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What Is A Photo Worth?  
User currently offlineGdsF100 From United States of America, joined Mar 2009, 19 posts, RR: 0
Posted (4 years 4 months 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 4562 times:

I was contacted by a company that wants to use one of my images on its website ( Its not an aviation related company ) In their email they wanted to know what it would take to get permission. What can a photograph normally bring for something like this.

Jeff

25 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 1, posted (4 years 4 months 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 4535 times:

First and foremost I think it depends on the subject and how you've captured it. Is it a common aircraft? Is it a regular side-on shot? Basically can this company simply move on to the next photographer and get a more attractive quote?

Be reminded that (unfortunately) many here are willing to give their work to profit-making organisations for free (their choice of course but it doesn't set a good precedent for the rest of us). Bearing this in mind if it is a reasonably common subject/motive the best thing is to not be too greedy. Photographs in general aren't worth what they once were as everybody now thinks that they can be a pro with the advent of digital. Trouble is to the average punter the quality differences (between pro and enthusiast) are only subtle; if noticeable at all.

Better to have a bit of beer money in your back pocket than lose the sale completely due to greed eh?

Karl


User currently onlineThierryD From Luxembourg, joined Dec 2005, 2069 posts, RR: 51
Reply 2, posted (4 years 4 months 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 4497 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
HEAD SUPPORT

One smart guy once told me that "a photo is only worth as much as the customer is ready to pay for it".

Keeping that in mind you'll be well off with the advice given by Karl.

Thierry



"Go ahead...make my day"
User currently offlineGdsF100 From United States of America, joined Mar 2009, 19 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (4 years 4 months 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 4497 times:

The photo they are interested isn't in my opinion very common.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Jeff Snyder



I looked at their website and it appears they have a thing for 1930 era biplanes. The combination of the subject/motive of this particular photo and their desire to use it makes me believe that this photo is worth a little more than a side shot of an AA MD-80. I did a search of the data base and did not find anything similar to the photograph, so it would be difficult for them to go to the next photographer. They could of course decide not to use it if they don't like my quote.

I don't want to be greedy, and I'm not. I do this for fun, but if the chance presents itself to make a little cash to help fund a new lens or new body I'd like to take advantage of it. I think I get a better than average price. I'm just not sure where to start.

Jeff


User currently offlinechuck9941 From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 194 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (4 years 4 months 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 4435 times:

you could always just ask them what their budget is. if its an amount you like go for it. if not you have a base to start negotiating with.


Oh, it's a big pretty white plane with red stripes, curtains in the windows and wheels and it looks like a big Tylenol.
User currently offlinesoon7x7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (4 years 4 months 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 4420 times:

A fairly helpful barometer of what to charge for commercial image use is what the magazines typically pay out for image use. Obviously they vary depending on the publisher and if it is a feature story photo or a cover shot but your looking at a range of $150.00-$650.00 USD. Web site users don't like to pay out that much as the image is usually lower res and they use that excuse to their advantage. That being the case and you get less for it make sure you limit the image to the website only as they may try to use it in print media as well...Trade show booths...brochures...product sheets. All other reasons why you should be compensated with a better rate. Once they have the image, despite what they have told you, it will be used elsewhere...g

User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 6, posted (4 years 4 months 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 4414 times:

Rather than ask their budget I'd approach it in a slightly different way. Ask if they have standard rates for third-party photographers - you may be surprised but if their offer is too low you've a rough idea of their budget and can tactfully negotiate up. This also puts the ball firmly back in their court.

It's a nice and unusual shot but again it's only worth what they are prepared to pay for it. I would expect, however, for it to fetch more than a standard side-on.

