Archives for category: Unit 10 – Freelance Photography

Just before I started this task of thinking about my personal charges. I was approached by a company to create product shots for their website, this got me thinking about if I was to become a freelance photograph what would my daily rate be.

I have assisted a freelance wedding photographer in the past and I rely on his professional advice as a guide for my own work. I told him about the job that I had been approached for and asked him roughly what price he would charge for the job. He said that for any commercial work he would charge £450 for a rate day plus the image cost which would he suggested £30-£60 per final image. He also mentioned to me that I should make sure I think about copyright when approaching the client with my quote.

From this advice and information for a professional photographer, I then put together a price for myself as a freelance photographer of £450 as a set daily rate of eight hours, which works out as £56.25 per hour. This the photographer explains covers his cost of owning his own equipment which he had to invest in first, rent a second camera as a backup, all his insurances and general running costs, in order for him to make a profit on a hourly basis. However, because this photographer has his own in-house studio, this also covered the cost of electricity. However, because me just starting off as a freelance photographer I do not have my own studio yet so after I finish college I would then have to rent out a studio for any commercial work a client would want me to achieve which I would have to take into account in my daily rate which I would then have to increase by £150/200 as after research this is the rough cost of hiring a studio for the day.

However this also did not include my cost taking into account of petrol/travelling expenses. Although I decided that if I was to do this client work I would have the company courier the products to me and then also collect them again, to save me incurring more costs.

The other advice that I was told to think about was the image cost, which meant that for every final image they wanted they would have to pay for. The daily rate would include the studio time for me to actually shot the products. Then there would be a fee for each final image that the client would want to purchase, this would also include any editing costs if the image firstly needed to be edited and secondly obviously if the client wanted it to be edited.

I also then thought about copyright and how I was going to work it. After researching advice for this on the internet,  I decided to allow the client to use my images SOLELY for their website for a year starting from the date that I received the payment and invoice for the job. This yearly license was included in the £450 daily rate, however after this period they would then have to seek my permission to reuse the images and also pay me as the photographer a fee to be able to use them again solely on their website. Also if they wanted to use these images for any other purposes they would have to do the same, for which there would be a fee. The fee amount would depend on how and where they wanted to use my images. For example, if they wanted to use my image on a billboard for advertisement – I could charge them either a  lump sum of money or a daily fee for however many days the billboard was up. Or for example if they wanted to use my images in a brochure I could charge them for each copy of the brochure that they printed and use for advertising.

I am happy with the daily fee that I have quoted to the client and I am glad that I did this exercise as it did help me think about my charges if I was to become a freelance photographer after my time at college. I am glad that I have professional advice, as if I am struggling with anything queries that I may have, I know I can just ask. As I feel that this was a massive help to me as it gave me a starting point of what to charge clients. My boss is a good judge of character as he has seen my photography, he has seen how I work and knows what I am capable of and that I am about to finish college and maybe start my own career as a freelance photographer so I feel that his advice and costings that he recommended I charge would be spot on. 

This unit of work has been extremely helpful to me, as it has made me think deeply about being a freelance photographer and given me a very good idea of how much money I would need as a start up cost to set up my own business and become self employed. This assignment has been very useful and I feel that my knowledge is definitely a lot better now after the research I have done to complete this assignment. I am now aware of the costs, laws, insurances and other fundamental parts of running my own business and becoming a sole trader, if I was to become a freelance photographer.

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Any business or organisation where people could be at risk of injury, Health and Safety regulations need to taken into account, this is very important. When researching COSHH Guidelines, I found this helpful pdf file online that explains the basic regulations of COSHH. See the link below:

http://www.materials.ox.ac.uk/uploads/file/COSHHRegulations.pdf

Public Liability Insurance 

PROTECTS AGAINST LAWSUITS AND BEING SUED FOR NEGLIGENCE.

Public liability insurance is important for your business because it will pay out in the event that a mistake is made which causes an injury to a member of the public or customer, or which damages their property.

Incidents where customers slip or trip over are among the most common accidents which can result in public liability insurance claims. For example, if a spill on a shop floor isn’t marked sufficiently with a warning sign, and a customer slips and becomes injured as a result, they may claim for compensation. Public liability insurance covers this cost for a business.

