How to Negotiate a Shot List

We have all been there, a client stating how long they need you to do a job with no real understanding of whats required. In this video I go over how to work around this. 

Photography is a very broad area and being a professional photographer doesn't really tell us much more than that you use a camera to make money. Within this there are so many genres, then within each genre there will be photographers who specialize in specific niches. 

When clients come to me, they do so in a few ways. Either with a problem to be solved looking for a cost, which is always a little stressful to calculate. Some come with a clear idea of their budget, but being unsure as to exactly what it is they need. For me personally, this is less stressful as I have a pretty good understanding of my market and I can usual advise pretty well on how to spend that money. Finally, we have those who know exactly what they want, how long they want it to take, and how much money they are willing to spend on it. This can go one of two ways. 

I have clients who I regularly work with that come to me in this manner, they know the price of milk, they understand the time taken, they do a quick check with me to make sure I agree, and off we go. These shoots are a dream, no difficult negotiations, no awkwardness, and a very straight forward shooting day. 

However, not everyone joins this camp. There seems to be a influx of marketing companies who are moving into dealing with photographers as they start to grow. Some of the shot lists for a days shooting that I have seen have required a weeks solid shooting to complete. As frustrating as this is, you can often turn it around to something that leaves everyone feeling happy. In this video I go through my logic in regards to negotiating a shot list. 

Scott Choucino's picture

Food Photographer from the UK. Not at all tech savvy and knows very little about gear news and rumours.

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yeah contingency budgets are a good shout, then if not used its kind of fun money for the client haha.

Charging by the hour really cheapens what we do. Especially once you get good at it and can do it really fast. Paying for results is certainly the best way to go.