covid-19: see advice in the Freelance.

Advice - Photography / Digital pricing

For both photographer and client, digital technology can produce results that are better - but not cheaper. The main advantage at every stage in digital workflow, from taking the pictures through processing, transmission, picture research and page make up to archiving and retrieval, is speed and efficiency.

But however much tecnhology you put in the hands of a non-photograher, it is foolish to expect them to produce consistently professional photographs.

Clients tend not to see the high investment and running costs necessary for digital production. Photographers face investment in cameras which are seem to be ever more expensive but have shorter working lives, computer equipment and software capable of working to the highest colour management standards but requiring equally rapid replacement, the time involved in producing colour-corrected press-ready digital files.

These costs have to be met with digital pricing.

These costs are listed under Production Charges and Expenses.

Avoid the practice that some picture desks promote, of handing over the entire contents of a camera card for the commission fee - commonly referred to in justly unflattering terms as a "Dump and Run". This is a false saving for them, as they wade through the inevitable dud frames.

More advice and links...
* pic4press guidelines from Periodical Publishers' Association
* Rates for the Job good, bad and ugly
* Join the NUJ to get individual advice & representation

Text © Mike Holderness & previous contributors; Moral rights asserted. The collection (database right) © National Union of Journalists. Comments to please. You may find the glossary helpful.

The National Union of Journalists must not, can not and would not wish to dictate rates or terms of engagement to members or to editors. The information presented here is for guidance and as an aid to equitable negotiation only.

Suggestions apply to contracts governed by UK law only. In any event, nothing here should be construed as legal advice.