In this instance of being a free lance photographer means that if you are shooting on location and a model falls over and trips over on a electrical wire that you have left lying around and damages all her face, she could sue you for not thousands but also millions. This is something that you do not wish to happen.

If your business is responsible for injuring a member of the public – known as a third party, someone who is not an employee of your business – or for damage or destruction of their property, public liability insurance would cover your business for any related costs.

These costs could include compensation pay-outs, the cost of repairing damage, or legal expenses incurred in defending the case.

Public Liability Insurances means that this model could sue me however, my insurance would cover the cost of them suing me.

The minimum amount that you can take out for insurance is 1 million pounds.

The level of cover you will need depends on the risks involved with your business. You can take out insurance that will cover as little as £2m if your business has little interaction with the public, or as much as £10m if your business is high risk or involved with government contracts. The amount that you need depends on how much public interaction your business has.

The costs per year for having public liability insurance can vary from £300 to a few thousands depends on how big your business is.

For example if you are only covered for 1 million pounds worth of damage then you yearly costs would only be £300 but if you are covered for 10 million then your yearly cost could may be £2000.

Public Liability Insurance does not cover accidents which happen to you, your own property or any employees this also excludes your business’ equipment. This is covered by your business insurance policy or employers’ liability insurance, which is separate from public liability insurance. It covers anything from any accident that has happened from your causes of your business to a public person either a passer by or a model that you are photographing on location shoot. Public Liability covers if someone gets hurt on location or any property gets damaged whilst you as the photographer is shooting on location. 

It protects you against lawsuits – sued for negligence, putting right damage, medical claims, legal costs, loss of earnings of the person who was injured.

To make sure that I was fully aware of the Health and Safety issues that had to be taken into consideration when being a photographer, I successfully completed a risk assessment sheet for the studio, being a photography student I was already aware of some issues that I then identified the risk and then said what actions were required to make the risk no longer a hazardous issue.

Please see below my risk assessment sheet –

GENERAL RISK ASSESSMENT SHEET

NorthamptonCollege

DATE 31st May TASK RISK ASSESS. Number

DESCRIPTION OF TASK

Photography Studio 

REVIEW DATES

OR ACTIVITY

31/05/13

31/05/14

31/05/15
PERSON(S) AT RISK No.
PRINT ASSESSOR(S) NAME(S) Kellie Houser EMPLOYEE
CONTRACTOR
PRINT ASSESSOR(S) TITLE Photographer VISITOR
PUBLIC/STUDENT

HAZARD IDENTIFIED

EXISTING CONTROLS

EXISTING TRAINING

RISK RATE

ACTION REQUIRED:- BY WHOM AND WHEN

Use of High Voltage appliances & changing bulbs if they are very hot after being on for a long amount of time (bulbs should only be changed by technician because they are so dangerous.) Supervision of use of studio.Control of procedures by staff or someone who knows how to move equipment appropriately and safely. Good practice in studio. Knowing that the bulbs get hot and only a technician can change the flash heads. 6 Plans already in place to create a ceiling system that the studio equipment i.e. all lighting will be hung on railing to keep it off the studio floor creating more floor space for students/staff using the equipment. This way there will be no carrying heavy equipment, no electrical wires loose on the floor and the bulbs because they would be up high could only be checked and changed by the studio technician specifically. This would also reduce the risk of breakages of studio equipment saving money for the college
Electrical wires on Floor  Taping the cables to the floor by using Gaffa tape to make sure it is taped down securely Knowing the appropriate rules when using the equipment in the studio. Not allowing wires to be in the way – potential hazard. 6
Carrying heavy/large equipment (power packs, reflective boards and lighting equipment i.e. Octagon soft box) Supervision, help and control when moving equipment. Always have a second person in the studio to be a helping hand. Induction to Health & Safety issues and good practice in studio. 6
Installing equipment (light stands, poles, tripods…of which require a balance of weight)  Supervision, help and control of procedures by staff. Knowing where to put the weights on the equipment to ensure that the equipment is secure and properly in place. 6

