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A company has requested to license a photograph I took. They are asking for pricing to use it in a liive performance, a dvd, and an appearance on PBS tv. So I don't know how much to charge? Any ideas??

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This is always difficult to answer, as it really depends on the work, the buyer, the local market etc. Therefore, you often won't find anyone responding with actual prices, which would set a precedent.

However, there are resources that can help, though you will need to pay for them. The USA based American Society of Media Photographers has several books as well as a piece of software designed to offer pricing guidance for selling your work to all sorts of buyers and in all sorts of situations. The software is known as Foto Quote is considered an industry standard.

http://asmp.org/links/32#.VyEIS6MrKJQ

They also have a book, called "Pricing Photography: The Complete Guide to Assignment & Stock Prices" that is available, though somewhat dated and limited to assignment and stock sales. You can find it on Amazon. ISBN-13: 978-1581158885

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  • Most of those resources are very good at helping you calculate what it costs a photographer to produce the work. None of them tell you how much an image may be worth to a particular client, because that answer will be different for every image and every client. And none of them really even go so far as to tell you what the going rate for specific types of work is in specific markets.
    – Michael C
    Apr 28 '16 at 5:39
  • @MichaelClark Which specific resources are you referring to? These appear to be about pricing for selling photos to clients, taking demand into account-- not looking primarily at costs. It's true that any of this information will be partial/unspecific/etc., but this does answer the OP's question(!).
    – Era
    Apr 28 '16 at 18:41
  • None of those resources say, "You should charge $x for the rights to a photo. They don't answer the question. They may answer how the OP can answer his own question in a more specific way.
    – Michael C
    Apr 29 '16 at 1:16
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$1,000,000.00. Cash. No refunds. OBO. (Or best offer).

Yes, that is a little tongue-in-cheek.

The fact is very few independent photographers will talk openly about their actual pricing policies. It's impossible to establish "market rates" for a particular type of work in a particular market segment. There are a few very large photo stock agencies that publish price lists for various types of images and usage rights, but the rates they are getting are so low that stock photography has pretty much become a market segment supplied by amateur enthusiasts who have "day jobs" to support themselves. There's actually been a lot of discussion about why no one is willing to talk about rates/prices on a few pro-oriented photo hosting websites lately. Some of the reasons cited include:

  • Fear of being looked down upon by other photographers and clients for having the lowest prices in a particular market segment.
  • Fear of of being scorned by other photographers and clients for having prices higher than everyone else in the same market segment.
  • Not wanting their customers to discover that most photographers have pricing tiers for different clients based not only on usage but on their perceived ability and willingness to pay higher prices.
  • Not wanting to let their competitors know their exact rates so they can consistently underbid them by a narrow margin.
  • Wanting everyone to think they are a lot more successful than they really are. Sometimes the perception that you're more expensive leads to the perception that you must be "better."
  • Wishing to let the few times they got premium rates from a client and weren't afraid to disclose that will lead to the false perception that they nearly always get those rates so they can lead the vast majority of their clients to believe they are getting a substantial discount when they are paying the photographer's standard rates.

You can find a few resources that are very good at helping you calculate what it costs a photographer to produce a work. But none of them tell you how much an image may be worth to a particular client, because that answer will be different for every image and every client. And none of them really even go so far as to tell you what the going rate for specific types of work is in specific markets.

This question has no single correct answer beyond the generic "Whatever both the seller and the buyer can live with."

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    Does not seem very insightful to me, cannot upvote. $1000000 in what nominals? What if USD are not a legal way of payment on country of TS? Apr 27 '16 at 18:37
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    This answers the question "why don't photographers publicize their pricing policies", but doesn't address this question in any way.
    – MikeW
    Apr 28 '16 at 0:19
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    It also answers the question, "Why can't I find any definitive information about what price i should charge."
    – Michael C
    Apr 28 '16 at 1:23
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    @MikeW This question has no single correct answer beyond the generic "Whatever both the seller and the buyer can live with."
    – Michael C
    Apr 28 '16 at 5:35
  • You know what bother me though? When I suggested 16-400mm F1,2L objective in comments to very uninsightful question about what objective to choose, the comment got deleted, while your answer wasn't. Apr 28 '16 at 10:52

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