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DPChallenge Forums >> Business of Photography >> Album cover charge?
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02/20/2009 09:32:21 PM · #1
Hi Guys,

I have had someone approach me about shooting an album cover for a cd that will be sold. I don't think I can do the shoot because it is last minute, but how would you go about charging for a photo used in that manner? Would it be a matter of charging a fee according to how well the album sells or a flat rate? I have never done anything like this and have no idea how to go about quoting a price for it. Any help would be awesome.

Thanks!
Claire
02/20/2009 10:05:58 PM · #2
Hey Claire

I just completed a photo shoot for a local Toronto Band USS Ubiquitus Synergy Seeker USS
I have a shot that is the background for their web page and also images that will be used on their upcoming release March 10 2009

I am happy that they are using my images for the production. I am waiting to see what happens with the album sales. It is awesome to see my shot on Itunes whether I get paid or not :D

I have sold works like this before, the fee is usually agreed to before the shoot ... $ 500 - $ 1000 depending on the project and the popularity of the band

Every situation is different. I would talk to the guys before hand and try and establish what their budget is like.

Hope this helps

Cole

02/20/2009 10:22:42 PM · #3
I've never shot anything like this, but I think I'd treat it as a contractual shoot. They hire you to come in and do the shoot for X dollars. You can include in that contract the number of hours for the shoot and the number of images (edited or otherwise) to be delivered. But I don't think I would treat it like a portrait session (sitting fee plus photos). They'll want to know up front what their cost is going to be.

Also, I'm certainly no expert (and quite possibly mistaken), but ... from what I understand, bands don't make a whole lot off of CD sales (the music companies seem to hog all of the profits) and the CD instead is more of a sales tool to bring fans to the concerts. So unless it's a really famous band, I suspect the budget will be pretty thin. So keep your price within reason.
02/20/2009 11:09:09 PM · #4
Originally posted by dwterry:

I've never shot anything like this, but I think I'd treat it as a contractual shoot. They hire you to come in and do the shoot for X dollars. You can include in that contract the number of hours for the shoot and the number of images (edited or otherwise) to be delivered. But I don't think I would treat it like a portrait session (sitting fee plus photos). They'll want to know up front what their cost is going to be.

Also, I'm certainly no expert (and quite possibly mistaken), but ... from what I understand, bands don't make a whole lot off of CD sales (the music companies seem to hog all of the profits) and the CD instead is more of a sales tool to bring fans to the concerts. So unless it's a really famous band, I suspect the budget will be pretty thin. So keep your price within reason.


Cool. I saw somewhere someone mentioned giving permission for up to a certain number of CDs and after that number have a small fee per cd after that?
02/21/2009 09:54:04 AM · #5
Claire,

I have to agree with David that you should treat this as a commercial (or as he put it "contractual") assignment. In other words, charge a creative fee for your time to prep, shoot and process image(s) plus a usage fee. However, I wouldn't try to base my creative fee on the volume of sales for the CD becasue you really have no way of tracking that or verifying the band's "sales" numbers. Usage fees (licensing) for most commercial photography is based on the amount of time the image will be used: 1 year, 5 years, indefinetly, etc. Assuming they plan to sell this cd for more than a year or two, the duration that makes the most sense is probably "indefinite." But, if you think maybe this band will be the next "big thing" in music 5 years down the road, you might want to offer a shorter duration so they have to relicense the image(s) once they've "made it big" for a higher fee. Hopefully, though, if they do "make it big" they'll be so thrilled with your photography by then that they'll hire you to do all their future photography and you really won't need to work about the revenue from that initial cd cover.

Hope it helps a little,
Clay

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