I’ve recently been chosen to submit several estimates for work to large marketing companies. When you get asked what is your Day rate, it really changes your mindset of what you’re doing. Just a few years back, you wouldn’t have been able to convince me that I would be submitting estimates that totaled up to $20,000 to large companies. I didn’t set out to get into this scale of work but truthfully, this is where this kind of work leads. Up until about 5 years ago, I was on the fence about calling myself a Pro-Photographer. Until I read an article that stated “Once you’re paid for a job, you become a Professional.”, then it really sank in that I was a working Professional Photographer. I’m working for myself and being paid to do work for others. When my first big shoot came in 2015 and they asked for my Day rate, I was floored! What do you mean my Day rate?! Elissa and I did a lot of research to see how others setup their estimates for really large jobs. I’ve photographed for magazines for years and weddings but nothing that came close to a business wanting to own everything you photographed for them. It shocked us.
I never really get stressed over a lot, save for driving in Dallas. But when we start negotiating the price with these companies, my hair started falling out! (not really) It was tough to rehash a quote 5 times to get it to where we both agreed on the value of the work. To have someone say ‘Is there any room? Or We need you to be at this…’ Is heart wrenching to an artist. It can get you down in the dumps. But that is part of the job, the Self Employed job.
So Elissa and I sat down and did more research on how to price out these new jobs and got ready for the talks again. It makes us both happy that after all these years in this field to see these large (One of the top 3 car manufactures) asking me to work for them. Many times I’ve fought with the possibility that this might not work out. But this is what I love to do so I’m happy to see that these opportunities keep coming up. It reassures me that I’m doing it right and to never give up on your dreams.