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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

What do YOU charge a TV Station to use your STILLS?
Joe Brown, Photographer
Woburn | MA | USA | Posted: 10:48 PM on 09.07.03
->> Hi All -

As a freelancer, as y'all know, you have to be a salesman. So today, when I saw one of the local TV stations doing a followup story on a police escape and carjacking, I approached the reporter and told him I had some exclusive photos of the original suspects being arrested. I peddled them to some other news outlets and truthfully got a couple of "no thanks".

Well he called his editor, and I got the usual and expected "can we just say "courtesy of.." your newspaper and I said - no deal - I am a freelancer - I am looking for some scratch.

Well, half an hour later the cell rings, and it is the station, they agreed to my terms nd how soon can they get the photos?

So, I know what I got nd I am happy, I sent them 3 photos and they used two.

What would you charge?

TIA

Joe Brown
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Caleb Simpson, Photographer
Denton | Texas | USA | Posted: 11:13 PM on 09.07.03
->> Well sense it's not commercial use and I got lucky being in the right place at the right time. I would try to milk them for about $300
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Ed Wolfstein, Photographer, Assistant
Burlington | VT | USA | Posted: 1:24 AM on 09.08.03
->> You might want to consider a per use fee. If those images are being used again and again, several times a week, perhaps later in the year as well, because the story is hot and getting a lot of attention, I'd want to get something for that. If it's a one time event, then I'd license the image for one time use. I guess it'd be similar to any print publication: you can sell all rights, some rights, limited rights, etc....

Of course, that's water under the bridge for you now, but food for thought.
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Jeff Stanton, Photographer
Tucson | AZ | USA | Posted: 1:51 AM on 09.08.03
->> Be reasonable. They may do business with you again. If they feel you're trying to screw them, you may market yourself out of another opportunity. $150 for both and the one time rights to display, IMHO.
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David Albers, Student/Intern, Photographer
Saint Louis | MO | United States | Posted: 2:13 AM on 09.08.03
->> Isnt it a little late to negotiate money? I am no freelancer, but if you have already "sent them 3 and they used two" doesnt that put the ball in their court? What where the terms? Did they include handing you their wallet and letting you decide?

This is a learning moment here. All jokes aside, I am really curious how you could name your price after they already have the product.
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Michael L. Palmieri, Photographer
Barnegat | NJ | USA | Posted: 6:23 AM on 09.08.03
->> FWIW, When ESPN used a bunch of my stuff for one of their episodes of Sports Century, it was $125 per image.
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Joe Brown, Photographer
Woburn | MA | USA | Posted: 8:05 AM on 09.08.03
->> David - This isn't about what I got. I negotiated with them BEFORE they got their photos via email.

So, I know , and am happy with what I got.

The question is what would YOU charge? How would you handle the situation?

Would YOU have accepted the original proposal (which was "Can we just say "Photos Courtesy of blah blah newspaper??" - to which I said, NO, I am a freelancer and need some scratch!)

You are correct, this is a learning moment for all of us.

As an aside, I am also wondering how common is it for STILL folks to peddle STILLS to TELEVISION?

In answer to Jeff Stanton - You are pretty close to what I accepted, reasonable, and puts me in a position to get more deals with them in the future.

Joe b
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Rick Rickman, Photographer
Laguna Niguel | CA | USA | Posted: 9:23 AM on 09.08.03
->> Joe:

There are several pricing guides that will assist you in establishing these kinds of rates. My personal preference is Fotoquote. It is produced by Craddoc and you can find it on the web. It's a software tool that loads onto your computer and can always be there at your fingertips.

I suggest you get it and put it to use. For the money it would have produced for you on this one job you could have paid for the software.

In Fotoquote, it helps you learn how to negotiate price and it has all kinds of helpful hints as to how to make a final evaluation on pricing.

You undersold your images by about 50% of the going market value according to Fotoquote as well as Jim Pickerell's pricing quide.

