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Uploaded 2008-05-05 00:00:00; for current version see http://www.londonfreelance.org/feesguide/print.php?§ion=Photography

There are two main ways photographers charge for their work - either on commission, or through reproduction fees. In either case, as "authors" under the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988, and therefore owners of the copyright in their photographs, they are in fact issuing licenses to reproduce them. For convenience, however, the suggested rates are listed in the traditional categories of commission and repro fees.

There is a lot of advice to give and we have divided it into the following sections:

Photography contents:

Negotiating rates and rights

Negotiating rates and rights is the key to making practical use of the figures in this guide. They are sufficient for pricing single use of photographs, whether commissioned or stock, but increasingly clients need to clear a wider range of rights for both the immediate future and the longer term.

Three important points need bearing in mind.

  1. Successful negotiation is not possible unless both photographers and their clients clearly understand what is actually being bought and sold. This is neither time nor the photographs themselves. As the authors of their work, photographers own the copyright in it, and issue licences to clients to reproduce them as mutually agreed. See Copyright.
  2. The terms of these licences are best put in writing for the benefit of both sides. This is the best way of clarifying exactly what rights are sold on accepting a commission or supplying stock. This may seem obvious, but it becomes vital if there is any dispute or misunderstanding. Standard photographers' terms and conditions are set out on the Delivery Notes available from the NUJ. See Contracts + paperwork
  3. Photographers (and their clients) have to recognise that there is a base rate below which they will lose money if they accept the work. The day rates specified in this guide are intended to both cover costs and provide for a professional income. This is both the minimum commission rate and the starting point for negotiating extended licences. See Day/base rates

Most rates quoted in this guide are minima. Higher rates could and should be negotiated for specialist expertise and knowledge, and also for exclusivity.

Most rates quoted are for one use only (repro fees) or immediate use (commissioned photographs).

Increasingly, clients require more extensive licences. For instance, reproduction simultaneously on the web as well as in print, photographs shot for editorial use also required for PR distribution, repeat use of commissioned work.

In such cases it makes sense for both photographers and their clients to come to an agreed figure at the time of commissioning, or buying in stock material.

A good example of the kind of win/win deal that can result is the Business Week contract (see the link below). Under this, photographers grant important but limited rights in addition to immediate use, in return for a mark up of approximately 100% of the fee they would expect for single use.

A good example of the kind of lose/lose endgame resulting from a client seeking considerable extra rights without adequate compensation is the Scotsman case (see the link below). The company succeeded in imposing its terms but only at the cost of losing many of its best photographers, and around £100,000 by way of compensation and costs in an out of court settlement for unlawful use of copyright material.

Photographers should always start from an initial fee for a very specific limited licence and insist on payment for every additional right sought, for instance electronic in addition to print editions. They should then be prepared to flexible when granting a range of extra rights - for an appreciable mark-up. In the case of the Business Week contract, photographers grant the rights to publish on the web, in foreign editions and joint ventures, and most of the proceeds from reprints - the commercial reuse for advertising purposes of editorial in the magazine. The 100% mark up in return pushed the minimum space rate (quarter page) up from US$225 to no less than US$450.

While being flexible, photographers should also apply a clear limit to the rights licensed. In the case just quoted, photographers retain syndication rights, as well as the right to payment for subsequent re-use. In many cases it makes sense to apply a time limit - for example unlimited use in specified media and territories, but only for a period of one year, after which the license can be renegotiated.

Striking the right deal depends on experience, but also on a clear understanding of the market, or rather the various different markets in which editorial and PR photography is required.

Only connect...

The best way for photographers to get a wider range of opinions, which is beyond the scope of this guide, is by joining in the various discussion forums available. See the link to Networks, below.

§ See: Suggested schedule of cancellation fees for shifts

§ See: The Scotsman case from the Freelance <http://www.londonfreelance.org/fl/0506scot.html>

§ See: Networks email lists for photographers

§ See: Negotiating fees general advice:

Search fees

When a client wants pictures dug out of the depths of a photo library, for example, the photographer needs to charge for the time spent finding them.

How much to charge is a matter of negotiation, rather than set rates. This must of course be discussed and established between the photographer and picture desk before the work is undertaken. For reference, see Day/base rates for the minimum amounts photographers need to charge for their time.

Many photographers waive the charge unless the search requires significant work. The more photographers put up websites with thumbnails of their stock images, the more clients expect to be able to do the searching themselves.

Day/base rates

Photographers working on commission charge by time, typically by the day. However the photographer is the owner of the intellectual property in the work, and while the day rate charged includes an initial licence for reproducing the photographs, the commission fee in fact represents the figure below which a photographer is not prepared or cannot afford to work.

This figure varies according to individual circumstances but should start at around £400 per day before production charges and expenses.

It has to cover all overheads and capital investment before producing enough in a three or four day week to pay a salary high enough to cover holidays, periods of sickness, and a pension. Three full days is usually about as much as can be fitted in between preparation before the work, post production and delivery after, with time to spare for all the other aspects of running a business including marketing and accountancy. Allowing, after holidays, for a 48 week year, that leaves 144 days to produce the estimated turnover, which can be 2 to 2.5 times the required salary.

Each photographer has to work out this figure according to their requirements, their costs, and the number of days they can work in a year.

The NUJ provides a calculator for photographers to work out their own figures.

Static day rates now leave many photographers working below the level at which it possible to earn a professional income. The only long-term solution is to establish a higher day rate which over a period of time would provide a living. In the short term many photographers accept lower rates in the hope of surviving through subsequent reproduction fee sales. No photographer should work for less than £250 per day.

As mentioned above, the commission fee should include an initial limited licence for reproduction, to be negotiated between the photographer and the client, beyond which further reproduction fees are chargeable. Typically photographers working for editorial markets restrict reproduction to one issue of a newspaper or magazine, and further restrict the number of reproductions included, for instance six per day or three per half day.

Some may charge a premium for use on the cover. Some charge "day rates against space".

Day rates against space

Under this arrangement the day rate is a guarantee only, and licence fees are paid in full for first as well as subsequent usage. Historically, day rates were introduced as a guaranteed minimum for photographers who had traditionally been paid on commission by space rates alone, and who therefore risked being paid for no more than one small picture - or even nothing at all. "Day rates against space" are therefore not so much an innovation as a return to paying photographers in full for the licensed use of their pictures. For working example of such an arrangement see the Business Week deal (RTF file).

For further guidance on licensing see Negotiating rates and rights.

There is no such thing as a half day

Even the shortest jobs end up taking the best part of a day. The time quoted includes travel to and from, and processing/delivery after the job. No job should be invoiced at less than a day. However, in a buyers market, photographers often have to charge for shorter periods, of half a day or a number of hours The licence included in these fees is usually more limited. A half day should be charged at no less than 60% of a day.

§ See: Day rate calculator

§ See: Negotiating rates + rights

§ See: NUJ Guide to Charging for Digital Imaging <http://www.londonfreelance.org/photo/digital.html>

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 it is no more possible to produce consistently professional photographs with the office pocket compact than it is to produce a magazine with a desktop inkjet printer.

