C20 Works in Conjunction with Employee Number 1 on NickMom Photo Shoot

C20 had the pleasure of working with Keira Alexandra of Employee Number 1 on an exciting NickMom Photo Shoot created for Viacom.

Clare came recommended to us by a 20 year veteran and trusted photo editor to consult with us on budgeting and negotiating a large photo shoot. As a creative agency working with many disciplines, we often find ourselves in the position of having to mix disparate worlds, in this case, still photography and TV network on air branding. We went to Clare with the charge of helping us balance being respectful of a still photographer’s fees while also addressing the restrictive budgets and terms of our client. Clare not only understood the delicacy of the matter, but also jumped right in with practical casting, propping, scheduling and staffing advice. She was quick, smart, efficient, effective and wise. She understood our approach and creative desires and she understood both sides of the negotiation with clear authority and experience. On top of which, Clare is an absolute joy and delight.

Photographer Frank Gaglione Shoots Another Wells Fargo Campaign for DAE

Frank Gaglione recently completed a series of well executed ads for Wells Fargo.

This particular estimating process for an ad job had more changes and forks in the road than I ever thought possible, including a last minute 180 on budget and concept.  Having worked with Clare in the past I expected nothing less than a cool head and clear ideas to navigate each turn. Clare delivered, we kept up perfectly with the needs of agency and client and I was awarded the job keeping true to terms that were favorable to both parties.  I simply would not think of embarking on this process without her.


Brooks Kraft shoots “big book” portrait for Harper Collins

The best part about asking Clare to negotiate the fee and contract was it allowed me to concentrate purely on creative conversations and to develop a solid working rapport with the art director. The shoot involved a portrait of a very well known personality for a major publishing company, so there was a lot of back and forth on creative decisions and logistics. Debating fees and contract language would have had not only an adverse impact on this process, but also made it a lot less fun.
In the end Clare was able to just about triple their proposed fee, so it made financial sense as well to work with C20.

Peter Taylor shoots Lowe’s campaign for MARS Advertising

I worked with Clare on a shoot for a major big box store. Clare’s insight and experience insured that I asked all the right questions during my creative call with the client. Clare’s expertise and assistance left me free to think about the creative concepts and the production. I was awarded the gig because of the extra detail and creativity I was able to bring to the estimate. Clare’s help was invaluable, and no detail was left uncovered.

Photographer Elizabeth Waugh shoots Elie Tahari campaign

Clare O’Dea (C20) successfully negotiated my recent still life shoot for Elie Tahari. Clare worked seamlessly between the client and myself to manage production and budget issues. Clare has a wealth of experience and industry knowledge. It is great to draw upon her resources when needed. The ElieTahari shoot went great, and the resulting shots were elegant and refined, combining the refined art direction of the line, and my meticulous lighting style.

Photographer Frank Gaglione shoots Wells Fargo campaign for DAE

Working with Clare has been positively instrumental in navigating my path through the Advertising Photography realm. Her limitless knowledge base and vast experience has
provided me with the essential building blocks to form relationships with agency and client alike. There has yet to be a turn, and there have been many, that Clare has not
taken already, and because of that I know I can put my full trust in her point of view. An example of this process involved an agency requesting an estimate for an Ad job.
The images needed were perfectly in line with my forte, life style imagery showing the emotion of a real moment and telling the story in a single frame. I knew my style and
sensibilities were well suited to make the perfect imagery for them and having Clare working with me on the business side gave me the same confidence that I had on the
creative side. Clare built the estimate with me based on the particulars of the creative visuals and licensing requests. I was not awarded that job but felt confident that I had left a very professional impression and as Clare said, they will think of you next time. She was right, they put me in the mix for the next campaign which had the same creative feel. I built the estimate with Clare and was awarded the job.
Clare is an indispensable part of the estimating and negotiation process for me and beyond that a true pleasure to work with.

A Recent Article about Estimating

Suzanne Sease recently wrote an article about estimating. It is extremely well written and covers the key topics of discussion in any estimate construction. A must read for any professional photographer. She also recommends C20 as a great resource so thank you Suzanne!


Create an Estimate That Gets the Job

By Suzanne Sease

As a former art buyer, I am often asked this about estimating and negotiating: “how do I get my estimate to stand out?” I think the most important thing to remember is you have already gotten this far in the selection process and that is a great accomplishment!

So now it is your time to shine and win the assignment. I recently interviewed several art buyer and art director friends on this very subject. Here are some simple pointers to keep in mind.

