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Getting Clients To See Our Value

Lesson 38 from: Adventure Photography Pro

Alex Strohl

Getting Clients To See Our Value

Lesson 38 from: Adventure Photography Pro

Alex Strohl

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Lesson Info

38. Getting Clients To See Our Value

How do you define what your work is worth? You'll hear pros saying: my day rate is xx a day or x a day and when you're still establishing yourself as a pro, you might think: that's a lot of money! But is it? Learn how the value of what we do is determined.


Class Trailer



Workshop Intro






Gear - My Camera Bags


Mastering Camera Settings


Blue Hour, A How-To


Photos That Move Us


Visual Storytelling 101


Endurance In A World Of Sprinting


Keeping Your Ideas Fresh


Building Your Story Arc


Shooting More: Action Plan


Conveying Emotions


In the Field


The Assignment: Himalaya Pre-Pro


In the Field: The Himalaya Defender Shoot


The Assignment: Canon Pre-Pro


In the Field: Canon USA Shoot




Keywords & Organizing Images


Commercial Grading


Masking & Radial Filters


Perspective Correction


HDR (Hand-Held)


Black & White Edits


Before & Afters


Moody Grading


IG Export Settings


Web Export Settings


Clone Stamping & Patch Tools


Grading in Lightroom


Hand-Held Panoramas


Radial Filters Pt 2


Delivering Files to Clients


Archiving & Organizing Images


My Favorite Software




Let's Talk Business


Building A Desirable Portfolio


How to Contact Clients


Prospecting: Finding Brands That Fit You


Getting Clients To See Our Value


Paid to Travel the World


The Art of Making Moodboards & Treatments


Keys To A Fulfilling Career


Three Things You Need To Know Before Pitching


Finding Your Value Proposition


Media Kit: A Walk Through


How I Built My Audience


Social Media Landscape


Module Recap


Bonus - Everything To Know About Filters


Do You Need Lens Filters?


Filters in The Field


Bonus - Find Your Path


Find Your Path


Bonus - How To Print Your Work


Why Print or Sell Photos


Preparing Photos for Print


Reviewing Major U.S Printers


Lesson Info

Getting Clients To See Our Value

(soft music) How do you define what your work is worth? You know, you'll hear pros saying oh my day rate is 10k a day or 5k a day. And you're still establishing yourself as a pro. You might think that's a lot of money, right? But is it? The value of what we do is determined by a few factors. First one is how big of a problem are we solving for the client? Are they buying just a photo from us for a small brochure that's gonna be internal or are we shooting images for the launch of one of their biggest products they've ever launched? So it's a completely different thing. At the end of the day companies are gonna benefit from our work and we have to be compensated accordingly. So when you're about to bid a job just take a moment to do some research and reflect on what size of problem you're solving. You know, imagine you're in their shoes that will lead to much more clarity. Second thing is how much they've spent in the past in similar projects. Or we can call that industry rate, you kn...