Clients tend to see only savings in film processing, not the high investment and running costs necessary for digital production. Photographers switching from film to digital technology face investment in cameras which are 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 continuing expense of high speed transmission & digital archiving, and then the time involved in producing colour corrected press ready digital files.

These costs have to be met with digital pricing. Photographers have quickly devised different ways of achieving this. Some charge a digital surcharge on top of their commission fee, some charge for film replacement based on the film & processing that would have been necessary to produce the same results, some charge for digital services, some develop a combination of these approaches. All have their merits, all have the same aim in mind.

This guide concentrates on the last of these three, because charging for actual digital services provided will stand the test of time, whereas when film has disappeared from daily use - and the time is not far off - surcharges on "film" commission fees and "film replacement" costs will cease to have any real meaning. Clients can only be expected to pay for what photographers are supplying.

These costs are listed under Production Charges and Expenses.

They are also discussed at much greater length in The NUJ Guide to Charging for Digital Imaging.

It is not possible to work to the highest digital standards without charging appropriately. Nor is it possible to justify these prices without working to the highest standards. The speed of technological change has created confusion not just about pricing, but also about exactly what digital standards can replace the certainty of a colour transparency on the light table.

A consensus is now emerging and has resulted in a number of attempts at practical guidelines. The following examples establish standards essential to those supplying and commissioning digital photography: first, in the UK: Pic 4 Press; and second, those from the US-based but increasingly international UPDIG Working Group - see the links below.

§ See: NUJ Guide to Charging for Digital Imaging

§ See: Production charges / expenses : rates

§ See: Universal Photographic Digital Imaging Guidelines <http://www.updig.org/guidelines/index.html>

§ See: pic4press guidelines from Periodical Publishers' Association <http://www.ppa.co.uk/resources/guides-and-standards/production/pic4press/>

Contracts and paperwork

Contracts are best in writing. Oral agreements are legally binding but can be difficult to enforce in court - it comes down to your word against theirs. And putting things in writing, by clarifying the expectations of both parties, can prevent conflict arising in the first place.

For as long as photographers can remember, most deals have been struck with a handshake, if that. Or no more than a phone call. This business depends largely on personal contact, which makes it difficult to conduct in a manner which is - well, more businesslike. And not always necessary. However the growing appreciation by all concerned of the true value of intellectual property means this world is vanishing fast.

Publishers are increasingly presenting contracts when commissioning photographers in order to get around the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 (see Copyright advice), which for the first time granted photographers ownership of the rights in their commissioned working. These "rights grabbing" contracts, if signed, give publishers the rights instead.

Photographers in their turn are using contracts to place clear limits on the rights they are actually selling, and are strongly advised to do so.

Even where intentions on both sides are honourable, as is usually the case, the use of contracts to specify rights sold is recommended because the CDPA 1988 is necessarily vague on this point. After stating clearly, and rightly, that photographers own copyright, it leaves the rest to negotiation. In the absence of a contract, therefore, the law is quite clear what has not been sold, but very unclear what has. It is presumed that the client has bought certain unspecified rights relating to their business. This just will not do, for either side. Clarity is essential. Rights should be negotiated (see Negotiating rates and rights) and then confirmed in writing.

Model contracts are available from a number of sources. The Commission/Confirmation of Sale form drawn up by the Creators' Copyright Coalition is available in pads of 50 from the Freelance office, listing a range of rights that might be licensed to a client for pictures or words. You can also download it from here. Photographers can also draw on these to devise their own.

There are many more points to consider. Here are two of particular importance:

Indemnity clauses

Publishers' contracts with rights-grabbing intellectual property clauses often contain equally one-sided indemnity clauses which many photographers never read. It is important that photographers do not indemnify clients against the consequences of their use of the photographers' pictures.

No transfer until paid

Second, photographers should insert a clause stipulating that no rights whatsoever are sold until their invoice is paid in full. This is to prevent third parties buying a bankrupt client's assets - including rights to a photographer's pictures - but not their obligations, such as paying the photographer for these rights.

Photographers often meet resistance when presenting their own terms and conditions. It is important to remember that there few other walk of life where the buyer tries to impose terms on the seller. This is another reason why photographers should clearly state their terms when accepting a commission.

The client may wish to renegotiate terms before the commission is undertaken, but photographers should not accept clients' attempts to renegotiate them afterwards, or simply to impose their own terms retrospectively.

There are three tricks in particular photographers should look out for.

  1. Purchase Orders - clients frequently use the small print on these to impose terms at variance with those stated by the photographer. Quoting the PO number on an invoice could be taken as acceptance of these altered terms unless the photographer specifically rejects them.
  2. Self-Billed invoices. Widely used in publishing, and often convenient to both parties, clients sometimes use the small print in exactly the same way as outlined above - in this case the clients grab additional rights by invoicing themselves for what they want to buy, at the price they want to pay. Photographers have to be careful that they sell no more than they intend.
  3. Cheque Signatures. Photographers still sometimes receive cheques which require a signature on the back before they can be cashed, referring to rights sold. This is not lawful. Almost invariably these cheques are demanding rights the photographer has not sold. Photographers can demand an alternative method of payment, or either replace or delete the offending words before signing. To make absolutely clear that no more rights have been sold than originally agreed it is safer to then inform the client in writing that payment has been accepted only for the rights originally sold.

While walking through this minefield bear in mind the crucial distinction between assigning copyright and licensing rights. The term "assignment" has a specific legal meaning in relation to copyright. It means the sale of the copyright itself, whereas licensing refers to the granting of rights by one who remains the copyright holder.

In much of the documentation referred to above photographers are claimed to have "assigned" their copyright to the client. In UK law copyright holders can only do this by signing it away in a written document. They are strongly advised never to do so.

Delivery of stock photos

Much of the above refers to commissioned work, but the warnings apply equally to the supply of stock photographs. It is just as important to define the terms and conditions which apply when supplying stock material. This may seem obvious, but it becomes vital if there is any dispute or misunderstanding. Standard photographers' terms and conditions are set out on the Delivery Notes available to NUJ members from the Freelance office.

§ See: Rights and why they are important general advice

§ See: Copyright advice for photographers

§ See: Suggested schedule of cancellation fees for shifts

§ See: Getting your money general advice

§ See: Late and problem payments general advice

§ See: Collect-o-matic checks the details needed - for NUJ members <http://www.londonfreelance.org/collect.html>

Copyright

As the author of a photograph - that is, the person who creates it - a freelance photographer is the first owner of the copyright in it. (Under UK law, in the case of employees, the first owner of the copyright in photographs made in the course of their employment is the employer.)

This applies equally to commissioned photographs and to those which are not. This was the major photographic reform enshrined in the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (see the link below for the text of the Act).

Under UK law, only the copyright owner can licence the copying of a photograph. That means reproducing the work in any material form, which includes storing the work in any medium by electronic means. Only the copyright owner can licence the issuing of a photograph to the public .

