DPChallenge: A Digital Photography Contest You are not logged in. (log in or register
 

DPChallenge Forums >> General Discussion >> Freelance Rates....What is Acceptable ?
Pages:  
Showing posts 1 - 25 of 39, (reverse)
AuthorThread
10/04/2005 03:12:21 PM · #1
Hi, I recently submitted a photo to a magazine. They have just emailed me saying they want to use it prominently in their magazine as an "opeing spread" for a holiday guide. They told me they would like one-time use rights for this photo. Total amount they said they would offer me is.........drum roll please...........for confidentialty purposes: under $100. WHAT?! is this an acceptable rate for a poto spread to be used for the number one feature in the magazine???? Furthermore, I only took the photo because they told me they were looking for certain types of photos for the Winter issue. I was told this at a meeting with an editor, but I was also told it was open to other photographers they knew. I'm waiting at least 24 hours to reply, I wanna get some input on what I should really be getting. Of note: The editor wrote that I should let them know if this offer is acceptable, which I take to mean "is this a fair price?" Please, to any other seasoned professional magazine/high quality photographers out there, I need some advice! This is my first photo to ever be published if I go foreward with the deal. Thanks in advance!
10/04/2005 03:16:39 PM · #2
What is the circulation and scope of the magazine?

Will they distribute 1000 issues around Virginia or 1,000,000 copies across North America?

Also, remember that your quote to them is a license. If you quote them $2000 for unlimited usage for 6 months in North America and they say that's too high then you can negotiate less usage for less dollars.

Message edited by author 2005-10-04 15:18:36.
10/04/2005 03:23:46 PM · #3
I'd say it depends on your goals -

If you need tear sheets to get into your goal markets and work your way to bigger assignments, then this, and deals like this are a good way to get tear sheets to accomplish that goal of higher end work.

If you want to be a stock photographer and license your images, this is not a good way to start. I started as a freelance artist by undercutting the going rate. My plan was, once I had a client base I would slowly raise my prices to market value. As I raised my prices all those clients went to the next under-cutter and I had to pick up new clients - which I did in time. So if you're trying to get a stock career going, starting cheap isn't the way to go.

I would counter their offer with another one at the least. See if there's more money in it. Get someone on the phone a schmooz it - be the most friendly helpful guy, but you're just stuck. You've got half a day in this shot and it's hard to let it go for less than an $100 for half a day, so if they could just come up a little more so you felt it was worth your time - and you want to be able to work for them more in the future... you know, schmooz. Lot's of smiling, laughing, joking, interest in them personally, and working them for a better number.

If they are stuck on the little number, you'll know soon enough, and you can decide what's important to you, a killer tear sheet for your portfolio, or selling your great work for what it's worth.

Good luck, and welcome to pure capitalism - it's a rush!
10/04/2005 03:28:45 PM · #4
FYI: The magazine distributes about 80,000 plus in the local community. I was informed that the target market is the areas weathiest residents.
10/04/2005 03:34:07 PM · #5
Originally posted by cardmaverick:

FYI: The magazine distributes about 80,000 plus in the local community. I was informed that the target market is the areas weathiest residents.


Somewhere around 10x that seems more reasonable as a starting point.
Many magazines however can't or won't pay sensible rates for photographs - it comes down to if you want to sell it or not. But your question is 'what is acceptable?' and that is one that only you can really answer...

Message edited by author 2005-10-04 15:34:38.
10/04/2005 03:34:29 PM · #6
OUCH!! Looks liek the editor is trying to take advantage of you. I'd say at least $300, but most magazines publish what they pay for photos depending on the size in the magazine.
10/04/2005 03:42:41 PM · #7
I must admit, I do feel like this is suspiciously too low. They know I'm a student who owns his own gear and freelances. They also know I work daily doing research video. Maybe I told them too much about me...
10/04/2005 03:47:51 PM · #8
I would work out an itemized licensing contract that comes out to about $800-$1000. If they wish to reduce the cost then they will need to reduce the usage somehow...but be smart, negotiate fairly and wisely. Explain why your price is $800 (for example) and what that license will cover. For example, at $800 they are limited to that issue only. If they wish to use that photo in future advertisements for the publication they will need to relicense for that usage.

Message edited by author 2005-10-04 15:50:01.
10/04/2005 03:48:31 PM · #9
Originally posted by cardmaverick:

Maybe I told them too much about me...


