How to Determine the Value of an Images Usage Part 5

What rights is the client requesting? This, like all the other questions, helps you establish a fair price. Does the client wish to use the image one time and no more and has no preference on who else uses the image? Or do they seek a wider use and want to prohibit anyone else from using the image at the same time?

Each scenario and everything in-between, has varying degrees of value to the client and you should be paid accordingly. A single use has a small value use while an unlimited use has a much greater value.

Most clients are in between there somewhere wanting a reasonable usage that covers a few bases and do not care if anyone else uses the image allowing the photographer the opportunity to continually earn money from the image.

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How to Determine the Value of an Image Usage Part 4

What is the size of the usage and print run your client is requesting? A cover of a brochure has greater value than a small thumbnail on an inside page. A double page spread in a magazine has more value than a quarter-page use.

Your license fees should not only reflect how and where the image is being used but what size the image will be used and print run or length of time. The value received is much higher with a full page 500,000 print run than with a thumbnail and 5,000 print run, and these considerations should be reflected in your fee.

For example, a client is placing an ad in three regional magazines for three months with a combined circulation for all three is 3 million and this first example is a ¼ page ad:

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How to Determine the Value of an Image Usage Part 3

Where is the image going to be used? In this previous post I discussed How an image was going to be used such as an ad or editorially or a brochure and this post is going to discuss Where the usage will take place.

Value is received one way or another but the higher the visibility or circulation, the more value the client receives. If for example and image is to be used on an advertisement in Readers Digest Magazine and its reported 10 million circulations that has a certain value.

On the other hand if the same ad is running in Midwest Living magazine with its reported circulation of just under 1 million, you can see that the difference is rather large.

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How to Determine the Value of an Image Usage Part 2


All usages of photography have value and the usage fees received should reflect the value that the client receives. Clients often when calling will ask immediately “How much?” and you should have your series of questions ready to go to show them that you know how to establish a price.

In fact, I have these questions on a form that I can grab allowing me to remember to ask each question and take note as the clients responds to those questions.

Ask the client the following questions:

Read moreHow to Determine the Value of an Image Usage Part 2

How to Determine the Value of an Image Usage Part 1

What do you do when a client calls asking for a quote to use one of your images? Even if you’ve been licensing the rights to your images for several years, are you confident in your method of pricing?

Do you find that you often fly by the seat of your pants? Establishing licensing fees can be intimidating, because we never want to lose a sale. By following a few steps you can easily determine a fair and justified fee and this post is the first in a series looking at various factors to aid you in establishing a fair price.

First, determine where you fit into the market and who is your competition? Do you photograph what everybody does or specialize in a niche? Are your images the same or similar to other photographers’ images?

Read moreHow to Determine the Value of an Image Usage Part 1

Answering the Question: How to Get Started

I often visit other photography blogs to see what others are talking about and asking as far as advice and opinions. The following question regarding marketing and finding clients was posted recently on one forum and as i wrote, I threw in my two cents and thought it would make for a good post.

“I would like to ask if anyone has experience in direct marketing of your photography business. Or more appropriately what have your experiences been. The pros, cons, successes, mistakes.

I realize the information I am asking for is truly valuable and could only be collected through your own hard work, time and expense. So I truly would like to thank you for any information you would care to share.

This would include but not limited to:

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How I Customized a Stock Image for the Sports Injury Clinic

Once upon a time I was represented by a stock photo agency named Adventure Photo and Film. I did well with them and when Imagestate bought them my income plummeted to zero. Funny how that works! Or maybe not? APF was one of the old style agents who would send you lists of images requested that they could not fill, giving us an idea of what we should be shooting. Agents may still do that still but none I am represented by these days do.

One specific image they seemed to get requests for was people crashing on their mountain bikes. APF already had some images and I had seen other versions elsewhere. Some were well done and others looked hokey making you think “give me a break.” So I got to brainstorming to see what I could come up with for a good ‘crash on your bike image’.

I shot an image and later a client wanted it customized a little more and I thought that this could be something that photographers should consider if they weren’t already. Customizing images for specific clients. Obviously, it will not work for everything such as waterfalls and sunsets, but if you are shooting people in the outdoors you certainly could.

You can change the color of clothing or tent color, I have done that many times, or change elements within the scene to suit the client. I am not talking about moving the owl from the fence post to the tree branch where the image would be used editorially in a piece about owls, because as we all know that is a sensitive issue. Rather the point here is customizing an image for commercial use where the use has nothing to do with newsworthiness or authenticity of the subject. Here is how I did it.

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Life And Death in The Talus

by Jay Ryser

To the casual observer, a talus field is a large jumble of oddly-shaped rocks that have collected at the base of a mountain slope.  To anyone who has ever tried to ascend or descend a talus slope, particularly while wearing a heavy pack, it’s a dangerous area where one misstep on a poorly balanced rock can pitch you dangerously into a world of hurt.  It’s slow going, and treacherous footing – most people and many animals avoid talus field when they can.

Talus is another word for scree – a collection of broken rock fragments that have broken away from a higher cliff or mountain slope as a result of weathering and erosion.  Talus can range in size from golf ball-sized stones to chunks of rock the size of VW Beetles.  Technically, scree is smaller than talus, ranging in size from gravel to small stones.  Because of the irregular size of the rock fragments, there can be quite a bit of space between the rocks, making talus slopes an ideal home for a variety of small animals.

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