Adrian Asher - Ashmore Imaging | Things to consider when hiring a photographer - part two

Things to consider when hiring a photographer - part two

January 20, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

In part one of this post I concentrated on the photography, in part two the focus is on the business.


You will find photographers who charge by the hour/day, some who offer a fixed price for the job others who will offer a choice and be happy to negotiate a package for multiple shoots or combined services. There may also be extras not included in the initial quote such as future royalty fees, extended rights options or additional costs for specialized or complex processing. Whatever the basis of the quote make sure you are explicit about your requirements and ask about the costs of any additional chargeable services to avoid any surprises down the line.

If you have a fixed budget for photography it is useful to bring this to the table as early as possible so potential providers can set expectations in term of what they are able to achieve within the budget available.

Whether you are on a fixed budget or have some flexibility it is useful to prioritize your requirements, even if it’s just in terms of needs and desires. This will make it easier for you make appropriate decisions if you need to negotiate a compromise between the scope and cost of the assignment.


Something you need to be aware of is the issue of permission. Responsibility for obtaining any permissions necessary lies with the publisher rather than the photographer. In most cases permission and releases are less of an issue when it comes to commercial photography, however there are circumstances where signed permission or personal or property releases are advisable.

If you intend to use photographs featuring members of the public in a context where they could be perceived to be promoting your business or its products and services it is advisable to get a personal release.

If you want to use photographs of a building that you don’t own it is also worth checking that there are no restrictions relating to the use of images of said building, particularly if it is a well-known landmark or of significant architectural importance. In such cases there may be fees for promotional or commercial use or other restrictions.

As a rule editorial use i.e. photographs of people used to illustrate a story rather than promote a product or service do not require personal releases. Though it may be advisable to seek permission from a parent or guardian when using photographs that feature minors.

The photographer may also place restrictions on permission to use the images supplied. In the days of print only it was common for images to be licensed for a specific quantity of reproductions within a particular geographic region. While this is rarely the case these days you may find there are restrictions placed on size of reproduction or the length of time an image can be used before incurring additional licensing costs, though this is more common with images purchased from stock agencies.

Final thoughts

Whatever your requirements are the most useful piece of advice I can offer is to keep communicating with your photographer. The more your photographer understands you and your requirements the more likely you are to achieve a successful outcome.

In particular make sure you have an explicit understanding with your photographer regarding:

  • The date, time and location of the shoot

  • The quantity of images required

  • Any specific requirements you have for things like unusual aspect ratios, large format reproduction or adherence to in-house styles

  • The expected delivery date, digital photography is not necessarily instant.

  • The type and resolution of digital files supplied

  • The method of delivery e.g. DVD or online gallery, if delivery is online the period of time that the files will be available

  • Any royalty or licensing fees and restrictions imposed by the photographer

I hope you find these thoughts and suggestions useful, they are of course written from the perspective of a photographer so if you have any suggestions from the perspective of being a buyer of photographic services that you think would be useful for others get in touch or leave a comment.



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