Sounds like it. At least it's a good learning experience. Be careful though, once you except this low offer, they will NEVER pay you more...IMO
10/04/2005 03:51:39 PM · #10
As digitalknight said, it depends on your goals. I'd also ask myself whether, if I told them their price was too low and they said "fine, we'll use someone else's work", ...would you be ok with that? Or, at this stage of your career, is it more important to be published - at any cost?
10/04/2005 03:53:09 PM · #11
Man I feel so unsure of what to do! I wanna negotiate I higher rate, but I can't scare them off, this is such a lucrative tear sheet, and its my first! My big worry about taking a sub $100 rate is that I'll develop a reputation of being a really good photograper who is easy to walk all over for his work. The tear sheet is great, but I don't wanna get an chepo reputation for it either. Decisions......
10/04/2005 03:53:45 PM · #12
Originally posted by lenkphotos:

Or, at this stage of your career, is it more important to be published - at any cost?


While this is a fair question (and clearly an established professional can demand more photos than one who is starting out) it is important to heed MeThoS's warning.
10/04/2005 03:57:59 PM · #13
Originally posted by cardmaverick:

Man I feel so unsure of what to do! I wanna negotiate I higher rate, but I can't scare them off, this is such a lucrative tear sheet, and its my first! My big worry about taking a sub $100 rate is that I'll develop a reputation of being a really good photograper who is easy to walk all over for his work. The tear sheet is great, but I don't wanna get an chepo reputation for it either. Decisions......


Look, if I were in your shoes I would prepare for some negotation, which is never easy for someone who doesn't do it often.

Some tips:

1) Write down the conversation before you call them. Yes, the whole thing. What they will say and what you will say. A well planned negotiation can be planned the whole way through.
2) Oh, and call...don't email.
3) Be honest when you call them.
4) When you start to write down your negotiation plan think of how they will react to you asking such a high amount...you need to be convinced that the license to your photo is worth $800. You can't simply be calling them to 'ask for more money'. You need to explain to them why you are asking what you are asking and you need to be convinced of that yourself.
5) Be really nice but confident. Courtesy and confidence will get you very far in negotiations.
10/04/2005 04:14:09 PM · #14
OK, Thanks so far for all this great insight! Here's what I'm thinking of using as negotiation points.

1.)Cost of shoot. The materials alone needed to take the photo cost more than what they are offering. This is true, and I believe a strong point to make if needed.
2.)Photographers skill. This is the classic gray area in rates I think. Simply put though, it was very difficult technically to make this image. It's an in camera illusion involving complicated lighting setups, advanced knowlege of exposure, focal length, and depth of field. No one ever questions the authenticity of the photo, so everyone has been buying into the illusion till I spill the beans on how it was made. To be blunt, it takes a smart photographer to make this kind of image happen.
3.) A FULL PAGE photo for the lead feature of the magazine should deserve more compensation.

And thats all I have for possible negotiation points. How am I doing here?
10/04/2005 04:27:12 PM · #15
I haven't been in the position where I had a photo accepted, so I can't advise you on this side of the subject.

However, I have done a fair bit of freelance writing, involving the same principles. From what has been said here so far it seems you submitted the photo to the editor? Did you send him a thumbnail or similar and ask if he could use it? Or did you say you were a freelance photog and available for commissions?

If you submitted asking if the editor could use it, then you lose a lot of your bargaining power for better payment. I discovered that before submitting work, you contact the editor and find out what their rates are for freelance work. The editor will normally tell you their rates and then you can decide if you want to submit...also if the payment is right, tell the editor that you are going to submit X number of photos and you are prepared to accept the going rate for a FSR (first serial rights), this allows him the option of using the same photo again, at a pre-agreed rate.

That's all for this bit, if you want more, just shout.

Steve
10/04/2005 04:29:37 PM · #16
I've learned that negotiation has less to do with the way you think things should be and more about presenting the facts. In this case, it might be hard for you to present facts about prices for comparable items in other magazines. However, maybe you could see what they charge for a full page ad, look into what kinds of fees a reputable stock photo agency would market this for, etc... Of course, you're short on time....

Whatever you decide, good luck, and congrats on at least getting an offer!
10/04/2005 04:32:20 PM · #17
If it's a good enough photo for them to be wow'd, then be prepared to lose the job if you don't want to except the $100. Or you can do what I've done in the past. Let them use it for $100 (that's too low for me, but hey) and tell them your giving them a special rate for a new customer. That future photos would be higher. Another suggestion would be to have someone else call the magazine and ask for the photo pay rates!
10/04/2005 04:34:42 PM · #18
Originally posted by cardmaverick:

OK, Thanks so far for all this great insight! Here's what I'm thinking of using as negotiation points.

1.)Cost of shoot. The materials alone needed to take the photo cost more than what they are offering. This is true, and I believe a strong point to make if needed.