Photographers are frequently put under great pressure to surrender this hard-won right, but are strongly advised never to do so. There are no uses to which a client might wish to put a photograph which cannot be covered by the appropriate licence for an appropriate fee, and such licences should be agreed at the time of commissioning new work, or of seeking permission to reproduce existing photographs.

Even where the client actually needs exclusivity, either for commercial reasons or to protect individuals depicted, the photographer should retain the copyright itself, which can only be sold outright through an "assignment", which requires the photographer's agreement in writing.

Clients have in the past tried to circumvent this law by insisting on the photographer's signature on the back of cheques beneath a form of words that claims to assign copyright to the client before such cheques can be cashed. This has, however, no legal force, and though photographers are advised to delete the offending words before signing, failure to do so does not in fact assign copyright to the client.

Purchase order terms and conditions are often intended to transfer ownership of copyright to the client. Photographers should protect themselves by stating their terms before accepting commissioned work, and even though these cannot be rendered void by subsequent paperwork, photographers should protect themselves by rejecting in writing any such attempt to seek assignment of copyright.

Photocopying etc

Photographers are entitled to extra money from companies and organisations that photocopy their published work. To be sure of receiving this, and other payments for such "secondary uses", photographers need to register with DACS. This is free to NUJ members. See the links below. How these payments generally work is that libraries, press offices and others who do bulk copying pay a licence fee to the collecting society. This arranges a survey of a sample of licensees, to work out statistically how to distribute it. Efforts continue to deliver the share of this money due to newspapers' contributors. DACS also distributes money collected for secondary uses in other countries.

DACS collects and distributes certain payments due to photographers by default. Any photographers who want to opt out of this arrangement should contact the Freelance Office.

Fair dealing

UK law defines a strictly limited number of ways that photographs can be used used without the photographer's permission or payment to them, such as including them in exam questions. These uses are called "fair dealing" - the equivalent exceptions in US law are called"fair use". See the consolidated version of the Act (linked below) for details.

§ See: Show me the money from the Freelance <http://www.londonfreelance.org/fl/themoney.html>

§ See: DACS - Design and Artists Copyright Society <http://www.dacs.org.uk>

Moral rights

The important moral rights are the right to object if your work is distorted - to defend its "integrity" - and the right to an accurate credit. These are obviously important to protecting and spreading your reputation - and without your reputation you have no work.

The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (see link below) made moral rights explicit for the first time in UK law. The exact rights are:

In plain English, photographers have the rights to a credit, to prevent anyone else claiming authorship, and to protect the authenticity of their photographs. This last is particularly important now that computer technology makes digital manipulation so easy and so hard to detect.

But there are (of course) exceptions to the above.

Clients using laundry-list contracts often demand that photographers "waive" their moral rights, even where the law already rules them out for the uses that the photographer is licensing. Such pressure needs to be resisted. The point of it, in so far as there is one beyond grabbing everything the lawyer can think of and most things they can not, is to create the impression that waiving moral rights is normal business practice.

Of course in the case of photographs, publishing a picture that has been altered in any way beyond correcting colour balance, reasonable cropping and so forth is wrong - unless it is clearly labelled as manipulated and therefore an illustration, not reportage. See the NUJ Code of Conduct (linked below).

And another thing...

Photographers who do studio or wedding work as well as the kinds covered in this Guide need to know about the "fourth moral right". This forbids them publishing, broadcasting or exhibiting photos taken for "private domestic" clients (without the client's permission). It also appears to mean that it is illegal for newspapers to publish a "pick-up" photo - for example a studio photographer's family portrait - unless you have the explicit permission of the person who "commissioned" it as well as the holder of the copyright, and as well as permission to borrow the physical photo.

But remember, you own copyright

Some photographers are confused by our complaints about the exclusion of moral rights in work done for newspapers and magazines. Remember: you own copyright - the economic rights - in every picture you take as a freelance, until and unless you assign it to someone else.

§ See: Rights and why they are important general advice

§ See: Copyright etc Act 1988 as amended unofficial (900k PDF) <http://www.ipo.gov.uk/cdpact1988.pdf>

§ See: Copyright etc Act 1988 HTML from legislation.gov.uk <http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/48>

§ See: Some things you should know about copyright in 800 words <http://www.londonfreelance.org/c-basics.html>

§ See: NUJ Code of Conduct <http://www.nuj.org.uk/innerPagenuj.html?docid=174>

Tracking down pirates

Technology for finding photographs is likely to change quite fast. In the fairly near future it may be possible to send a photo to a special search engine that will find other photos that look like it. At the moment, though, your best bet is to search for text that would be likely to be wrapped round a particular photo.

This section is a draft and will, we hope, be expanded and revised soon.

Searching for actual images

There is at least one service that offers to search for your pictures themselves: www.picscout.com compares sample images you send to it with images it finds on the web. But it's early days for the technology, and prices start at US$14.95 per month. We eagerly await news of more such services.

Look for the text wrapped round the pic

So you're more likely searching for text - words that really ought to appear in a picture's caption or other accompanying text. You can use image search engines such as http://images.google.com or www.altavista.com/image/default or www.picsearch.com - all these are, in fact, searching the text in the web page that a picture appears on, but they present results as a "gallery" of picture thumbnails that's easy to scan visually.

But if you want to do a thorough search, do not restrict yourself to image search engines. A search for caption text on www.altavista.com can often turn up pages that the image searches missed. You should soon acquire the skill of scanning the 20-word extract from a page and its URL to see whether it's worth a quick flip over to look at it. (Like swimming, this skill is hard to describe in writing.)

You can also explore the "Search inside the book" facility that www.amazon.com provides.

Wherever you're searching, remember you want to be searching not for words that describe the image, but words that will appear in pages that may include the image.

Forget about the terms that you use in classifying your picture library: put yourself in the mind of someone writing a caption.

Try including specific details relevant to the picture. For example, if you are searching for your photo of Bjork (a moderately popular musician, m'lord) at Glastonbury 2007, don't just search for Bjork - try at first:

Bjork Glastonbury 2007

At the time of writing this produced 9920 results from http://images.google.com. So try adding more words about what's in the picture - for example what she was singing at the time:

Bjork Glastonbury 2007 "Venus as a boy"

Keep trying. It's probably easier to do lots of specific searches than to glaze over looking at thousands of pictures that aren't yours.

Then read the sections linked below, including the general tips on effective searching.

Tracking down video

As with photos, you're stuck with searching for words and phrases in the text wrapped around the video. You may find the site http://news.google.com useful - especially since it scans major news sites hourly or more often.

You may also find it useful to use the facility Google provides to scan a particular site, with searches such as these increasingly specific examples:

site:channel4.com
site:channel4.com/news
site:channel4.com/news glastonbury

The rule when you specify site: is that immediately after it you type part of the URL - up to and including the .com or .co.uk or .ac.uk or whatever - and then optionally add part of the stuff after the "slash" - for example /news and a space and more words. AltaVista Advanced Search offers a similar facility - enter this information under "Location / by URL" - and once again it returns more results.

