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07/18/2011 03:01:43 PM · #1
I have been asked by an American record company if they can use a photograph of mine (of a band) for an upcoming tour for advertising and ad mats. They don't mention a fee. I don't want to give it them for free, but I have no idea of costs. And since it's a great opportunity, don't want to ask for too much. HELP PLEASE!

Thank you :)
07/18/2011 03:03:18 PM · #2
Ask them what they are offering for the use of the image. You may find its much more than you planned to ask for.
At least it becomes a starting place for the negotiations if you do not like their offer.
07/18/2011 03:16:18 PM · #3
Ask for licence type including if they want exclusivity, exact details of usage and duration. Then we can work it out ;)
I presume it's the band's record label that's wanting to use the image?
07/18/2011 03:17:54 PM · #4
Originally posted by amsterdamman:

Ask them what they are offering for the use of the image. You may find its much more than you planned to ask for.
At least it becomes a starting place for the negotiations if you do not like their offer.


Good idea. Just need to word it correctly........
07/18/2011 03:19:20 PM · #5
Originally posted by Chinarosepetal:

Ask for licence type including if they want exclusivity, exact details of usage and duration. Then we can work it out ;)
I presume it's the band's record label that's wanting to use the image?


Indeed! I need to start composing something.

The bands record label wants to use my image for tour advertising and ad mats. Posters, flyers etc etc - need to clarify. The band is famous in the UK.
07/18/2011 03:26:04 PM · #6
Hey - good for you. Keep things professional and you could do very well out of it :)
07/18/2011 04:14:57 PM · #7
Originally posted by amsterdamman:

Ask them what they are offering for the use of the image. You may find its much more than you planned to ask for.

+1 and congrats! Let us know how it turns out.
07/18/2011 06:55:40 PM · #8
Originally posted by Chinarosepetal:

Ask for licence type including if they want exclusivity, exact details of usage and duration. Then we can work it out ;)

Exactly -- you need to know all the ways they are going to use it, how many copies will be made (for printed materials), etc.

Here is one Stock Photo Calculator you can try
07/19/2011 07:40:42 AM · #9
Thanks everyone.

I asked them "I have one or two questions about the type of use and distribution etc" and they replied "Usage will be fairly basic for promoting the shows - useage in the ad mat, flyers and online. We do not foresee any additional uses at this point".

No mention of payment, and not exactly as detailed response as I would have liked (I have not included the polite formalities both sides).

I have conflicting opinions - those that say I should not charge less than the industry standard - because it doesn't do the industry very good and some say if I press on with asking for payment, they might refuse, and then my chance at 'promoting' this on my website etc will be blown. I.e. the honour of my image being used is payment enough.

I am torn! I used the calculator, thanks GeneralIE, but there doesn't seem to be any similar uses like posters, flyers etc. I have trawled the internet for advice on this subject, and there is none!

Should I send a response back asking what they are offering for the picture, and stating my terms of use - i.e. I want to be credited, I would like copies of the material? My feeling is that they want to use it for free.
07/19/2011 07:45:15 AM · #10
what's more important to you getting paid or getting credit?

Message edited by author 2011-07-19 07:45:23.
07/19/2011 07:58:37 AM · #11
Originally posted by mike_311:

what's more important to you getting paid or getting credit?


Dare I say, both?

I feel that I can't have one without the other. I am trying to establish my business, and I feel like I have given far too many "freebies" away already. This is slightly different as it's the American market. It probably won't mean I will get more jobs, but it will mean that I get to say that I took the image for the bands American tour....
07/19/2011 08:43:40 AM · #12
Ok, don't let them take you for a ride - if they won't be specific you can offer them a licence and they can tweak it.
So, A Rights Managed licence to allow them to use the image for promotional purposes both print and online.
Print size: up to A4
Web size: up to full screen
Print run up 100 000
Territory: North America
Duration: 6 months
This is a non exclusive licence.

Cost to them £1500

07/19/2011 08:54:13 AM · #13
sorry, mike, but "what's more important to you getting paid or getting credit?" is a terrible way of looking at it, because 'getting credit' doesn't do anything but hurt professional photographers. it's one thing if you're talking about doing charity work for a non-profit or cutting someone a break on portraits, but when dealing with a business that has the means to pay, especially a business that is making money by selling someone else's intellectual property (in this case music), there are very, very few justifications for giving the work away, if only for a credit.

i agree with chinarosepetal, except i would be inclined to ask them what's your photography budget for this project? before giving them a price.
07/19/2011 09:09:18 AM · #14
I agree with Skip, apart from asking about their budget. If someone comes to buy your car you don't ask them how much money they've got to spend. You tell them the price!
The cost of the licence at £1500 wasn't a made up figure, it's what that licence should cost - with a little room for negotiation.
07/19/2011 11:39:02 AM · #15
Originally posted by Chinarosepetal:

