52 Fridays – #20 Look For Ways To Reduce Pro Photographer Fees


52 Fridays is a year-long series for equestrian professionals and equine business owners and managers, with marketing and public relations information, ideas, tips, & resources shared here each Friday. New EMAIL blog subscribers receive a ’52 Fridays’ PDF when they sign up; existing subscribers and new RSS FEED & WORDPRESS subscribers can send a request for their own PDF here.

You might be saying ‘sure, I can reduce my pro photographer fees – I just won’t hire one!’ However, there are definitely times when you want to hire a pro. Here are some ideas for ways you might hire a professional equine photographer, but minimize the hit to your pocketbook.

  • Share the shoot fee: If you’re asking a photographer to come to your farm, stable, or place of horsebiz-ness, they’ll typically charge you a shoot fee. Ask him or her what that includes; sometimes you can share the shoot fee costs by inviting a friend, or even some of your customers, to take part in the shoot. Remember to ask the photographer about this when you’re making the appointment, and if they have any limits on number of horses, people, dogs, etc. being photographed for that fee.
  • Look for photographers wanting to build their portfolios: Talented beginners, or even experienced photographers adding equine work to their repetoire, will sometimes agree to a lower fee or even a swap if they’re looking to build their portfolio. Also look for photographers who do stock photography and are continually looking for new images. It helps if you have a gorgeous setting, spectacular or unusual horses, or something otherwise intriguing to that photographer so they’re interested in what you have to offer.
  • Ask about a shoot at a show or event: If you’re attending a show or some other event with your horse, ask the event’s official photographer if they’d be available for a shoot during the event, since they’re already there with equipment.

If you want to build a relationship with a photographer you like, ask them how you can get started with professional images without breaking the bank, and whether they have any suggestions.

And please, remember to treat photographers with the same courtesy you extend to any equine professional. Their job is to make you look good, so help them help your horsebiz:

  • Have the setting, horses, people, etc., groomed and ready to go for your appointment
  • Make sure you have assistants and ‘go-fers’ for the shoot – people who can do a last once-over of boots and horse noses with a towel, shuttle horses back and forth, or get a horse’s ears up with a crinkly plastic bag
  • Discuss financials upfront, and have payment ready at the time of the shoot
  • Respect copyrights and usage arrangements

Photographers have to pay their bills, too, and as we all know, both gasoline and camera equipment are expensive. While it doesn’t hurt to consider ways to economize, ultimately photography falls into the ‘you often get what you pay for’ category.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, each image representing your horsebiz speaks volumes to potential customers.

Do you have ideas for saving money on photography fees? Share your tips via the Leave a Comment link below. See you here next Friday for 52 Fridays #21!

Read other posts about photography by clicking on the Sort Posts By Topic dropdown menu to the right and selecting the Photography category, or you can select 52 Fridays to read posts #1 through #19.

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2 Comments

Filed under 52 Fridays, Equine Industry Marketing, Photography, Uncategorized

2 responses to “52 Fridays – #20 Look For Ways To Reduce Pro Photographer Fees

  1. I love your insights into marketing the horse business. great stuff!

    • Thanks, Denise! When I returned to the horse world after a corporate career in downtown Chicago, I saw there were many fine horsemen and women doing good work, but not able to get the word out effectively. This blog is geared to helping them understand how to handle the marketing and public relations for their horsebiz so they can have better success. For me, it’s a way to marry my love of horses, knowledge of the horse world, and my marketing and PR expertise. Thanks for reading!! LK

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