§ See: Google image search <http://images.google.com>

§ See: Bing image search from Microsoft <http://www.bing.com/images>

§ See: Yahoo image search <http://images.search.yahoo.com/images>

§ See: TinEye superior image search (coverage growing) <http://www.tineye.com>

§ See: www.picsearch.com <http://www.picsearch.com/>

§ See: Effective searching for text look for the text around your pic

§ See: Once you have found a rip-off... keeping records

§ See: Getting remedies cash, please

§ See: Takedown demanding removal from the web

§ See: Locating website owners

Useful networks and links

Photographers have found that rapid communication among themselves has become essential - to warn of abuses, to pass on news, and to act collectively to solve problems.

Photographers’ networks

EPUK (Editorial Photographers UK & Ireland) is a discussion group for the business of editorial photography, open to all editorial photographers resident in, or working for organisations based in the UK and Ireland. Go to www.epuk.org to sign up

EP is the original discussion group for photographers based in the USA, or supplying photographs to American titles. Go to www.editorialphoto.com to sign up

nvjphoto is another discussion list for photographers and is entirely unconnected with the NUJ: www.nvjphoto.co.uk

F8 and be there was a wide-ranging discussions for press photographers but the owner got very, very fed up: see www.f8andbethere.com

Informational links

The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 - see the Copyright section of this Guide then the links from it to the Act.

The Rate for the Job - provides a quick check on current rates. This database is kept up to date by members adding new rates as they negotiate them on a day-to-day basis. It is an essential resource for NUJ members that provides access to up-to-date information about publishers and trends. Relevant sections can also be accessed form the Photography rates pages in this guide. Go to www.londonfreelance.org/rates

Other resources

The following are some other organisations working for photographers:

§ See: Association of Photographers <http://www.the-aop.org>

§ See: BAPLA Picture Libraries and Agencies - including individuals <http://www.bapla.org>

§ See: Stock Artists Alliance global organisation representing stock photographers <http://www.stockartistsalliance.org>

§ See: British Press Photographers' Association <http://www.thebppa.com/>

Magazines

These fees represent lower and higher bands, based on currently paid rates for different categories of client. They do not represent hard-and-fast rules about how much will be paid - as always negotiation is the key.

Fees paid by magazines published in major markets abroad tend to be higher than those paid by UK magazines. Charge at least 25% more than for equivalent UK publications, can be 35% more - or higher.

For in-house magazines not seen by the public, charge as for categories B or C. However, if an in-house magazines is seen by the general public, charge as for PR work.

Notes on negotiating rates for Magazines

These are some things to remember when negotiating rates for photographs for use in magazines. And please send us your accounts of successful negotiations.

The suggested rates: Magazines (Know a better rate? tell us!)

Rates paid by magazines vary immensely. The bands used below reflect currently paid rates for different categories of client; they are not hard or fast, but an aid to negotiation.

Note that these rates do not include production charges!

Commissions - Magazines - category: A: large-circulation and glossy mags

Few jobs really take up less than a day - see Day/base rates.

Day rate - bigger-budget or demanding clientsGBP800.00
Day rate - at leastGBP500.00
Half-day rateGBP300.00

Notes:

  • Commission rates suggested here are for editorial, 35mm-format or DSLR work only. Large-format work and studio work command higher fees.
  • Rates include a limited licence for immediate use in one publication, usually a print edition.
  • Add 50% for simultaneous web publication.
Commissions - Magazines - category: B: smaller consumer mags
Day rateGBP350.00
Half-day rateGBP200.00

Notes:

  • Commission rates suggested here are for editorial, 35mm-format or DSLR work only. Large-format work and studio work command higher fees.
  • Rates include a limited licence for immediate use in one publication, usually a print edition.
  • Add 50% for simultaneous web publication.
Commissions - Magazines - category: C-D: trade and cheap specialist mags
Day rateGBP300.00
Half-day rateGBP175.00
Stock pictures - Magazines - category: A: large-circulation and glossy mags
CoverGBP480.00
Double-page spreadGBP420.00
Full pageGBP295.00
1/2 pageGBP140.00
1/4 pageGBP95.00
1/8 pageGBP80.00

Notes:

  • Stock picture rates are for one use only in print.
  • Add 50% for simultaneous web publication.
Stock pictures - Magazines - category: B: smaller consumer mags
CoverGBP325.00
Double-page spreadGBP295.00
Full pageGBP210.00
1/2 pageGBP120.00
1/4 pageGBP85.00
1/8 pageGBP75.00

Notes:

  • Stock picture rates are for one use only in print.
  • Add 50% for simultaneous web publication.
Stock pictures - Magazines - category: C-D: trade and cheap specialist mags
CoverGBP250.00
Double-page spreadGBP235.00
Full pageGBP180.00
1/2 pageGBP100.00
1/4 pageGBP70.00
1/8 pageGBP60.00

Public relations

Photography for promotion material - PR photography - commands higher fees than editorial work. Rates vary widely according to clients' intended usage and budgets, from little more than editorial at one end of the scale, and bordering on corporate work at the other.

The high/low budget categories are for guidance only. The most important point is that they do not divide between profit and non-profit making organisations. Charities can have high budgets, and commercial organisations low budgets.

Commissions, single or limited use: immediate use - such as a press release, leaflet, newsletter, or in-house magazine

Publicity departments are often unclear about future usage. It is important to clarify, at the time of commissioning, whether this should be paid for in advance, or by reproduction fees in addition to an initial commission fee for a limited use.

Licensing photographs for use in advertising is beyond the scope of this guide. For guidance go to the Association of Photographers website - see the link below.

Notes on negotiating rates for Public relations

These are some things to remember when negotiating rates for photography for use in PR. And please send us your accounts of successful negotiations.

The suggested rates: Public relations (Know a better rate? tell us!)

The high/low budget categories are for guidance only. The most important point is that they do not divide between profit and non-profit making organisations. Charities can have high budgets, and commercial organisations low budgets.

Note that these rates do not include production charges!

Commissions: extended use - Public relations - category: High budget

There are very few jobs - especially, perhaps, in Public Relations - that really take only half a day. See Advice: day rates.