I agree with Skip, apart from asking about their budget. If someone comes to buy your car you don't ask them how much money they've got to spend. You tell them the price!
The cost of the licence at £1500 wasn't a made up figure, it's what that licence should cost - with a little room for negotiation.

we'll have to agree to disagree on this ;-)

i've lost more jobs by giving my fair price and being underbid than i have by working with someone's budget. on rare occasions i've had to get the client to scale back their expectations and requirements when i couldn't get them to come up to what i thought was reasonable. on many occasions i've had clients budget a lot more than what i planning on asking for (and it usually turned out that there was a lot more involved than what had originally been presented to me...)

i've also found that many people making these requests are more than willing to screw the photographer who doesn't know how to properly value their work.

i would be more inclined to take your approach if our industry was a little more standardized in terms of pricing. for example, most reputable car shops work off the same estimating guides; you can get multiple estimates that will be within dollars of each other. prices being equal, you make your decision off other factors (cleanliness of the shop, reputation, availability, referrals, etc). when it comes to photography, our prices are all over the map and it's not always that easy to tell the difference between vendors. that's why i prefer to work with the client's budget, rather than give them a number that they can take or leave. your mileage may vary ;-)
07/19/2011 12:15:46 PM · #16
Originally posted by Skip:

Originally posted by Chinarosepetal:

I agree with Skip, apart from asking about their budget. If someone comes to buy your car you don't ask them how much money they've got to spend. You tell them the price!
The cost of the licence at £1500 wasn't a made up figure, it's what that licence should cost - with a little room for negotiation.

we'll have to agree to disagree on this ;-)

i've lost more jobs by giving my fair price and being underbid than i have by working with someone's budget. on rare occasions i've had to get the client to scale back their expectations and requirements when i couldn't get them to come up to what i thought was reasonable. on many occasions i've had clients budget a lot more than what i planning on asking for (and it usually turned out that there was a lot more involved than what had originally been presented to me...)

i've also found that many people making these requests are more than willing to screw the photographer who doesn't know how to properly value their work.

i would be more inclined to take your approach if our industry was a little more standardized in terms of pricing. for example, most reputable car shops work off the same estimating guides; you can get multiple estimates that will be within dollars of each other. prices being equal, you make your decision off other factors (cleanliness of the shop, reputation, availability, referrals, etc). when it comes to photography, our prices are all over the map and it's not always that easy to tell the difference between vendors. that's why i prefer to work with the client's budget, rather than give them a number that they can take or leave. your mileage may vary ;-)


I see where you're coming from Skip, but to me the most important thing to know is the value of your own work. If someone is commissioning you then fair enough, ask what their budget is and tell them what they can get within that budget, they can negotiate from there. RainbowCS has the image already, asking them what their budget is signals to them that she doesn't know it's value - cue the rip off. She tells them the price, they negotiate from there. Simples :)
07/19/2011 12:52:53 PM · #17
Originally posted by Chinarosepetal:

I see where you're coming from Skip, but to me the most important thing to know is the value of your own work.


That's a very dangerous position to take, if selling photography is what you're doing. "Value" should not be confused with "cost", and it is dependent on external factors. Basically, "value" is determined by usage and budget, plain and simple. That it cost you more to make the image than anyone is willing to pay to license it (to take an extreme case) is neither here nor there. The only way you can establish a realistic "value" for a work in a given situation is to determine what the specific market will bear. It's dependent upon the specific client and the specific usage.

Skip's advice is very good, IMO, and I did this for a living for quarter of a century. ASK the client what price they have in mind and take it from there. If they give you a number significantly lower than you're willing to entertain, that's when you come back your more acceptable figure. You literally have nothing to gain, in a usage situation, and potentially a lot to lose, by being the first one to propose a figure.

R.
07/19/2011 01:38:09 PM · #18
The value of the image is nothing to do with the cost of it's production. The price for the licence for a non-commissioned image is easily calculated, by taking into account the factors - print run, territory etc that I outlined. You negotiate from there. How will RainbowCS ( or anyone else)succeed in her business if she doesn't know what is a reasonable price from the outset? This record company might say - 'oooh, we usually pay about £200' without knowing if that's 'significantly lower' how can she 'come back with a more acceptable figure'? From the outset you say 'The cost of a licence for this image for the usage that you've described is £xxx' As I said you have to know the value of your work, if they pay that amount then that's great, if there has to be some downward negotiation they'll feel like they've got a bargain and you've still got a sale.

Message edited by author 2011-07-19 13:42:45.
07/19/2011 01:46:56 PM · #19
Originally posted by Chinarosepetal:

The value of the image is nothing to do with the cost of it's production. The price for the licence for a non-commissioned image is easily calculated, by taking into account the factors - print run, territory etc that I outlined. You negotiate from there. How will RainbowCS ( or anyone else)succeed in her business if she doesn't know what is a reasonable price from the outset? This record company might say - 'oooh, we usually pay about £200' without knowing if that's 'significantly lower' how can she 'come back with a more acceptable figure'? From the outset you say 'The cost of a licence for this image for the usage that you've described is £xxx' As I said you have to know the value of your work, if they pay that amount then that's great, if there has to be some downward negotiation they'll feel like they've got a bargin and you've still got a sale.