* If you are asked to estimate a job, get as much information as you can before you give any numbers.
* If someone asks your “day-rate”, simply state that you factor in many items and issues to present a “creative fee”.
* If you estimate with a creative fee (which combines your time and the usage) you have a better chance of, first, making more if they ask to reuse the image and, second,even if they decide not to use the image, you still get paid for all your work.
* Never present an estimate without some type of layout or written description of the assignment. In your estimate repeat the same description; never say “as per layout”. The layouts and descriptions change and you have to protect yourself.
* If the caller won’t give you a budget, say “this looks like a project around $10,000-$15,000, is that what you were thinking?” Using this angle usually gets them to “confess” how much they have allotted.
* If you have the opportunity to speak to the buyer or creative person, be enthusiastic about the project and offer how you see shooting it. Add something to the project – remember they called you because of your style.
* If the project is like something you have shot but is not on your website or in your portfolio, offer them an opportunity to see what you have. This just confirms that you are right for the job.
* We are visual people, so a visual treatment is sometimes better than a written one.
* Submit an estimate with the fees upfront and then how you plan to produce it.
* You can charge for your equipment, but make it reasonable- call a rental facility to see what the average is for that piece of equipment.
* Charge for tech scouting- this is your time going to whatever location without the whole crew, clients and buyers. This saves them money in the long run- sell it to them in that way.
* You can charge for digital capture, again within reason.
* Make sure you itemize your line items. You plan to hire a wardrobe stylists for “x” days of prepping/shopping, “x” days on set and “x” days returning. This shows that you have thought out the project and if you are under-estimating it (or low-balling it). This is why www.blinkbid.com is so awesome.

Negotiating Tips:

* Don’t take it personally when asked to reduce certain line items. It is business and one of the reasons buyers like dealing with agents is because they understand this.
* Sometimes it is best to show the buyer a breakdown of what exactly each image costs.
* Go to a stock site like Getty Images to see what a similar image would be as a non-exclusive image and consider that your image will be custom.
* Silence- if you are at a point that you want to digest, be silent; most of the times the other person will start talking and direct the negotiation in your direction.

If you need extra help, hire a pro. Clare O’Dea, www.C20agency.com is a NYC agent with international experience who offers “representation when you need it.” You can also get some expert coaching on preparing winning estimates, try the smart folks at Agency Access.

And if you don’t get the assignment, thank the person who requested the estimate for the opportunity to show them your business. And since the door had been opened, show them new work periodically to keep yourself on their radar.

About Suzanne

In 1987, Suzanne Sease established the art buying department at the Internationally acclaimed Martin Agency and left in 1999 to be a consultant while art buying for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Target, Best Buy and many other smaller shops. Today, she focuses only on consulting but uses those experiences to give valuable information to her photography and illustration clients.



Fantastic Open Letter to Art Buyers from the Agent Perspective

Great open “letter” to Art Buyers posted by Heather Elder on her blog yesterday.


It states the obvious, but is a nice reminder to agents and art buyers/producers that we play the same role and should speak the same language.
Recently, I had lunch with a very experienced Art Buyer who has worked in this industry at many agencies over the years. I consider her a good friend.
She commented on the similarity between the role of an Art Buyer and the role of an Agent.
Agents get a lot of pressure from our Artists to make things happen. Art Buyers get a lot of pressure from their Art Directors to make things happen.
Ultimately, both the agents and the art buyers want the same things as the creatives. We want the best artist on the job. We want the best team in place. We want the best work. We want to win awards for the work. And most importantly, we want to try to remember to inject some play into our work. We are very fortunate to work in an industry that allows us to create art for a living.
The “work” of a child is play. Play is a fundamental component of development. We need to re-connect with the concept of play as work and work as play. We need to remember how to communicate effectively with each other. We express appreciation for each other when we speak honestly and candidly in our business relationships.
At C20, I try to teach artists to establish that dialogue, to speak the correct language and to remember that this should be fun. Bring your infectious energy, curiosity and creativity to the table every time. You may not win every project, but you’ll have fun in the process.

Photographer Elizabeth Waugh shoots Carolee Ad Campaign for Chillingworth/Radding

In Elizabeth's own words below:

When I was considered for my first advertising
campaign with ad agency Chillingworth/Radding
last November, shooting jewelry still life for
Carolee, I was thrilled! Out of my
commitment to have everything go smoothly,
I consulted with Clare O'Dea/C20 Agency
regarding the estimating process.
Clare was wonderful and brought a wealth of
experience and information to the table. 

From working with her, I was able to
deliver an appropriate budget for the ad job
and establish a professional standard for my
business as I crossed the threshold
into a new realm of commerce. 

I was awarded the project and the
job went amazing! We shot six gorgeous
stills of Carolee jewelry groupings on an
array of luscious silks and textured backgrounds.
The images will be used to
showcase the Spring collection in upcoming
print advertising.

Since the Carolee job, I have been
working regularly with Clare. The process has
proved very valuable for me. 

More http://www.elizabethwaughphotography.com/