Karl


User currently offlinesoon7x7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (4 years 4 months 2 days ago) and read 4285 times:

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 6):

I agree, you ask them if they have a budget, chances are you are indicating to them that you have no perceived value of your work and that you'll just try and get what you can. Evaluate your work, the expense you've invested in your gear and come up with an acceptable base price for anyone that wants to use you images and use it as a guideline. Any commercial use where the end user ultimetely will obtain revenue by virtue of your image representing their product or company is worth as least $150.00 minimum. For many that are not used to selling their work this sounds like a lot but consider all the time you have invested in photographing aircraft for your files. Imagine if you were actually compensated for that time?...also the fiscal investment of your gear. We all like to get the best equipment we can afford and none of it comes cheap. When you have created an image that a potential buyer wants...you have created a sales tool for him to use to build his companies image..that is worth something. Get past the "wow, some one wants to buy my picture" stage and view it as , you have created a sales tool. Then charging them accordingly will make more sense. Good luck...g


User currently offlineChukcha From Australia, joined Mar 2006, 1977 posts, RR: 7
Reply 8, posted (4 years 4 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 4231 times:
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Quoting soon7x7 (Reply 7):
Any commercial use where the end user ultimetely will obtain revenue by virtue of your image representing their product or company is worth as least $150.00 minimum.

Yeah, right. Some company had wanted to buy one of my photos recently to use for promotional brochures and on their website. That's exactly what I was thinking of charging them - the "minimum" $150.00 (Australian, mind you). In the end they wrote that another photographer "who does it for love, not money", was happy to provide a similar image for free. That was the end of it.


User currently offlinesoon7x7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (4 years 4 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 4196 times:

Quoting Chukcha (Reply 8):

So be it...Can't get them all...No need to give your valued work away because someone else does. I charge $1400.00 plus expenses to shoot a private jet...worked with a specific customer three times...he quit his job and now is shooting jets (after I unknowingly taught him what to do) and going after my clients charging less than a quarter of what I charge and not marking up travel expenses. Some are going for it and some aren't...In New York , the title for a guy like that is universal, you can find them in all large cities walking the back streets at night with tiny little skirts on and bad make up...either way...I'm still charging my rates. In this tough market your going to find clowns like that, but I'm still serving my client base and they are still paying my rates...g


User currently offlineINNflight From Austria, joined Apr 2004, 3765 posts, RR: 60
Reply 10, posted (4 years 4 months 7 hours ago) and read 4070 times:

Quoting soon7x7 (Reply 9):
So be it...Can't get them all...No need to give your valued work away because someone else does.

Exactly right. Plus, when you think about it, I'd rather make one $1000 sale than ten $100 sales. A photo is not worth any specific amount of money in general, it's more about the person selling it.

You can be the best photographer in the country if you don't care / don't know how to sell your product.
On the other hand, if you are an OK photographer, and a smart business man, you'll do well.



Jet Visuals
User currently offlinephotopilot From Canada, joined Jul 2002, 2719 posts, RR: 18
Reply 11, posted (4 years 4 months 7 hours ago) and read 4065 times:

Here's another thing that nobody has mentioned. If I'm selling an image to a company/publisher for a one-time use and I'll never likely deal with them again, then get what you can.
However.....
If there is a reasonable chance of developing a long-term business relationship, then being fair and getting steady repeat business is also worth consideration. If they're calling you every month or so for new images than that is great repeat business, rather than having them say to themselves... "Well we need this image, so pay his price but from now on we'll look elsewhere".
Give it a go either way.


User currently offlinesoon7x7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (4 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 3946 times:

Quoting photopilot (Reply 11):

