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I've recently done a shoot for a customer where the contract stated they would get "web ready" digital versions of the photos (max dimension 1024px), as well as the ability to order prints. The customer is very happy with the images, and I'll be giving them a ZIP file of the 'web ready' images.

They've come back and asked for 'high resolution, non watermarked' versions of some of the pics (I said we could talk about that afterwards), and they are okay paying for it (I made it clear up front that photographers generally don't provide digital high resolution versions of their shots).

My question right now is how much to charge for each of those high resolution images. They've already paid for the shoot and the postprocessing work, and the payment was fine. I hope to get a few hundred more from prints, but I don't want to be a jerk about asking for $75 per 5000px image. I'm thinking $20 per image - which is the max I'd make on a digital print of that pic anyway.

Thoughts?

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    What is the purpose for the images and how many are there? Are they internal use, promotional use, etc? If they are promotional, what is the expected scale of the ad campaign. If your image is the main image for a small B&W print ad reaching 1000 people, it's far different than if they want to feature it in a multi-national superbowl ad. – AJ Henderson May 14 '14 at 2:14
  • @AJHenderson The purpose will be likely for marketing docs for the business. These were essentially staff photos (it was a kung fu school), with the staff in a variety of exciting poses :) I suspect they want the large scale images so they can use them for promotion, but the business is pretty small - this isn't going to go on a zillion billboards. – penk May 14 '14 at 12:29
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Since it appears the original work was not contracted with the intent that they would own the images (which would have required a much higher up front fee regardless of the end product), it sounds like a licensing deal is probably the best way to go.

A license allows you to provide the high quality finished product, but with restrictions on what it can be used for based on what they have paid. This allows the business to do what they need to do with the photos but also allows you to protect your brand and reputation and get value from their use of your photo.

Ideally, you should find out what their intended uses are and outline what is allowed for the image in a license agreement, including limits on the size of the audience. For limited marketing purposes like you described for a small martial arts school, probably $30 to $60 is good if you are doing this part time. Full time, I could see it being more like $50 to $100. (Note these estimates are only for the image licensing and not for generation and also are based around the idea of licensing multiple images.) If they agree to meet your quality standards for printing the image and give you photo credit, then I could see going much cheaper. Say, something around $15 an image for part time, but I'd make sure that you keep quality control over the printing if your name is going to be associated with it to ensure your brand is protected.

  • Note that these prices are all approximations and can vary widely based on quality of work and going rates in your local market. They are also somewhat based around what you gave as initial estimates. $20 is almost certainly lowball for anywhere in the US though. I provide services pretty cheaply since I don't have to make a primary income from it and $20 is less than I charge for touch up and release on a personal image, let alone a business one. – AJ Henderson May 14 '14 at 15:55

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