covid-19: see advice in the Freelance

Photography / Production charges / exes

Photographers should always remember to check that new clients agree to pay expenses, before setting out. Some expect the price to be all-in, or believe travel is free, or something.

The suggested rates

* Read me first!  Photography / Production charges / exes: advice

* See also: notes on negotiating rates for this work

* See also: reported rates, to compare: Photography / Production charges / exes

* Know a better rate? Tell us!

* Find a freelance

Please note that the suggested rates below are minima; that rates for copyright works are for limited licences; and that VAT is not included.

RATES: Digital production charges

See production charges / expenses - advice for explanation of these digital production charges.

Rushed processing: add 100.00%
High resolution colour corrected file (whether from digital original or scanned from film) GBP 16.50
Bulk processing images: per hour GBP 110.00
Bulk processing images minimum charge: per hour GBP 66.00
Wiring selected but uncorrected ex-camera files GBP 55.00
Digital transmission GBP 22.00
Contact sheet (in print or on the web) GBP 22.00
Writing to CD/DVD GBP 11.00


  • London labs charge at least £100 an hour for work on digital photographs. £60 really is as low as anyone should go for digital processing.
RATES: Film production charges
Rushed processing: add 100.00%
Colour transparency film processed and mounted GBP 27.50
Black & White film process and contact sheet GBP 22.00
Colour film process and contact sheet GBP 24.00
Black & white hand print (10"x8") first off neg. GBP 11.00
Black & white hand print: subsequent prints GBP 9.90
Colour hand print (10"x8") first off neg GBP 22.00
Colour hand print: subsequent prints GBP 11.00
Colour machine print (10"x8") GBP 13.75
RATES: Lost originals
Lost original GBP 550.00
Unrepeatable image GBP 1100.00
Lost film GBP 5500.00


  • The figures given above for lost originals are those frequently agreed out of court with clients.
  • If a claim went to court, the photographer would have to prove actual and predictable losses - for example the anticipated value of six further licences for one picture.
RATES: Travel expenses etc
Car mileages - reduced HMRC allowance GBP 0.45
Find a freelance

Browse a selection of NUJ freelances with relevant skills through the Freelance Directory:

More advice and links...
* Uploaded 01/02/2323: if you have a printout, check the current version at
* 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.