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Photographers' work is perhaps more diverse than that of any other kind of journalist. And photographers are now under huge pressure as news and picture desks seek to harvest free images. Many photographers who want to cover news must work across the whole spectrum of publishing.

There are two main ways photographers charge for their work - either on commission, or through reproduction fees. In either case, freelance photographers are "authors" of their pictures under the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988, and are therefore owners of the copyright in their photographs; Almost always, what clients are in fact paying for are licences to reproduce your images. For convenience, however, the suggested rates are listed in the traditional categories of payments for commissioned work and for stock photos.

There is a lot of advice and information 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 should help with pricing a single use of a photograph, whether commissioned or stock. Increasingly, though, clients need to clear a wider range of rights for both the immediate future and the longer term. Sometimes they will want to license a package of several photos.

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. Some clients labour under the misconception that they are buying a photographer's time. Others believe they are buying a photograph in the same way they would buy a kilo of carrots - gaining outright ownership. In fact, as the authors of their work, photographers own the copyright in the images they produce, and issue licences to clients to reproduce them as mutually agreed. See Copyright.
  2. It is best to put the terms of these licences in writing, for the benefit of both sides. This makes clear exactly what rights are licensed by a photographer who accepts a commission or supplies stock. This may seem obvious, but having it in writing becomes vital if there is any dispute or misunderstanding. See Contracts and 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 provide for a professional income. See Day/base rates

It's also worth taking a look at the general advice for all freelances on "negotiating rates and rights", linked below.

Most rates quoted in this guide are recommended 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 or immediate use (commissioned photographs).

Increasingly, clients require more extensive licences. For instance, they often want reproduction simultaneously on the web and in print. Photographs shot for editorial use may also be required for PR distribution. Clients may want to pay for repeated use of commissioned work at the outset.

In such cases it makes sense for both photographers and their clients to come to an agreed figure at the time of commissioning, or of the photographer delivering a stock image.

A good example of the kind of win/win deal was negotiated with Business Week some years ago. Under this, photographers granted important but limited rights in addition to immediate use, in return for a mark up of approximately 100 per cent 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 paying around £100,000 by way of compensation and costs in an out-of-court settlement for unlawful use of copyright material.

Remember that the job includes processing

Clients tend not to see the high investment and running costs necessary for digital production. Photographers face investment in cameras which 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.

And it takes time to produce colour-corrected press-ready digital files.

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.

The costs of doing it properly are listed under "Production Charges and Expenses" (see the link below).

Cover it all, in writing

Photographers should in principle always start from an initial fee for a very specific limited licence and insist on getting payment for every additional right sought.

They should then be prepared to be flexible when granting a range of extra rights - for an appreciable mark-up. In the case of the Business Week negotiation, photographers granted the rights to publish on the web, in foreign editions and in joint ventures, and most of the proceeds from reprints - the commercial reuse for advertising purposes of editorial in the magazine. They retained syndication rights.

While being flexible, photographers should also apply a clear limit to the rights licensed.

In many cases - particularly for commercial or public relations work - 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, 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: NUJ Guide to Charging for Digital Imaging <http://www.londonfreelance.org/photo/digital.html>

§ 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 <https://www.ppa.co.uk/resource/pic4press-download>

§ See: Negotiating rates and rights 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: we cannot 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. Some photographers please their clients by waiving the charge unless the search requires very significant work. The more photographers put thumbnails of their stock images online, 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 the day rate charged is legally for an initial licence to reproduce the photographs.

Getting down to brass tacks, before a photographer negotiates a commission fee they have to work out the figure below which they are 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 investment in equipment before producing enough to cover holidays, periods of sickness, and a pension.

And this base figure has to do that while also taking into account that three full paid days a week is usually about as much as can be fitted in between preparation before the work, post-production and delivery, 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 will need to be several times the required annual income.

Each photographer has to work out their own 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 is possible to earn a professional income. The only long-term solution is to establish a higher day rate - one 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 £300 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 guaranteed minimum for doing a shoot. Licence fees are paid in full for first use as well as for subsequent uses. 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 further guidance on licensing see "Negotiating rates and rights", linked below.

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 should include travel to and from the job and processing and delivery afterwards. 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 per cent of a day rate.

§ See: Day rate calculator

§ See: Negotiating rates and rights advice for photographers

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

Contracts and paperwork

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

An email that clearly sets out what is agreed does count as evidence of a contract.

For as long as photographers can remember, most deals have been struck with a handshake (possibly metaphorical) or no more than a phone call or text message. This business depends largely on personal contact, which makes it difficult to conduct yourself in a manner which is - well, more businesslike.

