How do you sell a picture to a company??

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Rhobes, Apr 26, 2010.

  1. Rhobes macrumors 6502


    Oct 28, 2004
    Bigfork, MT
    :D I'm curious, because I have a shot which is absolutely superb for a company called Mad River Canoe. Of course, they would have to think so too.

    I could print my name across it and e-mail it but maybe there is a formal way of asking? What is a going price? Or, should I just be happy if they used it with my name credited?

    When/if you sell an image do you have a right to use it again?
  2. MattSepeta macrumors 65816


    Jul 9, 2009
    375th St. Y

    I have no idea, but I like canoes and am interested in seeing your image! May I?
  3. Edge100 macrumors 68000

    May 14, 2002
    Where am I???
    I've never solicited a sale (i.e. approached someone to sell them an image), but I have sold several images (some to very large national companies). In each case, the company has found me via my presence on the web (website, blog, Flickr, etc), so my advice would be to get as much exposure as possible.

    As far as pricing goes, it depends on what the image is to be used for. I recently sold an image to a very large (for Canada) national transportation company, which was to be used in their internal newsletter for employees. For this, I gave them two options:

    1. Pay $X for a single, one time use, in this publication only
    2. Pay 1.2 times $X for use in perpetuity, in this publication only (this was the option they chose, not surprisingly)

    The reason I stipulated "in this publication only" is that if they wanted to use the image in a national ad campaign, for instance, I would charge them more money because the image will have wider distribution. The actual dollar amount will vary depending on what the market can tolerate and the distribution size, but $200 is not out of the question for a moderately-sized company to use on a limited scale, in perpetuity.

    You can stipulate any terms you like when selling an image; in the above example, I sold the rights to use the image in a particular publication, and that's it; in essence, a lifetime license. The image itself belongs to me, and I would never (ever) sell ownership of it; ownership of the image always belongs to the person who created it, unless they've specifically created it under contract for someone else. Basically, another company could purchase that same image and use it for their own purposes; I have not sold the rights to the image, just the right to use the image for a specific purpose.

    Hope this helps.
  4. Doylem macrumors 68040


    Dec 30, 2006
    Wherever I hang my hat...
    You're not looking to 'sell' a pic, but to 'license' it: a big difference. You retain the copyright of your image, but you license someone to use your pic for a particular purpose, for a particular length of time.

    Don't give the license away for a credit (would a mechanic fix your car for nothing, as long as you told your friends??).

    I'd email a lo-res pic to the company, in the first instant, to see if they are interested. Phone first, to get a named individual to contact. Don't sell your work cheap... especially since it's "absolutely superb"... :)
  5. Rhobes thread starter macrumors 6502


    Oct 28, 2004
    Bigfork, MT
    Thanks everyone for the info, I hadn't a clue. I'm sure glad the pic is mine to keep, then just allow it for specific usage.

    While I'm at it here is the pic. I lowered the res to 72ppi and typed my website on it. I'm thinking it was a great shot, at least for me. Specifically, I shot the pic of my English Setter not noticing how nice the canoe name fit in. So, think Mad River Canoe's might like it? Opinions?
  6. JDDavis macrumors 65816


    Jan 16, 2009
    Whether you ever license the pic or not you should be proud. It's a great shot. I'm extremely jealous of the whole scene. This has got to be British Columbia? Maybe Banff? Either way upon opening it I immediately wanted to be there. I was very jealous of you being there to take that shot. I'd say if others have the same reaction then you have a pretty marketable pic. Best of luck.
  7. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

    Jun 9, 2009
    I think it's a great pic, and I'm quite envious of the setting :). However, as a product shot for MRC, I think it suffers from the fact that the canoe itself is not the main focus of the picture. The dog and tripod are far too dominant and only after looking at the tripod, then the dog, then the mountains in the background, you pick out the canoe in the bottom corner of the picture. IMO, an effective shot for MRC would have the viewer immediately identify and focus on the product (canoe), not other things.

  8. bowzer macrumors 6502


    Apr 25, 2005
    Ottawa, Canada
    Yea Im going to agree with ruahrc - the photo would of been a lot stronger if the tripod & whatever is behind the tripod, plus all the stuff in the boat wasn't there... and if the dog was looking at or in the boat, even better.

    Beautiful scenery though!

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