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How to Charge Your Clients for Long-term Time-lapse Projects

Figuring out what to charge your clients for your construction timelapse services can be tricky. We understand this challenge. You can secure clients and maximize your earnings with the right pricing plan. Failing to plan well can lead to unexpected costs that will detract from your profits. While there is no fixed amount to charge, as every local market is different, we can provide insight into the additional services and costs that should be considered while calculating your price plan.

Payment Terms - Single or Monthly Payment?

For projects lesser than 6 months, we will ask for 2 equal payments before and after the completion of the project. Most long-term time-lapse projects will last several years, so we recommend monthly payment. This is more palatable for the client and provides you with an excellent monthly steady income.

Equipment Cost - How to Maximize Profit

Option 1 - Charge it to the client

Pros: You do not have to spend a dime on the equipment cost

Cons: The client will have full ownership of the equipment at the end of the project

The equipment cost will make your price more significant and less attractive to the client.

Option 2 - Equipment rental is our preferred model

This way, you have full ownership of the equipment and can continue using them for future projects. This is our preferred method for long-term time-lapse because you should typically get your return on investment by the 4th month. With most time-lapse projects lasting several years, you will make much more from the equipment rental model. However, your initial investment will be more, so budget for it.

A bird thought that our time-lapse camera was a great place to build his nest.

Equipment Wear

If you are using DSLRs for your time-lapse project, the camera's shutter count becomes a consideration in the cost. A DSLR can hit 200,000 clicks in a 4-year time-lapse project, and that's the recommended time to change the entire mechanical shutter. After several years of outdoor use, the time-lapse cameras housing and bracket will likely need to be replaced as well. Make sure you factor these into your costing as well.

Installation Cost

Here are some considerations when you work out the installation cost for the time-lapse camera.

  1. Where is the location? Do you need special rigging & safety equipment to get there?

  2. How is the camera mounted? Are any customized mounts needed?

  3. Any location cost and security handling fees?

  4. Site access & safety certification. Some sites require attendance in safety courses & industry certifications.

  5. What are the power options, solar or AC?

Some locations, like tower cranes may require special rigging and safety certifications.

Maintenance Cost

Make sure you factor maintenance into your cost. Depending on the site conditions, you should budget for maintenance visits every 2 to 3 months. If the job site is extremely dusty, you may need more regular visits to upkeep the camera and clean the time-lapse housing, especially around the front glass area. The solar panel should also be cleaned to get maximum exposure to sunlight.

Monthly Subscription Cost

Some time-lapse cameras like the Titan X come with monthly subscriptions to access the photos online and get added services like camera fault alert and so on. To access the camera remotely, you may also require a SIM card subscription also. So make sure you cost them into your monthly charges.

Construction projects has many filming opportunities like safety videos, progress videos, etc.

Upsell Your Filming Services

Don't be afraid to offer extra services to your client apart from the progress photos and the final time-lapse. Here are a few ideas; you may have other options depending on your unique skills and services. 1. Aerial photography & videography via drone

2. On-site short-term Timelapse 3. Live-action filming for engineering or progress video 4. Regular on-site photography 5. 3D animation & VR virtual tours

Post Production

Most clients will want to have a monthly time-lapse video to track the progress of their project. You may consider charging additional fees for that service or package it into your monthly benefits. Time-lapse photos will need to be rendered into a video format. Subscribe to our 12-month Tbox Subscription Plan, and we will generate the monthly time-lapse video for you.

In conclusion: these are the things to remember

  • Work out your costs first so you can factor these expenses into your charges

  • Charge your clients monthly. Small charges make better business in the long run. And you make even more if the project overruns, which happens very often.

We hope these tips will help you create a profitable construction time-lapse business. Contact us anytime for assistance.

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