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99% of firms are paying too much for architectural photography. If you’re spending too much on architectural photography, this is the article you’re looking for.
In construction, building a portfolio presence that matches the quality of your services is critical to growing your business and creating trust with future and existing clients. However, hiring a professional architectural photographer that meets the highest industry standards can be expensive, complex, and time-consuming. For these reasons, many enterprises often end up having to spend large budgets, sacrifice quality, or showcase fewer projects. If this situation sounds all too common, take a deep breath and read on.
There is one simple solution to obtaining high-end architectural photography without breaking the bank.
Cost-sharing allows architects, general contractors, subcontractors, interior designers, tenants, and land developers to share world-class photography assets while splitting the cost of production between all parties involved. In this guide, we’ll dive into the cost-sharing process, some of the best practices, and how you can split the cost of your next architectural photography project to save time and money.
Why Split The Cost Of Architectural Photography?
Here’s the fact: 99% of firms are spending too much on architectural photography. If you’re not cost-sharing, you’re probably spending too much. We’ve found that enterprises can reduce the cost of architectural photography by 45%-75% when splitting the cost of production. Over time, that could add up to substantial cost savings that your business could divert to other areas of your marketing.
By working as a unified team in a photography project, you also have more control over how your work is showcased in the marketplace, as you’ll have one photographer working for all parties involved.
And ultimately, you’ll build stronger relationships with the partners and clients by elevating their experience and showing how proud you all are of the project you’ve worked on together.
How Does Cost-Sharing Work?
When cost-sharing, one photographer is hired to photograph a space and share images with each party involved. Usually, there is one commissioning party, and they will bring on other interested parties to participate.
There are two significant fees to consider when splitting the cost of an architectural photography project: the production fee and rights-license fees. The production fee is the cost incurred by the photographer during production to create your images, including the photographer’s time, as well as other expenses like travel, rental equipment, and models. Once all parties define a budget based on the project needs, they can collectively decide whether to split the cost of the production fee equally or weighted by a certain percentage.
In addition to the production fee, the photographer will charge each party a separate fee based on each party’s rights and licensing needs.
Let us give you an example:
You work in the construction industry as an architect, and you just completed a construction project you would like to share in your portfolio. So, you hire a professional architectural photographer, and the production fee is $6,000. Luckily, you found four contractors who want images and are willing to share the photo shoot cost. The photographer will charge each additional contractor a rights-license fee of $1,500 (25% of the production fee). These rights-license fees and the original production fee add up to a subtotal of $12,000. When you divide the subtotal by the five parties involved (including you), the total cost per party is $2,400 instead of each person paying $6,000 for the project. In this cost-sharing scenario, each party saves 60%. That’s a big win for everyone involved.
Simple Tips for Effective Cost-Sharing
- Invest in the right person for the job – Be sure to hire professional photographers who specialize in architectural work as they’ll better understand your standard of quality and will most likely be familiar with the cost-sharing process.
- The more, the merrier – We recommend sharing the cost of a project with 3–6+ different parties. The more participants on board, the higher the savings rate.
- Choose a central contact for the project – Set a commissioning party to manage the project and communicate with the architecture photographer. Doing this will help the project flow effortlessly, avoid burying stakeholders in too much information, and prevent miscommunication and delays.
- Set clear expectations in advance – All participants must sign a licensing agreement before the photo shoot begins. For this reason, it is vital to clearly define the project deliverables for each party involved ahead of time.
- Simplify the cost-splitting process – Cost-sharing with multiple parties can be time-consuming and frustrating to organize. A Split Cost Software can help streamline the process in one place while taking care of finding the right photographer for the job and handling all of the scheduling, licensing, and more.
Is Cost-Sharing the Way to Go?
Our answer: a resounding yes. More and more architects, contractors, interior designers, and other subcontractors are splitting the cost of architectural photography to maximize their investment and ramp up their marketing at scale. When done right, implementing this strategic cost model can save everyone time and money while helping you build strong relationships. We encourage you to start a conversation with your team, partners, and clients to see if implementing this strategic cost model would be mutually beneficial for your future projects.