Estimating, along with cold-calling, is probably one of my most difficult tasks as a photographic businessperson. There are so many variables that can potentially come into play that it can be downright maddening. Add to that the fact that sometimes clients feel an estimate is a bit more fluid than is reality, and it can become a nightmare trying to juggle client expectations with the original budget while not undercutting yourself or upsetting them by having to change it.
The best way to eliminate a lot of that hassle is by thoroughly feeling out what the client’s needs, expectations, and usage of the final product will be. Photographer and mentor J.P. Morgan of The Slanted Lens gives us some pointers on gathering the information that we need.