What's a fair/typical fee for licensing a photograph?

Discussion in 'Business of Photography' started by stevemarcus, Apr 12, 2006.

  1. I did a forum search and couldn't find an answer to my question, so
    please forgive me if the topic has been discussed before. Yesterday I
    was contacted by a small Hong Kong-based postcard company regarding
    the possible purchase of "full licenses" for a few of my photos. While
    I regularly sell photographic prints, I have never been asked about
    licensing a photo before. Could some of you experienced folks let me
    know what a reasonable asking price/fee is for licensing a photograph?

    Thanks in advance for all responses.

  2. Doesn't sound to me like they are asking to license your photos at all, but want to buy all rights to them forever. Do another search and read about what constitutes reasonable licensing before you worry to much about price.
  3. Thanks for your response, Dave. Unfortunately, I'm not getting useful hits on this topic by searching this forum, so I'd be grateful for any thoughts you and other experienced folks might have.
  4. Hey Steve, I can't help you with the pricing, but like Dave above, I would carefully find out
    what they mean by "full licenses." You probably understand this, but for others reading
    this question in the archives its worth pointing out that a postcard company only needs
    specific rights in order to sell a postcard with your image. The way I approach these
    situations is to make sure the potential buyer understands that I sell specific rights and
    would be happy to sell them all the specific rights, but that they would be paying for many
    rights they will never need. For instance, "full license" includes the right to reproduce for
    national television broadcast in the USA--an expensive license which they will be paying
    for as part of the "full license" but will probably never use. I treat these kind of requests
    the way a restaurant owner might if a customer didn't want to take the time to decide what
    to order so asked for one of everything. A response that would go something like: "sure I'll
    sell you one of everything--that will make me a lot of money--but you sure could save
    some money by deciding what you want before you order."

    Buyers often resist limited rights not because they are cheap (although there are plenty of
    those too), but because they are afraid that it will be logistically difficult to arrange for
    further rights should their product line expand. It's your job to give them confidence that
    you will still be around and will deal with them in a fair and professional manner in the
    future. It can be a tough sell. Good luck.
  5. Your very informed response is immensely helpful!

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