Revised January, 2018
Please be sure to read and fully understand my Standards and Procedures before commissioning any work.
Studio Rate and Minimum
For work of all types my rate is $145/hour with a two hour minimum. This means that my minimum charge is always $290. (There are two exceptions, one for Location Photography and one for Jewelry – see below).
How much work can I shoot in two hours? It depends on the work and the medium, but here are some estimates to be used as guidelines. Final costs billed will be based on the minimum charge or actual time used, whichever is greater. Please scroll down to find information specific to your medium. And please don’t hesitate to contact me directly if you have any questions.
Guidelines for Jewelry
Jewelry photography is a special case because of its size, complexity, and reflectivity. When possible, I am happy to have the artist in attendance. I also routinely receive work shipped to my studio. I produce two types of jewelry photography, Highest Quality and General Use. Both are billed at my standard studio rate and minimum.
Note that if you have a single piece of jewelry you need shot, if I can work it in with another jewelry shoot I can do it for a one-hour minimum.
Please read my post on Jewelry Backgrounds for important information about the kinds of backgrounds available.
Highest Quality Jewelry Photography on White or Graduated Background
These images are intended for high-end show applications and book and magazine publication, although they are suitable for any other uses. I produce them either on a traditional dark-to-light graduated background with a reflection, or on a pure white background with a slight shadow or reflection. Please see my galleries and recent posts for specific examples. Also, please see my series of posts concerning Shooting on White Backgrounds. For either background, after the original photography I digitally “cut out” the jewelry and place it on a clean digital background which is consistent shot to shot. This produces the very highest quality images. Please see my Technical Posts on Layers and Cut-Outs for more on this.
I can usually finish 3-4 images in two hours, but that is variable depending on the surface treatment of the jewelry, the complexity of the forms, and the preferences expressed by the artist. Highly reflective work ordinarily takes a bit longer than non-reflective work. Extremely complicated pieces can take substantially longer. In such cases I am happy to give you an estimate in advance, but time used will be time billed.
I can also shoot your work on various forms including busts, hands, wrists, etc. Please let me know in advance if this is what you require.
General Use Jewelry Photography
This is intended for artists who produce a lot of work and need good-quality images of a large number of pieces at a cost-effective rate. These are images intended for use on websites and for sales and marketing sites such as Artful Home, in addition to other uses. I shoot these images on a white background. They are high-quality images which present the work cleanly and professionally, but they are not “tweaked out to perfection” as are my Highest Quality images. They remain on the background on which they are shot (as opposed to being cut out and placed on a pure white background as I do with my Highest Quality images), and therefore take less time to produce. I can usually shoot about 6-8 pieces in a two-hour minimum, depending on variety and complexity. It is a more cost-effective way to go but I do not recommend using General Use images for show applications.
GUIDELINES FOR 3D and 2D MEDIA
Ceramics/Pottery/Sculpture and other small to medium-sized 3D artwork
Highest Quality Photography of 3D Media
These are my highest quality images and are suitable for use in show applications, as well as publications, websites, and other promotional materials. For most ceramics such as pottery and other work of a similar size, up to 30″ x 40″ I can usually shoot 4-5 pieces in two hours. However, if the work is highly reflective or requires complex lighting it can take longer than that. In general, however, it is common for me to shoot five pieces in 2-2 1/2 hours.
General Use Photography of 3D Media
This is targeted mainly at artists who produce a large volume of work and need good-quality images of a large number of pieces. The images I produce are not as fully refined as my highest quality images but are nonetheless very good quality images, suitable for use on websites and other promotions. I can usually shoot 6-7 pieces in an hour with a two-hour minimum.
3D Hanging Artwork
For three-dimensional work which hangs on a surface, such as wood, ceramic or fiber wall sculpture, the time involved is related to the complexity of the form and can vary substantially. Some things are really simple to shoot and some are much more complicated, but in general, 2-3 pieces in an hour is a good guideline, keeping in mind that things can take longer if there is significant Photoshop work required to remove/replace backgrounds, create drop shadows, etc.
2D Flat Artwork Including Flat Textiles
For work such as acrylic, watercolor, pencil, ink or charcoal, I can often shoot as many as 4-5 pieces in an hour, although there is a little time on the back end to color-balance the images and crop them properly. So a good estimate would be 5-10 pieces in two hours. For more complex “2D” work such as encaustic, pallet-knife or other highly-textured work where seeing the texture is important in the photograph, the process can be a bit slower because the lighting is more complex. In general, for 2D artwork the standard procedure is to trim the image file to the edge of the artwork. For work where it is necessary to preserve the edge of the work, place the art on a background, or include a frame, the process takes a bit longer and thus can cost a bit more.
2D Artwork Shot at Ultra-High-Resolution for Large-Scale Reproduction
For large artwork, or other work where ultra-high resolution is needed, I use a technique called Photomerge to create images with resolutions higher than the highest resolution digital cameras available today. This allows me to produce images suitable for full-resolution, full-size reproductions of large artwork, such as Giclee prints larger than 48″ on a side. This requires shooting multiple images of a single piece of art and it can often take an hour or more to produce a single image. But if you need full-size reproduction of a piece of art bigger than 36″, or need full resolution blow-ups of smaller work, it is the only cost-effective way to do it. I am the only one in the area who offers this service. This process can be fairly simple for modest enlargements, to very complex and time -consuming for large and extremely high-res reproduction. Please call me with details concerning size and resolution needed so I can give you an estimate before we start.