I'm always amazed by how ready people on this forum are to give advice but have no/or little pertinent information to back up their opinions. Making suggestions and giving advice is always a tricky business because price is relative. Giving advice and making suggestions with no factual basis to support your opinion is just plain stupid! It's also the reason so many photographers can't make ends meet.

Joe, It sounds to me from your description of the pictures and the situation that you may have had a somewhat unique set of images from this stroy line. Fotoquote has a pricing range that starts at $300.00 - $600.00 per image for one time "local" television uses. If that is indeed the case and you had a set of images that were unique, you probably could have gotten closer to the upper end of the price scale. It basically boils down to how good a negotiator you are.

Do yourself a huge favor. Get Fotoquote! Use It! Learn It! and start to practice the art of freelancing in a responsible way. Stop Guessing About Pricing!

Use the tools that are available to you and you will be surprised how much more money you will make.


I'm glad that you're happy with the end result. That's always an "important" part of any sale negotiation. However, there's always room to be happier if you're well informed.

Rick Rickman
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David Albers, Student/Intern, Photographer
Saint Louis | MO | United States | Posted: 11:32 AM on 09.08.03
->> Got it. Thanks Joe.
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Jan Langsner, Photographer
Lloyd | AB | Canada | Posted: 1:58 PM on 09.08.03
->> To expand a little on Mr. Rickman's comment, there is a good article in the June 2003 issue of News Photographer, NPPA's magazine, by Mark Loundry on this very subject. Its on page 14. The headline is "It wont pay off later to charge less now".

It's a good read and makes a lot of sense.
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David Madison, Photographer
Portola Valley | CA | USA | Posted: 3:07 PM on 09.08.03
->> In addition to the two items mentioned by Rick Rickman above, another excellent price guide software package is Photo Price Guide 2 from www.hindsightltd.com.
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Zack Uribe, Photographer
Santa Clara | CA | USA | Posted: 5:18 PM on 09.08.03
->> Ok Joe,
You are asking for other members of Sportsshooter to tell you their price, but you have not told any of us what you got...
So, "What did YOU charge a TV Station to use your stills?"

I have never sold stills to a TV station, or I would gladly tell what I got.
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Ed Wolfstein, Photographer, Assistant
Burlington | VT | USA | Posted: 7:27 PM on 09.08.03
->> I was hoping Rick would pipe in, and of course, you can hang your hat on his words. Fotoquote is part of a neat little package now called FotoBiz. In addition to pricing guides, it also provides invoicing, boilerplate letters, model releases, to do/goal lists, stock and assignment contract information and even a database for captioning images. Although I don't use it for my invoicing, important clauses can be cut & pasted into your own documents. The main reason I got it was for Fotoquote, but as you delve into parts of FotoBiz, there's a lot of other good business info inside. It runs as a Filemaker runtime app, and is easy to setup and use. Also nice is that it provides a range, instead of a hard and fast fee, so you can judge for yourself where your talents lie within that range. Here's their website: http://www.fotobiz.net

Check it out.

- Ed.
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Ed Mulholland, Photographer
Pompton Lakes | NJ | USA | Posted: 7:40 PM on 09.08.03
->> HBO paid me $200 for a shot, single use for one telecast, and web use leading up to the fight.

Ed
www.boxing-pics.com
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Ed J. Szalajeski, Photographer, Photo Editor
Yarmouth | ME | USA | Posted: 10:32 PM on 09.08.03
->> Rick:

Where do softwares such as Fotoquote and such get these price guidelines?

Are there services out there that track the going ad rate for magazines and TV?

Ed
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Joe Brown, Photographer
Woburn | MA | USA | Posted: 11:43 PM on 09.08.03
->> Thank you all for your opinions on this question.

The photos in question were sold to my local newspaper, which used 4 of them, emailed to one of the major Boston dailies, which did not use them, and mailed to the local Fox affiliate here in Boston.

My total take for these will be about $250.00 of which about $150 will be from tv.

Again, thanks all.

joe brown
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Thread Title: What do YOU charge a TV Station to use your STILLS?
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