Quality architectural photography does not come cheap, nor should it. Used mainly to capture completed projects, market properties, secure new business, and get your firm more exposure, it’s important that these shots are quality, quality, quality — in most cases, the images need to entice new clients, buyers or investors, after all.
Whether you’re talking about commercial real estate photography, landscape architectural photography or construction photography, all benefit greatly from hiring the best photographer money can buy. However, it doesn’t mean you have to go it alone.
Sharing costs just makes sense, is common practice across the AEC industry, and is a solution I suggest often to clients. It means all parties with a vested interest in the project or property — such as a general contractor, architect or developer, for example — get more photography for less money than it would cost them to hire a photographer solely on their own. Photography cost-sharing agreements offer all parties the same high-quality set of deliverables, at substantial savings.
Reasons this rocks:
- If the architect doesn’t want to share costs, other, more specialized partners may. Think mason, millworker, or metal craftsman. Think municipality, mechanical/civil/survey engineers, and interior designer or property owner. All need professional images to support and market their businesses. Even if they have DIY images, there is no comparison to pro shots. Visit my DIY vs. PRO gallery online if you don’t believe me!
- As the hiring client, you ultimately choose and drive the project shot list, but can offer additional usage licenses to others, and share the costs together.
- As a sharing third party, you get a full set of project images for your firm, without having to manage the entire photography and shoot process yourself.
- Want to thank one of your project partners who went above and beyond to make a particular project happen? Consider ‘gifting’ a license to them at the shared cost price. (Genius gift giving if you ask me!)
In the case of architectural photography, sharing costs is just a smart solution to any business on a budget (and that would be all of them). Although you may love to send one of your project partners a set of completed project images when all is said and done, unfortunately due to copyright laws, each party must have express permission to use them from the photographer (who created and owns the images), which means buying your own individual usage license.
Mutually beneficial, a cost-sharing arrangement is a logical consideration for your next AEC project.