Figuring Out Reenactment Photography Packages: Unit Shadowing and Event Coverage

Awhile back, I wrote up a post about trying to figure out pricing for my reenactor portrait services.  Given my recent troubles with being paid a reasonable amount for covering an entire reenactment event, I feel it’s a good time to do some thinking about how and what I should charge for two of my other services: unit shadowing and event coverage.  So, here are some vaguely organized thoughts about those two:

The boots of the 18th Regiment de Ligne.

Unit Shadowing

Unit shadowing is a chance for reenacting units to get great photos of their unit in action.  Depending on which package is chosen, I will stick to your unit like glue for anywhere from half a day to an entire event.  I will photograph your unit in camp, in battle, even setting up and breaking camp if you so wish, including shots at night.  Think of it as similar to modern wedding photography, where every step of the way is documented.  The result is a set of photos depicting the true personality and quality of your unit.  These can be used to recruit new members, and greatly help with a unit’s professional image.  The number of finished images provided will depend on the length of time I am covering your unit.  An early set of a small selection of images will be provided within 2-3 days of the end of the event, with a larger, more complete set of images coming 1-2 weeks later.

1/2 Day:  With this package, I will cover your unit for half a day of your choice.  It can be in the morning or in the evening, on Saturday or Sunday.

Full Day:  With this package, I will cover your unit for a full day of your choice, either Saturday or Sunday.

Full Event:  With this package, I will cover your unit for the full duration of the event, starting either on Friday evening or Saturday morning and ending when your unit leaves the event on Sunday.

 

6am in the British camp at Rock Ford Plantation.

Event Coverage

Event coverage is a great way to lend a fledgling event some legitimacy and professionalism, and to draw greater crowds to established events that may have seen their attendance wane in recent years.  Depending on the timeframe chosen, I will be constantly on the move, shooting as many aspects of your event as I possibly can.  I will shoot camp life, battles, detail shots, even staged photographs indoors or out – whatever you want me to shoot, that’s what I will shoot.  The number of finished images provided will depend on the length of time I am covering your event, and will include rights to the images for marketing, advertising, etc.  An early set of a small selection of images will be provided within 2-3 days of the end of the event, with a larger, more complete set of images coming 1-2 weeks later.

1/2 Day:  With this package, I will cover the event for half a day of your choice.  It can be in the morning or in the evening, on Saturday or Sunday.

Full Day:  With this package, I will cover the event for a full day of your choice, either Saturday or Sunday.

Full Event:  With this package, I will cover the event for the full duration of the event, starting as early as Friday afternoon and ending as late as Sunday night, based on your preferences.

 

A young Soviet soldier at a private WWII tactical.

Pricing

For both unit shadowing and event coverage, the prices will likely be at least roughly, if not completely, the same, as the amount of work is essentially the same.  My hourly rate is generally around $25 an hour, no matter whether that’s time behind the camera or in front of the computer.  An average day of shooting is somewhere around 800-1000 photographs.  Now, I don’t process all of those, but I do have to go through them, choose the ones I want to do a “quick & dirty” processing on, choose the ones I want to do more detailed, time-consuming processing on, prepare versions for print and for the web, upload them, etc and all of that takes a considerable amount of time – often multiple 8 hour days in a row spent sitting at my computer.  If you figure that a half day of shooting at an event is 6 hours behind the camera, that’s $150 just in shooting time alone.  A full day, which will run more like 14 hours, is $350 just in shooting time, not counting any other part of the process.  Taking that into account, along with a slightly lower rate for my (considerably longer) time in front of the computer, here’s what I feel is reasonable:

1/2 Day:  $300

Full Day:  $500

Full Event:  $1000

For events that I wasn’t already planning on attending, there will be a travel fee of $50 for every 2 hours or 100 miles outside a 1 hour radius of Alexandria, VA.  For events already on my “confirmed events” listing, there is no fee.

These prices aren’t set in stone, and I’m hoping for feedback from people, especially reenactors, event coordinators, and historical site folks about these packages and prices.

So, thoughts?

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