I took a few pictures around work and they were used on our website (more here). I've just been asked to do some shots of the executives, and it looks like there may be more requests like this. Any advice?

  • Money came up. What's a fair price? Pay per shoot, or increase salary?
  • Rights agreement — any gotchas I should look out for?
  • Other stuff I should think about?
  • 6
    Considering most job descriptions state 'any other work as and when required' I'd say you're lucky to be offered any money at all... May 18 '11 at 15:47
  • 2
    Off topic: Nice pictures! No wonder you have more requests. May 18 '11 at 18:24
  • Good job with the lighting on those pics, it makes all the difference!
    – rfusca
    Jun 16 '11 at 16:33

This greatly depends on your intentions, if you intend to become a full time photographer then drawing up an agreement would be a very worthwhile endeavour. I'm not a lawyer but in that case you'd probably want to ask to retain the rights to use photos for promotional purposes for use on your website etc.

If you don't then I'd suggest specifying a nominal fee of say 150CDN (you don't say how many photos we're taken) on the understanding any more sets of photos will incur a further fee. If you take this route you're being rewarded monetarily for your time and investment in equipment but also by being seen as performing an act of good will to the company because you're cheaper than getting in a professional photographer. I'd be wary of asking for an increase of salary because that implies that you would become 'official company photographer' and as great as this sounds that might affect your career by taking your time from your main position.

  • 1
    Great feedback. I'm a software developer, and a bit worried that becoming the 'official company photographer' would interfere with that.
    – Tristan
    May 18 '11 at 20:22

Given that most IT employment contracts consider all "work" done with the work environment to be included, them offering to pay you any extra at all for photos is a nice bonus! And unless you're seriously interested in moving towards photography in a professional capacity, keeping to pay-per-shoot will probably work better for you than a salary increase (this would probably required a job description update to include being official office photographer, which you may not want).

As for rights, again, your employment contract (especially as a developer) almost certainly means that any works created (no matter whether software or photographic) while employed at the company are automatically owned by the company. If you can negotiate something to allow you to retain rights to use the photos for non-commercial use or something that would be good, but don't count on it.

  • 1
    In this case, my contract does not include everything I do. I made sure of that before starting with the company. My main motivation behind taking any fee is that it might cause people above me to consider the photos valuable (it's human nature to equate free with valueless). Also, time given to photography takes away from time on development, so I'm a bit concerned that I could do extra work, have it be taken for granted, and get in trouble for not keeping up with development work.
    – Tristan
    May 24 '11 at 0:59

In terms of rights, you may be limited by privacy requirements on those staff/executive portraits. Make sure to have a model release form signed by the subjects you want to use for promotional purposes. Remember that they may not want to have their photo displayed elsewhere.

The model release form should allow the subject to choose where their photo is used. Perhaps if you have a check box to opt out of personal promotional use (apart from being on the company website).

I'd say you would absolutely benefit from taking a professional approach to the photography (contracts, licensing, pay) from the start. Your software developer role likely doesn't include photography so that's probably why they're offering to pay, since they would otherwise pay another photographer to do it.

Nice work on the site's photography too!

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.