Publishers are increasingly presenting contracts when commissioning photographers that aim to get around the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 (see "Copyright advice for photographers", linked below). This grants photographers ownership of the rights in their work, whether commissioned or on spec. 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. The NUJ strongly advises you to do this. Clarity is essential. Rights should be negotiated (see "Negotiating rates and rights" advice for photographers, linked below) and then confirmed in writing.

Model contracts are available from a number of sources: see below. Photographers can 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 - perhaps banking on many photographers never reading them. It is important that photographers do not indemnify clients against the consequences of their use of the photographers' pictures. See "Indemnities - challenge them and get insurance ", linked below.

No transfer until paid

Photographers should insert a clause stipulating that no rights whatsoever are sold until their invoice is paid in full. This does encourage the client to pay. A rather less obvious reason for doing it is to prevent third parties buying a bankrupt client's assets - including rights to a photographer's pictures - while escaping their obligations, such as paying the photographer for these rights.

Things to watch out for

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

There are some tricks that photographers should look out for in particular:

  1. Purchase Orders - clients frequently use the small print on these to impose terms quite different from those agreed (often verbally) with 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" - these are widely used in publishing, and are often convenient to both parties. But some clients have been known to use the small print to impose different contract terms, as above. Unscrupulous - or perhaps incompetent - clients may grab additional rights by pre-emptively issuing an invoice to 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 for the cash amount agreed.
  3. "See our website" - if a photographer doesn't agree anything specific, clients may rely on "our published terms and conditions". These can be quite hard to find on the client's website. Sometimes, they are written to cover photographs submitted by readers, not professional photographers.

In general, any such attempt to vary the terms which were agreed at the time of the commission would not be lawful. The problem of course, is the cost of enforcing this - especially if you haven't got the agreement in writing.

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 or surrender of the whole copyright itself, outright.

Licensing refers to the granting of rights, in exchange for the agreed fee, to do certain, specified things, by a photographer who remains the copyright holder.

Watch out for documents that claim you have "assigned" your copyright to the client. In UK law copyright holders can only do this by signing it away in a written document - probably one document for each image or other work. You are strongly advised not to do so (see "Copyright advice for photographers", linked below).

Watch out also to see whether you are being asked to grant an "exclusive" licence. That would mean you retain ownership of the image: but do check where and for how long the client wants exclusivity. It can be useful, for example, to license a client to have the exclusive right to use a photo for use in print, in the UK, for one month - for a significantly enhanced fee. But some clients sneak in wording that means you agree not to license your photo to anyone else - ever. There are obviously times when this is useful - for a very significantly enhanced fee.

Delivery of stock photos

The warnings apply equally to the supply of stock photographs. It is just as important to define the terms and conditions that apply when supplying stock material. This may seem obvious, but it becomes vital if there is any dispute or misunderstanding.

Better contracts may be available

Large companies that have self-contained legal departments can be the hardest to negotiate with. They may issue commissioning editors with set schedules of rates and will have set contracts in which they try to get a licence allowing the widest possible use of the work for that price.

They are, however, more likely also to have pre-packaged "fall-back" contracts for the famous - and these offer much better terms. Picture editors may be under instructions not to reveal that these exist... but they do.

Even those companies that insist they have immovable standard rates are likely also to have another set of rates for special contributors.

Template contracts

The NUJ has several template contracts that it can offer to members who need to present a draft in negotiation, or to draw up their own standard contract. NUJ members should contact the Freelance Office describing the purposes for which you need to draft a contract. Join the union to get such assistance and more.

§ 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>

§ See: Indemnities - challenge them and get insurance

§ See: Negotiating rates and rights advice for photographers

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: see the advice on Employment status.)

You are the owner of commissioned photographs as much as of those which are not. Getting this recognised in the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 was a major win for the NUJ (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 is to say: only the copyright owner can give permission to reproduce the "work" in any material form, which includes storing the work in any medium by electronic means. Only the copyright owner can licence the making available of a photograph to the public.

Photographers are frequently put under great pressure to surrender this hard-won right, but are strongly advised not to do so. There are no uses to which a client might wish to put a photograph that cannot be covered by an appropriate licence for an appropriate fee. 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 and negotiate conditions on the use, which can only be sold outright through an "assignment", which requires the photographer's agreement in writing.

Photographers should protect themselves by stating their terms before accepting commissioned work, and by rejecting in writing any such attempt to seek assignment of copyright: see "Contracts and paperwork".

