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Photography Question 
Lola B. May

Selling Your Photos: What Do I Charge?

I recently took some 400 photos at a ropes course. The owner of the course would like to buy all my photos on CD. How do I charge, or do I only charge for the cost of the CD and ask for acknowledgement when he uses the photos?

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4/22/2005 12:42:10 PM

Anthony Soares
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/3/2005
I'm not sure what a ropes course is, so I'm having trouble picturing the images in my mind. I would imagine the owner wants to use them for advertising. Do they want exclusive rights or royalty free? Don't sell yourself short, and make sure you retain the copyright to your photos. Even if you sold them 10$ apiece - which is dirt cheap for stock photography - that's a hefty sum. There are a lot of sites on the Internet where buyers can purchase high-quality images for under 3$ but I feel this is a bad thing that takes money out of the pockets of pro photogs. Hopefully, some of the pros will answer on this. I know I did not really answer your question. I would not charge less than 50$ each for high-quality images ... Tony S

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4/22/2005 4:00:42 PM


BetterPhoto Member
Pricing your work is very challenging these days. Tony is correct in his comments. But there is another way you need to look at this. You have 400 ropes course images. How unique are they? How easily could another photographer come in and duplicate them? You should consider these factors in your pricing. If an image is very unique, it will command top price. If is run-of-the-mill photography and easily shot, then they are worth much less. This is called 'valuing your work based on uniqueness' and then determining the price. Clients know this, and if you ask too much money, they often hire somebody cheaper with the idea that they get the photos for any use they wish. Another factor is, "Are these really stock photos?" And would they command stock prices? A stock photo is an image you create and then find markets to license it to. There are no restrictions with a marketable stock photo. In your case, I assume you are on the client's property. Are there any of the company signs in your photos? Do you have model releases? Depending on your answers, you may not really be able to sell these images anywhere else, and in that case, any money you get from the client is good money.

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4/23/2005 7:55:31 AM

Anthony Soares
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/3/2005
Just a side thought after reading Charlie's post: Regarding releases, after you have come to terms on the price, you might offer a bit of a discount for a signed property release ... Tony S

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4/23/2005 11:13:24 AM

Lola B. May   WOW! You guys are a wealth of information. A ropes course is a program that clients go through to build teamwork and self-confidence, pushing themselves and others past their point of giving up. The owner wants to use the photos on a Web site, in his office, and for funding and grants. The owner has not mentioned rights but I will not give them up. Some of the pictures are unique, and others are common and other photographer may be able to duplicate them. I was on the client's property and there are company signs in the photos. No, I do not have model releases. I have looked at releases on the 'Net, but have finally settled on one. Thank you all so much for your information. You have been very helpful.

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4/25/2005 6:23:22 AM

William Koplitz   You were taking photographs of private citizens on private property without a model or property release. How much money do you think this is worth?

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4/26/2005 5:57:43 AM

Lola B. May   You are right, That is a problem. I wonder if this time it would be wise not to worry so much about the money but the exposure and chalk this up to a lesson learned.


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4/26/2005 6:24:25 AM

Lot's of good advice here.
One other thing. When you are doing an event like this You may want to charge
a flat fee like wedding photographers do. Lets say as an example for $500
You could shoot 300 photos put them on
CD's. Maybe give them 2 or 3 sets of CD's. Include a copywright notice in the Cd and on the label.Give them limitted use of the photos for 1 year.
For marketing ect. You may want to charge extra for prints.
Best of luck
If this is a public event do you really need a model release? Better safe than sorry. At least get one from the owner.

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4/30/2005 10:19:04 PM

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