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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 30 Oct 2012 (Tuesday) 12:45
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Venue wants to use my photo in their ad.

 
jt354
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Mar 29, 2013 09:21 |  #31

Not sure why everyone's harping on about relationships here...the venue basically wanted to use his photos for free. Not very much reciprocity going on there...


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CosmoKid
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Mar 29, 2013 11:28 |  #32

jt354 wrote in post #15768653 (external link)
Not sure why everyone's harping on about relationships here...the venue basically wanted to use his photos for free. Not very much reciprocity going on there...


This had the potential to be a relationship that fell into the business partner category.

A situation like this is one of the rare times I would have negotiated a barter. There is value in bartering. This wasn't a venue pushing "you'll get great exposure". There was an opportunity to build a relationship and become a preferred vendor.

I rarely ever let people use photos for free, but this really wasn't free. There was money to be made in the future.


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nathancarter
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Mar 29, 2013 14:37 |  #33

jt354 wrote in post #15768653 (external link)
Not sure why everyone's harping on about relationships here...the venue basically wanted to use his photos for free. Not very much reciprocity going on there...


In many cases, we say "don't be the guy that gives away his photos, or you'll get the reputation as being the guy that works for free" ... but I don't think that's the case here.

Giving them a license to use the photos for free, in exchange for being put on the list as their preferred event photographer, and/or recommended to others in the industry. That seems like a pretty good deal to me.

Of course, it's always possible that there was never any intended reciprocity on the venue's part. Still, I would have taken that gamble. This isn't some cheapskate "client" off Craigslist who would only recommend you to her other cheapskate friends; this is a business venue.


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Fernando
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Mar 29, 2013 14:40 |  #34

CosmoKid wrote in post #15769076 (external link)
This had the potential to be a relationship that fell into the business partner category.

A situation like this is one of the rare times I would have negotiated a barter. There is value in bartering. This wasn't a venue pushing "you'll get great exposure". There was an opportunity to build a relationship and become a preferred vendor.

I rarely ever let people use photos for free, but this really wasn't free. There was money to be made in the future.

Exactly. This was a venue with enough legs to have events booked out a couple years in advance. I don't think some people understand the potential here. If you have the type of rep where people make you their first reservation you wield the power. For summer weddings my mom was always booked a minimum of a year in advance. Occasionally two and on a couple occasions 3 years out. They didn't have a venue, a photographer, or even a caterer, but they had the cake nailed down. Who do you think they asked for referrals?

The only problem there (for her) was if her prices went up, and they did every season, she was locked into the lower price in her contract. On the upside was the 50% non-refundable retainer.


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Mar 29, 2013 16:54 |  #35

If your wedding came out great. I would make them an album that they could show potential clients and let them use your images for advertisement. Providing you received recognition as the artist. Just my opinion.


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banquetbear
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Mar 29, 2013 17:45 |  #36

jt354 wrote in post #15768653 (external link)
Not sure why everyone's harping on about relationships here...the venue basically wanted to use his photos for free. Not very much reciprocity going on there...

...from the OP:

Today they're asking for permission to use 2 images in an advert they're placing in a wedding mag. with a fairly large circulation, and they seem to be offering naught much more than to hand out my business cards at their venue.

I suspect they were offering more than that but you can never really tell over the internet. He turned this offer down and counter-offered with a price: the venue turned that down.

This is business. Christopher Steven b made a valid business decision. Where I take issue with his line of thinking was when he said this:

I think I've learned what I already knew: many businesses are uneducated about the value of commercial photography OR they think they can use images for next to nothing.

While sometimes this is true its not the kind of thinking that a business should let dictate decisions. Worry less about "educating businesses" and worry more about your own bottom line. From the venue's point of view they were offering something of value. The OP didn't see value in what they were offering: just like how some businesses don't see the value in paying for images. He is entitled to do that: all we are doing is pointing out there was potentially a missed opportunity here. A one time discounted commercial image sale is nothing compared to prefered supplier status at a venue in my humble opinion. When it comes to making business decisions you need to leave your ego at the door.


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tonyniev
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Mar 29, 2013 17:55 |  #37

My normal response when someone wants to use my image is
"How are you using the image and how much is your budget."
Then I either agree with a price and formalize the quote or give a qoute with a price range per use. Explaining we license per use.


