Justifying Per Image Usage Fees

Started Jan 3, 2008 | Discussions thread
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Harley Molesworth Junior Member • Posts: 28
Justifying Per Image Usage Fees

Hi Everyone,

I am very sure this will raise the blood pressure of quite a number of people here, but I think it is certainly a valid subject, regardless of which side of the fence you are on it... if only because I would like more ammo to justify it, if nothing else.

Obviously, because I get paid for photography, I support in principle anything that causes me to earn more money, and I myself charge usage fees to clients who are expecting and happy to pay them. However, I had a conversation today which did make me question the morality of usage fee's somewhat.

Most businesses which provide a product or service mark a price for that service/product somewhere on the demand/supply curve, and they have to hope and adjust that price to maximise profit.

If for example you are a telephone company you have no right or reason to charge a 100k a year lawer more money for his calls than a charity. Everyone pays a flat rate, and some people will use those calls for personal enjoyment, some will earn massive amounts of money from those calls.

And if I wanted to hire my cameras out, and earnt money from my kit from doing that, I would not expect to pay more for the camera when I myself buy it.

So what gives me the right to charge both for time AND for licensing?

I like many people am not sad that 'the days of the day rate are dead' because it means we can basically name our price as close as possible to the maximum they are prepared to pay, but do you put more effort, creativity and skill into a photography for a website than you do for the front cover of a book with a large print run? I know I don't... it takes more time to produce better results of course, but that is the job...

Because of the time, the hire, the props, the extra staff etc, a front cover shot for vogue is going to command a much higher fee than an engagement portrait - and obviously fees between photographers vary.

But if someone were to ask me exactly WHY I feel I should be paid more for a front cover with a print run of a 100k than I would be for the same picture on the front cover of a print run of 5k - I would be pretty pushed to come up with an honest answer...



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