We're not that far apart, but we're definitely not in agreement. This definition of "value" that you're describing is one based on tables that calculate a "fair" price for specific usages, and these tables, for all that they may be considered "industry standards", don't necessarily reflect the reality of the marketplace except that portion of it that is controlled by the creative industry (agencies, magazines, photographers, like that).

In the world we live in now, there's an awful lot going on that doesn't fit into those convenient slots.

And I will insist that "value" is what someone is willing to pay for whatever's being marketed. Value's not set by the seller, it's determined by the buyer. Sellers set prices, buyers determine the price represents a reasonable value from their perspective. This is what I was referring to.

Certainly it's good, very good, vital even, to be aware of prevailing market prices for similar work and usages: but don't confuse those prices with "value". I still maintain it makes more sense, in this particular situation, to bluntly ASK the putative users what they have in mind for compensation, what they think the image is worth to them, and negotiate from there.

R.
07/19/2011 02:19:40 PM · #20
We'll have to disagree, that's fine, my business is doing great so I'll stick with the methods that are working for me. RainbowCS does not know how much is a 'reasonable' price for her image (hence this thread) suggesting that she goes in and asks what they're willing to pay will leave her none the wiser and leaves her wide open to getting ripped off, they want that image for free, remember? It is bad, if not dangerous advice for someone only just finding her way in this business.
07/19/2011 02:40:39 PM · #21
Originally posted by Chinarosepetal:

We'll have to disagree, that's fine ...

I don't think you're *really* in disagreement -- I think she DOES need to know the "standard value" of the work in advance, but need not be the first to propose a figure to the client. They might offer 2000, in which case she gets a big bonus with no additional effort ... and if they try to low-ball her with a bid of 200, she can laugh at them and say "I'm willing to negotiate a bit, but not make an outright charitable donation" or something like that ...
07/19/2011 02:52:46 PM · #22
I think we're just having a semantic argument, for the most part. I think when you say she needs to "determine the value" before negotiating, I would say she needs to establish what's a "current market price" and definitely, she needs to do that. I agree.

The only area we're differing in is, once she has a ballpark figure in mind, I (and Skip) believe she should let them make the first move, and you believe she should start the process by quoting a price.

That's not a big chasm or anything, I can see it both ways: but in my own experience, when I'm dabbling my toes in a region I'm not real familiar with, it helps to flat-out ASK the client what they're looking to spend. Most clients have a reasonable grasp of the realities of their own markets. As long as you go in with an awareness of the range of real-world prices, this works quite well.

Going in with a quote, on the other hand, is a little more problematical if the specific project's not part of your normal world or workflow, which is the case here: if you ask for way too much, you get dismissed out of hand. If you ask for less than they would have paid, well, you'll never know that and you've short-changed yourself. You're not negotiating from strength in this situation, you're not an established player in the field with experience and a track record to fall back on.

So what's the harm in asking? That's my position. It opens a dialogue, and if the number's not satisfactory there's ALWAYS room for a counteroffer and more extended negotiation.

R.

Message edited by author 2011-07-19 14:53:46.
07/20/2011 08:38:19 AM · #23
Thanks for the discussion guys.

I emailed them back last night and I set out some questions I wanted to know the answers to i.e. distribution levels, which 'territory' the prints will be released in, the sizes of the prints, and a few other little questions. I feel it's been more like a "please send us a hi-res image and don't be too concerned about the details" type thing so far from them - which I am not too happy about - it's my image, and I think it's fair that I should know exact details. I then added onto the end a question about their photography budget re. the costs of paying for the usage. They haven't replied. I am not sure if they will! But what I do know is, although the honour of having my image "out there" would be great. And it really would. I have promised myself that I can no long give out "freebies", not to anyone - unless it is for charity. I am trying to set up my business at the moment, and if I don't stick to my own personal guidelines now, I will continue to let images go for "free" forever. And I will be always be running at a deficit.

If they come back, which I hope they do, and offer say... a smaller amount than the amounts suggested here, because their budget isn't very big, then I will definitely consider it.
07/20/2011 02:26:26 PM · #24
Ok, so heard back.

The record label "don't have a photography budget", they were "hoping you would let ***** simply run with it for this batch of tour". So no fee. Do I negotiate for at least SOMETHING because they are VERY keen to use my photo or do I let them off and be happy with just the "acclaim"? I promised myself I wouldn't give a freebie away, and I don't want to, but a part of me says it might be good for future business? And I might be shooting myself in the foot.

The photo will be i the paper, online and on flyers. It will be used for 2.5 weeks approx.

They are VERY keen to use the photo....

HELP :(
07/20/2011 02:37:05 PM · #25
A record label without a budget for photography/publicity, yeh yeh.... if they're very keen tell them you'll do it for a reduced fee and some UK press/tour passes :)
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