Day rateGBP830.00
Half-day rateGBP430.00

Notes:

  • These rates for extended use include further use over the medium to long term, for instance in brochures, websites, exhibition stands or an annual report.
Commissions: extended use - Public relations - category: Low budget
Day rateGBP430.00
Half-day rateGBP275.00
Commissions: single or limited use - Public relations - category: High budget
Day rateGBP480.00
Half-day rateGBP270.00

Notes:

  • These rates are for a single immediate use in, for example, a press release, leaflet, newsletter or in-house magazine
Commissions: single or limited use - Public relations - category: Low budget
Day rateGBP310.00
Half-day rateGBP200.00
Stock pictures: Brochures, reports etc - Public relations - category: High budget
CoverGBP550.00
Double-page spreadGBP500.00
Full pageGBP350.00
3/4 pageGBP300.00
1/2 pageGBP260.00
1/4 pageGBP220.00
1/8 pageGBP200.00
Stock pictures: Brochures, reports etc - Public relations - category: Low budget
CoverGBP350.00
Double-page spreadGBP300.00
Full pageGBP200.00
3/4 pageGBP170.00
1/2 pageGBP150.00
1/4 pageGBP130.00
1/8 pageGBP120.00
Stock pictures: In-house magazine - Public relations - category: High budget
CoverGBP480.00
Double-page spreadGBP420.00
Full pageGBP295.00
3/4 pageGBP230.00
1/2 pageGBP140.00
1/4 pageGBP95.00
1/8 pageGBP80.00
Stock pictures: In-house magazine - Public relations - category: Low budget
CoverGBP280.00
Double-page spreadGBP235.00
Full pageGBP180.00
3/4 pageGBP150.00
1/2 pageGBP100.00
1/4 pageGBP70.00
1/8 pageGBP60.00
Stock pictures: Public information leaflets - Public relations - category: High budget
CoverGBP400.00
Double-page spreadGBP375.00
Full pageGBP260.00
3/4 pageGBP225.00
1/2 pageGBP195.00
1/4 pageGBP165.00
1/8 pageGBP150.00
Stock pictures: Public information leaflets - Public relations - category: Low budget
CoverGBP260.00
Double-page spreadGBP225.00
Full pageGBP150.00
3/4 pageGBP125.00
1/2 pageGBP110.00
1/4 pageGBP100.00
1/8 pageGBP90.00

Corporate work

Corporate work is indefinable, and best described as that falling between Public Relations work (see the link below) and advertising, which is beyond the scope of this guide (for guidance go to the Association of Photographers website - see the link below).

To be more precise it is work promoting major organisations which is neither limited to a specific occasion or PR campaign on the one hand, nor extends to a major advertising campaign on the other. Typically, it includes corporate portraiture, brochures,websites and annual reports.

Fees charged likewise fall in between PR and advertising rates, starting at around £800 per day plus all expenses to £1500 - £2000 per day, reflecting the degree of photographic talent and skill required for corporate branding and prestige publications.

Initial rights granted are generally more extensive with rates at this level, though if possible the photographers should always limit a time period. After a two/three year period most portraiture and annual report work will have to be re-shot anyway. Once fees enter four figures, clients tend to expect more or less unlimited use for anything in-house. Advertising use however, should command additional higher fees and be excluded from licenses under the range of day rates quoted above.

Production charges tend to be also much higher than those quoted elsewhere in this guide, as this work frequently requires files of much higher resolution, and more post-production time preparing them for the highest quality publication.

Notes on negotiating rates for Corporate work

These are some things to remember when negotiating rates for corporate photography. And please send us your accounts of successful negotiations.

This section will be expanded to give more advice soon - suggestions are welcome.

The suggested rates: Corporate work (Know a better rate? tell us!)

Corporate work is, roughly, photography promoting major organisations which is neither limited to a specific occasion or PR campaign on the one hand, nor extends to a major advertising campaign on the other.

Note that these rates do not include production charges!

Commissions - Corporate work - category: High budget
Per dayGBP2000.00
Per day, at leastGBP1500.00
Commissions - Corporate work - category: Low budget
Per dayGBP800.00

National newspapers

National papers pay badly. They pay less than most run-of-the-mill magazines. Some rates have hardly increased in twenty years. Which other professionals are paid today what they were paid in the mid 1980s? Not national newspaper staff, which is why almost all staff photographers (outside the wire agencies) have been replaced by freelances at half the cost.

It can take over £100 per day just to cover the costs of running a photographic business, which for an editorial photographer frequently exceed £20-30,000 per year (see Day/base rates and the Day rate calculator). Annual costs of £20,000 spread over 240 shooting days are £83.33 per day.

A photographer working exclusively for nationals can work more photography days than in other fields, since so much post-production work is left, on tight deadlines, to picture desks. Even working five shooting days a week, 48 weeks per year (and this is impossible for a magazine photographer), it still takes over £80 per day just to cover costs.

To match a staffer's salary of £45,000 would take another £187.50 per day on top, making a total of just over £270.

To cover a staffer's additional benefits, such as a pension scheme, would take the day rate well over £300, or double what most nationals' freelances are paid.

A photographer not working exclusively for nationals cannot work more than three or at most four shooting days a week: up to two days are occupied with post production on other work, and running a business.

At four days a week it would take nearly £400 per day to earn a staffer's salary of £45,000 plus pension. At three days a week it would take about £500 per day.

It is no longer possible to earn a professional salary on national day rates without considerable additional sales through syndication - which may never materialise, and are in turn dependent on retaining copyright.

Photographers wanting to survive in this market therefore need to ensure they retain their copyright, and find supplementary work in better-paying markets.

Notes on negotiating rates for National newspapers

These are some things to remember when negotiating rates for photography for national newspapers. And please send us your accounts of successful negotiations.

These rates are not recommendations: they are based on the least unreasonable going rates.

The suggested rates: National newspapers (Know a better rate? tell us!)

Newspapers do not pay commission rates that correspond to a professional income (see advice page): the following market rates are for information only and not recommended . The NUJ does not recommend that any photographer work for less than £250 per day.

Note that these rates do not include production charges!

Commissions - National newspapers - category: Newspapers

Some papers pay these rates for a commission, some for a whole day shift; some will pay two commissions in a day. Many cap wiring fees at around £50. Some papers pay as little as £150 - and we are told of the Sunday Mirror paying £320.

Better-paying - eg Telegraph commissionGBP250.00
Guardian agreed rate: per dayGBP267.68
CommissionGBP200.00

§ See: Shift payments - tax & time off general advice

Notes:

  • The current Guardian agreement provides an extra 1.5% to photographers who agree to licence digital uses.
Commissions - National newspapers - category: Newspaper supplements

Photography for the newspapers' magazine supplements is the exception to the general inadequacy of rates - it commands much higher magazine market rates. See the link below.

§ See: Photography/Magazines

Stock pictures - National newspapers - category: Newspapers - broadsheet

Reproduction fees for stock pictures are much closer to the rest of the publishing market than commission fees. The figures below are for "qualities" only. Tabloids/popular/red-top titles can pay double.

1-5 sq insGBP65.00
10 sq ins or 1/32 pageGBP70.00
11-20 sq ins or 1/16 pageGBP80.00
21-42 sq ins or 1/8 pageGBP100.00
43-85 sq ins or 1/4 pageGBP160.00
86-170 sq ins or 1/2 pageGBP210.00

Notes:

  • All stock picture rates are for print use only excluding electronic editions or web use which should command an additional fee.
Stock pictures - National newspapers - category: Newspapers - compact size

The figures below are for "qualities" only. Tabloids or "red-top" titles can pay double, or more.

