The Estimating Challenge – Playing to Win

Thu 30th Apr, 2015 – Fri 01st May, 2015

Posted by Creative Arc Posted in Career Development, Education, Networking

UPDATE: Remaining 20 seats available first come first serve; cash or check only at the door. Doors open at 6:00 PM. (Advance sales ended at noon, today. )

The Estimating Challenge – Playing to Win

Thursday, April 30, 2015
7:00 to 9:30 PM - Social networking hour at 6:00

Leftspace, 2055 Bryant Street, San Francisco

You get that call letting you know that you're one of several photographers being considered for a very special project with a very special client. Your mood quickly soars, but then the dread of having to play the Estimating Challenge game starts to sink in. You've been here before...or maybe this is your first time, and you're excited, anxious, and wondering:

Who else is being considered? What are they going to charge? Are they better than me? Are they more experienced? How do I convince the client that they should pick me? How many times do I have to keep doing this until I feel like I'm doing it right?

We know exactly how you feel. You want to play this game to WIN, and we're here to help you do just that.

Six All Star Estimating Experts have enthusiastically agreed to come together in San Francisco on the evening of Thursday, April 30th at Leftspace to help take all of the guesswork out of this nerve racking process we call ‘The Estimating Challenge’.

Moderator: Bobbi Wendt, Creative Consultant + Licensing Agent

Heather Elder, Artists’ Agent

Dan Southwick, Senior Art Producer, Eleven Inc Advertising

Maren Caruso, Photographer + Publisher of GFF Magazine

Sady Callaghan, Production Manager, Purple Lamb Productions

Linda Joy Kattwinkel, Intellectual Property Attorney, Owens, Wickersham + Ericson

Our panel will start with the agency Creative Brief and walk you through the entire estimating process:

• What you need to know before you start your estimate.
• Can you get there from here?
• Are there any advantages to estimating a project with an established budget you know is too low?
• When to commit and when you should walk away.
• Client requested licensing requirements: what does the client want, what do they actually need?
• When and where do you deal with your payment terms for client approved expenses and your final invoice?
• What things can you do to make your estimate stand out?
• Creative and licensing fees, or day rates?

There's so much involved in this process, but it is a process, and you will learn a lot from these experts.

So let's assume that you've crafted a beautiful initial estimate and submitted it with a pdf of images that seem to align with the Creative Brief, and all looks good and you've made it to the next round...What's next?

The Creative Conference Call. We'll tell you what to expect and how to handle the call with confidence. What you should do, and what you should not do.

After the conference call, both you and your client will have a better understanding of the project, and you may need to submit a revised estimate with a written Treatment. We'll talk about what the Treatment is, how to write winning Treatments, and what exactly you should include in it.

So your estimate is revised, your Treatment is written and you send both to your client. You contact them to let them know it's on the way, and to please let you know if they have any questions or concerns. And then you wait, and sometimes you wait a while...So how and when do you follow up, without feeling like you're being a pest? We'll tell you.

When the call finally comes, sometimes you get the project, and sometimes you get cut. How do you handle not getting the job when you were so in love with the project, and you've invested so much in the process? Sure, you're disappointed, but the way you deal with not winning the project is really important. Find out the ideal way to handle this.

What's next for the Winner of The Estimate Challenge?

Securing your Client Approved Production Advance. This is ULTRA IMPORTANT. We'll talk about securing an advance when your client tells you 'We've never done that.' or 'We can give you part of your expense money and will give you the rest when you bill the job.' How do you negotiate around that? We'll share some great examples of why you NEED to secure your full production advance when the project is assigned.

We'll also be talking about Client Purchase Orders: How to understand what you are being asked to agree to, and how to know which, if any, provisions you really should not agree to, and how to deal with those issues

So now you're in production land. How do you deal with difficult personalities? What if your client is indecisive and possibly pushing the shoot into overtime? How do you deal with Job Change Orders? What should
you do if you screwed up and didn't include an important line item in your budget? All these questions and more will be addressed by our expert panel.

Post production has its own set of challenges and we will be talking about making sure that your deliverables make your client happy they hired you.

The project is now ready to be invoiced. What paperwork will your client require for payment?

What should you do before you send the Invoice to insure that you will be paid quickly?

What can you do if your client decides they have an issue with a particular receipt, or they decide they aren't going to pay you at all?

What can you do to potentially collect what's owed to you even if your client has filed for bankruptcy?

We’ll also discuss Ethical Estimating and how our estimates affect the photography profession. This includes why low balling, or deliberately submitting unreasonably low estimates in the hope of getting jobs, is not only really bad for your business and your reputation, it contributes to the trend of downward spiraling rates.

All this and more will be discussed during our Estimate Challenge event so you can learn how to play to win.

The Estimating Challenge – Playing to Win

Thursday, April 30, 2015
7:00 to 9:30 PM - Social networking hour at 6:00

Leftspace, 2055 Bryant Street, San Francisco


APA MEMBERS: $10 in advance or $15 at the door (cash or checks only at the door)

GENERAL ADMISSION : $20 in advance or $25 at the door (cash or checks only at the door)


One ticket per APA Member (Members: to purchase tickets for non-member guests, please select General Admission for them)

You can conveniently pre-register (purchase tickets) online for an additional nominal EventBrite fee by clicking the link above. No need to print out your EventBrite ticket unless you need a receipt; please simply give your name at the door. Advance ticket sales end at Noon on event day; if this event sells out it will be announced here, otherwise tickets will be available at the door on a first come first serve basis.


Pre-registration prices increase by $5 at the door IF space is available. Cash or checks only at the door (sorry, no credit cards accepted at the door)

APA SF has an event admission no-refund policy.

Images (4) © 2014 Maren Caruso




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