this difference is the usage of the image. In the portrait job, the client buys a printed image, and the copyright law legally prevents the client from reproducing the image. In commercial photography the client buys usage of an image to sell a product or service. Therefore, the image will be printed multiple times for advertising, which calls for a different pricing structure. Since the image is still the copyright property of the photographer, the client needs to purchase the image, according to use.

When you hire Black Box Photography, you are purchasing our photographic style, creativity, experience and quality service.

Our photography fees & costs, to cover a commercial assignment, are broken down in the following ways:

  • Production Fee
  • License Fee
  • Expenses

The Production Fee is also often referred to as the “photography fee” or “creative fee”. Simply stated, it is the cost to the client for our photographic services to shoot your project. It takes into account our experience, creativity and professionalism. This fee also includes the session fee, as well as additional hidden hours that are unique to commercial photography, including digital time, and pre & post production time.

  • Session Fee: Similar to the Portrait “Session Fee”, this is the cost of the photo session.
  • Digital Time: Proofing, color correcting, retouching, digital filing & back-ups, sizing, file conversion & photo transmitting, are all included in “Digital Time”.
  • Pre & Post Production: Pre production is very often the most important part of a great photo shoot and is often over looked. Time spent beforehand arranging and organizing everything will greatly help the shoot to run smoothly and quickly, saving you time and money in the long run. Post Production time is the time spent breaking down a set, and the follow-up to complete the job.

The production fee is calculated by the information you provide about your project. To fairly and accurately provide you an estimate for your project, we have provided a list of questions for the client, which we need in order to research a fair price.

The License Fee is for the license to use the images we create for you. Per U.S. copyright laws, each image is copyrighted to the photographer. Meaning, the creator of the image is also the owner of the image.

Licensing photo usage from Black Box Photography is simple. Generally, photos are licensed to the client as one-time, non-exclusive, North American rights. Other rights are licensed as needed by the client. Such rights are, or can be, quite involved with many combinations of rights granted.

The range is great because no two jobs are the same and the costs to photograph any particular job varies a great deal. In general, a small business owner who only has a single subject to be photographed and only needs the photo for a short amount of time in a local market will pay a relatively small fee. This is contrasted with a large multinational corporation which may need many subjects photographed and will use the photos for a long time, in a national ad campaign. The larger company will be expected to pay a proportionally higher fee for our service. In either case, the quality of our photography will be the same and the service will be outstanding.

Factors which affect the cost of the license fee include:

  • The size of the photo.
  • The kind of use (editorial, corporate/industrial, promotional/advertising).
  • The region the photo will be used (local, regional, national, international).
  • The number of times the photo is copied for distribution (circulation size, print run or number of hits on a web site).
  • The length of time the photo is needed.
  • Exclusivity (Do you need to be the only one to use this photo in your magazine, company publication, advertising campaign?)
  • Location where the photo will be used (Inside page, cover page, home page, banner, package, poster, billboard, etc.).
  • How the photo is to be printed (Color or Black & White).

Expenses can include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Mileage and other travel costs
  • Film processing and digital imaging costs
  • Shipping costs
  • Printing costs
  • Photographic assistants
  • Purchasing or rental of props
  • Rental of camera and lighting equipment
  • Hiring models
  • Parking and tolls

Finding the best creative solutions makes sense in business terms. We very often do work to tight budgets – advising you as to how to get the maximum number of images, quality, service and results for your money, and we will be glad to help.

After discussing your project with you, we will research and provide you with an estimate. It should be signed and returned before work is undertaken. Estimates are based on information received and are therefore subject to change if the job changes at any stage.

We are committed to working with you and your team to accomplish your project and create the images that will professionally represent you and your company. We look forward to hearing from you. Please contact us with any of your questions.