If your serious about selling your work, in all fairness to yourself, as I mentioned above, evaluate your work and put a price on it and stick to your guns...You can research stock photo sites...inquire with magazines how much they pay out but establish a price range that is fair to you. If it is one time use image or an attempt to establish a contiuous working relationship with a client, make it worth it for yourself. Don't feel your overpricing your work as pricing helps to indicate to the client your own perception of your work and thats the confidence you must earn from them from the begining. What you can tell them that after the first three assignments or jobs for hire, however you work it,...you will work out a more pleasing price structure. This is a practice I have used to show the client your appreciation for repeat business and it helps to keep them hooked in. Some one else will always offer cheap work but you must convey to them, your confidence in your work. I have had clients for 21 years that I still service and to maintain these valued relationships...I constantly try new approaches to my work to keep them interested. And I have lost many clients for many reasons as well (especially in this current market). Like I said...your clients are always getting bombarded by people that are willing to give the work away just to see their name in print. My brother lost an aerial photoshoot contract to another photographer that was four times higher in price than my brothers. He was pissed and perplexed. He built his own Murphy Rebel (aircraft) and configured it with cameras and monitors, etc...he creates great aerials. The guy that won the contract just held the camera out the window while he flies, yet he made 4x the amount my brother offered. I told him to call the customer and ask why he didn't get the job...the client told him..."your bid was so much less than everyone elses we had doubts about your ability to give us what we are looking for". In short...establish your value, put a price on it, use it as a bargaining guildeline to get the job. The clients that understand higher valued work are real clients...the ones that just want a cheap photograph are simply individuals that want a cheap photograph!...let 'em get it somewhere else...      


User currently offlineMcG1967 From UK - Scotland, joined Apr 2006, 506 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 3850 times:

I had a similar request a week or so ago, from a Columbian Aviation company wanting to use an F-22 image on their website. I emailed them back saying it would be $100, and any additional useage beyond their website would require to be negotiated.

Did I receive a reply? NO.
Did I expect to receive a reply? Yes and No. Yes in that it is always good manners to reply, even if they are not going to use your work. No in that they were obviously looking for a freebie.

I am not a professional photographer, but have invested money in pro equipment, and in expenses etc to allow me to photograph things around the world. Therefore when people come looking to use my images for commercial use, I would like to be renumerated for the use of that image.


User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 14, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 3836 times:

Quoting McG1967 (Reply 13):
I am not a professional photographer, but have invested money in pro equipment

These days the difference between pro and enthusiast isn't that great in my opinion. There's a lot of work on display here that's easily pro quality. The only difference in today's environment is perhaps the access professionals get and also their top-of-the-range gear - and having said that I know a pro who's happy using a 350D much of the time!

I think the term 'pro' is more often used these days with reference to a person's income from photography rather than his experience or expertise.

Hope you sell (sold?) your image.

Karl


User currently offlineMcG1967 From UK - Scotland, joined Apr 2006, 506 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 3828 times:

Hi Karl,

not even a reply saying sorry but we can't afford to pay for any images. That's my biggest bugbear when people don't even extend the courtesy of replying to you because you asked for payment for your image / work.

Mark


User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 16, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 3822 times:

Quoting McG1967 (Reply 15):
not even a reply saying sorry but we can't afford to pay for any images. That's my biggest bugbear when people don't even extend the courtesy of replying to you because you asked for payment for your image / work.

Unfortunately Mark these companies have come to expect freebies. Their question is actually rhetorical and basically says, "Give us the image for nothing or we'll just get similar elsewhere".

What they get from the folks here is a professional-quality image for free. Each to their own but I stress, if you give away your images for free you are being used like an old rag. It also paves a bumpy road for those who stick to their guns and demand a price for their efforts and hard work.

I know we all obviously enjoy this hobby but sometimes - especially in winter - it can be a game strictly for the most resilient of enthusiasts! Come on - we've all been there in the snow and icy wind, waiting for something special that's picked up a delay, and secretly thinking, "God! I really wish I was at home in the warmth right now!". If you've never had such thoughts, you're not human!

I always say the most rewarding bit is getting those images onto the big screen and sitting back in admiration (of the good ones).

Karl


User currently offlineChukcha From Australia, joined Mar 2006, 1977 posts, RR: 7
Reply 17, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 3779 times:
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Quoting McG1967 (Reply 15):
biggest bugbear when people don't even extend the courtesy of replying to you

Maybe it is just part of today's Internet culture - the perception of many that they don't communicate with other people, but with the computer, and of course the soulless computer doesn't require any courtesy.