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Christopher ­ Steven ­ b
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Apr 01, 2013 14:14 |  #38

I should first say that I've learned a lot reading this thread, including what seems to be one of the main 'objections' to my approach: that I placed emphasis on making a commercial sale RIGHT NOW and didn't emphasize, in my response to the circumstances, the possibility of benefiting from a relationship with the vendor IN THE LONG RUN.

Just to be clear, I did in fact place a value on their offer to make me a 'preferred vendor' (they in fact listed me as a preferred vendor before asking for photos; then de-listed me before they came back asking for the photos a second time--I assume in order to use it as a bargaining chip). I told them that I valued this and that because of it I would offer them one of the images (one that has sold for use in a couple of publications) to use ONE TIME in a magazine ad they were placing--at no cost. I also offered them substantial discounts from what my normal fees were for the additional photos they wanted. That just wasn't enough for them.

I think it also bears mentioning that I really am not good at playing the 'lets be business friends' game. Maybe this is because thus far I haven't had to rely on others in order to have some success doing what I do. It's absolutely true that were I to play that game a little harder, I'd be far more successful. But that's perhaps for another thread.

I should also mention that in terms of my marketing for getting work at this venue, a quick google search for the venue + [wedding] will find my site showing up just below the venue in the SERPS. That is, anyone looking at possibly using the venue will see my photos. This isn't to say that getting 'recommended' by a venue isn't really valuable (but how would you monitor that that was actually happening..); but just that it's not like I'm currently invisible to their customers.

banquetbear wrote in post #15770339 (external link)
...from the OP:

I suspect they were offering more than that but you can never really tell over the internet. He turned this offer down and counter-offered with a price: the venue turned that down.

This is business. Christopher Steven b made a valid business decision. Where I take issue with his line of thinking was when he said this:

While sometimes this is true its not the kind of thinking that a business should let dictate decisions. Worry less about "educating businesses" and worry more about your own bottom line. From the venue's point of view they were offering something of value. The OP didn't see value in what they were offering: just like how some businesses don't see the value in paying for images. He is entitled to do that: all we are doing is pointing out there was potentially a missed opportunity here. A one time discounted commercial image sale is nothing compared to prefered supplier status at a venue in my humble opinion. When it comes to making business decisions you need to leave your ego at the door.



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Christopher ­ Steven ­ b
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Apr 01, 2013 14:17 |  #39

It's true that I don't know how this client would have responded to that approach (asking for their budget)--but it seems they just wanted images with no or little money changing hands.

tonyniev wrote in post #15770359 (external link)
My normal response when someone wants to use my image is
"How are you using the image and how much is your budget."
Then I either agree with a price and formalize the quote or give a qoute with a price range per use. Explaining we license per use.



christopher steven b. - Ottawa Wedding Photographer

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Christopher ­ Steven ­ b
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Apr 01, 2013 14:21 |  #40

Clients [for that venue] already see my images (see my prior comment about how I have used SEO to do that). But I still think this is a brilliant idea and is only a minor investment with a possibly significant payoff.

The question is: why didn't I see offering their commercial use of the images (on web ads, mag ads, brochures, etc.) in the same way ?

scorpio_e wrote in post #15770192 (external link)
If your wedding came out great. I would make them an album that they could show potential clients and let them use your images for advertisement. Providing you received recognition as the artist. Just my opinion.



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Christopher ­ Steven ­ b
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Apr 01, 2013 14:25 |  #41

But here's part of my problem [about assessing the value of long-term investments in e.g. a vendor or venue]: If they're already booked two years in advance, then which weddings are they recommending me for ? ones in three years ? I don't even know I'm going to be in this city in three years. I don't even know if I'll still be their preferred vendor in three years.

I agree that I need to be better at assessing long term benefits rather than being focused only on short term ones (e.g. selling a few photos for a few bucks). But it's sometimes difficult to do as I've suggested above.

Fernando wrote in post #15769735 (external link)
Exactly. This was a venue with enough legs to have events booked out a couple years in advance. I don't think some people understand the potential here. If you have the type of rep where people make you their first reservation you wield the power. For summer weddings my mom was always booked a minimum of a year in advance. Occasionally two and on a couple occasions 3 years out. They didn't have a venue, a photographer, or even a caterer, but they had the cake nailed down. Who do you think they asked for referrals?

