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Exciting Job, Low Budget

When offered an exciting job for a low budget, you can always offer your time and usage licensing for a discounted rate while having the client handle all production. If you feel you can create high-quality images, these jobs require clear terms of what you are and NOT including. 

Sample Negotiation:

Client: How much would it be to shoot this?

You: I don’t have enough information to give you an accurate price. What is your budget?

Client: We have $2000. 

You: For a $3500 discounted rate, I would do this for one month of social media for four final images within an 8 hour shoot day, and that does not include any production expenses only my time. 

Licensing Term

Include the number of final images into your licensing term as a safeguard setting the tone that your usage fee increases if they add more images. 

Client Work Posted Without Permission


I’ve had a lot of my client work posted in articles like Hypebeast, WWD, and Complex without my permission or crediting my name. How much do people charge for usage like that? How do I deal with charging if clients keep getting my work up on big-name articles like this without consent?


I am surprised these sites would not require your permission to show your images. They are taking quite the risk themselves in doing that. Depending on your relationship with your client and these sites, you could go after payment including a penalty fee. The normal chare for these is probably in the $200-$500 range. I am not in this type of business so I am not exactly sure about the prices but that is my guess. You could go after both of them threatening legal action and demanding more but that may damage your relationship. Perhaps talk to the client first to get this settled fairly. 

Usage Rate For A Client’s Social Media Content


I’m being asked for the usage rate for a client’s social media content – organic vs. paid. How are we scaling the value difference between the two for usage fees?


Social media usage for organic (or owned) on their social media needs to be much higher than “paid” ads usage based on the significant increase of viewers. Rates depend on many elements like the number of images, amount of posts or usability duration, and the type of images. Paid social media should run at least triple the price of organic. 

Paying For Usage Rights


A client hiring me for a shoot was confused about paying for usage rights. Is there any foolproof way to educate clients about image licensing and why photographers should be paid what they deserve?


Explaining licensing usage rights to clients means you are dealing with clients who are not used to paying much for their photography. Know what you are getting into, and keep close supervision once paid duration ends. APhotoEditor has an easy-to-understand explanation we can use to help educate these types of clients-



When asked to bid on a job for Vegas attractions, I was told they want a BUYOUT for billboards, taxis, video walls, and ads for Vegas, but this entire campaign is unexpected and isn’t even in their budget. How in the world do I price something like this when they say something like that?


When I hear this from a potential client, I hear, “We are looking to get a good deal with the lowest bidder.” This is a sales tactic that gives you a sense of what they are looking for. If you have any “down & dirty” ideas that will get them more bang for their buck with less of a production, this is that type of photoshoot. My warning in this situation is to have your estimate terms clearly state what IS and what IS NOT included in your bid. No surprises!

Instagram Influencer Photoshoot


On a local Instagram Influencer photoshoot, I allowed the local hotel to use the image on their Instagram feed only and made it clear that any other use would incur usage fees. I recently found another property under the same corporate chain using the image and tagged the Influencer. Was my consent to have the local hotel use it on their social media my mistake since they are a smaller hotel owned by a larger global hotel chain?


Influencer social media posts lead to unclear third-party usage that we should be getting paid for. I’ve temp-repped these situations by explaining to the negligent part how licensing needs to be granted by the photographer and not the Influencer. The challenge for us is we have Influencers giving away our usage rights as they often believe they own the images. Originally our terms need to be clearly stated on a signed estimate and explained, so all parties are clear. After that, we can go after them to get paid, which is often a process of educating everyone involved. One company I’ve heard to help photographers get paid for their images used without permission is

Images For Broadcast


I always put the terms “excluding outdoor and broadcast” on my estimates and invoices. Now a client wants to use the images for Broadcast. Do you have a rough idea of what Broadcast usage would be? What does Getty quote for it?


The only reason to fill the usage terms of what is excluded would be to educate a client who may not know much about licensing rights or as a teaser to encourage them to use it for OOH or Broadcast. Legally, they can only use it for what you are granting them. Getty may have something you can look at on their site, but I don’t use it. All fees are random as there is no set amount for Broadcast or others. I’ve seen fees go across the board, so I hate to rely on one set of numbers. Broadcast is large, so you can double or triple what they paid in usage for the other usage. I find negotiating tactics are the real answer to these questions because it depends on the client’s budget.

Testing With Brands on Social Media


I photographed some products at home (self assigned). I tagged the brand, they saw my work via DM. A few months later they came out with a campaign that is almost identical to what I shot. This has happened to me 3 times with 3 different companies, so I don’t think I’ll be shooting sample things and posting them on Instagram, maybe on my portfolio but that’s it…not sure. What are your thoughts on this?


It is hard to prove when a company uses your copyrighted images for their concepts, but that is one way to approach this. Before posting the images, make sure you register your copyright if you foresee going down the legal path.

My REP thought is this guidepost of encouragement showing you are right on the money with your direction instead of using this as a reason to lower viewings of your images. You have something hot happening here that may need a slight fine-tuning to strengthen the unique magic you offer. 

Don’t Waste Time Doing Estimates With Information We Don’t Have

We can’t be spending our time doing estimates on information we don’t have. 

I’m hearing a ton of complaints from photographers wasting useless time on estimates that don’t turn out to be the real deal. I hear you! With no bid spec sheets, I get many of these requests that won’t reveal the budget upfront, so I focus on the points that help me see if this client is even ready for an estimate. Our goal is to quickly open up the communication doors, giving us a clearer sense of what we are dealing with.

My quick first step estimating questionnaire:

  • What is the Usage?
  • What is the specific Shotlist?
  • Do you have a creative deck with the layouts + mood-boards?
  • What are the talent rates?
  • Do you have stylists you like to use?
  • When is the creative call?