Our Process

Trust our experience to learn, plan, do and deliver for you - just like all our clients have done since 1981. We have planned and photographed thousands of many types of events, performances, people, and things for advertising, and editorial projects - big & small around the world. Contact us today, so we can work through our process steps together to create the visual content that strikes a balance between budget and delivery of what you need. 

Step 1

Identifying your needs

The first step is identifying the type or genre of work you need – Creative, Editorial, Event, Sporting Events, Live Performance, Retail, and Personal.

Some of the work that we do in editorial, retail, and personal genres has a typical set of steps and associated fees to deliver what most clients need.  Examples include business headshots, lifestyle portraiture, weddingsfine art, classes, coaching, and more.  Follow the links to the published pricing for these services on our website. 

For commercial, advertising, editorial, performance, or event-related projects, there is a unique set of elements for us to consider.  This requires we define a clear Scope of Work including a preliminary sense of your budget and timeframe for completion before we can provide you with a cost, time, and resource estimate.  It can be a bit of an iterative process and timely communication is key for us to provide you with a Project Proposal/Estimate.


Step 2

Estimating the Project

Among the considerations are whether the photos will be shot on location or in a studio; what personnel (producer, director, assistants, models, stylists, technicians, location scouts) and special equipment will be needed; whether permits and clearances must be obtained; and, of course, how much lead time is available.

An Estimate typically involves three components:

  • The Project Description
  • Licensing & Rights Granted
  • Pricing: Fees and Expenses


The Project Description

In addition to an overall detailed description of the project, some of the elements you may find in this section include the number of finished images, a description of deliverables, and a time frame for completing the assignment.  This section is where the following questions will need to be addressed: 

  • WHO?
    • Who (or what) is/are the subject(s) of the images you desire?
    • Who will be involved in the creative and decision-making processes?
    • Who is our primary contact for this assignment?
    • Who is financially responsible?
  • WHAT?
    • What is/are the intended purpose(s) for the images?
    • What is the form in which you want your images delivered?
    • What is your budget for the assignment?
  • WHERE?
    • Where do you prefer the photographs to be taken?
  • WHEN?
    • When is the photography to be scheduled?
    • When do you need the finished images?


Licensing and Rights Granted

A photograph is considered intellectual property. I own the copyright to the images or videos we create and have the exclusive right to license their use. Licensing agreements are specific about the use.

  • Image(s) to be used.
  • Usage Rights - non-exclusive and exclusive rights of use?
  • Duration - how long will the images be used?
  • License: Types of use - editorial, advertising, or promotional use?
  • License: Copyright - who is the name of the author or owns the copyright?
  • License: Rights to edit - yes or no?
  • Transfer of usage rights- yes or no? 

This information may be detailed in the Licensing & Rights Granted section of the estimate or a separate licensing agreement. We must agree on the scope of the license before photography has begun.


Pricing: Fees and Expenses

The pricing part of the estimate typically has two components: 

  • Fees
  • Expenses

There are two kinds of Fees: Creative and Licensing. We combine them into a single number for presentation purposes (which some clients prefer to see combined); however, they are distinct in principle and are differently affected by changes in the assignment description.

Creative Fees reflect the experience, creativity, and vision that I, as the photographer, bring to the assignment and the complexity of the project.  Requisites such as the total number of finished images, scheduling, site logistics, or the need for specialized skills or equipment can affect the overall Creative Fee. In addition to the actual time spent behind the camera, there will be fees that cover pre-production and post-production time.  Depending on the complexity of the project, these may be included in the photography fee or listed as separate production fees. Pre-production tasks commonly include client meetings, site visits, set building, obtaining props, acquiring a wardrobe, etc. Post-production tasks commonly include returning a work area to its original condition, prop returns, image editing and selection, digital enhancement, client meetings, and preparing images for final delivery. Travel and weather delays can be factors, too.

Licensing Fees (sometimes referred to as Usage Fees) reflect the value of the usage for each image in the assignment. This is determined based on several considerations, including how widely and for how long the images will be viewed, reproduced, and distributed. Typically, the more extensive the rights, the higher the fee. Think of it as similar to ads on television. Ad slots during the Super Bowl are expensive because the game has a huge audience. Ads on a local cable program cost relatively little, but not many people will see them. Another consideration is what degree of exclusivity is required. In addition to their immediate value, images can have ongoing value as stock photos, in coffee-table books, for historical research, and so on. To obtain the best value at the outset, it is not uncommon to negotiate the rights’ license based on currently planned needs and secure a price for additional rights that you might want in the future. This approach could let you pay as you go while minimizing budget uncertainty.


Itemized expenses may include charges for a producer, assistants, digital tech, equipment or prop rentals, models, hair & make-up, stylists, craft services, travel, costs for location access, extra insurance, processing, color and tone adjustment, digital retouching, and file delivery, etc., all depending on the job.


Step 3

Sign-off: Once the estimate, terms, and conditions are agreed on, signed off, and deposited paid, all the pre-production work begins to prepare for the shoot.


Step 4

The Shoot:  This is when all of the planning becomes a reality.  Cameras, lights, crew, and gear are in place.  We work through the “shot list” to capture amazing images – and we have fun along the way. 


Step 5

Post-Production Phase 1: Even if we might look at each image as we capture it – either in the camera or on the computer - all the raw files must be downloaded into the computer using specialized software to have our first real look at them.  Once the files have been downloaded, the editing process can begin.  This entails carefully looking at each image before selecting it for additional preliminary processing, cropping, and color balancing and before showing these “first selects” to you.


Step 6

Post-Production Phase 2: From the initial “first selects,” you will then have an opportunity to choose the final images you desire.  We will then do a final round of processing, cropping, sizing, sharpening, and/or retouching based on whatever we agreed upon for the final product.


Step 7

Delivery: Once we’ve completed our final creative work, we will deliver your beautiful images in the form agreed upon at the beginning and submit the final invoice.