Art Producer Amy Salzman Sheds Light on the Estimating Process.

Last spring, then freelance Art Producer, Amy Salzman, helped us shed some light on what it means to shoot for pharmaceutical clients.  It was such a popular post that I asked her if she would be interested in contributing again. This time, I asked her to help shed some light on the estimating process.  I worked on my first job with Amy last fall and she was professional, communicative and organized.  She really knows her stuff!  Thank you Amy!

1)  How often are you asked to triple bid a project?  And, is there ever is a clear first choice, do you let that person know they are the recommend?

I am asked to triple bid, or at least double bid almost every project lately.  Many times there is no clear recommendation when asked to triple bid.  What is more important nowadays is the “treatment” that photographers are asked to provide, as well as the first creative conference call.

2)  Sometimes after a photographer bids a job, they will not hear back in regards to the outcome.  Can you shed some light on why that may be?

I always let the photographers and or there agents know if they have not received a job.  It is not the easiest news to deliver, when someone does not get the job.
3)  We all know there are many reasons for a photographer not getting a project.  Besides the obvious of price or creative, can you share some other reasons that they may not be awarded a project?
Sometimes the clients gets to weigh in as well.

4) What sort of things are you dealing with on your end to get an estimate approved?  We all know it is not always as easy as presenting a photo estimate for approval.  What other things could your client be considering at the same time that could hold up the process?

This question is not so cut and dry.  Depending on what agency you work, and what client business you work on, bidding is a process.  There can be a pre-bid meeting to discuss creative and what the the best way to handle the  photoshoot.  Looking at the treatment of what  the photographer’s vision is and the best way to handle the production.   And back again to that creative call.

5)  Do you share budgets when they are available?  Why or why not?

This depends.  The whole point of the bidding the job is to see the “approach of the photo still shoot” and to rely on the photographer and the photographer’s producer to come to arrive at the budget conclusion. 

6) What is your client’s/agency’s policy surrounding advances on projects?  What do you do as an art producer to help facilitate that process?  And, what can a photographer do to help it along as well?

I think that if we can advance 75% of estimated expenses, we try to.

8)  What misperception about the estimating process from your end would you like photographers to have an clearer understanding of based on your experiences?

Although the bid if very important, its also important for the photographer to be collaborative from the time the agency first contacts them for a job.


Leave a Reply