Request for Quotes For Photographer (Contractor), National Museum African Art, Washington, DC

  • 06 May 2021 3:22 PM
    Message # 10448754



    The National Museum of African Art (NMAfA), Smithsonian Institution (SI), seeks a Photographer (Contractor) to provide professional, technical, non-personal services. The Photographer (Contractor) shall provide high-resolution, color-corrected digital images and associated metadata of the following: select NMAfA collection objects, exhibition installations, interior and exterior museum views, educational programs, select events, and miscellaneous images for external affairs purposes.


    Price quotes should be submitted via email to Project Lead: Dana Moffett at no later than 5:00 p.m. EST on Friday, May 14, 2021 and include the following with request for quote:

    1. Letter of interest

    2. Business name, address, telephone number, and DUNS number

    3. Resume of personnel that may be assigned to perform work under the anticipated award.

    4. Portfolio of selected 10-15 images of photographic work (via Dropbox link as needed)

    5. Business point of contact name, telephone number and email address

    6. Pricing. Ensure that base year and option year pricing is included. Pricing should be submitted both as an hourly rate and a lump sum for 1,500 hours.

    7. Past Performance information should include the contract number, contact person with telephone number and other pertinent information for at least 3 recent relevant contracts for the same or similar goods and/or services

    8. Certificates or other documentation confirming appropriate types and levels of insurance required are in effect, and other certificates and documentation requested or if insurance needs to be purchase from SI.

    9. If services are subject to the requirements of the Service Contract Act provide with your quote:

    • U.S. Department of Labor wage determination hourly rate payable within the location of work performance
    • Health and Welfare hourly rate payable within the location of work performance
    • IFF hourly rate payable within the location of work performance
    • G & A hourly rate payable (e.g., markup, overhead, etc.) within the location of work performance
    • Vacation hourly rate payable within the location of work performance
    • Holiday hourly rate payable within the location of work performance

    10. When prices quoted are in accordance with the terms of a General Services Administration (GSA) schedule contract, provide the following information: your GSA contract number, SIN, goods and/or services pricing.

    11. Indicate any discounts to your GSA schedule contract pricing that is being extended to the SI by your price quote(s).

    12. Cite the date through which pricing submitted is valid.


    Inquiries, acknowledgements, and correspondence pertinent to this order via email to Dana Moffett (MoffettD@SI.EDU) no later than 11:59 PM (EST), Wednesday, May 5, 2021. All questions having impact on the RFQ will be issued to all vendors via email no later than 5:00 PM (EST), Friday May 7, 2021.


    As the only museum in the world dedicated to the arts of the entire African continent through time, NMAfA serves audiences based locally, nationally, and internationally, including African and Diasporic communities working on and off the African continent.

    Founded by diplomat and educator Warren M. Robbins in 1964, at the height of the civil rights movement, and originally located in a Capitol Hill row house once owned by abolitionist and statesman Frederick Douglass, the museum was established with the guiding principle to foster cross-cultural dialogue through Africa’s arts and cultures. The museum joined the Smithsonian Institution in 1979 and relocated to its current location on the National Mall in 1987.

    Today, the museum holds one of the world’s premier collections of Africa’s visual arts, organizes internationally renowned exhibitions, produces engaging educational programs, and houses the world’s foremost library, photographic archives, and art conservation lab dedicated exclusively to the arts of Africa.


    The Contractor shall provide professional, technical, and non-personal services to photograph and process high-resolution digital images with the associated metadata. Images and metadata shall be entered, per established format, into the Museum’s Digital Asset Management System (DAMS). The Contractor shall ensure that materials to be photographed are handled according to best museum practices.

    The contractor shall work under the direction of the project lead who will consult with NMAfA’s Conservation, Registration, Curatorial and Advancement/External Affairs departments to refine priorities, determine short turn around photography needs during the project and aid in the creation of a spreadsheet for ‘art directed’ expectations for individual objects. The number one priority for the contractor is a collection of 93 objects slated for a forthcoming exhibition and publication; this component of the project has a deadline of January 2022. Second priority requests are those from NMAfA’s Advancement/External Affairs department and will include images for NMAfA’s website, social media, Google Arts and Culture entries, and images for promotional materials. These image requests may include galleries, building views, and selected events and will likely be time sensitive.

    The Contractor shall work at an off-site object storage facility, in Suitland, Maryland for the priority objects and will need to create a photography studio in the storage area, as none currently exists. The contractor can use their own equipment and they can process photographs and accompanying metadata off site, however the contractor will have access to photographic equipment, the museum’s photography studio, and image processing equipment held by the museum for photography purposes. NMAfA’s collections staff will provide regular and ongoing assistance to the contractor for storage access, handling assistance, mount-making and other associated tasks.


