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Drew Bedo
14-May-2014, 04:53
Reciently I was contacted by a software developer who wanted to know what I would charge to use a specific image of mine as a visual element in a website he was setting up for an accounting girm. He specified that it would be a low resolution image.

I had never made a quote on this type of business before; I sell fine art images as ink jet prints. I quoted a license fee of $1000 to use a high resolution image commercially in any way for one year and $2000 for a five year license. I pointed out that thousands of people would see my image and it would brand the accounting service. He declined. The exchange of messages was cordial.

Is this fee out of line?

hoffner
14-May-2014, 05:12
When you compare you required fee with fees stock agencies ask for pictures in magazines and books (they too are seen by thousands of people) then there is no doubt that your fee was exaggerated. Regardless of what photographers desires and the politics around stock agencies are. Of course, that is not the only comparison you can make.

David R Munson
14-May-2014, 05:27
I'd say stock agency fees are basically worthless as a point of comparison, as stock photo fees have gone from small to total shit. In my opinion, your fee was reasonable, though apparently not workable for the (potential) buyer.

vinny
14-May-2014, 06:01
Fee or Free?
Free sounds cheaper. :)

koh303
14-May-2014, 06:50
Most news agencies pay small money for photos they hire a photographer to go photograph. When i saw small i mean 75-180$. A per day hire of a photographer with all his gear is less then what you quoted for a one year license (never heard of such a thing BTW). The amount of people who will see your photo, or how much money the customer might make while using it has no bearing on the price, because you would not charge 75cents from a small newspaper with very low readership.

It's great someone wants to buy your photo. Think about how many more potential customers you might have if "thousands of people" were to see it and know its yours.
Better to ask the going rate for a photo, with no provisions on use such as time or circulation (universal use license, with credit), for what might seem a small fee (say 175$) and have then actually use it, then give a rate which is most likely higher then what that programmer is getting to do the whole site and not see it used. It's free advertising to you.

If you sell enough ink jet prints which are "fine art" to make a living then you should be adamant about 1000$ per year to use your image.

Jody_S
14-May-2014, 07:46
My wife used to purchase rights like this on a weekly basis, from various stock websites. I don't think she ever paid more than $100 for a photo, and most she got for $1 - $25. There is just too much choice for purchasers to have to pay big bucks for anything, and whatever is going on the web doesn't need to be of high quality. She had (still has, I should say) a conscience, and didn't just steal the photos she needed, unlike most web developers.

hoffner
14-May-2014, 08:09
My wife used to purchase rights like this on a weekly basis, from various stock websites. I don't think she ever paid more than $100 for a photo, and most she got for $1 - $25. There is just too much choice for purchasers to have to pay big bucks for anything, and whatever is going on the web doesn't need to be of high quality. She had (still has, I should say) a conscience, and didn't just steal the photos she needed, unlike most web developers.

Exactly. Whatever stock agency can give the guy what he needs for a small fee. Thinking that you can charge $$$$ for "your" picture for this purpose is just unreasonable in most cases.

Drew Bedo
14-May-2014, 08:09
Thanks everyone for the schooling and reality-check.

This offer came to me from out-of-the-blue. I have never had a commercial request before. I sell fine-art prints for $150-$400 depending on size, so I was pretty much winging it here.

If there is a next time, maybe I won't ask so much.

My current business model consists of a handshake followed by an exchange of the art work for money. It is understood that this is the sale of the print as a work of art—an artifact. I am not selling the image itself for any other purpose than for personal use as a display item. I simply was not prepared for selling in another way.

Where may I find a sample licensing agreement to cover this sort of commercial use?

Kirk Gittings
14-May-2014, 08:36
I don't know what the image was but from a clients POV its not a question of how many people see it but how much does that image actually generate in sales for them. For an architect a killer image of his design can generate a lot and with a national firm I have gotten the kind of prices you quoted. But if the image is more to create a mood or something rather than of their product it is of very amorphous value and not worth much these days because there is so much out there that is easy to find for cheap.

goamules
14-May-2014, 08:44
Someone contacted me through flickr this week, offering $60 each for some of my pictures. First time for that.

Ari
14-May-2014, 09:12
Drew, I think your quote was reasonable; licensing usually has a different rate and different terms than producing a specific image for a client in a one-off situation.
Not your fault that images can be purchased for $1.00 or less these days.

Kirk Gittings
14-May-2014, 10:01
I make a large part of my income from stock sales. "Reasonable" is related to what the market will bear today-not what we would like ideally or what it was 20 years ago. Based on the vague usage description given "as a visual element in a website" I doubt it would be considered "reasonable" by any clients I deal with as it doesn't sound crucial or irreplaceable. That's not to say I am happy about the current market. It stinks and grossly favorers the users, but I am in the business of selling images and must consider actual market value. I always start a bit high (guesswork sometimes) and let them respond. If I were Drew I would have come back to them and said "what do you think is a fair price" and depending on what that was probably come back at double what they thought was fair as they are probably lowballing at that point.

