BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Mary B. McGrath
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/11/2000

Awaiting Payment from Newspapers

I've been doing some freelance writing and photography. Recently, two weekly newspapers published two of my stories, both which contained 2-4 photos each, but they have yet to pay me. I've submitted invoices, although initially the editor claimed that he didn't recall discussing compensation. I have his original email quoting what he'd pay. The articles appeared in June and July. I'm tempted to go over his head and contact the publisher, as I feel frustrated. Is this common with smaller publications? What's the usual time frame to be paid for work you've done for a weekly newspaper? I know they don't have much money, but still ...

To love this question, log in above
8/12/2005 12:54:51 AM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
  Usually they pay at the end of the month. If anything has been run within a certain time, like the first three weeks, then put all check requests in at the same time so all checks get sent out at the same time.
Based on principle, you can go over his head, which is something I'd do. Expect to not have him want to use anything from you again, if you do. Can't say it's common, but it's not a surprise. When it comes to money and photos, never take it for granted that they'll follow their word. You're not paid until the check cashes.

To love this comment, log in above
8/12/2005 1:25:42 AM

Roy Blinston
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/4/2005
  Assuming you gave some indication what the costs would be in your emails to the editor ... and not just left it open ... I suggest you re-submit your invoices. Include a copy of the email in question, but more importantly elaborate somewhat on the copyright issue (which can be frightening), stating you have released these stories and photos for this publication only.
State also "payment within 10 days" (put a time limit on it). After that, maybe send a follow up invoice stating "if this Invoice is not paid within the next 10 days, legal advice will be sought and costs incurred therein will be added to this Invoice". That should do the trick. If this also fails, get your solicitor to send a nice threatening little note.

To love this comment, log in above
8/17/2005 9:19:27 AM

H. Scott Wallis
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/24/2005
  Mary I too freelance for my local newspaper but upfront the editor told me that I would receive payment by the 15th of the following. Which by now I have received three checks. I sorry to heard about such news......But for me Its been a good experience sofar. I hope you get things straighted out soon. Good Luck

To love this comment, log in above
8/24/2005 12:42:37 PM

Log in to respond or ask your own question.