1-4 sq ins or 1/32 pageGBP65.00
5-11 sq ins or 1/16 pageGBP80.00
12-22 sq ins or 1/8 pageGBP100.00
23-44 sq ins or 1/4 pageGBP160.00
45-90 sq ins or 1/2 pageGBP210.00

Notes:

  • All stock picture rates are for print use only excluding electronic editions or web use which should command an additional fee.
Stock pictures - National newspapers - category: Newspaper supplements

Newspapers' magazine supplements pay higher magazine market rates. See the link below.

§ See: Photography/Magazines

Regional newspapers

We have a problem with this section of the Fees Guide. Regional papers pay badly: and many local papers extremely badly. Some rates have hardly increased in twenty years. Some regionals and a few locals, however, are improving what they pay. So the rates given are in no sense recommendations: they reflect the least-awful attainable rates.

The NUJ cannot recommend that any photographer accept less than £250 a day, for the following reasons.

It can take over £100 per day just to cover the costs of running a photographic business, which for an editorial photographer frequently exceed £20-30,000 per year (see Day/base rates and the Day rate calculator). Annual costs of £20,000 spread over 240 shooting days are £83.33 per day.

Even working five shooting days a week, 48 weeks per year (and this is impossible for a magazine photographer), it still takes over £80 per day just to cover costs. A photographer not working exclusively for newspapers cannot work more than three or at most four shooting days a week: up to two days are occupied with post production on other work, and running a business.

It is no longer possible to earn a professional salary on newspaper day rates without considerable additional sales through syndication - which may never materialise, and are in turn dependent on retaining copyright.

Photographers wanting to survive while supplying this market therefore need to ensure they retain their copyright, and to make an actual living from better-paying markets.

Notes on negotiating rates for Regional newspapers

These are some things to remember when negotiating rates for photography for regional newspapers. And please send us your accounts of successful negotiations.

These rates are far from being recommendations: they are based on the least unreasonable going rates.

The suggested rates: Regional newspapers (Know a better rate? tell us!)

Some of the larger regional dailies offer rates that almost make it economic to do good work for them. Others are closer to the local weeklies, many of which offer ridiculously small payments. The following rates are in no way recommendations; the NUJ cannot recommend that a photographer work for less than £250 a day.

Note that these rates do not include production charges!

Commissions - Regional newspapers - category: Regional daily newspapers
Day rateGBP120.00
Commissions - Regional newspapers - category: Weekly/local newspapers
Day rateGBP100.00

Notes:

  • Some regional and provincial newspapers pay such low rates that the NUJ cannot actually recommend that such work is undertaken, unless the photographer can compensate by using the pictures as stock, or needs to make a name for him/herself.
Stock pictures - Regional newspapers - category: Regional daily newspapers
50-70 sq ins or 1/2 pageGBP100.00
30-50 sq ins or 1/4 pageGBP80.00
15-30 sq ins or 1/8 pageGBP60.00
Stock pictures - Regional newspapers - category: Weekly/local newspapers

Notes:

  • We have no sound current information on which to base rates for stock pictures supplied to weekly/local papers. Please report any.

Videography

Photographers are increasingly asked to supply video - not least for use on newspapers' websites. With the increasing quality of digital video equipment, some predict that ultimately almost all photography will be video photography, with photographers licensing single frames for print use.

Video is a medium new to most freelances and their clients. While a few NUJ videographers have been practitioners for many years, most are either recent converts from the world of still photography, or more likely working photographers who see their future as visual journalists producing either still or moving pictures as and when required.

There is therefore little by way of tradition or guidance to fall back on when negotiating fees. Two considerations in particular require careful attention both by videographers, whether or not they are working on commission, and their clients. They are editing/production time, and ownership/licensing of rights.

Photographers already accustomed to spending considerable time on and charging for the digital production of high resolution files. Most are shocked to discover how much more time consuming and onerous this job becomes when editing video.

As a rough rule of thumb, a day's shooting requires at least a day's editing time, even when producing a short five-minute film.

Editorial newsrooms handling raw footage in house face logjams because insufficient staff have been allocated to the task; yet still find it hard to accept that freelances need as much time after shooting to do the same job. Unless a videographer is simply supplying raw uncut footage, a practice not generally recommended, the minimum commission should normally be for two days, one shooting and one production. Freelances should price and clients budget accordingly.

Rights in video

Freelance videographers, like freelance photographers, own the copyright in their film in almost all cases in the absence of an agreement to the contrary. This needs special emphasis because it is the reverse of the traditional position in film and television production. There copyright usually belongs to the director/producer/production company and not the "camera operator". This arrangement is frequently quoted as "industry standard", when in fact it applies only to film and TV, not freelance videography.

The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 is followed in both cases. According to the Act, the author of a work, and therefore the first owner of the copyright in it, is the creator. This definition is straightforward in the case of photography - the creator is the photographer. Not so however for moving pictures, where that person is, "in the case of a sound recording or film, the person by whom the arrangements necessary for the making of the recording or film are undertaken" ( film is here defined as "a recording on any medium from which a moving image may by any means be produced").

Whereas in film or television a camera operator does not usually make the necessary arrangements, in video the freelance videographer is generally acting alone and so the only person who can. In video, the freelance videographer is the creator, author and copyright owner.

Licensing video

While the ownership of copyright itself is clear, the licensing of rights is anything but. Video has multiple uses, in multiple media, once edided can rapidly be cut into other videos, and can also be used the source of numerous still images. Many of these purposes may not be foreseen by either party at the time of licensing/commissioning and it is therefore imperative that a fee is agreed for specified uses, and those uses only, so that both know exactly where they stand.

Reasons for rates

In journalism, both client and videographer may be more familiar with still photographic rates. Video fees start at a higher level than these not only because of the additional editing time required, but because of the essential additional investment in both time and money. This includes: training in video (and audio) technology,and also editing software and computer equipment far more powerful and sophisticated than that required for processing still pictures, and professional video cameras, all of which have a very short life cycle.

Commercial video pricing is a good starting point for estimating editorial video fees - as these figures almost certainly cover the cost of investing in, maintaining and replacing video kit, and editing time, while still providing a professional salary. A commercially shot five minute interview would typically cost about #500.

Similar figures are frequently quoted for a day's work, either shooting or editing. The scale of rates paid to film and TV "camera operators" (see link to rates negotiated between the traditional camera operators' union BECTU and the independent producers, below) is another instructive comparator, bearing in mind that they either use company equipment, or hire out their own or rental equipment on top of their day rates.

Despite this there is no doubt freelance photographers will be put under considerable pressure to invest in and use the new technology while being paid no more than their old day rates.

Daily hire charges for professional video kit are themselves higher than the daily photographic rates paid by many national papers. Any freelance supplying video at these rates without also billing to the client hire charges for a complete set of professional video kit would be working at a loss.

Notes on negotiating rates for Videography

Note, in general, that:

This section is a draft. So it's especially important that send us your accounts of successful negotiations for licensing video.

The suggested rates: Videography (Know a better rate? tell us!)

Please note that a day's shooting requires at least one and frequently two following days of editing/production.

Commissions by the day - Videography -

Please do send more market price information for comparison, using the link above.

