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For authors/editors/photogs/anyone: Obtaining rights to pics for books

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Small Town Guy, Nov 24, 2014.

  1. Small Town Guy

    Small Town Guy Well-Known Member

    Finishing up a book and after some back and forth with the publisher, there's going to be an inset with 10 to 15 pics. They're covering a couple thousand dollars for the pics so if possible I'd like to keep it in that range. But then I checked on Getty and realized...that could be tough. I clicked on a couple of pictures of people I might want to use--one was 750, the other 550. Getty does offer bulk packages, so it'd be like 20 percent off for 10. But still. That amount could go up rapidly.

    I'm also talking with people I've interviewed for the book to see if they have shots that might work, but I highly doubt I'd be able to get 10-15 from those sources (not to mention the quality would have to be good enough to run).

    My previous project a photog friend took most of the pictures and he just got paid by the publisher. I also used a couple of shots from my old newspaper and the publisher dealt with them too.

    So I'm just wondering what people's experiences have been with getting pictures. Do newspapers have decent rates for this type of thing? Are there other agencies than Getty for sports pics (looks like they have a lot of publication's archives)? Do the photographers themselves have old negatives sometimes and you negotiate rates with them individually? Libraries?

    Thanks for any insight, here or in DM.
  2. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    Have you called a Getty sales rep and tried to negotiate? Be straightforward. ... Tell whoever you speak with what you need and that you don't have flexibility on your budget. They'll probably be interested in who is publishing it, how many copies are being printed, distribution, etc. Depending on what they hear, they may be willing to negotiate down into your range. You won't know unless you try.
  3. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    FYI. ... In answer to the questions in your last paragraph. I have dealt with newspapers when I needed specific photos that only they had. Small papers usually don't charge a ton, especially compared to a Getty Allsport. Also, I have dealt directly with photographers for photos. It depends on exactly what it is you are looking for. Let's say you need photos of a specific player. ... Yes, there are photographers who have shot years and years worth of stuff, and they save their stuff and will deal with you directly. Often, they just see those phone calls as gravy money. And they will charge less than the agency -- the agency takes 60 percent and they only see 40 percent, so by cutting out on the middle man they can make more and you can pay less. Getty Allsport is probably the biggest stock agency for archived sports photography. But there are other stock photo agencies. Too many to list without knowing specifically what you are looking for.
  4. Glenn Stout

    Glenn Stout Member

    Try AP, http://www.apimages.com/, and see if there is anything on Flickr with a Creative Commons license
  5. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    I wrote a book many years ago for my alma mater and obtained all the photos, in the era before online archives. I got 90 percent of the photos from the school and the school's yearbook collection, but there were a few good shots that I had to buy from a photographer. I'll never forget going to the old man's house, all smoky and filled with photo stuff everywhere. He had the negs that I needed and wanted like $1000 for each, which was crazy money for this project and crazier considering no one would ever want the photos that I wanted. But I made a case to my backers that we needed them and we bought them.

    Later, when I became a professional writer, I understood the old man better. He wasn't just going to give away his stuff, no matter what the project was and even if the photos were never going to make him another cent otherwise.
  6. Small Town Guy

    Small Town Guy Well-Known Member

    Just a brief update on this. Thanks for the info everyone, it was very helpful.

    So far I've been able to get 10 pics in my 2,000 dollar budget. Six from Getty, and, Ragu, I was able to negotiate it down, from what would have been about 3,900 down to 1500. The guy was very heplful, it's not like I was driving some hard bargain.

    I also got four pics from an old NBA photog for 500 bucks. Again, was very cordial and he was very helpful. I would have used him for more but pretty much all of his shots were from one arena so I didn't want them all looking the same. I think he was willing to take about any price because he asked me to name what I thought was fair.

    Now I'm hoping to find some freebies, although if I don't and I only have ten, it will be fine. But I got one from the NAIA office I could use for free, although I don't think the one they sent is good enough quality for printing. But hopeful I can get some others like that through organizations or schools, etc.

    Thanks again for the help.
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