Question #21: About Digital Downloads For Purchase

Q: "I've been asked for some of my photos to be purchased via digital download for use in crafts fabrication and to be sold. I'm not sure how to price accordingly as the reason for the purchase is to make money off of them. Your thoughts are much appreciated. Thanks." Vin

A: "Hi Vin, I'm a bit confused regarding the use of your images. It sounds to me like your images would be sold for commercial use, not private use. I am also unclear what you mean by 'crafts fabrication'. No matter what, there is no 'one answer fits all' when it comes to pricing photography. There are many factors that will influence the price you can charge, such as your geographical location, the current state of the economy, the specific type of photography, just to name a few. 

Also, one single image will be worth a different amount depending on its usage: print and/or online, size, high res, low res, size of the audience, etc.

In order to determine a licensing fee (keep in mind that you do NOT release the copyrights), you need to know what your image is going to be used for: Editorial, commercial, retail, advertising, etc. If it's single or multiple use, the amount of time, etc. The more the image is going to be used, the higher the licensing fee is going to be. 

You also need to consider your creative fee, as in your cost of running a business. Also, what production expenses did you incur to create the images? This would include anything from equipment rental to processing/retouching fees, hiring an assistant, gas mileage, etc.

If possible, find out what your client's budget is first. When it comes to negotiating your fee, stay flexible but remain confident!  If you have something unique that your client needs and cannot easily find through a micro stock agency, then they will expect it to come with a significant price tag. Don't undersell yourself. It would be detrimental to you and the industry. Remain flexible by offering a discount for a certain quantity of licensed images for example. Make sure that your contract and invoice state that the licensing agreement will only take effect once the invoice is paid in full.

For all information regarding licensing images I highly recommend that you visit the American Society of Media Photographers. You can also find a software to help you determine pricing, fotoQuote is one of them. I hope this helps shed some light on the subject. Good luck!"


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