Likely hood of risk causing harm  x  How severe the harm is likely to be = RISK RATING

LIKELIHOOD OF RISK CAUSING HARM

HOW SEVERE IS THE HARM LIKELY TO BE

RISK RATING

RISK RATING – ACTION REQUIRED

1,2

LOW, NON URGENT:-INFORM, MONITOR AND REVIEW
CERTAIN

4

DEATH 4

3,4

ACTION NEEDED:-CONTROL , INFORM, MONITOR
V. LIKELY

3

X

SERIOUS 3

=

6

ACTION NEEDED:-POSSIBLE WRITTEN PROCEDURE
LIKELY

2

MEDIUM 2

8

ACTION NEEDED:-DEFINITE WRITTEN PROCEDURE
UNLIKELY

1

MINOR 1

9,12

IMMEDIATE ACTION NEEDED:-STOP ASAP, RECTIFY

16

IMMEDIATE SHUTDOWN:-STOP NOW
ASSESSORS: Kellie Houser Date 31/05/13 TEAM LEADERS
SIGNATURE SIGNATURE Date

ACTION PLAN            These sections relates to the remedial action required, who will do the work and should indicate a completion date.

Section One will relate to actions required that are within the ability, competence and authority of the assessor and can be completed

or organised using existing procedures and available budgets.

Section Two relates to risks identified by the assessor that they believe are beyond their ability or competence to rectify There may be many reasons

including financial constraints. Where this is the case the matter should be raised formally by the completion of section two, copies made and given to

the Head of Estates who together with the assessor will decide which course of action is appropriate with a suggested time scale.

Section One –  Risk Identified

Action Required

By Whom?

By When?

When the Octagon Soft box is moved in studio, the ceiling panels fall down as the ceiling is too low for the equipment used in the studio and could potentially hit a student or staff member in the head, badly injuring them. The ceiling needs to be fixed so that every single ceiling panel is very secure or the whole ceiling needs to be made higher so that the studio can be used to its full potential. Head of Estates/Maintenance of College. Technician of Studio ASAP.10/06/13

 

Section Two – Risk Identified

Action Required

By Whom?

By When?

High Voltage Bulbs being used and then getting extremely hot, potentially could seriously burn a student or member of staff. The bulbs need to have lights on to indicate when they are hot and when they have cooled down; so that people are aware not to touch or change the bulbs straight after they have been used. Better health and safety awareness and strictness in the studio. Technician of Studio. ASAP.Reminding Students/Staff constantly everyday
Signed    Kellie Houser Signed
Assessor Date 31/05/13 Supervisor Date

The benefits of social networking sites for freelancers are that it is easy to communicate with anyone, you can contact any individual easily and for free, it is a brilliant simple way to stay in touch and you can access the internet at the touch of a button by computers and smart phones. Most importantly social networking sites are for NETWORKING. Sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter allow you  as a freelancer to be current and constantly advertising your business by updating status and add images to these sites for people to see. If you are good at what you do, previous customers will be able to leave comments and reviews which is a great way of building up a reputation for yourself. Many people have been poached by companies via LinkedIn as this is a excellent way to show people your skills and to promote yourself.

For example, my own personal experience is that my mum was approached by Barclaycard for a PA role in Canary Wharf working for the Senior Executive. This was an amazing opportunity and after her interview she was offered the job. Before she was poached she had recently updated her LinkedIn profile to show her skill set which she made detailed and professional. This proves to me that if you have a striking profile, businesses will approach you. This social networking site is such a great way of promoting yourself and job hunting.

I have a Facebook account however it is not set up to be a photography page, although I posted a few photographs of my studio work and had a make-up artist approach me to take promotional images for her website which to me was an excellent way of having potential. I went through with this shoot, my client was extremely pleased with her photos and we have set another date at the end of June for a bridal shoot.

Twitter

Twitter is a social networking site that allows the users to follow each other, no-one can comment on anything that you post on your account however people can re-tweet someone’s post. A post can include text or an image.\

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a social networking site which is similar to Facebook however it is for business purposes. This allows you to have an image of yourself and your own profile where you can add in detail your skill set and also attach your CV, so that people can add you and approach you for new jobs. This is a professional website and it definitely worth having if you are seeking a job.

