Production Shoots: Staying In Budget

Posted on 5/31/2017 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

As prices for the use of stock photos decline it becomes important to find ways to cut overhead and production costs in order to earn a profit from your efforts.  If you’re a photographer, living in New York or Western Europe, and looking to for ways to reduce the costs of studio production shoots with multiple models you might want to consider flying to Kiev, Ukraine.

Lightfield Studios’ has 14 shooting zones and a vast selections of props and costumes from which to choose. If additional props are needed Lightfield has a team that can locate, acquire, build if necessary and store props.

Photographers can rent any of the three staged interior spaces – Country House, Apartment or Laboratory -- for $20 per hour. Cycloramas rent for $15 per hour.  More custom interiors will be available soon.

Model fees start at $8 to $10 per hour with the vast majority of models keeping their rates below $25 per hour. Rates for super pro models are never higher than $50 per hour.
Casting from Lightfield’s talent base is $120 per model or $190 when a model tailored to the photographer’s particular needs.

Makeup artists work for $25 per shooting session and the rate for stylists is $35 per shooting session. Stylist assistants are $4 per hour. Photographer assistants are available for $8 per hour. For a better look at the space check out this promotional video.

Post production facilities are available, if needed, but the photographer can do this work at his or her home base, if that is more convenient or cost efficient.

If the photographer needs to stay in Kiev for a few days, rooms are available in some of the top hotels for rates of $25 to $40 per night. Add on an airfare and most shoots may still be significantly cheaper than trying to do the same thing in New York, London or Paris. The photographer also gets the added advantage of seeing a little bit of the world.

It is also easy to see, at these prices, why photographers living in Kiev are able to do complex studio productions profitably while photographers working in higher cost of living countries will lose money on the same shoots.

See previous story.

Copyright © 2017 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to:  


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