Drew Wiley
14-May-2014, 10:30
Stock "fee" now seems to be spelled "free". Welcome to the internet age.

Kirk Gittings
14-May-2014, 10:36
No I still get a lot of regular income from stock. $4k in the last month-all editorial for national "shelter" magazines. For what my clients need (specific projects of architecture and interiors) there is nothing free available that trumps what I am selling. That's the trick. You must have something they need that they can't get anywhere else or is impossible or too expensive to reshoot. If you are trying to sell generic landscapes forget it.

djdister
14-May-2014, 10:38
I think your initial asking price might have been reasonable if the purchaser was going to use your photograph as a signature element of a marketing campaign or for a corporate identity, but as a kind of "background art" on a website (and maybe they would have even overlaid it with text or other graphic elements), it was decidedly too much for that market. Given the abundance of low-cost and no-cost images and stock graphics out there, a bit more flexibility on the licensing price could have gotten your work "out there", at the least.

brucetaylor
14-May-2014, 10:47
If I were Drew I would have come back to them and said "what do you think is a fair price"

I agree. There are many choices out there.

As a buyer myself for my small company's advertising and promotional materials I am used to spending about $50 each for fairly generic stock photos to be used in promotional pieces. I just hired a local photographer (established, storefront operation) to come out and shoot a full set of environmental portraits and some general activity shots of the shop for $700. That seems to be the going rate. If I were to make a particular photograph a central part of our brand identity for our small local company I would be looking to spend perhaps a few hundred dollars (with no limits on time or use), as a part of the overall graphics expense. That's the realistic landscape I see as a small local business like mine or a local accounting firm.

ic-racer
14-May-2014, 11:30
Probably a scam, good to avoid it. There are literally billions of images uploaded to the internet that are essentially free for the taking. Any website designer knows this.


http://www.apug.org/forums/forum45/96081-should-i-bothered-contract-phrase.html
http://www.apug.org/forums/forum46/74356-legit.html

djdister
14-May-2014, 12:06
Probably a scam, good to avoid it. There are literally billions of images uploaded to the internet that are essentially free for the taking. Any website designer knows this.


http://www.apug.org/forums/forum45/96081-should-i-bothered-contract-phrase.html
http://www.apug.org/forums/forum46/74356-legit.html

I think there is a substantial difference between some anonymous (and likely fake) stock photo request and being contacted by a web developer with a request. I think Drew had a valid usage request to consider.

brucetaylor
14-May-2014, 12:30
Sometimes I feel pretty dumb that I assume that people are mostly honest. It did not occur to me that the request might be a scam. Of course you should determine if the designer is legitimate.

Concerning web designers using images willy-nilly, do they? Probably, but they shouldn't. It's potentially very bad for their client. I had a couple of situations caused by web designers. One where a logo was used illegally and without my permission that caused some grief and lawyer's fees for me. Second, a Getty image was used as a placeholder in a website mock-up and accidentally wound up on the final published site- that cost me about $700. I now require that designer show me that they have the rights to use an image otherwise it won't be published. The designer has no responsibility to the rights holder, it is the end user that benefits and is liable.

Drew Wiley
14-May-2014, 12:42
Yeah... I understand, Kirk. It's been awhile since I've personally contracted for glossy "shelter" mags, and a cover shot plus the matching feature article would pay nicely. But certainly not like in the heyday of stock photog per se, when my brother sometimes got as much as 4K for one-time rights to publish a single 4x5 transparency, and that was good pay indeed back in the 60's, that someone could actually live on. What you're talking about has dwindled down to certain known
suspects like Marvin or Kohler, or feature articles, rather than stock picked from a stock broker. My brother worked with Shostal in NYC, which you might remember.
But it allowed him to live in Santa Barbara, not very far from a much more famous 4x5 stock photographer that you hung around with a bit, as well as his cantankerous stock photographer dad, whom my brother sometimes traveled with.

ic-racer
14-May-2014, 12:51
being contacted by a web developer with a request.

Who? What company? Website?, References? Examples of his or her work?

Peter De Smidt
14-May-2014, 13:22
That's more than I'd charge for a day of photography, where the customers get the rights to use the photos as much as they want. I haul a bunch of equipment and spend 8 hours doing photography for about $1000/day. That's pretty standard for this area when dealing with local businesses.

Kirk Gittings
14-May-2014, 15:02
But I've been doing this since 1978 Drew and selling stock to national mags since about 85. I know very well what the mags have paid then and now.