Day shooting - including equipmentGBP500.00
Editing/production dayGBP500.00

Notes:

  • Note that under UK law copyright in freelance videography belongs to the videographer, as the person responsible for the video production. See Videography advice, linked above, for further advice on your rights.
  • When comparing rates with traditional TV practice, note that day rates for TV freelances are generally quoted not including equipment hire.
TV news footage - Videography -

Please do send more market price information for comparison, using the link above.

Up to 1 minute transmittedGBP300.00
Per subsequent minute transmittedGBP300.00
Up to 1 minute transmitted - no less thanGBP250.00
Per subsequent minute transmitted - no less thanGBP250.00

Notes:

  • The above rates apply only to immediate usage agreed with the client - not repeat use, syndication or sub-licensing.
  • See Videography advice, linked above, for further advice on your rights.
  • Note that under UK law copyright in freelance videography belongs to the videographer, as the person responsible for the video production.

Notes:

  • For home/menu pages, simultaneous print and web use and/or archived material, add 50%
  • For images used as icons, charge as for 1/4 page, less 25%

Broadcasting

The issue of copyright and licences granted when working on commission is a matter of contention between broadcasting companies and the NUJ. NUJ members should contact the Freelance Office for updates.

Exclusive news pictures could command four-figure transmission fees, but even ordinary stock pictures could be worth a few hundred pounds if used in a programme broadcast with repeats in the UK, and then broadcast in other territories.

It is essential that photographers keep a precise record of the agreement for the initial licence, and with whom it has been agreed. The transmission fees quoted are for single use only. Fees for multiple use of stock pictures are difficult to calculate because the actual repeat usage is frequently unpredictable, and notoriously difficult to monitor.

For this reason suppliers to the BBC may find the TELPIC agreement (linked below) is preferable to monitoring usage and repeat invoicing. It also makes sense for both clients and contributors to agree a flat fee for a twenty-four hour period on one station, particularly for news pictures, at least two to three times the agreed rate for a single transmission.

Notes on negotiating rates for Broadcasting

These are some things to remember when negotiating rates for photographs to be broadcast. And please send us your accounts of successful negotiations.

See the Telpic agreement (version4: RTF file) for terms offered by the BBC.

The suggested rates: Broadcasting (Know a better rate? tell us!)

Exclusive news pictures could command four-figure transmission fees, but even ordinary stock pictures could be worth a few hundred pounds if used in a programme broadcast with repeats in the UK, and then broadcast in other territories. It is essential that photographers keep a precise record of the agreement for the initial licence...

Note that these rates do not include production charges!

Commissions - Broadcasting -
Bigger-budget clients: per dayGBP435.00
At least: per dayGBP275.00

§ See: Suggested schedule of cancellation fees

Notes:

Stock pictures: transmission time - Broadcasting -
Single transmission - up to 10 secondsGBP110.00
Single transmission - 4 secondsGBP85.00

Notes:

  • Photographers should charge extra if a picture is shown for over 10 seconds and for multiple transmission - see Photography / Broadcasting advice.
  • Contributors of stock pictures to the BBC may be offered the TELPIC agreement covering multiple future use - see the direct link above.
  • See the "Reported rates" linked above for what the BBC picture library charges other broadcasters for use of stills

Notes:

  • For home/menu pages, simultaneous print and web use and/or archived material, add 50%
  • For images used as icons, charge as for 1/4 page, less 25%

Books

The market in photographs for use in books covers an enormous range - from a commissioned shot for a major celebrity book down to a 50mm-square stock thumbnail in a low-print-run textbook. Knowing the market is everything in negotiating. Talk to your fellow photographers - see the link for the NUJ members' discussion boards on this site.

Notes on negotiating rates for Books

These are some things to remember when negotiating rates for photography for use in books. And please send us your accounts of successful negotiations.

The suggested rates: Books (Know a better rate? tell us!)

Commission rates vary from £300 to over £500. The higher price includes nonexclusive world rights for one title. For the right for subsequent re-use in a new edition, charge 50-75% extra.

The more territories a book will be marketed in, the higher the fee. Our categories A-E for stock pictures give examples of common territorial licences.

Note that these rates do not include production charges!

Commissions - Books -
Day rateGBP300.00
With non-exclusive world rights for one titleGBP500.00
With right to re-use in a subsequent editionGBP750.00

§ See: Suggested schedule of cancellation fees

Notes:

  • Rates quoted are for use in one title only. For use in a different title, add at least 50 per cent to the rate if the day's shoot is to be used again.
  • If individual pictures are to be re-used, appropriate stock picture rates for these uses will at least provide a guide in negotiations if the client wants an all-in price .
Stock pictures - Books - category: A: UK only
WrapGBP480.00
CoverGBP260.00
BackGBP200.00
Double-pageGBP200.00
Full pageGBP130.00
3/4 pageGBP105.00
1/2 pageGBP80.00
1/4 pageGBP65.00
1/8 pageGBP60.00

Notes:

  • The size of the print-run is also important in negotiating a fee for stock pictures. Rates quoted are an industry average for print runs of 50,000 or fewer.
  • Changes in printing technology are making small and frequent print-runs or editions more common. It is important to specify that a licence covers one edition and that a new licence is required for subsequent runs or editions.
  • At least one photographer offers a discount of 10% on these rates for runs below 5000 copies.
  • Add 10% for print runs up to 100,000; at least 20% for print runs up to 250,000.
Stock pictures - Books - category: B: UK and Commonwealth bar Canada
WrapGBP490.00
CoverGBP280.00
Double-pageGBP240.00
BackGBP220.00
Full pageGBP140.00
3/4 pageGBP110.00
1/2 pageGBP95.00
1/4 pageGBP75.00
1/8 pageGBP70.00

Notes:

  • The size of the print-run is also important in negotiating a fee for stock pictures. Rates quoted are an industry average for print runs of 50,000 or fewer.
  • Changes in printing technology are making small and frequent print-runs or editions more common. It is important to specify that a licence covers one edition and that a new licence is required for subsequent runs or editions.
  • At least one photographer offers a discount of 10% on these rates for runs below 5000 copies.
  • Add 10% for print runs up to 100,000; at least 20% for print runs up to 250,000.
Stock pictures - Books - category: C: one language world rights bar USA
WrapGBP530.00
CoverGBP320.00
BackGBP270.00
Double-pageGBP260.00
Full pageGBP160.00
3/4 pageGBP120.00
1/2 pageGBP105.00
1/4 pageGBP85.00
1/8 pageGBP80.00

Notes:

  • The size of the print-run is also important in negotiating a fee for stock pictures. Rates quoted are an industry average for print runs of 50,000 or fewer.
  • Changes in printing technology are making small and frequent print-runs or editions more common. It is important to specify that a licence covers one edition and that a new licence is required for subsequent runs or editions.
  • At least one photographer offers a discount of 10% on these rates for runs below 5000 copies.
  • Add 10% for print runs up to 100,000; at least 20% for print runs up to 250,000.
Stock pictures - Books - category: D: all Europe, or USA, etc
WrapGBP550.00
CoverGBP390.00
Double-pageGBP350.00
BackGBP300.00
Full pageGBP210.00
3/4 pageGBP160.00
1/2 pageGBP130.00
1/4 pageGBP110.00
1/8 pageGBP100.00

