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Fair Compensation for an Image

jcgoodsonjcgoodson Member
edited May 2014 in business
A few months ago I photographed a building in my local community. It's a stunning photograph (I'm biased!) and the organization that owns the building has approached me about using the photograph in online/print materials and possibly making prints of the photograph available for sale to patrons. I'd be grateful if forum members could give advice on what a fair price might be for such use of an image. I'd also appreciate any suggestions on licensing agreements and/or selling full rights to the image.

Although photography is mostly a hobby for me, I have a good idea of what a portrait session ought to cost in my area. But I don't have any experience when it comes to selling architectural images. Thanks in advance for any comments.



  • TrevTrev Moderator

    At the risk of disagreeing with anyone else here, most certainly do *not* (IMO) settle for a 'give credit to your photograph' as that will not in any way compensate you for the effort/time/talent you had to get that image.

    Also the fact that you do it for a hobby enforces my reason since any credit will not promote your photography 'business' since it's a hobby.

    As for the pricing, well that's pretty hard to judge, but you have to remember that if they do indeed get prints done for sale, and are benefiting from the image in promotional/sales/endorsements/whatever, then you need to evaluate what you think is fair.

    Certainly no need to be greedy, it's not a 'paparazzi' shot when many 10's of thousands of dollars can change hands obviously, but I would think in a few hundred/low end of four figures, I won't be specific because it's no use saying a number since I am not living in your area.

    Any chance of a small image posted here (watermark it) just so we can have a look mate?

  • Is this a commercial biz or non-profit? I do not believe in giving non-profits a break but they do and that could greatly affect what they're willing, and in some cases able, pay. Can this photo be easily reproduced by another photographer or do factors make it unique (for example is it taken during middle of night with stars aglow or just after new snowfall or with the pope walking out the front door?) Can you tell us a little more about the photo and the business? Whatever you do, don't give up your copyright and don't give into to 'credit' and 'exposure' and 'this could lead to future business' baloney. Like Trev, I'd say at minimum a few hundred and perhaps more depending on how bad they want it.
  • Trev & Skpperlange -- thanks for your suggestions. The image (below) is of a religious building in the Midwest US and the organization is non-profit. The image is difficult to duplicate for a few reasons: the Christmas lights are only on a few weeks each year, we don't always get several inches of snow as you see in the photo, and the sky (reflected in the snow) only looks like that immediately after a perfect sunset. Part of me is interested in seeing my photo in print regardless. At the same time, I would be hesitant to relinquish my rights to the photo, only because I might want to print the photo for personal friends. Thanks again for your thoughts!

    jcg.jpg 200.5K
  • TrevTrev Moderator

    Beautiful shot Justin, great job. I love it.

    Absolute symmetry in composition. Yep, you now hold all the cards, speaking of which, that would make an absolute fantastic Christmas Card, propose that to them also, but *do get paid*, don't give the work away, and make sure you stipulate you give permission to use, but not Copyright.
  • Gorgeous photo. Wow. I can see why they want it. I'd offer an amount you are comfortable with and that you think they can and will pay. I don't know if that's $1,500 or $300. For some organizations $1,500 is not a lot for a beautiful image of its building, valuable for marketing materials. For some though $200 is a lot of money. I'd go as high as you think you can and decide what's your lowest acceptable amount if they reject your starting offer.
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