The only problem there (for her) was if her prices went up, and they did every season, she was locked into the lower price in her contract. On the upside was the 50% non-refundable retainer.



christopher steven b. - Ottawa Wedding Photographer

www.christopherstevenb​.com (external link)| Blog (external link)

  
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banquetbear
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Apr 01, 2013 15:25 |  #42

Christopher Steven b wrote in post #15779324 (external link)
I should first say that I've learned a lot reading this thread, including what seems to be one of the main 'objections' to my approach: that I placed emphasis on making a commercial sale RIGHT NOW and didn't emphasize, in my response to the circumstances, the possibility of benefiting from a relationship with the vendor IN THE LONG RUN.

Just to be clear, I did in fact place a value on their offer to make me a 'preferred vendor' (they in fact listed me as a preferred vendor before asking for photos; then de-listed me before they came back asking for the photos a second time--I assume in order to use it as a bargaining chip). I told them that I valued this and that because of it I would offer them one of the images (one that has sold for use in a couple of publications) to use ONE TIME in a magazine ad they were placing--at no cost. I also offered them substantial discounts from what my normal fees were for the additional photos they wanted. That just wasn't enough for them.

I think it also bears mentioning that I really am not good at playing the 'lets be business friends' game. Maybe this is because thus far I haven't had to rely on others in order to have some success doing what I do. It's absolutely true that were I to play that game a little harder, I'd be far more successful. But that's perhaps for another thread.

I should also mention that in terms of my marketing for getting work at this venue, a quick google search for the venue + [wedding] will find my site showing up just below the venue in the SERPS. That is, anyone looking at possibly using the venue will see my photos. This isn't to say that getting 'recommended' by a venue isn't really valuable (but how would you monitor that that was actually happening..); but just that it's not like I'm currently invisible to their customers.

...hold on a second: they actually made you a prefered vendor, then delisted you? And you didn't think that mentioning that here might have been relevant? They were relationship-building with you. They gave you something of great value because they liked your images, but more likely because they liked and trusted you. And in return you gave them a lecture on commercial pricing and a bill.

As I said: as a business you are free to do as you like. But the Yacht Club "played the game" as it is commonly played. They don't need to be "educated." The monetary value of prefered vendor status IMHO is equal to the cost of the images you would have supplied them. I'm running two adverts at the moment: one is costing me $840.00 per year and the other one cost about the same amount but I got it for free through barter. Which do you think was a better deal as a photographer?

But here's part of my problem [about assessing the value of long-term investments in e.g. a vendor or venue]: If they're already booked two years in advance, then which weddings are they recommending me for ? ones in three years ? I don't even know I'm going to be in this city in three years. I don't even know if I'll still be their preferred vendor in three years.

I agree that I need to be better at assessing long term benefits rather than being focused only on short term ones (e.g. selling a few photos for a few bucks). But it's sometimes difficult to do as I've suggested above.

So what does your business plan say? Have you written one? According to their website they are accepting bookings for 2014. The venue isn't responsible for your lack of long-term business planning.

You should sit down and figure all this out. Prepare a business plan, figure out your marketing and crunch the numbers. If you honestly don't know where you will be next year then let the plan reflect that. Then next time this situation comes up you can be upfront to the venue and let them know prefered supplier status would not be helpful to your business.

Its all about knowing where you want to take your business. There are no "right or wrong" answers. All I'm saying is that the venue isn't trying to rip you off and that they do see value in using your images. They gave you something of value (prefered vendor status) but you saw so little value in that you didn't mention it in this thread until now.


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Dan ­ Marchant
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Apr 01, 2013 23:48 |  #43

Christopher Steven b wrote in post #15779378 (external link)
But here's part of my problem [about assessing the value of long-term investments in e.g. a vendor or venue]: If they're already booked two years in advance, then which weddings are they recommending me for ? ones in three years ? I don't even know I'm going to be in this city in three years. I don't even know if I'll still be their preferred vendor in three years.

On that basis you should sell your kit and close your business because you might get run over by a bus next month.

Unless you have actually decided that you won't be around in 2 years you need to plan and work on the basis that you will. If you have work booked and decide to move you can always cancel, or make arrangements to travel to do the job or hire someone local to do it for you. If you didn't book because you didn't know what you were doing then you don't have any work. Plus, of course, there is such a thing as cancellations. A B&G who already booked the venue may drop out and someone else may grab their slot at short notice (and need a tog). Or possibly a tog who was booked to do one of the weddings may cancel and an existing booking is then left looking for a tog.


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