Selling a single photo to a design agency. Wut should be the going rate?


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Jan 21, 2007
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#1
hello guys,

recently i was approached by a design agency, through Flickr, looking to buy a HDR photo taken by me.

They were asking how much i'm willing to sell it to them? They mentioned also that 'joint copyright or sole copyright' is available. What do those terms mean?

Anyway, the point of this thread is really, how much is the normal going rate, so that I'm not paid a fraction of what my photo is really worth and that I'm not overcharging for my work.

Please share your experiences and views!

Thanks!
 

JacePhoto

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#3
In their terms, i am guessing that they want priopriety for the right to use the picture only (sole copyright). Sometimes for the use on prints, some pictures are licensed to run like 20,000 print runs and no more. Joint means that they can get to use it but they dont mind others using it.

Nowadays people like royalty free arrangements.

Anyway, back to your topic. Most sole copyright pictures can range from SGD 200-300 per picture. For some really exclusive ones, they may fetch SGD 300 - 900 if you are really lucky. I seldom see this happening in SG. You would be lucky if you got such an offer. For print runs specifications, it may be higher and such. For STOCK images, they may range from SGD 45 to SGD 700 per picture.

If your picture is really good and if it is a local design agency, my advice is to price ard the range of SGD 100 - SGD 180 and on royalty free basis.
 

ortega

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Nov 2, 2004
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#4
actually for total exclusive rights, it is alot more, infact a great deal more

it depends what they are going to use the image for, worldwide?
who is the client? multinational company?

the amount can go to around 5K
 

Stefen

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Apr 26, 2003
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#5
I will ask them the following questions.

1. What is it going to be used for?
2. Whats is the circulation size? Geographical scope?
2. How long are you going to use it?
3. Please be as specific as possible.

With that information, log on to a stock agency (Getty, aurora), go to the creative section, input the information and you will get a pretty accurate rate. That is probably the going rate I will charge. Hope that helps.
 

Jan 21, 2007
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#6
hey guys, thanks for the input!

another thing i need to know is, do I still own the image after I sold it to the agency, assuming i sold them sole copyright?
 

May 5, 2007
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#7
You are mixing things here.

Do not sell the copyright - but the license for them to use it. You need to agree:
- what the picture will be used for (internet, print, TV, ...)
- where it will be used (Singapore, other places, worldwide). Of course internet is worldwide
- for how long (one time like an ad, for 12 months, or forever)
- whether exclusive or not (yes, or no)

But you keep the copyright. Do not sign over the copyright. They only need to license it from you
 

agape01

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Feb 13, 2003
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#8
If you decide to sell the copyright, then keep in mind to that you are also selling opportunity cost to them as well.

Eg.... a architecture/interior photographer that I know quoted $8k for selling his copyright of one shot to his client.
 

Jan 21, 2007
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#9
hey guys

i've asked them the questions that most of u suggest such as:

1) what it will be used for?
2) circulation size and geographical scope
3) for how long
4) etc

And these are the replies I got from them:

1. The image will only be used for print (brochure and
mailers-- our client is pavilion residences)
2. It will be for international usage
3. Will be used for 1 year
4. We would like it in medium size

Sole copyright: Is when we buy the image and it then becomes
ours. This is usually priced higher sometimes reaching a few
thousands. You cannot sell it off to others.

Joint copyright: We buy the image but it is still yours.
Cheaper as its only a few hundreds.
Chances are we might opt for this because our client is very
cost sensitive now. Times are bad :(
the agency is expecting me to quote them a price first and honestly I am still nervous to quote a figure.

Taking into account all those 'variables' above, how much would you guys suggest i quote them?

this is the image in question:


help guys!
 

astroboy

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Oct 14, 2005
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#10
A pic like that is not too difficult to take so dun price yourself too high to the point that they start thinking that it might be cheaper to commission another photographer to go take the shot. :)
 

ManWearPants

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Jul 14, 2008
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#11
"Joint copyright: We buy the image but it is still yours.
Cheaper as its only a few hundreds.
Chances are we might opt for this because our client is very
cost sensitive now. Times are bad"

They have already told you what they are willing to offer. Why not teased them with 1k with copyright included?
 

Clown

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Mar 24, 2003
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#13
full buy-out price is about 20k.

*edited* licensing 1 image per year per media per country is about 1.5k
 

Last edited:

JacePhoto

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#14
full buy-out price is about 20k.

licensing 1 image per year per media is about 1.5k

It would be ideal.... few years ago, only 'photographers' own big cams. Nowadays the average GWC has more pixel count than the professional.

If 20 K, they can just get someone to snap the picture for $200 and it belongs to them. Period.
 

Clown

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#15
It would be ideal.... few years ago, only 'photographers' own big cams. Nowadays the average GWC has more pixel count than the professional.

If 20 K, they can just get someone to snap the picture for $200 and it belongs to them. Period.
reproducing a 2D copyrighted image is still agains copyright laws. =)
 

JacePhoto

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Oct 1, 2007
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#16
reproducing a 2D copyrighted image is still agains copyright laws. =)

No la... not refering that the agency copies the original picture. I mean, for 20K amount, they can easily commission another photographer like yourself or others who can take the picture, at lower price. They saved on the haggling and process of the copyright and they own the image.

However, this OT abit.... Sell too low, spoilt the industry. Sell too high, dont get the sale. Life is a dilemna... haha...
 

Clown

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#17
ah, that. actually it happens all the time.

but if the photographer commissioned can reproduce the feel of the image at all (assuming we're talking about real commercial standards), he would probably understand the licensing part too.

so as pertaining to TS's question, i think for that image, a 1.5k for one year's usage rights is just about the right amount.
 

JacePhoto

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#18
ah, that. actually it happens all the time.

but if the photographer commissioned can reproduce the feel of the image at all (assuming we're talking about real commercial standards), he would probably understand the licensing part too.

so as pertaining to TS's question, i think for that image, a 1.5k for one year's usage rights is just about the right amount.
Yup. Agree... meet their budget, close the deal, gain a 'portfolio client', move on.
 

Jan 21, 2007
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#19
i actually quoted them 850 RINGGIT for one year's usage rights.

grossly shortchanged?
 

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