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How much to charge for a photo?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Rhody31, Jun 13, 2013.

  1. Rhody31

    Rhody31 Well-Known Member

    I freelanced a girls lax championship game and took a good picture of two sisters on the team hugging (happy accident; I was shooting everyone hugging and was trying to get the scoreboard in the backdrop.).
    Anyway, paper ran it and Mom called asking for a print. I thought they owned the pic if they ran it, but they told me it was mine to sell.
    Problem is, I have no idea how much to sell it for. I want to sell the jpg and give up my rights, because I'm not going to hustle around trying to get it printed.
    The photo is a little larger than what was run; the editor had to crop it tighter than intended because there is a photog in the background. I was planning on sending the woman the photo cropped how it ran, the photo with the photog in the back and a photoshopped version where the photog has disappeared.
    I'm thinking 20. Is that a good number?
  2. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    When I was in sports, especially here in Bennington then over in Brattleboro, I'd have a ton of prints made and gave them away to coaches and parents. It created a lot of goodwill.

    That being said, $20 or $25 for the right to keep it sounds fair.
  3. JackReacher

    JackReacher Well-Known Member

    Just give it to them.
  4. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    They'd be perfectly happy paying for it. $20 sounds like a good number for your time and trouble. Hell, tell them to email the team and that you probably have pictures of everyone. You might pocket $200 out of the exchange and they'd sing your praises for doing them such a great favor.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 1, 2015
  5. Rhody31

    Rhody31 Well-Known Member

    If I had a full-time gig, I would. I did that.
    Unemployed? Gots to get mine son. $20 pays for 18 holes on my Daddy Day Off on Tuesday.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 1, 2015
  6. JackReacher

    JackReacher Well-Known Member

    Fair enough. $20 seems reasonable.

    Then again, if I'm out of work and worried so much about $20, I'm not sure I'd spend what little money I have on golfing. Just me, though.
  7. Rhody31

    Rhody31 Well-Known Member

    Mrs. Rhody supports me. The money I make freelancing and from unemployment guarantees I don't have to ask her if I can have money to go golfing.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 1, 2015
  8. PeterGibbons

    PeterGibbons Member

    Wow, we charge $20 for just the print (8x10 or two 5x7), I'd probably look at charging more. Wouldn't take and less then 20 for sure
  9. SixToe

    SixToe Active Member

    Twenty bucks? You're going to give up all rights forever for twenty bucks?

    Don't give away your work. Charge at least a decent rate for an image, $50 if not more, and if you're going to give away the rights forever then make it worth your while and ask $250 or something.

    Or sell it to her cheaply but under the condition she can't use it for any kind of commercial use. You don't know what she might do in the future - start a business, make this the main image and score a million bucks. You're left with nothing.

    Six or seven years ago a company wanted an image I shot with their product in it. I told them $250 for the image for one-time use, $500 if they wanted it for their catalog and for $1,500 they could have the image and all rights forever outright, and I'd delete the similar images. I consulted with a freelance friend who does the same thing, often, and gets paid.

    The company refused and asked another photographer for a photo for free. Then they used it on the web, in their catalogs, in all their advertising and the photographer didn't get shit. Not one penny. They capitalized on his work and kind heart. Kind hearts don't pay the bills, though.
  10. ringer

    ringer Member

    You might want to consider these things first (if you haven't already):

    What did the paper pay YOU for the photo?
    What does the paper normally charge people asking for reprints? I'm sure it's not the first time anyone's asked.

    But yeah, if it's a parent of a kid, I'd probably just give it away and just make it clear that it's for personal use only because photography is your livelihood. If they decide to use it for anything else, leave them your business card and ask them to call you first as a courtesy. And hey - you never know. Maybe the kid will get married some day and they'll think of you when they're hiring a wedding photographer. The goodwill gesture might lead to more work.
  11. Here me roar

    Here me roar Guest

    Don't give it away. Don't treat the woman like she's a company either. At least $20
  12. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    $20 is fine, but it's a decent idea to limit them in such a way that they don't scan it and make T-shirts to sell or whatever.
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