I understand that social networking sites are great for the promotion of businesses especially freelancers however I personally feel that I do not want to promote my business via Twitter. I feel that this website is not a professional, my personal opinion is that it is a gossip social networking site which people seem to use as a way of bad mouthing people. I would want my business as a freelance photographer to be very professional which I would rather promote through LinkedIn or a Facebook page which is separate to my personal Facebook account. I do not agree with using Twitter personally for my own work however I know many people that do use this social networking site to contact companies and have made a successful business for themselves and think that this is because of having a Twitter account. They update statuses everyday to share what the company has been doing to promote themselves in order to get more work. Journalists and other photography freelancers say that Twitter is a good tool to use for their business.

I would prefer to use LinkedIn as I feel that this is a professional networking site for business purposes. I feel that this networking site is more suited to my personal business if I was to become a professional freelance photographer. May be a later date I would then explore in different ways on how to promote my business, Twitter may then be a option, but I know in myself I would rather have LinkedIn as my first initial site to promote myself.

 

 

For this task we were asked to research three different types of businesses and write a explanation for each one to explain what they are. Then conclude which business would be appropriate for me personally.

 The three types of Business

 

  1. Self Employed ‘Sole Trader’
  2. Partnership
  3. Limited Company

Sole Trader – if you register yourself as self employed to the government this then means that you have your own business and are then responsible to pay your taxes accordingly to what the business has made in every working tax year which is April to October. Being self employed means that the business is owned by one person in particular, this person receives all the profit and has full responsibility for any financial issues which could be losses in money or debt that they may owe. The name that is down to own the business are personally liable for any of the firm’s debts which may have to be paid out of their own money if possible. Being self-employed is the simplest form of business that you can run solely on your own. Business such as Hairdressers, Electricians and photographers are all sole traders, they provide a specialist freelance service.

Partnership– A partnership is where a business is owned by two people or more, every single owner of the business is as equally personally liable and responsible for any debts that the business may incur. Owning a business with someone else means that you are not running it alone, you have the support of other people, the money and effort that is put into the business will be double as you have both invested time and money into the business that you do not want to lose. However, because there is more than one person in a partnership, this then means that decisions are hard to make as not everyone agrees with each other and decisions can lead to the business not being as successful which can then lead to debts and loss of profits in the business which can be devastating.  Although partnership’s can be a wise decision as it is always beneficial to share expertise.

Limited Company –A limited company means that it is incorporated, which means that the business has it’s own legal identity; the ownership for the business is split equally into shares.  Share holders can then invest in the company. Being a limited company means that the business can never lose more than what they originally invested in the company, which is a massive advantage to being a limited company.

Conclusion

This activity I found helpful as it has made me aware of the different types of business there are, which allows me to see the options that I can have in my future if I was to invest in having my own business is some shape or form, i.e. one of the above. I think the most appropriate option of business for me would probably be either registering myself as a sole trader or to invest in a business with someone else who has great expertise which are different to mine so that we can use our best potential to create a successful business in photography.

 

 

After researching The Prince’s Trust Enterprise Programme, I was then aware of the financial advice and help that there was out there for young people who needed a loan to get their businesses started. This is a really good opportunity for young people, as there are plenty of people that have great business ideas and plans yet they have don’t have the money to invest into their idea which is where The Prince’s Trust comes into place to help young people. One programme in particular that I found helpful if I was to set up my own photography freelance business.

The Prince’s Trust Enterprise Programme offers people from the age of 18-30

The programme can offer me –

  • training in order to give me practical and one to one help on a four day intensive training course
  • it can offer and support me if I wanted to apply for a low interest loan (compared to a high street bank interest rate) of up to £4,000 for a sole trader and up to £5,000 for a partnership
  • this enterprise programme also offers mentoring which would help me develop my business or access other opportunities in education, training, work or volunteering

The Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme supports unemployed young people aged 18-30 to work out if their business ideas are viable and whether self-employment is right for them. It is for people who:

  • have a business idea they want help to explore
  • are aged 18-30
  • are unemployed or working less than 16 hours a week
  • live in England, Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland

The Prince’s trust also offer grants to students of up too £500 to help young people get into education, training or employment baring in mind that you are a UK resident. People as young as 14 can apply for this grant. If I applied for this grant it would help me with costs towards my equipment. For example, he grant could be used for funding tools and equipment which would could cover the cost of a decent camera and other equipment which would be helpful to me as a potential freelance photographer. As when becoming a freelance photographer there is so much up front cost so even if it was the slightest sum of £500 would be a really good help especially for a young person.