User currently offlinesoon7x7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 3761 times:

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 14):

The difference between a pro and someone that took a good photo is that the pro must always take a good photo on command while a non pro for many reasons may have recorded a great image. While many A/Net photographers may have work opportunities that avail themselves to airside access, run of the airport and situations like that. This sort of familiarity creates opportunities to maximize the situation during great lighting conditions unusual weather/ aircraft events. Tim De Groot comes to mind. Great consistent images from him. Don't know if he works at the airport but he is extremely familiar with the environment at Schiphol during the different seasons. He does create good stock shots that are marketable as do many others. But to be a real pro, to be requesitioned and commisioned for a shoot, be it static ground work or air to air requires a good reputation, reliability and knowledge. A G-V owner doesn't want some baby photographer climbing around in his $45,000,000 acquisition. He wants a seasoned professional do record his aircraft. Consider night shots. Most night shots I see on A/Net are recorded under mercury vapor light stantions, ramp lights, that sort of thing. But what if you were called upon to perform a night shot of a 737 for a client at an airport you have never been to. Favorable light stantions may or may not exist, but you can't gamble on it...so the alternative is you bring your own lighting...to illuminate a 737 airframe at night in total darkness is no easy feat and you better be in shape. Take Air to air shots...real air to air, from another aircraft, close formation flying. First you need to find the correct match shooting platform to match your target aircraft, shooting a 747 from a 172 won't cut it. Then you must convey the images you are envisioning for your client to pilots that are very comfortable flying that close to other aircraft. (many are not). The pre flight briefing and plan is the most important aspect of the air to air shoot. Safety is paramount as A to A is very dangerous. Everyone needs to be on the same page and you as the photographer writes that page. Then take the hours, thirty hour days, and all the travelling with all the gear you need or may not need but you can't take chances. Hasseling with TSA over all your very suspicious camera gear...and dealing with one bag carry on limitations in other countries. Nope...the margin between a pro and the enthusiast is far wider than you think. Taking the picture is the easiest aspect of a pro photographers job. Getting the job and getting to it, is the hardest. Assuring the clients satisfaction everytime is even harder. So agreed that the term "pro photographer" does indicate in most circumstances that he obtains primary revenue for his work, it also includes all the other measures that go into a work for hire situation as a pro, most of which enthusiasts will never have to deal with...Cheers...G   


User currently offlineChukcha From Australia, joined Mar 2006, 1977 posts, RR: 7
Reply 19, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 3747 times:
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Quoting soon7x7 (Reply 18):
But to be a real pro, to be requesitioned and commisioned for a shoot, be it static ground work or air to air requires a good reputation, reliability and knowledge.

Couldn't agree more. Being a pro in any area takes many years of learning and lots and lots of experience. Many people just don't realize the world of difference that exists, in most cases, between an amateur and a pro. Aviation is a good example - the difference between an amateur pilot (even the most experienced and versatile) and a seasoned professional airline pilot comes to mind...


User currently offlineINNflight From Austria, joined Apr 2004, 3765 posts, RR: 60
Reply 20, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 3725 times:

Quoting soon7x7 (Reply 18):
Taking the picture is the easiest aspect of a pro photographers job.

Bingo!



Jet Visuals
User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 21, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 3680 times:

Quoting soon7x7 (Reply 18):
A G-V owner doesn't want some baby photographer climbing around in his $45,000,000 acquisition. He wants a seasoned professional do record his aircraft

I'm not saying there isn't a difference but many photographers here (who aren't pro's) would churn out the same result.

Quoting soon7x7 (Reply 18):
so the alternative is you bring your own lighting...to illuminate a 737 airframe at night in total darkness is no easy feat and you better be in shape

And again that goes back to having the right equipment for the job. I don't think any amateur or even semi-pro would have that sort of rig!

There are many professional-looking images here but of course most at A.net don't have the time or inclination to invest both time and money in something that most likely will not pay dividends. The pro must be ready; the amateur just takes what comes.

