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An acquaintance of mine sells her hair accessories on Amazon, Etsy and her own personal website. She has asked to buy some artistic photos I took of my daughter wearing her hair accessories (as a model) for her various sites, to hopefully, help her sell more. She is also interested in future photos.

  • Most importantly: what would be a fair (reasonable) price to charge her per photo?

  • What other considerations do I need to think about. (Ex: I told her if I did sell her some photos, none of the face shots would be for sale to protect my daughter's privacy; just her hair and slight profile that highlight her products)

  • I don't particularly care to retain the rights of each photo once it is sold because it is so specific (who would want that particular photo in the future?) Should I reconsider this?

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Typically images are licensed not sold - that means you are not selling rights to the image but permission to use the image in a certain way, situation were a photographer sells the copyrights do exist but they are relatively rare and expensive.

The image license is usually priced by multiple factors - how much time the image will be used, where it will appear, the size, quality and importance of the image, number of places it will be used, etc.

For example, low res copy that you can only use on Facebook once - cheap; high res copy you can use forever in magazine ads - very expensive.

You will need to write a contract that say, for example, you are selling a license to use the image on up to X internet sites with a maximum resolution of X for a period of X years.

A fair price should be more than it costs you to make the image (including direct expenses, your personal expenses, your profit you need to make, and all the expenses of a business divided by all your sales - google "cost of doing business") and less than the extra sales she expects to make because of the image - tools like FotoQuote can give you a starting point.

  • This answer is really good --- but what if the photographer is just an occasional one (i.e., not professional)? Buying a software just for this seems a bit an overkill. I imagine you should ask for something to be fair versus professionals, but still you are not a professional, so it's supposed to be cheaper. Maybe a cut on the article sold through the photos? – Rmano Dec 12 '13 at 15:24
  • @Rmano - if you have no intention of going pro and this is a one time deal you can sell the images at any price, there are free on-line calculators that can give you a starting point for negotiation (and you'll probably going to negotiate down from that price). I don't like the "cut of article sold" model, as a business owner I would never give a cut of the profit in exchange for a photo (unless it's a dead product and I have nothing to lose) and I wouldn't give my products in exchange for a cut (unless it's a sure thing) giving/getting a cut isn't a fair deal unless you go in as a partner – Nir Dec 15 '13 at 7:38
  • AS @Rmano said, I am a complete and utter novice. I just can't find any free online calculators. Do you know of one? Better yet, since you are the expert...could you shoot me a figure? One "expert" on another website said $75 per photo per year. I'm not sure if he meant for each of the 3 websites ($75x3) or if he meant $75 total ($25x 3 websites). What do you think of this advice? Please help! :) – user24675 Dec 16 '13 at 0:10
  • I received some great help from an expert photographer that I wanted to pass along here. She recommended that I use gettyimages.com to calculate a price. Select an image like yours in right managed and then there is a calculator button that can give you a gauge. Perfect!! – user24675 Dec 17 '13 at 16:39

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