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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 21 Aug 2014 (Thursday) 21:45
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Another request for insect photos, no pay offered

 
OhLook
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Aug 21, 2014 21:45 |  #1

For the second time, an academic contacted me at BugGuide, wanting to use some of my photos posted there. This professor is writing a regional field guide to insects, to be published by a local chapter (near him, not near me) of a well-known nonprofit with a conservationist mission. He's supplying many of the photos himself and asking photographers to donate images for what's missing. He says that because the organization is nonprofit, the book is being produced on a shoestring and the organization "cannot pay photographers." I'd get a credit line.

To my mind, "cannot pay photographers" translates to "Someone decided not to include anything for photos in the budget." For a field guide, yet! Presumably the organization will pay for printing and binding, just not for illustrations. I suppose the prof will get something for his writing, although he didn't say.

When this happened before, I ended up agreeing to allow use of images in exchange for a donation to BugGuide, which was not offered originally, and a copy of the book, which was. That book was clearly a commercial project; it was to be produced by a trade publisher. Two things are different this time. (1) Although this book is also a commercial project (it'll be sold), the publisher is a conservationist nonprofit, and all profits will go toward its activities. So there's a "good cause" factor. I could consider my work a donation to the cause. (2) The images wanted are better. Some of them are good enough that someone someday might be willing to pay for them. I'm attaching the best one as a sample.

The prof says I'd retain the copyrights. It may not be that simple. If the product were text instead of images, allowing publication in his book would mean using up the first world print rights. Does it work the same way with photos? That is, would licensing some photos for this use reduce their value in the future?


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Aug 21, 2014 23:46 |  #2

The first person I'd talk to is Carolyn E Wright.
http://www.photoattorn​ey.com/ (external link)


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SuffolkGal
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Aug 22, 2014 05:17 |  #3
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Maybe the project doesn't pay for pens and paper and electricity and office space and computers and ....

Photography is expensive to do, you have bills to pay.




  
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Aug 22, 2014 06:05 |  #4

OhLook wrote in post #17110522 (external link)
If the product were text instead of images, allowing publication in his book would mean using up the first world print rights. Does it work the same way with photos? That is, would licensing some photos for this use reduce their value in the future?

Yes. You can't exclusively license the image for publication elsewhere (exclusive being more valuable than non-exclusive) once they have been licensed for publication in this book.


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FerozeK
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Aug 22, 2014 06:13 |  #5

In your country are charitable donations a tax write off? Ask the them to issue you with a certificate for the value of the photo and submit it with your tax returns. A tax deduction in my mind is as good as getting paid!




  
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vengence
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Aug 22, 2014 09:13 |  #6

Dan Marchant wrote in post #17110952 (external link)
Yes. You can't exclusively license the image for publication elsewhere (exclusive being more valuable than non-exclusive) once they have been licensed for publication in this book.

This.

Now, that being said, if you've only ever had 2 requests total for all your images, I wouldn't be concerned with devaluing the image. I may have gotten the wrong idea, but that's how I read your OP. The question is if you believe your photo is worth more than a photocredit in a book OR if you believe in his non-profit enough to donate the value to him. This is really a personal question.




  
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OhLook
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Aug 22, 2014 10:45 |  #7

PhotosGuy wrote in post #17110659 (external link)
The first person I'd talk to is Carolyn E Wright.
http://www.photoattorn​ey.com/ (external link)

Thanks for responding, but I wouldn't want to pay for legal advice unless my potential losses were much larger than they might be in this situation.

SuffolkGal wrote in post #17110898 (external link)
Photography is expensive to do, you have bills to pay.

Professional photography is expensive to do. Taking these photos cost me some time and effort but no money to speak of.

Dan Marchant wrote in post #17110952 (external link)
Yes. You can't exclusively license the image for publication elsewhere (exclusive being more valuable than non-exclusive) once they have been licensed for publication in this book.

That's most of what I wanted to know, thanks. Does a first nonexclusive license lower the value of any future nonexclusive licenses as well?

FerozeK wrote in post #17110955 (external link)
In your country are charitable donations a tax write off?

They are. However, you can't take them unless you have a large total of deductible expenses in the same year. Most years, we don't qualify.

vengence wrote in post #17111211 (external link)
. . . if you've only ever had 2 requests total for all your images, I wouldn't be concerned with devaluing the image.

I wasn't clear enough. This is the second request for use in a book. Images have been requested and used in other media. Sawflies and weevils are quite the niche market, and I haven't solicited any offers.

The question is if you believe your photo is worth more than a photocredit in a book OR if you believe in his non-profit enough to donate the value to him. This is really a personal question.

Yes, indeed, that's why it's hard.

I believe any photo that's good enough to use in a book is worth more than a credit. I would like to convey that idea to people who generate books without insulting them.