I reckon with time and investment however becoming a pro wouldn't be far out of reach for many (at the moment non-pro) guys here. A pro once told me that, if you have the eye for a good photo (either you do or you don't apparently), the only limiting factor is your vision of how far you want to go. I guess that makes photography a self-expressive art form?

Karl


User currently offlinedvincent From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 1742 posts, RR: 11
Reply 22, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 3675 times:
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Quoting JakTrax (Reply 21):
And again that goes back to having the right equipment for the job. I don't think any amateur or even semi-pro would have that sort of rig!

It depends on what you want to do. Doing a full-on illumination in the darkness? You'd need many big strobes with grids and other modifiers to corral the light where you want it. Plus, you can always rent all of the lights you need at your local Calumet or other photo supplier.

Or, you could think about the shot a little differently and go for something unique that embraces the darkness. There's two great aircraft lighting sessions in The Hot Shoe Diaries by Joe McNally, one for the XB-45 and the other for a KC-135.



From the Mind of Minolta
User currently offlinesoon7x7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 3633 times:

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 21):

Some of what you say is true but also from a pros perspective...you also must effectively market yourself, its not just camera tools. Some photographers here would churn out good results and probably acceptable to a client but when I shoot an interior, I go to great lengths to prop the interior approprietely as the props can't be louder than the interior itself. Light control is another issue. Fill lights must be color corrected on the lens. Multiple exposures on a single frame to get color balance correct. Some if not most aircraft interiors have multiple light sources...flourescent, incandescent and or led. In a confined tube this presents color wash issues. Client wants them accurate. Night shots....you can't use an array of strobe heads all over the place as airports are too windy and sandbags and electric chords are out of the question, especially when travelling. Then you have light pollution from ramps, light poles...gas trucks with amber beacons...security vehicles ruining your shot...I could go on and on. I still use a Hasselblad film camera for my night shots. The interiors are now digital. A good eye does help...arranging elements in the frame. A/Net has some extremely talented photographers. I've been doing this for 23 years, it is not easy and not for everyone. I did 9-5 in NY City and hated it... The irregularity of aviation photography I love...but it is very hard work, especially if you work alone as I do. When you spread out the earnings, at least recently...business could definetely be better. On the plus side I have been paid to travel the world and you can't beat that but now with all the new baggage fees, it's just adding to the expense of jobs that in this market, clients don't want to pay. Most of what I shoot never get uploaded to either sites as some are too artsy/creative types and also my clients get really angry about seeing their aircraft in public forums, so I just don't bother. The 727 below was recorded with one strobe, I had 30 minutes to complete this session as the plane was sinking into the still warm asphalt. We didn't want it to have to be pulled out and this being a large plane had me running my a-- off. If I ever get an A380 night shot or a 747 I have developed a new plan for big airframes such as them...I just need the customer...g
Was N727WF now flying in Europe with new paint. UPS did the mods.


User currently offlineCreep From United States of America, joined Mar 2009, 70 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 3557 times:

Sorry to interrupt your thread, but I'm experiencing a virtually identical scenario and have a few questions to add in...

I've been contacted by an airline labor union that wishes to use one of my photos on its union website and in a size of about 400x300. Given the type of website it is, I don't expect it to be put towards anything for commercial/financial gain. The photo isn't anything rare or unique.

1) Anyone have a ballpark suggestion on a price given the scenario? (taking into account type of use and image size/quality)
2) How is digital media usually transferred? i.e. is it simply emailed?
3) How does one usually receive payment for a digital image? Ask for a check? Pay pal?

I replied to their email asking for some clarification on a few of their points, but have not yet mentioned any numbers to them.

Thanks,

Creep


User currently offlinesoon7x7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 25, posted (4 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 3428 times:

Labor Unions have plenty of funds...they exist to for financial gain...I'd tell them $150.00 but they would probably laugh...get what you can...If you have PayPal...great method of payment, email the image to them if you want but I always send a CD fedex three day to insure your end of the bergain. If you don't send a hard copy, they can claim they never received it. Rare but it has happened...g

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