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Licensing A&D Photos to major company for 1st time

  
 
johnanonsmith
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Licensing A&D Photos to major company for 1st time


I am in need of some guidance.

I have been fortunate to have a major construction materials company based in the US and Canada want to license my images.
Of course I am inclined to sell them licensing, but I've never worked with a major international company before and I want to make sure everything they are telling me is above board, or at the very least, acceptable practice.
They have offered to buy 15 images total, of 3 separate projects and I sent them my normal deal I make with smaller local companies. They replied with information that I'm not sure I agree with.
First of all they wanted me to use this language on an invoice as an example:

“Release – The photographer hereby provides to the client copyright release of all images purchased from this photoshoot.”

Furthermore I sent them these stipulations and they responded below:

1) This licensing agreement only pertains to COMPANY and the images may not be sold or transferred to another party

response: " Unfortunately we can’t ever commit to this kind of request because we are a manufacturer and we sell to our dealers and therefore our dealers do their marketing with access to all images we used in our internal library."

2) The images must not be altered in any way, other than re-cropping for editorial purposes

response: "I just want it to be clear that we might want to crop an image to showcase our product (pavers or slabs) or do a little more retouching on our products or work on the coloring to match for example : sky and greenery to be consistent with the rest of our images in the catalog…"

3) Credit must be given to "@meoninstagram" if used on Instagram and to "myrealname" in all other places where appropriate.

response: "We never put credit on any our images or images we use."

They compensation amount seems fairly low for 15 images:
They told me they have paid this structure before:

5 images for $170

10 images for $270

Bundle (all images) for $500



Aug 18, 2023 at 03:08 PM
justashooter
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Licensing A&D Photos to major company for 1st time


They don't want to just license them, they want to own the copyright. That means you don't anymore! That means your 1) 2) and 3) don't exist. They own the copyright. And the compensation is very low for buying the copyright to the images.


Aug 18, 2023 at 05:26 PM
tcphoto
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Licensing A&D Photos to major company for 1st time


Pass, the fee is too low to compensate for the usage. They want to use the images however they chose and allow their customers to do the same. You should add a zero to the end of that rate to cover the usage.


Aug 18, 2023 at 08:48 PM
tschopp
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Licensing A&D Photos to major company for 1st time


So they want a pro to shoot photos of their products instead of an employee with an iPhone or a company owned DSLR. They need the freedom to do what they want with the photos because this is a business and they don’t want any potential liability that dwarfs the price of the photo shoot. And no specific tracking requirements for these specific photos as that would exceed the cost of the photos in their labor. Plus they can’t setup a special internal process just for these photos. They want to hire you for your skills, but this needs to make business sense. There can’t be down the road legal liability that significantly exceeds the cost of the photo shoot. Also their legal team that reviews all contracts won’t allow them to enter a contract that creates this type of liability. In the mean time they have already spent more in internal labor than the value of this photo shoot reviewing and proposing edits to your contract.

From your perspective these photos of construction vehicles are fine art that you must be given artistic recognition for. Your art is perfect as is so they can’t edit the color of the grass or get all the equipment to have their precise branded color scheme because that could reflect poorly on your capabilities in these credited photos. You expect significant residual sales of these photos in fine art galleries so the idea of them owning the photos is ridiculous. Someone mentioned adding another 0 to the price. So that indicates you believe the sale to this company only represents 10% of the revenue you expect to make from these photos.

The company reviews your counter offer, rejects it and asks the engineer to shoot the photos with his iPhone. Instead of getting a corporate account with a blanket purchase agreement. where they can easily call you up and you can fit some easy work into your schedule. with simple invoicing to a customer that will mail a check without need for follow-up. You get nothing and the PM who tried to hire you skips pro photographers in the future due to difficultly establishing useful business relationships.



Aug 25, 2023 at 07:02 AM
AmbientMike
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Licensing A&D Photos to major company for 1st time


johnanonsmith wrote:
I am in need of some guidance.

I have been fortunate to have a major construction materials company based in the US and Canada want to license my images.
Of course I am inclined to sell them licensing, but I've never worked with a major international company before and I want to make sure everything they are telling me is above board, or at the very least, acceptable practice.
They have offered to buy 15 images total, of 3 separate projects and I sent them my normal deal I make with smaller local companies. They replied with information that I'm not sure
...Show more

That's not enough imo, probably even if you kept the rights. Maybe pro photography has declined to that point these days but sounds ludicrously low. No they can't have copyright

You have to think of how much they are going to make using your images. Any printed materials have a cost, so do online materials. You get paid to make this look good, to help sell a lot more than $500 measly dollars.

Try getting your a/c fixed this time of year and see the cost. You compete against your own work since it's not yours anymore if you sell the copyright. Less readonly to call you



Aug 25, 2023 at 03:18 PM
tcphoto
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Licensing A&D Photos to major company for 1st time


A large company doing business in the US and Canada has a budget to license images, especially if they've already seen them. I would also have quoted a higher rate but I've learned over my thirty year career what value quality images add to a clients business.