Notes:

  • The size of the print-run is also important in negotiating a fee for stock pictures. Rates quoted are an industry average for print runs of 50,000 or fewer.
  • Changes in printing technology are making small and frequent print-runs or editions more common. It is important to specify that a licence covers one edition and that a new licence is required for subsequent runs or editions.
  • At least one photographer offers a discount of 10% on these rates for runs below 5000 copies.
  • Add 10% for print runs up to 100,000; at least 20% for print runs up to 250,000.
Stock pictures - Books - category: E: world rights all languages
WrapGBP580.00
CoverGBP440.00
Double-pageGBP350.00
BackGBP340.00
Full pageGBP230.00
3/4 pageGBP180.00
1/2 pageGBP160.00
1/4 pageGBP130.00
1/8 pageGBP120.00

Online use of photos

Online use still being a new field, the scope for negotiation and the range of outcomes is enormous.

Photographers submitting pictures for use online should seriously consider "watermarking" them. It's not perfect, but it may help in tracking unauthorised copying. Photographers need to obtain an identifying number to go in the watermark: the NUJ recommends the Visual Creators' Index (see the link below).

Notes on negotiating rates for Online use of photos

These are some things to remember when negotiating rates for photography for use online. And please send us your accounts of successful negotiations.

We welcome readers' comments on these notes.

The suggested rates: Online use of photos (Know a better rate? tell us!)

Photographers submitting pictures for use online should seriously consider "watermarking" them. It's not perfect, but it may help track unauthorised copying. Photographers need to obtain an identifying number to go in the watermark: the NUJ recommends the Visual Creators' Index (see the link below).

Note that these rates do not include production charges!

Advertorial and newspapers - Online use of photos - category: 1 month online
600x800 pixelsGBP175.00
400x600 pixelsGBP130.00
300x400 pixelsGBP90.00
Advertorial and newspapers - Online use of photos - category: 3 months online
600x800 pixelsGBP340.00
400x600 pixelsGBP225.00
300x400 pixelsGBP150.00
Advertorial and newspapers - Online use of photos - category: 6 months online
600x800 pixelsGBP525.00
400x600 pixelsGBP325.00
300x400 pixelsGBP230.00
Advertorial and newspapers - Online use of photos - category: a year online
600x800 pixelsGBP625.00
400x600 pixelsGBP425.00
300x400 pixelsGBP325.00
Commercial and business - Online use of photos - category: 1 month online
600x800 pixelsGBP225.00
400x600 pixelsGBP165.00
300x400 pixelsGBP110.00
Commercial and business - Online use of photos - category: 3 months online
600x800 pixelsGBP450.00
400x600 pixelsGBP300.00
300x400 pixelsGBP200.00
Commercial and business - Online use of photos - category: 6 months online
600x800 pixelsGBP675.00
400x600 pixelsGBP425.00
300x400 pixelsGBP300.00
Commercial and business - Online use of photos - category: a year online
600x800 pixelsGBP850.00
400x600 pixelsGBP556.00
300x400 pixelsGBP400.00
Editorial - Online use of photos - category: 1 month online
600x800 pixelsGBP130.00
400x600 pixelsGBP85.00
300x400 pixelsGBP65.00
Editorial - Online use of photos - category: 3 months online
600x800 pixelsGBP225.00
400x600 pixelsGBP150.00
300x400 pixelsGBP110.00
Editorial - Online use of photos - category: 6 months online
600x800 pixelsGBP350.00
400x600 pixelsGBP230.00
300x400 pixelsGBP175.00
Editorial - Online use of photos - category: a year online
600x800 pixelsGBP425.00
400x600 pixelsGBP325.00
300x400 pixelsGBP250.00

Production charges / exes

We suggest rates for the main categories of photographers' production charges and other expenses. Digital charging in particular requires more detailed explanation.

Digital file fees

Files should normally be professionally processed and charged for individually. The exceptions are 1) for newspaper work where files are delivered on tight deadlines and unprocessed to picture desks, and 2) commissions resulting in an unusually large number of photographs for publication.

In the latter case charging for bulk processing by the hour avoids unacceptably high production bills. Charges should be for no less than one hour, and no less than professional labs would charge for Photoshop processing. In London fees are about #100 per hour. Some labs outside London charge less.

In the former case much lower charges apply as unprocessed files require minimal labour time (though they cannot be produced or transmitted without expensive equipment and software). A flat fee of around #50 is usual for transmitting a small number of such files.

In no case should professionals supply clients with large numbers of unprocessed files. The work is unprofessional, and the low fees do not cover production costs.

Digital Transmission

The figures quoted are minimums and starting points, appropriate for one session transmitting a small number of files. Repeat sessions to one client, or multiple sessions on behalf of a PR client to multiple recipients, should command higher fees. Some photographers charge per megabyte (compressed) transmitted.

For additional advice on digital charging, including digital production charges, see the NUJ Guide to Charging for Digital Imaging, linked below.

Notes on negotiating rates for Production charges / exes

These are some things to remember when negotiating expenses rates. And please send us your accounts of successful negotiations.

All other agreed expenses should be passed on at cost.

The suggested rates: Production charges / exes (Know a better rate? tell us!)

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.

Digital production charges - Production charges / exes -

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

Rushed processing: add100.00%
High resolution colour corrected file (whether from digital original or scanned from film)GBP15.00
Bulk processing images: per hourGBP100.00
Bulk processing images minimum charge: per hourGBP60.00
Wiring selected but uncorrected ex-camera filesGBP50.00
Digital transmissionGBP20.00
Contact sheet (in print or on the web)GBP20.00
Writing to CD/DVDGBP10.00

§ See: NUJ Guide to Charging for Digital Imaging <http://www.londonfreelance.org/photo/digital.html>

Notes:

  • 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.
Film production charges - Production charges / exes -
Rushed processing: add100.00%
Colour transparency film processed and mountedGBP25.00
Black & White film process and contact sheetGBP20.00
Colour film process and contact sheetGBP22.00
Black & white hand print (10"x8") first off neg.GBP10.00
Black & white hand print: subsequent printsGBP9.00
Colour hand print (10"x8") first off negGBP20.00
Colour hand print: subsequent printsGBP10.00
Colour machine print (10"x8")GBP12.50
Lost originals - Production charges / exes -
Lost originalGBP500.00
Unrepeatable imageGBP1000.00
Lost filmGBP5000.00

Notes:

  • 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.
Travel expenses etc - Production charges / exes -
Car mileageGBP0.50

Notes:

  • For home/menu pages, simultaneous print and web use and/or archived material, add 50%
  • For images used as icons, charge as for 1/4 page, less 25%

Text © Mike Holderness & previous contributors; Moral rights asserted. Comments to ffg@londonfreelance.org 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.