Road Trip 2

I can’t imagine traveling anywhere now without a GPS like my trusty Garmin here. We took the long way home from a shoot the other week and traveled through a beautiful part of Eastern Washington. Neither of us had been in that area before and it was well worth the detour.

Shooting landscapes in motion reminds me of photographing the ocean. The constant changes of view create unique moments that are fleeting to capture. Like waves crashing, each second is different with light and land changing rapidly. If you see a moment, you shoot it because it won’t ever exist again.

Oregon Home – August / September Cover & Feature

It’s been a little quiet on the blog front lately. Apologies in full, just a very busy summer. I’m pleased to show you this latest set of tearsheets for a feature I shot for Oregon Home magazine.

This was a really great shoot and I had fun mixing up the architectural shots with some lifestyle moments and food details. I really enjoyed documenting the homeowner and her daughter preparing a traditional Chinese meal. Which we the got to eat during the lunch break. (It really seems like many of my shoots feature eating food. This is a good thing).

The home was designed by Richard Brown Architects and the shoot was styled and art directed by the one and only, Jon Taylor Carter. Enjoy! Continue reading “Oregon Home – August / September Cover & Feature” »

Philly Vs Portland and a Look at Pricing

Pricing your creative fee is a mix of three things: experience, complexity of the job, and usage. I saw this estimate today to shoot a job for a Non-Proft in Philly and thought I would share it. The original post is about bribes and kickbacks, but I want to talk about the photographer’s fee.

The photographer, Bill Cramer, estimated total fees and charges at $32,525 (he got this job, by the way). $18,000 of that was his creative/usage fee. The usage was for unlimited local advertising, web, local collateral, and local publicity use of four (4) images forever. Bill’s been a photographer for over 20 years in Philly. He’s really good at what he does. I’d say that fee sounds pretty good. But, what’s interesting is that he based his fee on suggestions from BlinkBid and fotoQuote. Both those software programs based their suggested fees on averages of past sales all over the country.

In his explanation of how he got to his fee, he talked about how the client wanted to use the shots for billboard advertising. In Philly, one billboard ad costs $8,200 for 4 weeks (or $106,600 a year). In Portland, one billboard costs $10,500 for 4 weeks (or $136,500 a year).

When I originally started this post, I was going to try to justify why creative fees in Portland are (in general) so much less. I thought, surely advertising is less expensive here, thus fees here are less. But, in fact, it’s more expensive to advertise here. Overall, I feel that photographer fees here should be much higher than they are. Photographers are giving away shoots at less than $10 an image. It’s nuts.

In Portland, we are on a dangerous path. A lot of photographers are moving here and a lot of them are young and naive. I was one once, too. But, even then I knew my Cost of Doing Business and priced myself accordingly. Now that I have more experience, my rates have gone up. But my local rates aren’t even close to what Bill is getting

Food for thought.

If you’re an ASMP member, there are discounts for BlinkBid and fotoQuote. Visit for more info.

(Estimate by Bill Cramer via A Photo Editor)

I think one of the most rewarding things about being a photographer is seeing your work in action. I recently donated a few images to PDX11 to use on their website. This small grassroots organization wants to “put Portland on the global map as the place to go when looking for software talent and investment opportunities.”

Well I certainly hope these shots help them do that. And with support from the Portland Mayor’s office, EMMA, IBM, Intel, Hopworks Urban Brewery, and many more, I think they’ll be drawing lots of creative and smart people to Portland. After all, it is one of the greatest cities to live and work in the US.

Here are some more screen shots from designed by the über-talented Matthew Johnson of Arutai Studios.

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