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How to Get Top Value When You Sell a Stock Photo

How to Get Top Value When You Sell a Stock Photo

If you are active online and on photo sharing social media sites, it is quite possible you will be contacted by someone interested in using your photograph. That requested usage could be for a variety of things from buying a print to licensing the image in a magazine or brochure or a website.

First, it is my opinion if someone wants your image for an unauthorized use then they will just take it in one form or another and I am not covering that angle here. Instead, I want to look at legitimate requests to use your landscape nature photography and the steps that you should consider before agreeing to the sale.

The first good sign is that someone is asking to use your nature or landscape pictures, but that could easily be followed by “we don’t have a budget.” Granted we are all competing with free images these days and that makes it tougher, BUT…they know that and if they wanted free they would go get it. Instead they contacted you because your image caught their attention. So here’s what you do…. … Continue Reading

Who Pays Photographers?

March 10, 2013 Pricing 1 Comment

Someone, not sure who, has put together a website dedicated to publishing rates for photography for various publications. This could be valuable if you are promoting yourself and wondering whether the money is great or barely worth the effort. Or maybe you have some pricing you can add from one of your clients.  WhoPaysPhotographers is on Tumblr.

whopaysphotographers 001 Who Pays Photographers? … Continue Reading

Don’t Make This Same Pricing Mistake I Made

June 22, 2012 Pricing 4 Comments
Don’t Make This Same Pricing Mistake I Made

True story: many years ago, at least 20, I got a call from a client who I had never worked with and who was looking for a stock photo. At the time I was in Portland Oregon and known as a local stock photographer with a large library of images.

This client requested a selection of images for which I do not recall just what the subject was, but we sent a selection over and sometime thereafter she called to negotiate a price.

After describing her usage I did as I always do: told her I would call her back. This is an important strategy because it gives you time to think about the usage for it the specific market instead of having to name a price immediately while on the phone. … Continue Reading

How To Quote The Photography Assignment

How To Quote The Photography Assignment

A stock photo client calls you with an assignment. The photo buyer likes your photography and enjoys working with you and now wants you to shoot a project.

Commercial clients who purchase your stock images are likely to assume you shoot assignments. If, up to now, you’ve only shot for stock, consider this article a primer to prepare you for taking the step into assignment photography.

Unlike shooting stock, assignments are not speculative and have specific client requirements. Often these requirements are unavailable in a stock photo. For example, the client may want a photo of its product–with the logo prominent in the image–being used on a backpacking trip.

Assignments require planning, estimating/budgeting and production. Most often you are required to prepare an estimate for the client that will pull all of the elements together. … Continue Reading

What Would You Charge for This Photo Usage?

November 27, 2011 Pricing 1 Comment
What Would You Charge for This Photo Usage?

One of the biggest topics of interest among nature and outdoor photographers is what to charge when someone wants to use or license one of their images.

There are not a lot of online resources out there to help establish a price based on today’s market realities. Last time we ran this we had numerous great responses and one reader suggest we just use FotoQuote.

I once used this program and it is great. But does Fotoquote out of the box represent today’s market conditions? I don’t know so I cant pass judgment. The old copy I had of FotoQuote allowed you to adjust the overall pricing schedule that affected the prices listed in each category so you could set it to your own market reality.

FotoQuote is a great program with many great features beyond determining price, but this post is more about what our readers think is a good price for a stock photo usage today.

We all know times have changed and I believe there is no longer a good representative pricing schedule online that represents today’s reality.

So from time to time we are just going to ask you, our readers, what you think you would quote a client based on what you truly believe you could actually get for price.  Here’s the usage: … Continue Reading

How To Price Commercial Video Production

June 11, 2011 Business, Pricing, Video 1 Comment

As more photographers look at jumping into the video business to supplement their creative energy and their photography income, new and unforeseen challenges have occurred for a few.

In the business there is a difference on how photographers price assignments and how videographers price a production.  Over a Rob Haggert’s aPhotoeditor blog, a reader asked that questions: “Is it a director’s fee or do we tag a usage fee? According to the agency, when they hire a Director for a broadcast commercial; he/she will get paid a director’s fee and the client will own the commercial outright.”

Former art buyers Amanda Sosa Stone and Susan Sease jumped into to answer the question and it was educational to read their input on all the intricacies of commercial video production. “Videos shot for broadcast vs. videos shot for non-broadcast purposes require adherence to different rules and regulations. Either way, hire the appropriate motion producer to help you navigate through this complexity.”

It is not so simple a process as taking pictures and getting paid. Their are agent fees, directors fees, and union rules as well. If you are thinking of entering commercial video production then this is a worthy read.

… Continue Reading

Selling Images Online Has More Than Monetary Drawbacks

Selling Images Online Has More Than Monetary Drawbacks

When the internet emerged the stock photo industry was one of the first large industries to embrace the technology and its advantage sales and distribution of digital imagery.

Photographers benefited as well from the global reach an online stock agency could have and that equaled more sales.

The best known and most widely discussed drawback to online sales was the emergence of the one price model based on resolution size over the value of the images usage. It was widely believed that photographers might make less per sale but earn more sales. But there are other drawbacks as well.

10 years ago I tired of ‘pulling’ photo requests and all the labor that went into that task.

Book and calendar submissions felt more like giant photo contests so when my stock agent said they were building a website and heading to online image sales I saw it as a wonderful opportunity.

More reach across the globe, more sales, more income, and less office work for me!  But like everything, there is always a downside.

… Continue Reading

If You Charge Too Little You May Have A Problem

March 22, 2011 Pricing 6 Comments
If You Charge Too Little You May Have A Problem

If you are always wondering just what to charge during an assignment, you may want to read this post over at www.photographyforrealestate.net. Larry Lohrman publishes this site and his post last week: If You Charge Less Than $150 For A Shoot You Have A Problem is well worth reading, even for nature photographers.

The markets are tough out there for all photographers and the competition for work forces prices down. The real question is just how low to go and remain profitable. Real estate photographers and nature photographers share similar problems.

Real estate photographers are in a category of their own within the architecture photography business. You have your high end architects and high end magazines like Architectural Digest, and you have real estate agents, all who hire photographers.

Each of these types of clientele has different needs and different price points that they may be willing to pay, just like nature photography and pretty much anything else in the photography business. … Continue Reading

What Would You Charge For This Photo Usage?

Editors Note: One of the most challenging tasks for photographers is determining what to charge. I received this email from a reader asking for help in determining just what to charge for a specific use. I offered my advice and then suggested we post this to see how other photographers would handle this and what they would quote for the usage. We plan to post these requests as they come in, so if you have suggestions please mention them in a Comment. If you need help determining a price, please email us and we’ll open it to the readers to offer advice. And all names; photographer and client will be withheld and remain confidential!

Hello Charlie,

I couldn’t think of anyone else to turn to on this that didn’t have an affiliation with them and I need a professional opinion. I have been approached by XXXXXXXXXX to use two of my images in one of their up-coming books. They want to use my images for photo credit (no money). I don’t normally give away images and was hoping to get some professional feedback… Any thoughts?

John Doe (photographer) … Continue Reading


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