ow. As you progress through the industry and you make more and more connections you're gonna learn about your peers project you know and how much do they charge. It's okay to ask friends about that. Sometimes you'll be working with a client that a friend has worked with before. And just with a quick message you can find out the details of the deal simply. If the person is a good sport they'll be keen to share, right. And do the same for them when they ask you how much did you make for this job? Just be open. Like I said earlier, be an open book. Number three, our track record. This comes down to our client list. Have we shot other campaigns for similar caliber brands? If we have, then we can command a larger rate. You want to make sure that for every project you do, as you progress you charge a bit more money every time, right? Because you're gaining experience. And no matter what level you are at you're gonna be gaining experience. That experience makes you a better photographer. So your rates should definitely increase. Even if it's just a few percentage points every time. The point is that you could just keep growing the size of the projects you do. Number four, what's our structure. Do we bring a crew? This is straightforward. If the shoot we're doing requires more complex structures with Digitechs, assistance, and stylists and catering we have to charge the client for that. And by the way, in this occasion, you can also charge a 20% management fee to everyone's day rate like to the day rate of the caterer, the assistant because your company is handling their contracts and their payments, right? You're just doing management work for them. It's okay to do that. Our number five is our equipment. This is not a factor that I look at but some photographers work with extra equipment like strobes or very expensive Hasselblad or phase one cameras. So they go and spend $30,000, you know, buying the camera. And then every time a client needs to shoot with that camera they can charge a day rate just for the camera alone. Filmmakers do that as well. Should I have a rate card? Rate cards are typically used by event and wedding photographers because their customers which are generally consumers you're doing B to C they expect these kind of documents, right? I wouldn't recommend having a rate card as an adventure photographer. It doesn't make a lot of sense because you're not aiming for consumers. You're aiming to work with businesses. And most of them, they don't expect that because every job is so different. So if a client asks you for one of your rate cards just simply explain that you don't have one and you'd be happy to quote for the projects you know, when they share all the relevant information. This leads me to big question, how to quote a project. We're getting into negotiation techniques here. But one rule of thumb here is to try not to quote first. I much prefer asking for the client's budget in every situation. Why? Well, there's a few reasons I'm gonna go over. First one is big, is you might spend half a day pressing a 30,000 project, right? $30,000 project. And the client might come and be like, oh we only had 3000 bucks. So there goes your time that you couldn't, could have spent doing useful things, you just wasted the afternoon. Another one is that you may be surprised with the client's answer. You may be thinking about quoting 10,000 bucks for that project, just to hear the clients say they want to get it done for under 50,000. And this is not about being dishonest and ripping people off, right? But if they share a much larger amount it probably indicates they have either burly licensing terms or that they simply expect much more from you than you're just about to quote. So do your best to get the clients to share their hand first. If they insist on you sharing a fee that's totally fine, it's fair, right? But to do that, you have to make sure that you gather all the information before you quote. What is the project, right? Get them to talk about the project as much as you can on the phone or an email because you'll learn a ton of useful information. Locations. Is it in your country or 4,000 miles away? Do you have to rent a studio? Talent? Is there models? Who hires the models? Who pays their expenses, right? It's questions you have to ask. Stylist, who hires the stylist, who pays for their expenses? Another good question. Props, what kind of props do we need? Does the client want to use an old muscle car? Who finds a muscle car and how much is that to rent for the day? Do you need insurance? You just need to know all this stuff. Also, crew, will you need extra, you know hands to prepare the locations. If it's big sets, you might need help. And then deliverables, how many selects do they want? Do they want video, use of likeness? Will the client use your name to endorse their product. That is not free, right you have to be compensated for that. Is there any social media usage? Will you have to share the project on social and how many posts are they expecting? Are there any insta stories? You know, you need to get the down low on that. Licensing terms, I know this is a lot but licensing terms is not a fun one. I can explain but you need to know what the licensing terms are. If you're still unsure of what this all means check the episode earlier called three things you need to know before pitching because I explained licensing terms right there. Upselling. So when a brand reaches out to you for a specific project I consider my job to be much more than catering to their need at hand. Meaning that these are golden opportunities for us to show to a client all that we can do. Honestly, there hasn't been a project that has come in the past two years that we haven't been adding deliverables. And these deliverables, the brand didn't even know they needed. Video is one of the extras that brands are buying at the moment, right? For every shoot that I do I make sure to bring a small crew to film and make the 30 second video cut down for them to use on social media or, you know, point of sale. But these things until the brand hears about it they don't know. So the best time to upsell the brand is when you're at the early stages. Ideally you're on the phone and you can explain you know, what else you had in mind. You first talk about the specific shoot you know, whether you're trying to accomplish. And at the end you can start sharing extra ideas. Just don't be pushy and make it all about them. Should I use day rates? You know, in 2016, I moved away from day rates because generally they opened the door for lengthy negotiations with the client. Simply we would just try to figure out how many days it would take to shoot the project, right? So for example, it'd be, well, it's gonna be five days of shooting and we'll have one weather day in case it rains. And more often than not the client would ask us to shoot it in four days, right? So they could save a chunk of money. And that just became a bit irritating because I shoot my best work early in the morning. And in the afternoon, my shooting days are quite short. And I like to take my time just to make sure that I'm making my best work and that leads to a slightly longer shoot. So the solution we found to this problem is that we reframed the way we quote these projects. We went for a fee based structure meaning that we quote a project fee that includes everything from us systems, productions, day rate, et cetera. And it just isn't broken down for the client. It's just a lump sum, creative fee this much and includes everything. We found that this structure led to way less negotiation. Some clients wanted to see breakdowns which we provided but we would simply explain that we no longer use day rates, for example. And if you're tempted to use fee based structures remember that these creative fees that I use they don't include licensing. And I'm gonna touch on that in the next point. How to quote image licenses. If you've ever struggled to tackle these sort of quotes just know that you're not alone. It seems like a terribly subjective exercise at times but it just doesn't have to be that way. I wanna share this story because nine years ago while I was still in college Microsoft approached me to buy one of my images and I had never licensed an image to an international corporation. Right, I was 20. I was a bit lost. So essentially they wanted to get this image for 24 months for pretty intense licensing, worldwide, et cetera had no idea how much to quote them. So I simply ask a few friends. They're like, I don't know I've never sold an image to Microsoft. So I decided to go for the simple route. And I was like, okay, cool. How much do you usually spend on this? And they just told me, oh, we usually spend this much. I'm like, whoa, okay, great. Done. As simple as that, right? So this is in a situation where the brand was happy to share how much much they spent which is always a good question. You know, how much, what's your budget how much you wanna spend on this license how much you typically spend on these, right? And sometimes the, the brand doesn't wanna do that. Luckily you have another ally here and it's called Getty images. So using Getty images to get sample quotes will give you a very indicative market rate for your work. So once you have a number from Getty depending how unique your image is you can either increase or reduce your fee, right? If your image is super unique, then, you know don't shy away from tackling an extra maybe 50% to your quote, right? Because it'd be super expensive for the brand to go and try to redo this image. If on the other hand, it's kind of common and it's everywhere on Getty images already. Then I would be smart and keep the price within the range that Getty provides. So I know this was a lot of information, but at the end of the day, I want you to know that your work has a value and brands are gonna benefit from it, right? So don't shy away to stand up for yourself stand your ground because I just want you to know that, you know, your work is worth something and we are usually the worst to judge how much it's worth, right? You'll learn more and more like how market rates work. But if I can leave you with this nugget is to, you know stand your ground, like stand up for yourself.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

