Last year, and for the first time, I tried creating and selling calendars featuring my photography. They turned out pretty good but in the end I spent too much time on choosing the photos, the actual design, promotion and the upload to the printing service and lost money.

I decided not to do calendars this year but was approached by someone to design a calendar for their business using my photos and their business info.

I already have some experience and a pool of photos to choose from so I suspect the selection, processing, some design work, etc. will take about 5 hours so I can probably provide a reasonable quote for the work alone.

This potential client hinted that the photos should be free of watermarks/ credits. What is customary (North America) in these situations? Should I insist that a credit be included or at least a line "photographs by so and so" printed discretely on the calendar.

The calendar will likely feature some of my favourite photos I took this year some of which took considerable amount of planning, travel, effort and post-processing to produce. How do I put a price on the "art fee" this set of photos?


1 Answer 1


As a photographer, it's generally expected that the use of your photos will represent some sort of credit back to you. However, rights to a photo or set of photos can be sold or licensed.

For their calendar, it sounds like they don't want the PHOTOS themselves containing the watermarks or credits. Verify with the customer, but it is typically acceptable to small print either under the photo with credits, or at least a sentence on the back giving credit. Of course, if they truly don't want any of that on the entire calendar, that would typically be offset by a small price increase (possibly in the 20% of final cost ball park).

As far as what to charge, that varies from person to person and shot to shot. If the shot is extremely unique, you could possibly offer it as a premium since they wouldn't be able to get it anywhere else. I think the bigger picture (no pun intended) here is if you add too much of a markup, they may not come back next year for another calendar. It would be a better business practice to offer the calendar at a slightly reduced final cost, in the hopes of more volume and future orders.


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