Drew Wiley
14-May-2014, 15:20
Just be grateful that you got your traction/momentum/reputation then and not now. Probably 80% of the obvious view-camera scenics I see published today are
from 4x5 "stockpiles" archived in the 60's thru 80's, although a lot of it is sheer overkill for something being printed smaller in scale than even a postcard. But I am
distinguishing between stock per se and contracted work, which I imagine is still negotiated, based on the reputation of the photographer. It's an interesting era,
regardless, with all the crosscurrents of new and old technology, and of the line of still photography blurring into video at times. I speak as a spectator at this point
in my life. I have little personal interest in all the new bells and whistles. My work is still meant to be put in a rectangular frame.

thegman
24-May-2014, 17:45
I take photos and also work as a software developer, and I feel the price you quoted was far too high. Also The whole yearly thing would be very off putting, even if it was $50, it's just yet another bit of hassle in running a business.

Whether you like it or not, your price will be compared to stock agencies, we're not talking about someone buying art for their home. We're talking about someone wanting to fill a spot on a website, and go home.

I hesitate to use the word 'unreasonable', as you have the right to charge whatever you want, but the "right" price is the one that people are willing to pay.

If it makes you feel any better, it's not just photography which isn't worth much these days, you try getting more than 99 cents out of someone for an iPhone game...

Drew Bedo
25-May-2014, 09:01
Thanks to everyone for their real-world in-put.

As I said; this has just never come up for me before. Maybe I reacted too quickly without posting here first.

Peter De Smidt
25-May-2014, 09:07
Don't worry about it. Figuring out pricing can be very difficult. In any case, being asked was a compliment!

QT Luong
25-Jun-2014, 14:45
I suggest you visit stock photography websites such as gettyimages.com, corbis.com, alamy.com and use their on-line price calculators. Those will give you a rough idea of acceptable high fees, although there are important nuances such as the ones pointed out by Kirk. Then, to get an idea of low fees, check istockphoto.com and shutterstock.com

As for a licensing contract, feel free to use my terms:

Grant of Rights: QT Luong represents and warrants that he is the owner of the above photograph(s) and has the unrestricted right to grant this license and rights. QT Luong indemnifies Client against all liabilities and expenses arising out of any breach of his representations under this license. This license is valid only for the listed use. Any other use or reuse requires a new license. Client may not transfer this license. Payment: Licensing fees can be paid by credit card on our secure online page. Checks, wire transfer, and Paypal are also accepted. For accounts or purchase orders, full payment must be received within 45 days after the invoice date or prior to publication. Rights are not transferred before payment is received. Credit line: QT Luong/terragalleria.com. Copies: Client shall provide, if requested and applicable, a copy of any publication, in its entirety, QT Luong Photographs appear in. Releases: Unless indicated otherwise, QT Luong does not have model, property, or other releases. Client indemnifies QT Luong against all liabilities and expenses arising out of uses of the images by Client. Refunds: Refunds may be issued only up to 45 days from the date on the invoice, minus a processing fee.

Iluvmyviewcam
26-Jun-2014, 05:37
OP...unless you have something very special Flickr has 2.5 million travel pix, 1.3 million flower pix and almost a million sunset pix. Those figures are just on single Flickr groups. Millions more on other Flickr groups. Tumblr brags it has billions of pix. Wiki commons has many millions of pix. I don't know if any of these can be used commercially...just saying lots of pix out there.

Iluvmyviewcam
26-Jun-2014, 05:39
I take photos and also work as a software developer, and I feel the price you quoted was far too high. Also The whole yearly thing would be very off putting, even if it was $50, it's just yet another bit of hassle in running a business.

Whether you like it or not, your price will be compared to stock agencies, we're not talking about someone buying art for their home. We're talking about someone wanting to fill a spot on a website, and go home.

I hesitate to use the word 'unreasonable', as you have the right to charge whatever you want, but the "right" price is the one that people are willing to pay.

If it makes you feel any better, it's not just photography which isn't worth much these days, you try getting more than 99 cents out of someone for an iPhone game...


Yes, good summation.

Iluvmyviewcam
26-Jun-2014, 05:45
No I still get a lot of regular income from stock. $4k in the last month-all editorial for national "shelter" magazines. For what my clients need (specific projects of architecture and interiors) there is nothing free available that trumps what I am selling. That's the trick. You must have something they need that they can't get anywhere else or is impossible or too expensive to reshoot. If you are trying to sell generic landscapes forget it.

Something they need that they can't get anywhere else or is impossible or too expensive to reshoot - sums it up.

gfsymon
26-Jun-2014, 08:50
It is understood that this is the sale of the print as a work of art—an artifact. I am not selling the image itself for any other purpose than for personal use as a display item.

I can't comment on international copyright law ... because it doesn't really exist, but as far as UK Copyright law is concerned (and I suspect many others) you may be surprised to learn that when you buy a painting, by an artist, for example, in a gallery, you do not buy the copyright. The painting is yours. The physical object itself. But you do not own any copyright. So literally, you cannot 'copy' it. That means, you can't sell postcards of the image, or have it published in a book, a magazine or sell it to a massive multi-national company to use for their worldwide advertising campaign etc. etc. etc. All you own, is the actual physical object. Some paint, squished onto a piece of stretched canvas. :)