Aug 25, 2023 at 04:13 PM
jlafferty
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Licensing A&D Photos to major company for 1st time


How much money are these photos making you collecting dust on some SSD? $500 is a lot more than that, but much less than copyright transfer is worth. I’d ditch the attribution and modification clauses, but insist that you keep copyright. I’d also bill $250-350/image per two years, and let them know if they want the images indefinitely or if they want the copyright it’s 3x the original asking price to do so.


Aug 26, 2023 at 06:49 AM
 


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jwpstl
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Licensing A&D Photos to major company for 1st time


The offer isn't even close to their value. Note how they plan to provide the images to their dealers to use in additional marketing. Do you know how many dealers they have? Who knows how many times your images could be used. That does explain why they want the copyrights; they know additional uses require additional monies and they don't want to come back to you every time someone plans to use an image. As stated above, forget getting a credit; these are for commercial use so you shouldn't expect a credit. I typically don't advise selling copyrights, instead allow for "unlimited" usage to cover their scenarios but the price would be significantly higher than that offer. $27 per image to do whatever they please for a long as they want? No way. Up to you but my license would be closer to what jlafferty suggested above.


Aug 26, 2023 at 12:04 PM
wordfool
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Licensing A&D Photos to major company for 1st time


Sounds more like they drafted a work for hire agreement (ie. the company pays the photographer to document something specific and then owns all rights to the resulting photos). If that's what they want then they need to pay much more than they're offering.

I'd just counter with a more basic licensing agreement, because that's more in the ballpark of the money they're offering. However, IMO it's also worth taking into account this company's business model to consider how they're going to use the images and what is reasonable. Letting dealers use them to sell their products is not unreasonable to me, neither is limited retouching to match they product/marketing material requirements. And you can't expect a company using images in marketing materials to give you attribution -- when was the last time you saw a photographer credited in a marketing brochure?

You also need to consider the size of the company, the reach of its products, and its financial resources. In this case it sounds like a big company with plenty of financial resources, in which case if they're not willing to either accept a more usual licensing agreement and/or pay more money I'd just walk away.

Personally I'd be willing to accept terms like that for a bit more money, but without copyright release (licensing only, potentially with a time limit), and with a requirement that they send you copies of any marketing materials in which your photos are used so you can potentially use them to market yourself. If they're not willing to understand that any payment undervaluing your images has to include some other benefit to add value for you then definitely just walk away... and ensure you or someone keeps a close eye on their marketing over the next year to make sure they don't simply steal your photos!

Personally I bristle at any company that adopts the "we're offering you exposure" argument for underpaying (or not paying) for photos, but in this case they're not even offering you exposure!



Aug 28, 2023 at 10:17 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Licensing A&D Photos to major company for 1st time


wordfool wrote:
Sounds more like they drafted a work for hire agreement


+1


For some who aren't familiar with "work for hire", it flies in the face of owning your work, as the creator of it.

In a very crude way, it is the difference between being a creator (i.e. created, finished works) and a service provider, as a camera operator.

It's not necessarily "wrong", but it is a different business model from what we often get advocated regarding our copyrights ownership licensing model, etc. And, the first time it comes up, it often doesn't sit well. Also, the payment for such is typically low, so there's that.

Think of it as being a "ghost writer", but with pics, instead of words. The writer did the work, but they don't get to put their name on it, nor have final say.

You did the (can almost be considered, draft) work, but the one hiring you retains editing and usage authority.


I'd be clear about determining if this is "work for hire" (or not), so there's no confusion / misunderstanding of the expectations of usage / editing / etc.

HTH




Mar 07, 2024 at 07:54 AM
PAFL-rev
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Licensing A&D Photos to major company for 1st time


So the impasse seems that there won't be a happy medium
* with licensing verbiage
* on price
* credit

OP being unhappy with just future marketing/resume material

It would probably be different if OP was a major marketing firm or named photographer.
One would think a major international company would have its own marketing division/someone with a company camera taking product shots




Mar 09, 2024 at 03:28 PM
TT1000
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Licensing A&D Photos to major company for 1st time


wordfool wrote:
Sounds more like they drafted a work for hire agreement (ie. the company pays the photographer to document something specific and then owns all rights to the resulting photos). If that's what they want then they need to pay much more than they're offering. ..


No it doesn’t. And the “release” lingo is unclear. Maybe attempt to assign copyright. It’s terrible drafting.



Mar 10, 2024 at 07:00 PM
johnvanr
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Licensing A&D Photos to major company for 1st time


Seems a low price for what they want. To compare, why don’t you sign up as a photo buyer with Alamy or Getty and pick similar images to get a quote what they would charge for exclusive use or full copyright transfer.

Another thing to keep in mind is copyright to what is depicted. I don’t know what those pictures show, but they’re going to be used for commercial purposes. If there are copyrighted subjects in the picture, do you have a release?



Mar 10, 2024 at 07:08 PM







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