    1. The contractor will meet with NMAfA’s Project lead after the contract is initiated to review priority one collection objects, assess workspace, determine equipment needs for which the Project lead will act as property management assignee, develop their internal workflow, establish a work schedule with collections staff for access and assistance, and onboard for IT access. Requests for priority two photography will be directed to the project lead who will review, prioritize, and schedule with the contractor.

    2. Information regarding images files - reproduction requirements for file size (dpi), file type (TIFF or other), color (CMYK, RGB, grayscale), usable size for purpose (most may be 8 x 10 inches, but will be significantly larger for exhibition murals, etc.) will be provided at the inception of the project, through conversation with NMAfA’s designer and/or editor, initiated by the project lead.

    3. The Contractor shall provide high-resolution, color-corrected digital images and full metadata information that shall be uploaded to the Museum’s Digital Asset Management System (DAMS), per written guidelines included with this document. At the inception of the project and under the direction of the Project lead, images shall be reviewed by NMAfA curatorial and design staff to ensure that provided technical specifications are being met.

    4. The Contractor shall work with the Advancement/External Affairs department to photograph a range of objects and museum images, including onsite special events and public programs (upon the museum’s public re-opening), as needed for use in marketing, communication collateral, and advancement proposals.


    The Contractor shall deliver to NMAfA’s Project lead the following:

    1. High-resolution, color-corrected and processed digital images of 93 priority one NMAfA collection objects and priority two images as requested by Advancement/External Affairs Dept. – as prioritized by the project lead, time permitting during the time period of this contract.

    2. Images with metadata entered into DAMS per guidelines attached.

    3. Regular reports, tracking progress, as requested by the Project lead who will forward as necessary to NMAfA staff.


    The successful Contractor shall demonstrate knowledge of current best practices as it pertains to digital photography. The Contractor shall demonstrate comprehensive knowledge and background in the photography of flat and three-dimensional artworks in all media. The Contractor shall have knowledge and background in event and promotional photography, including ability to photograph participants in public programs and special events in a manner that is respectful of both the people being photographed and the purpose of the event. The Contractor shall have a comprehensive knowledge of a wide range of specialized photographic equipment, techniques, and processes to achieve museum standards for photography and meet special requirements of projects.

    The Contractor shall have the ability to apply knowledge to operate professional digital cameras and associated accessories and equipment to document objects and events. The Contractor shall also have the ability to evaluate the technical requirements of photography projects to handle issues such as photographic reflective properties of objects surfaces, eliminating glare, adjusting or enhancing colors, and rendering fine details or exact color to produce photographs that show the best professional skills and overall image quality.

    The Contractor shall have the ability to prepare, process, and file digital images with a variety of platforms to process and optimize AW digital images, number and process digital images in specified formats; add metadata to digital images; and name image files in accordance with Museum standards as provided in guidelines with this document. The Contractor shall be highly skilled in the use of image processing software to include, but not limited to, Adobe Photoshop, Capture One Pro, tethered capture programs, and color management programs. Familiarity with Smithsonian object, promotional, and/or events photography is an asset.


    All work under this purchase order shall begin on or about June 14, 2021 and be completed on or about June 13, 2022, with the option to extend an additional year based on successful performance, museum needs and availability of funds. The total contract is not to exceed 1500 hours estimating 30 hours per week. Due to COVID-19 the contractor’s schedule could change at any time with prior oral or written agreement. Photography work at off-site object storage will be scheduled in conversation with the Project lead. Until onsite work at NMAfA is approved by the Smithsonian, work related meetings (via video conference platforms) will be scheduled at mutually convenient times for the Contractor and the Project lead.


    Prospective contractors are required to have General Liability Insurance for at least $1,000,000 The SI must be listed as additional insured for the General Liability insurance. Proof of insurance must be submitted with quotes.


    Multiple payments for the amount shall be made upon completion and acceptance of work and deliverables and receipt of proper invoice referencing the purchase order number or after final receipt and acceptance by Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of African Art has occurred by Contracting Officer’s Technical Representative (COTR).

    Note: The Prompt Payment Act P.L. 97-177, (31 U.S.C. Section 1801) is not applicable to the Smithsonian Institution.


    Contractor shall primarily conduct work remotely until COVID-19 restrictions ease and is responsible for all commuting travel with the execution and completion of this contract.


    Service Contract Act of 1965, as amended

    If services to be performed are covered by the Service Contract Act (SCA), as amended, the SCA shall apply to all work performed under the contract, purchase order, or GSA schedule task order to be issued. Individuals and companies submitting quotes are encouraged to verify the wages and fringe benefits determined by the U.S. Department of Labor to be payable for the Labor Category and in within the location that work performance will occur as cited in the Statement of Work. The SCA wages and fringe benefits payable shall be part of the order award.