I also found helpful advice on the Citizens Advice website.

I looked at the gov.uk website which offers the best advice when thinking about becoming self employed, it offers advice about tax, funding, debt and lots of other subjects that cover everything that I would need to be aware of when starting as a freelance photographer.

I found reading the tax advice very confusing, however once I got my head around the basics it did start to make sense, although it is hard to understand it is good that they give you this advice as it does make you aware of all the issues you could incur when having your own business. My awareness has been raised and it is a very helpful in depth website that explains everything that you would need to know up front about starting your own business/becoming self employed.

Capitol Equipment Costs, are costs that are needed to be spent in order to buy the appropriate equipment to achieve your work and run your business successfully. In groups we brainstormed the initial costs that we would encounter when first setting up our own freelance photography business.

The equipment list:

  • Camera – £4000
  • Mac – £1800
  • Software – £800
  • Lens – £2000
  • Cases – £100
  • Infinity table – £200
  • Van (transport) – £5000-8000
  • Tripod & Accessories – £40-100
  • Reflectors – £15-80
  • Backdrops – £40+
  • Light Meter – £100
  • Location Pack – £1000
  • Inkjet Printer – £200 (may not need)
  • External Hard drive – £150

After this list of costings we worked out that we would need roughly a loan of 18-20k to set up a freelance photography business with a decent standard of equipment.

The Inkjet Printer may not be necessary as an initial piece of set up equipment, as printing costs you could seek other companies to print your photographs for you, instead of investing in your own equipment encountering more cost.

Today we worked in small groups sharing ideas to collectively create a mind map with the strengths and qualities that are needed to be a freelance photographer. The strengths and qualities that were included in our mind map are of the following:

  • Excellent Communication and People Skills
  • Respectful
  • Innovative
  • Self Belief
  • Ambitious
  • Creative
  • Reliable
  • Genuine
  • Self motivated
  • Self pride
  • Focused
  • Organised
  • Independent
  • Approachable
  • Dedicated
  • Professional
  • Current
  • Assertive
  • Network
  • Committed
  • Promote Yourself
  • Confident
  • Passionate
  • Advertising your work
  • Polite
  • Determined
  • Strong portfolio
  • Patient
  • Health and Safety awareness
  • Money Management
  • Well equipped
  • Honest
  • Self disciplined
  • Responsible
  • Presentable
  • Well mannered
  • Punctual
  • Be the best that you can be

For example, if you were pitching to a client to commission you for a photography job you need to be genuine, reliable, have excellent communication and people skills. They need to see your passion for photography and have an interest in your ideas which need to be creative and innovative, ensuring that your work stands out from the rest this could be shown with a strong portfolio that is unique but also to show that your work is current. You need to be most importantly be professional, presentable, punctual and open so that the client can get a feel for your work and your personality.

Whereas if you have already been offered a photography job, to ensure that you complete the job correctly and therefore will be hired again. You need to be professional as this is an important quality that always needs to be maintained. You need to be punctual, organised, reliable, well equipped, focused and be the best you can be. This will show the client how capable you are but also you need as be as creative with your photography as you can to show that your work is different to any other photographer and for this reason they should hire you again, this quality in particular is about promoting yourself. It is also very important that you remain polite and respectful at all times during and after the shoot.

To be a freelance photographer on a day to day basis attending to client shoots, managing your time and money and ensuring that you are the one photographer that shines the most, you must be dedicated, focused, ambitious, have self belief, extremely self motivated, creative, current, organised, independent, committed, professional, determined and most importantly passionate  about what you do.