Location fees?

Discussion in 'Business of Photography' started by erika_yigzaw, Jun 10, 2015.

  1. I have quite a few photographers wanting to do shoots at our lavender farm and I have no idea what to charge. What is a usual fee for a location? Is it by the hour? I would like to get folks to pick some lavender, so can I make it a minimum number of bunches per shoot instead of an amount of money? Is it normal to have any kind of release or paperwork from the location side? I am happy to do trade for print arrangements to get some nice shots of the farm too - so what is normal in that regard? I want it to be fair for everyone.
  2. I would absolutely require some form of release that absolves you of any responsibility while they are on the premises. I hate to say it but you could lose the farm w/o it. And probably insurance.
  3. I would like to get folks to pick some lavender, so can I make it a minimum number of bunches per shoot instead of an amount of money?

    I would suggest sticking to money. If they are there to photograph the lavender/clients standing in the lavender they aren't going to want to spend time having to pick the lavender and they probably won't want it once picked.... they are there for photos. Better for both parties if you keep it simple and just charge a fee.

    I don't know what a good fee would be. Assuming this is landscape or wedding photography anywhere from $25-50 for up to 2 hours. If it is a big commercial shoot for a shampoo ad campaign probably more. If there is a national park near you check their site and see what they charge for commercial shoots.
  4. david_henderson

    david_henderson www.photography001.com

    All this assumes that the requests you're getting have some sort of commercial intent. It is unusual, though not unknown, to charge location fees when there is no commercial intent, at least for small numbers of customers. A single or a couple of hobbyists with no special equipment like lighting, and no crew, might well expect to ask permission, though might be somewhat surprised to have to pay for it. If they are photo tours run as commercial ventures then I'd charge.
    If there is a commercial purpose to the proposed photography, the end client might well want/need a property release from you. This isn't something you particularly need to worry about since it is an end-client need, though it might well be the photographer that asks you to sign something. You'll need to decide whether your location fee should cover signing a property release or not.
  5. If you have photographers wanting to make use of your location for clearly commercial purposes -- a wedding photographer bringing the bride and groom or bridal party there to pose, for example, for an advertising photographer wanting to do a formal shoot -- it is not unusual to charge a fee. Some privately owned formal gardens sometimes charge a fee to photographers who merely want to photograph the flowers whether for commercial purposes or not; others do not charge a fee.

    Like anything else in business, it's a matter of what the market will bear. For $25, $50 maybe $100, a wedding photographer might be willing to pay. Anything more than that and they will find some other attractive location. Even at lower fees, they might decide other places are just as good for their purposes.

    Insisting that the photographer provide proof of insurance of sign anything other than a cursory form saying you are not responsible if they get hurt on your property is likely to prompt people to take a pass.

    Honestly, I think a trade-for-print policy is likely to be the best approach. Tell photographers they are welcome to shoot on your property but that you would really appreciate a copy of the photo. That's something that generates good will on both sides. And if newlyweds have happy memories of having their pictures taken at your farm, it's got to be good for business in the long run even if not immediately. If you want to use the photos in advertising or promotion, however, be sure that you work out the details with the photographer since the image is their property just as the farm is your property.

    Keep in mind that once you start charging "commercial" photographers, you have to think about where you draw the line and how you police it. Are you going to stop other customers who come to the farm to buy flowers from taking snapshots while they are there? What about amateurs who might spend some time taking serious photos of the flowers? What about the advanced amateur who's one of your farm customers who wants to take a nice picture of his kids with the same setup as the professional wedding or portrait photographer?
  6. Hi everyone! I had submitted a response earlier but it looks like it vanished! Apologies!
    We elected just to ask them to pick at least one bunch of lavender ($10) and everyone was very happy with that. Mostly the photographers picked it and gave it to the clients. Some just gave us $10 and we were fine with that too. We also picked some when we could and had it available. We did end up with some stunning photos and ended up becoming friends with most of the photographers! Lavender has that effect!
    Next year we want to ramp up our facilities so it was good to see what people liked - definitely the kids liked our animals so we'll plan to set up a small petting zoo area next year. Several photographers mentioned they always have folks asking about mini-horses (we have two big horses -rescues - who were used in several shoots!) so I may look for a rescue to add to our menagerie! (I'm an experienced horsewoman so don't panic!)
    Oregon has legislation that provides for no liability for farms and agri-tourism and we have u-pick liability insurance as well but I will put together a disclaimer, particularly once we add the petting zoo! I mostly want people to be aware and careful. I found one couple taking photos of each other and left their three year old to wander off, awfully close to our beehives (which are fenced off... but still!).
    We do have folks come up just to take photos and that does get a bit tricky - we're a small family run operation and it takes time away from our day jobs (I telecommute) to go out and meet and greet etc. A nearby sunflower farm charges $5 for anyone to take photos. So I'm thinking I'll just have the same request for everyone - "you're welcome to come and take photos, but we ask that you buy at least a bunch of lavender when you do."
    Does that make sense?

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