A Note From Alex

Ratings and Reviews


Not What I Was Expecting Let me just start by saying that the workshop was very good. There were lots of things that I learned and many insights I took away. Perhaps the greatest bit of wisdom imparted to me was not anything Alex said but how he approached every subject he talked about. I felt that he was talking to me as a friend, very personal and open book. This was both a blessing and a curse as the course tends to meander around and is not as structured as others I've taken. Alex's passion for the highest quality, and craftsmanship in every aspect of his business, is very evident. From the premiums he charges, to the attention to detail in client deliveries. This is where my review is going to give some hopefully constructive criticisms. For someone so focused on a premium experience I was a surprised to find the course a bit sloppily assembled, and the videography and editing lackluster. This is coming from a videographer and someone with a lot of experience in online training. A few short examples to illustrate my point include: repeating segments of the edit (in some instances the exact same segment), poor framing. Colors changing between cuts, and my biggest pet peeve, not leaving photo examples on for long enough to see them. These are all small things, but they add up, and along with the topics meandering, left me a bit disappointed. I'm curious who you would say this class is aimed towards. Amateurs, mid-level, or experts? The assumption of who you are addressing changes throughout the course. I feel like with a bit of work from an instructional designer, and some editing cleanup, you could help hone this course to be one of the best out there. I feel like I need to do a more in depth review than will fit here, to actually explain this well. Let me know if that would be helpful to you. One other note: When I signed up for a workshop on Adventure Photography, I honestly thought it would be more field focused. The field examples were all shoots for products, and not shoots documenting an adventure. I guess I had just hoped to learn that side of the storytelling process more. Getting into the nitty gritty of being wet, cold, and dirty, and still shooting bangers. The section on filters (going out and building the snow cave) was more what I thought this course was going to be. Anyhow, with all that said, I still found it valuable and worthwhile. To summarize, the course feels a bit unpolished and in some ways unfinished though there is still great value. I've taken Jimmy Chin's Masterclass on adventure photography and it felt very structured and highly polished. I purchased "Adventure Pro" on the "finish in a month" discount. I would have felt ripped off if I had paid full price with the course in its current state. Thanks for reading and I hope my criticisms come as helpful. As I've already mentioned I'd be happy to further elaborate.

Topher Hammond

One of the best photography investments I'm only 1/4 of the way through Alex's course and I feel like I already have a loose plan on how I can move forward in my own career as a photographer. I felt like my work was lacking a specific feeling. The way that Alex articulated ideas on how to convey emotion in your imagery and building that overarching story arc for your own life narrative were super helpful to focus on how to make my work better. Super looking forward to the rest of this course. Thanks Alex and team!

Sergi Mas de xaxars Rosell

Great Workshop I learned quite a lot with this workshop. Because I'm in the industry for 5 years now, there were a few things I already knew. On the other hand, Alex showed me different and more effective ways to improve my business. I like the way he gives the lessons, always in a personal and close way. This is the knowledge I wish I had when I started. Totally worth it!

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