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12-04-2017, 10:26 AM   #1
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Questions in case I Ever Sell an Image

Occasionally the possibility arises where I could sell an image. So far most such possibilities have ended when the potential purchaser realizes that they really do have to pay for it, LOL. However as I improve I might actually end up selling something so I want to be prepared. I have a few questions in case that happens.
  1. If you sell an image do you remove the watermark (signature)?
  2. Can anyone point me to a standard form or contract that can be downloaded?
  3. I know that the price has probably been discussed before and I can likely find a video on it somewhere but I thought I would throw this in. I realize that if I photographed something that is totally unique and hasn't been done before (image of Big Foot, Aliens, etc) the price could be quite high but for just a well thought out image of a cityscape or landscape what would you charge?
  4. If you provide a digital copy of the image, do you strip the meta data? What do you leave in?

12-04-2017, 11:08 AM - 1 Like   #2
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1, 3, and 4 are negotiable and really depends on who you are selling it to and for what purpose and will have to be defined in the sales contract.

Are you selling them the image 100% and completely for them to do whatever they wish with it unlimited times? Or Are you selling them an image for limited use? How many copies can they make of it? Can they use it for commercial purposes? Do you want to reserve the right to sell it again? To use it in your portfolio?

For weddings, they get a drive with full-res edited photos, however many prints we agreed on, and usually a book and express permission to make as many prints for themselves and family but no permission to use them for commercial purposes. I also agree to not use their images for any commercial work without an additional release but I can use them for my portfolio and my own promotional work.

I've sold a few prints too. I don't watermark but they are signed on the back. I again write in the sales contract what specifically they can use the print for and whether or not they can make copies (usually no).

For selling a cityscape or landscape print, I usually charge 3x-4x the cost of printing. Selling a file is a bit more nebulous but it would depend on how much they get to use it and how much I get to keep it and so on.
12-04-2017, 01:39 PM - 1 Like   #3
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Glen you most likely need to do more research than can be provided on this forum.
1) Depends. Is it being sold as a digital file for use in advertising or as a fine art print? Signature on the print of course. Watermark on the digital image would be a no.
2) Contract for what exactly? Sale of the image? For prints not necessary I would think. For digital sale just google image sales contract and you will find dozens. But unless you already understand what rights you are selling it might be best to consult with a local attorney. You should research types of licensing and what rights and length of use can be sold.
3) Depends. Anywhere from .38 cents on microstock agencies to a few $100 if it was really, really unique. Image prices have been in free fall for years. Something that sold for $1,000 years ago is available for free from a cellphone user.
4) I leave the metadata, but others might feel better with it stripped. I want my copyright and name etc included.
12-04-2017, 01:56 PM   #4
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Thank you skierd and jatrax, that was exactly what I needed to know.

12-04-2017, 03:19 PM   #5
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I have only sold prints. Unframed prints at that. I do watermark but it is very subtle and small and not distracting. I do so because if people display the picture and someone looks very closely they will see it and know who to ask about. I also sign them on the back typically.
12-04-2017, 04:09 PM - 1 Like   #6

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Check your house insurance if your camera equipment is insured under this. Some home insurance plans consider that if you sell only one photograph then you are using your equipment for commercial uses and then camera equipment insurance coverage may not be valid.
12-04-2017, 04:12 PM - 1 Like   #7
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For digital or print file sales, if for a sporting event, i tend to have the organisation's / event's logo on the photo. For others, no watermark. I have been asked to sign the odd print and I always ask if they'd prefer on the front or back. Strangely, (to me, LOL) a few have asked that I sign the front, in which case I do so discretely and small in one corner.

I don't strip metadata because I have copyright noted in the EXIF data, so prefer that to go with the image.

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