    Individuals and companies awarded a contract, purchase order or GSA schedule contract task order for SCA covered services are responsible, and required by law, to deliver to its employee(s) or post a notice of the required compensation in a prominent place at the worksite. The SCA provides authority to contracting agencies to withhold contract funds to reimburse underpaid employees, terminate the contract, hold the contractor liable for associated costs to the government, and debar from future government contracts for a period of three (3) years any persons or firms who have violated the SCA. The contracting officer awarding this order, or the Smithsonian Inspector General, may periodically require contractors to provide information that verifies compliance with the SCA for services provided under the awarded contracts, purchase orders or GSA schedule contract task orders.


    If at award, or anytime during contract performance, the dollar amount of the contract award exceeds $150,000 or $5,000,000 under GSA Schedule, with a period of performance over 120 days, the successful bidder is required to register in the E-Verify System and verify that all individuals to be hired under the contract award are eligible for employment within the U.S. This requirement is not applicable to work that will be performed outside the U.S. or for Commercial Off the Shelf (COTS) items.

    E-Verify is an Internet-based system operated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). It allows employers to verify the employment eligibility of their employees, regardless of citizenship. For more information on e-verify and when, why and how to register and use the system please go to the USCIS site on the World Wide Web at:

    Executive Order 13465 and Homeland Security Policy Directive 12 (HSPD-12)

    Background Investigations

    If a contractor employee assigned to the SI under this contract will have an association with SI that will be greater than thirty (30) days, determined either at time of contract award or anytime during contract performance, and will need access to staff-only areas of SI controlled facilities and leased spaces, the employee shall be required to receive an SI Credential. Contractor employees who require an SI Credential shall be required to undergo and pass an appropriate background investigation and complete security awareness training before an SI Credential is issued. Employees whose associations with the SI will be less than 30 days shall not receive a background investigation or SI Credential, however, they must be escorted by Credentialed personnel at all times when in staff-only areas of SI facilities. If relevant to this RFQ, a form OCon 520, Background Investigations and Credentials for Contractors’ Personnel, is included. The following actions shall be required to be completed by the SI Contracting Officer’s Technical Representative (COTR) and successful vendor:

    1. The COTR shall provide an OF-306, Declaration for Federal Employment form, for each of the Contractor’s employees who will be assigned to the SI for 30 days or longer. The OF-306 forms must be completed by each person and returned by the Contractor to the COTR, or other designated SI employee, within ten (10) workdays from receipt of the forms by the Contractor.

    2. For contractors to SI organizations outside the Washington DC and New York City areas, forms SF-87, Fingerprint Cards, shall be provided to the Contractor by the COTR or other designated SI employee. Each form SF- 87 must be returned to the COTR, or other designated SI employee, within ten (10) workdays from receipt of the forms by the Contractor When necessary, the forms SF-87 shall be submitted by the Contractor with the OF-306.

    Homeland Security Policy Directive 12 (HSPD-12)


    A DUNS number is a unique nine digit identification number available for each physical location of your business and is needed to register in the System for Award Management (SAM), formerly the Central Contractor Registration (CCR) system (see Section VI of this RFQ). DUNS numbers are provided through Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) at no charge when you contact D&B via toll free telephone call to 1-866-705-5711, or on the internet at Non-U.S. (international) vendors may also contact D&B via email at Indicate that you are requesting a DUNS number to assist with eligibility for U.S. Government contracts. New DUNS numbers for U.S. vendors will be active and available for SAM registration within 1-2 business days of request; international vendors DUNS will be active and available normally within 2-5 days of request.


    It is a requirement that current and prospective recipients of contract and purchase orders awarded by the SI must complete registration and maintain an active record in the System for Award Management (SAM). The SAM requires a one-time business registration, with annual updates, and allows vendors to control the accuracy of the business information they enter. The financial data you enter, which includes the electronic funds transfer (EFT) data collected by SAM, will assist the SI in paying your invoices and complying with the Federal Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996. You may complete or update your information in SAM online at Questions regarding the process may be directed to the Federal Service Desk online at or via toll free call to 1-888-606-8220. There is no charge for registering in SAM.

    For vendors who were registered in CCR prior to July 30, 2012, this means:

    • All information in CCR was transferred to SAM and available for viewing and updating on July 30, 2012;
    • Vendors will not have to re-register in SAM if their CCR was active and valid on July 30, 2012, however,
    • They will have to set up a SAM user ID. Once this is done, the vendors will have access to all their information and may edit it as needed,
    • They may set up an ID when they are notified by the SAM that it is time to renew registration.
    • Vendors who attempted to access their information by going to the current CCR website on and after July 30, 2012, should have been automatically redirected to SAM.

    For vendors who were not registered in CCR prior to July 30, 2012, this means:

    • Vendors will need to obtain a DUNs number (see Part V. above) in order to register in SAM.
    • Beginning on July 30, 2012, they must be directed to to complete registration in SAM.
    • The registration process via SAM has been changed for SAM, and is reported to be streamlined and much easier than the CCR process.

    If yours is the acceptable price quote and you are selected for award, your organization's valid and active registration with SAM must be verifiable by SI staff administering this procurement prior to contract or purchase order award, and at the time any modifications or amendments to awards might be required.