Previously I was using kind of a “third party administrator” for sales of stock image licensing to most of my images. The monthly fee just simply wasn’t worth it. Hence I’ve returned to directly managing all of my stock image estimates and sales, and like the page on my web site that describes my commercial photography services, I don’t provide a standard rate. That’s too restricting, especially for the photographer. Each project and client situation is unique given the intended usage, distribution, print run, medium, etc., therefor estimates are provided only after I’ve had an opportunity to speak with the potential customer and ask him or her a series of questions.
My new page regarding stock image licensing includes several of what I call ‘stock strips’ – samples grouped according to my most popular stock subjects, including Dayton skyline and cityscapes, wildlife, avian, Ohio landscapes and holiday images. These are also designed to be printed as 4″x8″ direct mail or leave-behind prints.
Also, I’m discovering that more and more publishers and agencies are fishing the waters over on flickr. Nine out 10 times they will contact the photographer of an image they are interested in using without mention of their stock fees or offer of compensation. They simply throw-out the usual “we’ll give you a credit listing” in attempt to take advantage of a photographer’s desire for “the big break.”
I strongly encourage photographer’s everywhere, whether amateur or professional, to stick to their guns when it comes to being paid for usage versus a simple credit listing, or less. Even in the case of most so-called “non-profits.” If the organization has a payroll and they pay for utilities, advertising, etc., then they can – and should – pay for image licensing. A photographer’s time, skill and knowledge go into the crafting of each image.