I have been shooting professionally for a few years now and recently got offered a gig that presents a problem regarding my fee. A local political action group wants to retain me as their official photographer. In addition to shooting all their events they are asking me to up load selected shots to their website.
I'm thinking a retainer plus 75% of my regular fee on subsequent events.
Have you perused PPA? That has forums and other resources that may help answer. Why only 75%? I am not familiar with how retainers work. But seems to me if they want a formal and permanent relationship with you they obviously like your work and I'd charge your regular fee. Is a retainer a fee simply to commit you to being there when they need you? Do you draw from it as you do work? In what way exactly do they want to retain you? A set number of hours? A handshake that you are their photographer as works comes up? Would this prevent u from doing other work? Are they looking for a proposal from you with a fee structure and, if so, will it be competitive? If you have done work for this group before then I think they know what your regular fee is. I'd charge that. Unless they are looking for a deal, a discount, and are offering you this title as official photographer to get that. If so, stand firm and don't give a discount out of flattery. Don't be taken advantage of. I usually charge an hourly rate and that covers routine editing. If they want additional higher-level editing I have a separate hourly rate for that. What you do not want to do is undersell yourself because then you'll be stuck with this rate for a while. I'd have a separate fee for shooting and for uploading pix to their website. And if they want prints, that's a whole different fee.
Skipper, a retainer is basically a payment that put you 'on call' for the person or company paying you. Normal rates are charged for actual work over and above the retainer on some cases. In others, the retainer is drawn on, as you suggest, ans when the retainer is used up, regular rates apply.
If they're willing to pay a retainer, that's great, but keep in mind what that does to your business. They get first call on your time. That can mean that if they call you last minute and you have another job booked, you have to cancel that other job which will piss off the other client.
If they want you exclusively then that comes at a big cost. Consider all the other work you normally would do that you now have to forego. They need to replace that income. At that point you basically become an employee. They may not want to put you on the payroll, rather have you work as a contractor but that can have tax implications if it's not documented properly. Talk to a lawyer and a good tax accountant to make sure the agreement is drawn up properly.
Life is too short to bother with the criminally inane.
Thanks for the advise. I am meeting with the group next week. I was considering the retainer to help offset the rate reduction, but may reconsider. I believe they are looking for a deal but have already decided I am the only photographer being considered. (I have worked with them before) As their "official" photographer, it will put me in a circle of dignitaries that will I'm sure, result in other referrals. The long term relationship and potential new business is the reason I was considering a reduced rate. I'll be careful not to sell myself short. I'll take a look at PPA. Thanks again