How much to charge for photo usage.

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by lukejc1, Sep 2, 2014.

  1. lukejc1 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2013
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #1
    I live in a popular tourism county and a local visitor's center for one of the towns is interested in using some of my photos. They asked me what I normally charge for usage. I'm not sure as I am new to this.

    This is what they said was pretty standard. Typically for use on their website or Facebook page, photographers usually only ask for photo credit. For use in their guidebook, they offered $300 for the cover and $25 each for any inner photos.

    I know local markets may vary but does this seem relatively fair to you?

    Thanks for your input.
     
  2. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #2
    for a local visitor center this sounds fair.
     
  3. lukejc1 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Feb 6, 2013
    Location:
    Wisconsin
  4. acearchie macrumors 68040

    acearchie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    #4
    The other thing to take into consideration is whether this (photography) is your livelihood.

    Yes the photo had already been taken but were there any costs to you incurred whilst taking it.

    Does the value seem fair to you and will that money be spent well.

    If it only covers the petrol for the trip there and back then you would probably want more but if it can all go towards a new camera body then count yourself lucky.

    For my point of view for a limited license this sounds quite reasonable. Is your photo going to be on the cover?
     
  5. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    Oct 10, 2013
    #5
    All true. If this is a small visitor center they probably don't have the budget to pay more.
     
  6. acearchie macrumors 68040

    acearchie

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    Jan 15, 2006
    #6
    To be honest. It's actually great to hear of someone ponying up some cash! Usually it's the old, "It will be great exposure for you..."
     
  7. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #7
    Yes, it sounds fair. As long as the usage rights aren't exclusive to them (that is - you are not prevented from selling the images to someone else). They may (and you should offer) that you won't offer the images to another entity that is in competition with the info office. Of course you know your local conditions - so this may not apply.

    What would be really cool is if they will let you sell the used images as a postcard. You could offer to donate part of the proceeds to the info centre to cement the deal (10% to 20% say). Make sure your contact info is on the post card, and consider putting the images up on your website. Essentially, the postcards are advertising your images, and once you've sold enough to break even it's free advertising.

    Luck and congratulations
     
  8. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #8
    Postcards are generally bad for making money, the per-print cost is poor and volume has to be exceptional to make up for it. Posters are marginally better, but the real trick is to do matted prints at least 8x10. People will generally purchase the smallest-sized print offered, and framing costs put purchases out of the casual visitor's price range. Always ask to sell fine-art prints if given the choice to move images. 5x7 and smaller prints aren't great for margins, 8x10's matted to 11x14 tend to be the best price/volume/margin point IMO.

    Here's my math:

    Postcard cost .15-.35 Sale price: 1.00-3.00
    Profit on 100 sales: $65-285

    8x10 cost $3-8, matte./backing/bag/tape price: $3 Sale price: $25-65 Profit on 100 sales: $1400-5900

    Now, you're obviously not going to sell as many prints as postcards, but postcard sales cannibalize print sales, and 5 print sales kill 100 postcard sales.

    Paul
     
  9. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #9
    Agree with everything you say.

    Except that I doubt an info centre wants to sell matted prints. With postcards they can literally leave a can out on the desk for people to pop some coins in. This is based simply on experience with the local info centre. Other centres may have no issues selling matted prints of course. And of course your advice would work wonderfully in a location where selling matted prints is an option, like a hotel front desk or a local craft store.
     
  10. lukejc1 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2013
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #10
    Great discussion! Thanks for the imput!

    This is just a hobby for me. I sell matted prints on the side on weekends but this isn't how I make my living.

    I'm not sure if it will be chosen for the cover. I am sending them an assortment of photos for them to choose from. Fingers crossed!

    Thanks!

    I will be free to do whatever I wish with my photo. They are only looking for usage rights. Which is good for me since I sell matted prints on the side.

    They don't really sell any product in their offices, unfortunately. There is only a small area with free travel brochures and the like.
     
  11. sim667 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2010
    #11
    Consider how many copies they want to publish too..

    Set an agreement for a figure, and if they want to produce more then they have to come to another agreement with you.
     
  12. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #12
    There may still some easy ways to leverage this opportunity into some good promo for you. For instance: Whether or not they pick your image as the cover - offer them the loan of a print that is, in your opinion at least, worthy of the cover. Frame it nicely (put it behind glass to protect it) and lend it to them for the tourist season for free (but make sure there is an agreement that they will pay you full price if it's damaged or lost). Visitors who like the photo will be told by the volunteers where they can find you on weekends. If you sell just a few extra matted prints then the framed photo has paid for itself. Don't forget, you get the framed photo back - so it's a 'capital investment'. It can used again somewhere else.

    If you support the work of the info centre, consider donating the use of a different image for them to use as a postcard for their own use. They can put out a can and ask visitors to 'donate' to the costs of running the centre. You will get brownie points. The point however is that people will start to see your images multiple times - and that equates to being 'important' or 'good'. It might increase your matted sales. It also puts your name in front of the volunteers, members, and organizers of the info centre. When they are looking for matted prints for themselves they will already know your name. Consider that anyone involved in the centre is probably passionate about your locale, and probably likes to shop local. This kind of operation attracts that kind of people - at least in my experience.

    Luck.
     
  13. lukejc1 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2013
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #13
    Great info and advice. I really hope that this will be good exposure for me. I think it has the potential to do just that.

    I like the idea of loaning them a framed photo for their office. I will definitely look in to that and see if that is something they might be interested in.
     
  14. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #14
    The trick is to figure out which offers of 'exposure' are truly beneficial to you, and which ones are just free decorations for the other people. You can be deluged with offers from cafe owners, for example, who are 'willing' to give you 'great exposure' if you lend them photos for their wall. This hardly ever works out in my experience. One way to help you decide is whether the location is a commercial or a non-profit organization. Restaurants/cafes are a for-profit entity, and they can pay for their decorations - imho. However, an info centre is probably non-profit. The fact that they are even willing to pay for use of the photos in their guide book is a big plus, and helping them out a little bit is - in my opinion - a good thing. It's a good way to give back to your community, and in the long run doesn't cost you anything since that framed print may eventually sell anyway. Plus volunteers can be very loyal. Help their cause, and they help you. It is a good business decision too. imho of course….
     
  15. lukejc1 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2013
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #15
    Good points. Thank you so much for the advice! It gives me quite a bit to think about.
     

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