Furniture and Larger 3D Work Shot In My Small Studio
My small studio can accommodate modest-sized pieces, up to about 5′ wide by 6′ tall. The standard rate and minimum apply. Because of the set-up time required for larger work you should figure on no more than 3 pieces in two hours, and possibly less, depending on the size, complexity and surface treatment. Dark, reflective pieces typically take longer to light, as do larger pieces. Groupings also take longer, and it adds additional time to shoot detail shots. Typically five pieces, such as chairs, end-tables, credenzas, coffee tables and such, shot on a graduated gray seamless background, will take 3-4 hours.
Furniture and Larger 3D Work Shot In My Large Studio
My large studio can accommodate most furniture pieces up to 6-7 feet wide, and sculptural work up to about 8-9 feet tall. Because the large studio requires significant set-up I charge an hour if time as a set-up fee, in addition to the two-hour minimum. Other than that, the same guidelines apply as for the small studio.
I also shoot all kinds of other media such as textiles, wearables, fiber art, basketry, etc. The same minimum and rate apply. For smaller objects, the same time estimates as for other 3D work will roughly apply, but because of the highly variable nature of these media it is difficult to give a good general estimate of time involved to shoot them. Please feel free to call me and discuss your work and get an estimate from me.
I can come to your location for photography. Often I do this for work which is installed, or is too big to be transported. Costs can vary. For work which is outdoors and requires no additional lighting I charge a two-hour minimum, plus travel time outside of 25 miles from my studio. Travel time is billed at $75/hour plus $.75/mile. For work which is indoors and requires lighting, I charge a two-hour minimum for the shoot, plus a Two Hour Location Prep Fee to cover the time involved in prepping, packing, loading, unloading and returning the gear to my studio. The same applies if you need me to come to your location and set up a studio-type environment for shooting multiple pieces, which I often do for museums and galleries. However, every location situation is different, so please contact me and we can discuss your job and I can give you an estimate.
Graphic Design and Layout for Cards, Signs, Banners, Etc.
I offer these services for producing books, booklets, exhibition catalogs, postcards, photographic reproductions, blow-ups, posters, signs and banners. My hourly rate is $105 with a one-hour minimum. Producing a simple postcard from an image, for example, with text on the back supplied by the artist, might take an hour to produce and an additional hour to upload the files, view the proof, set up shipping, and invoice the job, plus the cost of the actual printing. Photographic reproductions include my time to format the files, place, track and invoice the order, plus the cost of the actual reproduction. Signs and banners can take anywhere from an hour or two to longer, depending on what the artist wants. I have suppliers for all of these services with whom I have long-standing relationships and whose work and customer service I trust. Call me for a quote.
General Photoshop Services
I offer a full range of Photoshop services for artists. My Photoshop rate is $105/hour with a half-hour minimum. I can do pretty much whatever you need, including enhancing and retouching images the artist provides; reworking older photos to give them a more current look; altering or removing backgrounds, shadows and reflections where possible; any kind of reformatting or resizing for specific requirements such as printing banners and posters; and just about anything else an artist might need.
Scanning 35mm Slides
I can scan your old 35mm slides. I have two levels of this service, what I call Highest Quality and Best Light. For Highest Quality scanning I make individual adjustments for each slide, scan at very high resolution, and once I have the image in Photoshop I color-balance it, crop it properly, remove dust and scratches and sharpen the image. The final result will be a good-quality digital image, far better than the original slide, suitable for web or archive use. For Best-Light scanning I simply set up the scanner for the best overall adjustment, scan the slides, and return the image files to you. These images will be a good-quality digital record of the slide, suitable for archive use. For Highest Quality Scanning I can produce 3-4 images in an hour. For Best Light Scanning I can scan up to 12 slides in an hour. Please see my technical post on scanning 35mm slides for more information.
My preferred method of delivering images to the artist is by Dropbox. You do not need to have a Dropbox account. I simply send you a link via email, which allows you to go to a folder on Dropbox and download the images. If you do have a Dropbox account I can link the image folder to your account so you can access it.
Output to Disk
Cost to put image files on a disk is $10. This may be avoided by bringing or sending me a thumb drive or letting me send the images to you digitally by Dropbox.
Format Files for Application Service
I can format your images for any of the major show application services including Zapplication, Juried Art Services and CaFE. Cost for this is $5 per image up to $25 when done in the context of a photo shoot, or $5/image when the artist sends the images to me or asks that I reformat the images for them at a later date, after the shoot.
Upload Images to Your Application Portfolio or Forward Images for You
I can upload your files to your Zapplication, Juried Art Services,CaFE, or other portfolio. I will need your password and username to access your account. I can also forward your images to individuals, galleries, printers, etc. Cost is billed by the hour at $105/hour with a half-hour minimum.
Replacement Images, Disks, and Archives
I archive everything, so if you lose or damage image files I can replace them for you. I charge $25 to re-upload images from an individual shoot to Dropbox, where you can download them. Cost to output a CD or DVD with images from a single shoot is $35. If I have shot for you for a while and I have a lot of your images, I can give you a full archive on disk or thumb drive or Dropbox. Cost for that is one hour of time, or $125.