Pricing for 20 photos?
July 28, 2010 10:12 AM   Subscribe

My university (that I just graduated from) wants to purchase something like 20 of my photos to use for a new brochure they're making and also for the website. I have a good relationship with them and don't want to be a jerk overcharging them, and while I've sold photos to publications before at a fairly standard price of $150 for a limited use quater-page print, I think doing that for 20 photos might be much, especially since a lot of these are just photos I took during school and I haven't gone through the usual process of getting model releases for any of my fellow students. Anyway, just wondering if anyone has sold photos in "bulk" like this before and what might be a good price to charge.
posted by lou to Media & Arts (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Your university probably has more money than any magazine or publication with whom you've worked in the past, and they can do a lot worse than to throw a few bucks at a recent grad emerging into the worst job market in nearly a century.

But talk to someone from the school - and get them to name a price. You can then say "well, my standard rate for [these publications] has been $150/photo, but because you're ordering in bulk, blah blah blah, i'll give you a 33% discount and go for $100 per."
posted by Jon_Evil at 10:37 AM on July 28, 2010

Don't undersell yourself. That's the biggest thing hurting young entrepreneurs right now, especially photographers. If they're quality photos, then they're worth at least $150 to you. Tell them $150/photo and let them make the next move, if that's what they're worth to you.
posted by Geckwoistmeinauto at 10:39 AM on July 28, 2010

It also makes a difference if it's small school/department/division or a large university public relations or student recruitment department. I'd definitely go easier if it's a small department with a tight budget or you might just scare them away.
posted by yeahyeahyeahwhoo at 10:50 AM on July 28, 2010

You say, "what is your budget for this project?"

If they tell you, then you can figure if it's worth the money or not.

If they won't tell you, you quote a large number you would be comfortable with not getting if they don't want to buy your photos.

If they give you any flack about hoping for a deal from an alumnus or doing you a favour, just mention that one of the most valuable things you learned as a student of their institution was to not undervalue your own skills.
posted by seanmpuckett at 10:56 AM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

Make your deficiency - the lack of releases - into part of the selling proposition. "I've been getting $150, but because I'm an alum and you'll have to track down releases, I'd be ok with $100 or so." IMHO, you should be on the up-and-up with them about not having the releases; I don't buy a lot from freelance photographers, but I wouldn't be really unhappy if I'd paid or were close to finalizing, only to discover they hadn't taken care of that part...
posted by OneMonkeysUncle at 11:10 AM on July 28, 2010

Tell them that your standard fee is $150 per photo. And then wait. They will either accept your offer or tell you they can't afford it. Then you can offer to renegotiate for a "bulk" deal. But if you offer a reduced price upfront, I guarantee they will take it, even if they could afford to pay the full price.

Once you agree to a price, draw up a contract and have them sign it. You'll also want to make sure that you are credited for the photos, either as a credit line attached to each image or a single credit somewhere in the brochure or on the site.

I'm wondering about the model releases, though. I would assume there's a blanket permissions statement for students (e.g., automatic consent to your image being used in promotional materials)? I might look into this, just to be safe.
posted by lucysparrow at 11:34 AM on July 28, 2010

ask for your usual price, but with a note saying, "this is what I usually charge, but if that is outside your budget, let me know, I can be flexible". I usually do this when freelancing for a new client to suss out what they are used to paying for work. It's very infrequent that they will ask me to change my price, but they do appreciate that I am willing to accomodate them.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 11:34 AM on July 28, 2010 [2 favorites]

Your usual rate sounds extremely reasonable.
posted by Magnakai at 12:22 PM on July 28, 2010

I shoot a lot of work for the higher education market. Twenty publication quality images for $3000 (presumably USD) is substantially cheaper than it would cost the institution for assigned photography.

This of course is based on the presumption that there are not any release issues.
posted by imjustsaying at 3:34 PM on July 28, 2010

Sorry if this is too late. Make sure you're not signing an exclusive license with the school--you might want to sell these same photos again to another client. Most licenses spell out length of term (1 year, 5, 10, perpetuity), media (internet, print, etc.) and territory (North America, world wide, etc..)
posted by Ideefixe at 8:51 PM on August 1, 2010

« Older Getting from Bala, Ontario to Pearson...   |   What be a pirate's favourite novel? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.