When it comes to Hospitality Photography there are few methods to price the work both from the photographers and the hotel side. In this article, I will review the options available the advantages and disadvantages.
Table of Contents
Scope of work
First, we must understand the scope of work for the project.
Are we capturing a new hotel, after partial/full renovation, or maybe just a new addition?
When you reach out to get a quote, it is recommended to provide a short brief description of the project and to provide a shoot list for a better understanding of the project, scope of work, and timeline.
The scope of work will define the number of visuals, time, and logistics which reflect pricing.
It’s a great time to mention before we dive in, that the time estimate should come from the vendor side based on your needs when you define the time this makes your vendor adjust to time and less on the potential.
A professional vendor would always provide great feedback and information about how is best to capture the project, both the number of photos needed schedule, and timeline.
While I am sure you know best what you need and how you want things to be done, it is important to engage in a conversation, The photographer’s ultimate goal is to provide you with the best solution possible.
Hotel Photo Licensing
Before we talk about photography packages and pricing it is important to understand the licensing structure as it impacts the pricing and package options.
Usually, there are two photo common license options, a “buyout” and “usage/time”
Buy-Out: A Buyout license is pretty straightforward, the hotel request the photographer to “transfer all the rights to the images” allowing you to use the pictures how and when you want and including the option for you to transfer the photos to 3rd party.
In most cases, most hotels prefer this option as they don’t want to reach out to the photographer to renew the license or to negotiate future usage or transfer of photos to their vendors and partners.
This option is the most expensive as it eliminates the photographer’s future royalty fees and the option to sell the photos to other vendors (designers, architects, construction, linen, and other companies involved in the project)
Usage / Time: You are paying for what you are planning to use the photos, for example, photo usage for 3 or 5 years in any media, not including 3rd party usage.
It is a great way to save on licensing as most hotels and resorts renovate every 3-5 years and require new photos anyway, also they should not “sponsor” commercial use of their vendors on their “dime”.
When it comes to pricing, the most common pricing structure is based on per project, per day, or per photo.
Per day: Pricing is based on 6-7 hours of work, sometimes including or excluding post-production work.
This is great when you are on top of your photography schedule allowing you to have your photographer on standby if needed.
Also sometimes different photos can take different times like exterior photos might take double than interior ones.
Per Photo: When you have a small number of photos needed or different types of photos such as exterior, interior, day, and night time it might be best to work based on Per Photo pricing as the photographer may take more time to create one picture than the other.
Per Project: When you have a set budget, you might want to book per project pricing, allowing you all the time needed to complete the project without additional costs in many cases.
Hotel Photography On a Budget
It is similar to fine dining, order only what you need and save.
Generally speaking, if you are going to renew the visuals every 3 years, there is no need to acquire a 5 years license, Also there is no real reason to have a buy-out license because you ultimately pay for the rights of other vendors (design, architecture and other product and service suppliers) they can buy the licenses directly from the vendor saving you 30-40% on cost.
It’s worth mentioning there is no real point in having a hundred thousand in marketing budget if your pictures are not implacable, it’s like driving a Fiat with a logo of Ferrari. (nothing personal about Fiat yes?)
Hospitality Photography Packages
After we talked about basic planning, licensing and pricing now let’s talk about packages.
As opposed to other photography professions in hospitality we don’t “package” our work for various reasons.
At weddings, you might want to book a photographer, videographer, and maybe prints and albums, packages are meant to “bundle and save” the more you spend the more you get discounts.
Similar to Portraiture, you might be looking for “all-inclusive packages” that include photo sessions and portfolio prints.
When it comes to hospitality most hotels already know that the impact of professional photography on their brand and revenue can be significant.
You don’t want to “ buy more stuff “ that you don’t really need.
But it doesn’t mean you can’t create a package that works best for you when it comes to multiple services you need.
Best Packages for you: If you are working on a large scale of projects for example a semi/full renovation, a brand new hotel, or just re-branding your property, you might want to discuss your options with your vendor in order to create a package that is right for you in terms of multiple days or multiple photoshoots types.
For example: If a “day-rate” is priced at €5,000.00 and you need several days or weeks of work, you might want to request (if the photographer didn’t offer) a large project discount (package).
The same applies to “Per Photo Rate” as you might need dozens of new photos done, instead of paying €500-€1,000 per photo (including buyout rights) you may want to create a package with your professional to reduce the costs and increase the photo count.
“Per Project” Can be a great way as well, assuming that you have several hotels and resorts or different types of Venus/Spaces you might want to build a bundle for your vendors to keep the visibility the same instead of them reaching out to different photographer that might impact your reputation in the future.
Lifestyle and Architecture Package: If you need images both of the property and also with models/actors in it, this can be a great option to bundle several days of the property and then 1-2 days including lifestyle images.
Your goal is to focus on who can provide you with the best service and not the best package/bundle.
Hospitality Photography is always about the “bottom line” meaning the value for your money and results, results, and again results.
When it comes to the large scale of the project it is best to request the photographer for a project discount or photography package.
We look forward to helping, consulting, and being your photography partner nationwide.