Selling photos for commercial use

Discussion in 'Australia Photography' started by David Jennings, Jul 24, 2003.

  1. Hi there,

    I'm just an amateur dabbler in photography but I've got a few shots up on a
    web-site and I've had an enquiry from someone who'd like to use a few for a
    music CD that they're producing. Just a small, special-interest label. I'm
    happy enough to let them use a few shots but was wondering if anyone could
    offer any advice with regard to the following.

    * Should I offer them royalty-free? Seems to make sense since royalties
    would just be a hassle for them and I don't think we're talking about major

    * Non-exclusive use okay? Since I won't get much out of this I don't want to
    hand-over exclusive rights.

    * Any ideas on fair value?

    Any thoughts or pointers to information on the topic (I've already googled)
    would be much appreciated. A pointer to a simple contract or agreement would
    be pretty nice too.


    David Jennings, Jul 24, 2003
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  2. David Jennings

    Miro Guest

    If in doubt just give them away. It costs nothing, requires no paperwork,
    attracts no GST, makes no taxable income ..... it's just easier and you can
    still see the product in print.
    Miro, Jul 24, 2003
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  3. I'd add to Miros comments that if you are going to donate it, that you
    stipulate that you be credited for the image. Many people will use the
    images, and forget to credit the photog.

    Surfworx Photography, Jul 24, 2003
  4. David Jennings

    Scott Coutts Guest

    Well, a lot of people will tell you that royalty free work devalues all
    other photographer's work.
    --> start arguements here.

    But you can choose this for yourself. You need to change your pricing
    depending on whether you sell it royalty free or not.
    Yes, non-exclusive should be fine. Make sure you tell them that though.
    Depends on how many they're going to do and where it will be appearing,
    how big etc. But you can check some stock agents sites for some examples
    of pricing. Alamy provides digital files and, for example, charges
    ~US$220 for an 8x12 sized pic at 300dpi as a royalty free shot.
    Scott Coutts, Jul 24, 2003
  5. Even if it's not donated (ie, the shot is paid for) I imagine that it's
    still normal to be credited. Is that right?
    David Jennings, Jul 24, 2003
  6. How do royalties get calculated and credited? For a small volume item such
    as this (special interest music CD label) it seems like it would be a lot of
    effort for not much money. Of course it's them making the effort but then
    I've got no way of vetting their calculations.
    What would a typical royalty charge be? (I know that's a very open-ended


    David Jennings, Jul 24, 2003
  7. David Jennings

    Scott Coutts Guest

    Yes, I think that for something like this, rf would be better.
    It's hard to say. Depends on all the factors (and more) that I listed
    before, but in the end, you've got to pick a price that they're happy
    with. If you're not doing this for a living, then pick a price you're
    happy with, and they're happy (or at least willing!) to pay. Check a few
    different stock agents if you want some ideas of their prices, but it
    varies a lot from agent to agent and photographer to photographer and of
    course it varies the most according to usage etc.
    Scott Coutts, Jul 24, 2003
  8. David Jennings

    Danny Smith Guest

    On Thu, 24 Jul 2003 07:51:26 GMT, Scott Coutts

    Nah, it's actually the scummy commercialistic bastards selling photos
    devalues other's work - as if you could put a price on art! *

    There, how's that for a decent start to the brawl?



    * Err... Note to all the fine commercial photogs on the group, that
    was sarcasm.
    Danny Smith, Jul 24, 2003
  9. off the top of my head i would ask for a couple of hundred- say $250 (would
    be much more if it was a bigger project with larger "circulation"). that's
    much, much less than it would cost them to hire a photographer to shoot a
    particular scene especially for the CD, and less than most stock agencies
    too (tell them this).

    sure its nice to get published but it's also nice to get some (small) return
    on your presumably significant financial outlay on equipment, not to mention
    your time, effort and skill.

    if you *do* give it away you may quickly get a reputation for doing
    "freebies" and find it hard to charge anything in the future.

    warren prasek
    web design | interactive media | photography
    Brisbane, Australia
    Warren Prasek, Jul 24, 2003
  10. David Jennings

    Danny Smith Guest


    Reminds me of the story about why Canon will win the Canon v. Nikon
    war - a couple of good solid thwaps around the head with a Canon
    1200/5.6 should take out them Nikon people nicely!


    Danny Smith, Jul 25, 2003
  11. David Jennings

    Admiral Guest

    As long as they don't fight back with one of these!

    Admiral, Jul 25, 2003
  12. David Jennings

    Admiral Guest

  13. David Jennings

    Miro Guest

    I dont recall that Canon actually sold one of these in Australia. If so then
    MAYBE one. It's one thing to have it and another to find a use for it.
    Miro, Jul 25, 2003
  14. David Jennings

    Scott Coutts Guest

    Nah, it'll be a draw. The Nikon is 16kg and 88cm long, the Canon comes
    in at 16.5kg and 83cm long.

    Canon owners will have the advantage at the fronts in snowy/arctic
    regions. Nikon owners will have the advantage at night.
    Scott Coutts, Jul 25, 2003
  15. David Jennings

    Lionel Guest

    Yes, it's standard practice. Do make sure that they promise *in writing*
    to do it, though, because there's no legal requirement for them to do
    Lionel, Jul 25, 2003
  16. David Jennings

    Ken Guest

    Motorsport? .... only taking numberplates fullframe of course ....
    Ken, Jul 25, 2003
  17. David Jennings

    Miro Guest

    In the end it comes down to teleconverters !
    Miro, Jul 25, 2003
  18. Technically, they're in breach of moral copyright requirements. Very
    expensive to pursue such a claim through courts, however you can
    'weild the big copyright stick', refer them to material published by
    the Copyright Council, and have them print an acknowledgement in the
    next edition.

    I've done this on at least 2 occasions before changing my contract.

    My latest "you're using my photo's for less money than I want to
    charge you" contract basically states:
    - that proper acknowledgement must accompany all photographs (the
    wording of such acknowledgement is supplied in Annex A)
    - that if such proper acknowledgement does not accompany each
    photograph published, then the published is liable for payment of full
    commercial rates for those photographs used, and must publish an
    acknowledgement in the next edition.
    - that should such followup acknowledgement not be published as
    required, a 'copyright breach' payment of $1000 shall be levied for
    each edition until such acknowledgement is published.

    Now that's in my standard contract. Annex A specifies, amongst other
    things, the acknowledgement to be printed. This allows me to
    negotiate & change the acknowledgement without altering the basic
    contract wording (Annexes are great tools!).

    Since using this (the client signs the contract, and initials each
    Annex page) I've only had 1 problem - and they paid full rates &
    published an acknowledgement.

    Even when I work for 'the crown' (where by legislation they own
    copyright) I still negotiate appropriate acknowledgements.

    Andrew :eek:)
    Andrew Hennell, Jul 26, 2003
  19. David Jennings

    Cameron Guest


    You could do what I do on the rare occasions I give a pic away for free.

    Offer three payment options.

    1) Photo credit in the format "Photo: David Jennings"
    2) $550 (or any amount you choose)
    3) Photo credit in the format "Photo: David Jennings" and $550 (or any
    amount you choose)

    Get them to sign a contract agreeing to these terms and I can bet that
    99.9999999999999999% of the time they will agree to condition 1 and you will
    get your byline. I had a full page pic in Big League magazine (that I had
    offered at no charge) last edition without a byline and they even asked for
    an invoice for the fee.

    Give it a shot.

    Cameron, Jul 26, 2003
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