Online web-magazine freelancing....

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by mtbdudex, Jan 27, 2011.

  1. mtbdudex macrumors 68000

    mtbdudex

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
    Location:
    SE Michigan
    #1
    Did a search and no topic on this so here I go...

    Fellow MacRumors photography forum gang– I’ve been offered to be a freelance photographer for a online local web-magazine!

    It all started via Facebook 1 week ago, they have a Facebook page,
    I posted one of my shots there, they asked me for permission to post it to their website, I agreed. They got good feedback, I posted a few more, etc, repeat.

    Since, I've showed them my various shots, they want me to be part of their freelance crew.

    $XXX/photo gallery they host (10-20 images, with brief write up), since I’ve been taking these as a hobby it will be supplemental income, help offset future gear.
    Plus, doing this will help me evolve my photography to a better level, seeing how people react to my shots, etc.

    So, I'm meeting with the editor next week Monday to get this started, he's already setting up my account with them so I can preview their freelance contract, etc.

    Q's:
    -What should I ask of him?
    -Any others already doing this freelance stuff (for their local Online web-magazine/other) have lessons to share with me?
     
  2. ComputersaysNo, Jan 27, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2011

    ComputersaysNo macrumors 6502

    ComputersaysNo

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2010
    Location:
    Amsterdam
    #2
    Let them pay a minimum salary to cover for your gear, even if they don't need/use any photo's. Let them also insure your gear, or make a deal that they pay a new camera when yours brakes down. When they don't want that, do not do any business with them. Just don't wear out your gear when you won't get anything out of it.

    I've been freelance for a few years now (mostly weddings in de weekends, sometimes commercial. My dayjob is working in a hospital), and my experience with 'local' and 'freelance' always turned out that someone was looking for a sucker that makes good photo's for as little money as possible.


    edit* some positive cool story bro': Within a few weeks a friend and i are photographing pivate jets for a rent-a-jet-company. Part of the deal is flying to Spain for a weekend due to the bad weather overhere. So once in a while something good comes out of being a freelancer. :D
     
  3. Phrasikleia, Jan 27, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2011

    Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Location:
    Over there------->
    #3
    ^^^I completely agree with ComputersaysNo. If you're doing assignment work for them, make sure you're at least getting paid a day rate, not just licensing fees for photos they actually use. They should also be paying for your travel expenses. Somehow I doubt they'll cover insurance unless you're full-time staff, though it's worth I try, I guess.

    Also make sure you retain the rights to the photos you take so that you can license them out to third parties. Over the last couple of years, I've done a bunch of assignment work, enough to constitute about a third of my annual income. Nonetheless, it was a lot of work for not a lot of money, and it would not have made financial sense for me if I hadn't retained the rights to the photos. Those photos are all still mine, and I have many of them in with my stock agency, where they have been doing well for me.

    [Edit: I should probably add that international travel was a major incentive in my case as well. These assignments have taken me all over Europe: England, Italy, Sicily, Germany, and twice to Greece. And I got my husband's travel expenses covered as well (as my assistant/partner). Otherwise, the work wouldn't have been worthwhile for me.]
     
  4. mtbdudex thread starter macrumors 68000

    mtbdudex

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
    Location:
    SE Michigan
    #4
    Thx for quick feedback, this is all happening fast for me, I'm still keeping my M-F 8-5 "day job" of course, this will be supplemental income.

    Now, I have to get up to speed on LLC also.....
     
  5. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Location:
    Over there------->
    #5
    Of course, but the larger point here is that you shouldn't let anyone take advantage of you, especially not just for the sake of novelty (doing something you've never done before). It's not good for you, and it's particularly not good for the photography industry as a whole. You don't want to be the guy who helps to worsen and perpetuate the idea that photographers are impoverished push-overs.
     
  6. ComputersaysNo macrumors 6502

    ComputersaysNo

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2010
    Location:
    Amsterdam
    #6
    Good points by Phrasikleia. And also put all agreements on paper/email/fax, even the little ones (model wearing a red sweater instead of blue as a last minute discision). Don't fall for gentleman's agreements. You will make this mistake once, hopefully just once, and from that moment you'll thank yourself for working by this simple rule. The horror of people not making up their mind, changing the original plan and think things like that it will only cost you a minute extra instead of another day. The idiots & stylists who are present at the shoot, having their say about it, saying that it all looks good & wonderfull. And afterwards start complaining that it didn't turn out the way they thought it would be. Thank god for email and a written agreement to get your money then.

    When i assisted more than i was shooting, we made some vague deal over the phone about photographing 4 handbags. We made a nice price on a gentleman's agreement (verbal)... So the next day this truck shows up with 44 handbags in it...
     
  7. Flash SWT macrumors 6502

    Flash SWT

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2009
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #7
    Some good thoughts in this thread, here are mine briefly:

    1. Avoid "work for hire" contracts. Retain the copyright to your photos.

    2. Avoid "work for hire" contracts. Retain the copyright to your photos.

    3. Remember, you are "licensing" them the right to use your photos, you are NOT "selling" them photos.

    4. Unless the pay is very good, avoid granting them an exclusive license.

    5. How long of a license do they need? Most licenses have a set time before they expire and further payment is required to continue using the photos.

    6. Along these lines, do not allow them to sell reprints of your photos unless you're getting a large cut of the proceeds. I'd also avoid letting them give away your photos as either prints or downloads.

    I'll need a little more info for this next part. Will they be giving you specific assignments to shoot or will they all be self generated?

    7. If they are giving you specific assignments, make sure you will be paid even if they decide not to use the photos after you have shot them.

    8. Avoid "work for hire" contracts. Retain the copyright to your photos.

    I know you stated that this will all be "supplemental income" but make sure you aren't actually losing money on the deal. Your time has value and I assume at times you'll be assigned to shoot something you wouldn't actually bother to shoot on your own for fun. Wear and tear on your camera gear, on your vehicle, the gas to get there and back, time spent on the computer editing the photos, time and disk space to archive the photos, etc. Consider all of this when you consider the rate they're offering.

    Feel free to ask any questions you think of and I'll be happy to help as I can.

    Here are some links definitely worth the time to read as you head down this path:

    http://www.nppa.org/professional_development/business_practices/

    http://asmp.org/tutorials/copyright-overview.html

    http://asmp.org/tutorials/licensing-guide.html

    http://photobusinessforum.blogspot.com

    .
     
  8. mtbdudex thread starter macrumors 68000

    mtbdudex

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
    Location:
    SE Michigan
    #8
    Hey gang, what's your take on this??

    I've not signed on yet.....just got access to read this 1 hour ago.

     
  9. Flash SWT macrumors 6502

    Flash SWT

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2009
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #9
    An important point to note is that this clearly states it is an "AMENDMENT" to a referenced "PROFESSIONAL SERVICES AGREEMENT." Have you seen this original agreement yet?

    While they are not requiring a "buyout" (copyright transfer / work for hire) they are getting pretty close to the exact same thing in the License Grant section. Basically it spells out that they can use the photos for whatever they want for as long as they want.

    The exclusivity period also prevents you from licensing the images to anyone else for 3 months, at which point any news value is long over. You may still be able to make some money from print sales at this point but nothing in the agreement prevents the company from offering prints or high resolution downloads from day 1, competing against your eventual sales.

    I personally would not sign this agreement unless the assignment rate was very large.
     

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