2.)Photographers skill. This is the classic gray area in rates I think. Simply put though, it was very difficult technically to make this image. It's an in camera illusion involving complicated lighting setups, advanced knowlege of exposure, focal length, and depth of field. No one ever questions the authenticity of the photo, so everyone has been buying into the illusion till I spill the beans on how it was made. To be blunt, it takes a smart photographer to make this kind of image happen.
3.) A FULL PAGE photo for the lead feature of the magazine should deserve more compensation.

And thats all I have for possible negotiation points. How am I doing here?


Good so far...but you don't just want points. I negotiate as part of my job every day and when I bump into a very important negotiation I write down the whole sequence of negotations (including their predicted response).

As for the costs of taking the photo...they are normally billed above and beyond the cost of licensing the photo but it's too late for this now. But yes, this is definitely a good point to use in your negotiations.

Again, don't be too aggressive with them. Although you don't want to admit it, as Formerlee said, they have the position of strength in this negotiation...but that's okay, you can still come out with a good deal that will give you a decent value for your work/time/skill.
10/04/2005 04:41:09 PM · #19
Ok, well, if helps, heres how it all started: I sent an email to the editor stating that I was available for freelance photography. I attached some samples (downsized) to the email that show off my work. They replied and said they were interested in meeting me. I had a meeting with an editor that deals with assignments. She explained how they normally give a month for an assignment to be completed if its a formal assignment. She never offered me a formal assignment, but explained that they were accepting photos for a section. Anyone could submit, but the catch is this, only people who inquire about freelancing would ever know about this. Its not advertised at all. She said she thought I would be good at taking photos for this section too. In effect, it sounded like this to me: "This isn't a formal assignment, but I think you should take a photo and send it in, you've got good chances." I then get an email back weeks later saying they want to use it,BUT not the section I submitted it for. They are taking it from a not so prominent spot and putting it in more or less the most prominent spot inside the magazine (not a cover photo, a full page spread for the lead article) Note: I never submitted it for that prominent spot. I know this is long winded, but I hope it helps others understand my situation.
10/04/2005 04:44:09 PM · #20
Is this the first time to be published?
10/04/2005 04:46:12 PM · #21
Yes. This is the first time the image would be published. Heck, it will be the first time any of my work has been published if it goes thru.
10/04/2005 04:50:03 PM · #22
Originally posted by cardmaverick:

Yes. This is the first time the image would be published. Heck, it will be the first time any of my work has been published if it goes thru.


Then work with them and learn. If it's a small magazine you can aproach bigger magazines with published work. Learn not to tell so much about your self and to refer to yourself as a freelance professional.
10/04/2005 04:50:58 PM · #23
Originally posted by cardmaverick:

Yes. This is the first time the image would be published. Heck, it will be the first time any of my work has been published if it goes thru.


Look, let's be honest. I like to be a hardass and say "Don't accept low rates" but ultimately you need to try and get this photo published and get paid fairly. If I were you, I'd be willing to accept a lower rate than we've suggested in this case but you need to be smart about how you convey that message.

Let them know there's been a misunderstanding, your rates are much higher and that you'd like to work something out for this issue. For future issues, you will give them a contract. And then provide them with your rates right away so they have them handy for future issues!

They know you do good work and they will be willing to pay for it in the future.
10/04/2005 04:53:21 PM · #24
since the editor KNOWS that this is your first published work, they have all the barginning power.

You need to find out what they normally pay, maybe this is normal for them since they are on such a tight budget.
10/04/2005 04:53:30 PM · #25
Yesterday I post a thread about a similar issue in thisforum.

The meeting gone this way: the newspaper editor was prepared to pay me for the photos, but I said I worked for him on a non profit base, because he promissed to do a 2 pages work about my photo business/work (it will be next month, the 2 central pages). But he wanted to use the images in the advertisements in the political campaign, but unoficially. So I gave him all the images, with a decalration of "some rights reserved", giving them the right to use the images in the newspapers and media and to transmit to others like them, regarding the images where shared on a non comercial base and for non comercial publication. I choose this way because I want to work with them more and I rather do a colaboration than to make 50-100§ and close a door.

A prtuguese well known agency was there also taking pictures and I invented a way to find out what they charge for the photos, and their fees for a small, regional publication is 25 euros per image plus taxes, so not a lot from one of the most renoun agencyes around.
Pages:  
Current Server Time: 09/24/2021 10:44:28 AM

Please log in or register to post to the forums.


Home - Challenges - Community - League - Photos - Cameras - Lenses - Learn - Prints! - Help - Terms of Use - Privacy - Top ^
DPChallenge, and website content and design, Copyright © 2001-2021 Challenging Technologies, LLC.
All digital photo copyrights belong to the photographers and may not be used without permission.
Proudly hosted by Sargasso Networks. Current Server Time: 09/24/2021 10:44:28 AM EDT.