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Aug 22, 2014 10:50 |  #8

OhLook wrote in post #17111373 (external link)
I believe any photo that's good enough to use in a book is worth more than a credit. I would like to convey that idea to people who generate books without insulting them.

Well, you could just tell him that.


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vengence
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Aug 22, 2014 13:38 |  #9

OhLook wrote in post #17111373 (external link)
I wasn't clear enough. This is the second request for use in a book. Images have been requested and used in other media. Sawflies and weevils are quite the niche market, and I haven't solicited any offers.

Sorry I misunderstood. If you're repeatedly getting published and requests, regardless of the end use, I wouldn't make a habit of giving things away.

I believe any photo that's good enough to use in a book is worth more than a credit. I would like to convey that idea to people who generate books without insulting them.

I think that's exactly what you need to tell them. There's a market rate for photos, and they should pay it like anyone else.




  
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OhLook
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Aug 22, 2014 14:24 |  #10

me wrote in post #17111373 (external link)
I wasn't clear enough. This is the second request for use in a book.

I wasn't accurate enough, either. This is the third request for use in a book. I forgot about one of the books.

Besides those and the entomological databases, there are unauthorized uses. Photobucket used to display a weekly report of downloads of one's images. (If they still do, I haven't found it in their current format.) My ladybugs were turning up in places like Facebook that I don't use. After that, I removed all my image tags.

Alveric wrote in post #17111382 (external link)
Well, you could just tell him that.

vengence wrote in post #17111729 (external link)
I think that's exactly what you need to tell them. There's a market rate for photos, and they should pay it like anyone else.

Well, yeah. Unfortunately, my experience so far suggests that the market rate is zero. That's what everyone else pays.

Why not ask the market rates? One reason: those rates are based on professional-quality photos. Bug photos don't have to be as good technically as other kinds of photos that might be published. What's important is often only that the specimen be identifiable. You should see some of the images on websites of agricultural extension offices. Small and blurry.

It's hard to know how selfishly or unselfishly to act. People engage in amateur science because they enjoy the activity and they like contributing to real science.

It's also hard to be tactful. I can't politely say "You know, people who provide content for a commercial work usually get something for it."


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Aug 22, 2014 14:26 |  #11

OhLook wrote in post #17111373 (external link)
"I believe any photo that's good enough to use in a book is worth more than a credit." I would like to convey that idea to people who generate books without insulting them.

I also think this is the perfect answer to their request. It isn't insulting and states that you find value in your work and believe you should be compensated for it.


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Aug 22, 2014 14:49 |  #12

http://pixelcents.com/​pixel-cents/ (external link)

I punched in the values of 4272 pixels (the longest edge from a file from an EOS 450D) at a rate of 2 cents. The resulting value of $85.44 is nothing compared to most expenses. Heck, I spend about as much every time I go to buy groceries. I used the maximum pixel size as I'm thinking of hi-res files for offset/digital book printing. The files could be even smaller.

Maybe people like this professor have seen licencing rates in the hundreds/thousands and they think, 'oh no! I just couldn't afford to pay ~$500 per photo. This project has like 1000 photos!' Well, I couldn't afford that much either. But non-exclusive licence prices under $100, well, they'd be more manageable, methinks.


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Why 'The Histogram' Sux (external link)

  
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Aug 22, 2014 15:04 |  #13

Alveric wrote in post #17111927 (external link)
http://pixelcents.com/​pixel-cents/ (external link)

I punched in the values of 4272 pixels (the longest edge from a file from an EOS 450D) at a rate of 2 cents. The resulting value of $85.44 is nothing compared to most expenses. Heck, I spend about as much every time I go to buy groceries. I used the maximum pixel size as I'm thinking of hi-res files for offset/digital book printing. The files could be even smaller.

Maybe people like this professor have seen licencing rates in the hundreds/thousands and they think, 'oh no! I just couldn't afford to pay ~$500 per photo. This project has like 1000 photos!' Well, I couldn't afford that much either. But non-exclusive licence prices under $100, well, they'd be more manageable, methinks.

Especially if they only need a few of them to fill in the holes where the author doesn't have his own images.


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Aug 22, 2014 15:31 |  #14

"cannot pay photographers" translates to "Someone decided not to include anything for photos in the budget."

This ^

The day they don't pay for pens and paper and electricity and office space and computers and accounting services and legal services and printing services and gasoline and ......... is the day you can provide your "something of value" for free.

Really tired of no respect.




  
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Dan ­ Marchant
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Aug 22, 2014 21:00 |  #15

FerozeK wrote in post #17110955 (external link)
In your country are charitable donations a tax write off? Ask the them to issue you with a certificate for the value of the photo and submit it with your tax returns. A tax deduction in my mind is as good as getting paid!

Sorry but in most locations tax deductions don't work like that. You can't claim for the perceived value of the object you donate (or your hourly rate for the time spent making it). You can only claim for the actual costs incurred (the cost of printing/framing a photo).


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