Fair dealing

UK law defines a strictly limited number of ways that photographs can be used without the photographer's permission or payment to them, such as including them in exam questions. These uses are called "fair dealing". The separate concept called "fair use" applies only to use in the US. See "Some things you should know about quoting" and the 1988 Act itself (both 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>

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

§ See: Contracts and paperwork advice for photographers

§ See: Some things you should know about 'quoting' in one printable page <http://www.londonfreelance.org/quoting.html>

§ See: Employment status advice for all who may be self-employed

Moral rights

The most 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.

The "integrity" of a photograph can be damaged by manipulation that distorts its content - for example adding or removing a person or an object. It can also be damaged by the context in which the photograph is used - a fairly clear example would be using a news picture in advertising to imply endorsement of a product. This can, though, be difficult (and therefore expensive) to argue in court.

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.

We are not aware of any court cases that have settled the question of whether the exception that excludes important moral rights for work in newspapers or magazines applies to online publication. (If there were one, it would be hard to establish what Parliament intended in 1988, when the World-Wide Web was launched in 1990.)

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.

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 it has 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 HTML from legislation.gov.uk <http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/48>

§ See: NUJ Code of Conduct <https://www.nuj.org.uk/about-us/rules-and-guidance/code-of-conduct.html>

§ See: Some things you should know about 'quoting' in one printable page <http://www.londonfreelance.org/quoting.html>

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

§ See: Contracts and paperwork for photographers

Get paid for copying and lending

Photographers are entitled to extra money from companies and organisations that copy their published work, whether traditional photocopying or by newer means. To be sure of receiving this, and other payments for such "secondary uses", photographers need to register with the collecting society DACS. This is free to NUJ members. See the link 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 DACS (linked below).

Public Lending Right

If you are an author of a book - and you are if your photographs appear in one - and the book is supplied to libraries, you are entitled to claim Public Lending Right to compensate for loss of sales due to it being lent by libraries. See "Public Lending Right", linked below.

ISSN

In order to claim for work that appeared in a magazine or "journal" you need to give its International Standard Serial Number (ISSN). This uniquely identifies a "serial" - the librarian's jargon for a newspaper, magazine or journal. An ISSN is an eight-digit number in the form 0000-0000. (Annoyingly, the ALCS website wants you to enter it without the hyphen.) It "should be displayed in a prominent position on every issue". An online edition may have a separate ISSN to a print edition, and editions in different territories should have different ISSNs.

In the UK ISSNs are managed by the British Library and there is an international ISSN lookup tool: see the links below. It's probably easier to update your own records of where your work has appeared as you go.

ISBN

In order to claim for work that appeared in a book you need to give its International Standard Book Number (ISBN). This uniquely identifies an edition of a book. The preferred form is a 13-digit number; older editions may quote only a 10-digit number. These may or may not be broken up with hyphens.

UK publishers and self-publishers buy ISBNs from the Nielsen ISBN store; there are many lookup tools, such as www.bookfinder.com - see the links below.

ISNI

You may see mention of an International Standard Name Identifier (ISNI) - a new-ish standard for unique identifiers for authors (or illustrators or photographers...) You do not, yet, need to give this to claim payments from a collecting society. We believe these identifiers are being assigned automatically behind the scenes. For UK authors, the British Library offers a "portal" to add and update ISNI entries - see the link below.

§ See: An ISBN lookup tool from bookfinder.com <https://www.bookfinder.com/>

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

§ See: Public Lending Right (Now administered by the British Library) <https://www.bl.uk/plr>

§ See: ISSN search portal.issn.org <https://portal.issn.org/>

§ See: The Nielsen ISBN store buy one or more UK ISBNs here <https://www.nielsenisbnstore.com/>

§ See: Public Lending Right general advice

§ See: ISNI portal you need to create an account on bl.uk <https://isni.bl.uk/>

Copyright in pre-1989 photographs

The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 recognised for the first time in UK law that photographers are creators of the pictures they take, whether these were commissioned or on spec.

So, in UK law: you, the photographer, have copyright in photos taken on or after that Act came into effect on 1 August 1989 - unless you took them in the course of a contract of employment, or you signed an agreement "assigning" rights. You can re-license them as you please - unless you granted an "exclusive licence".

The following notes originated as a response to a 90-year-old NUJ member who is compiling a book of her work. It may not be complete.

Photos taken before 1 August 1989 are covered by the Copyright Act 1956 (linked below). This provided that:

Section 3(4)b: ...the copyright in a photograph shall continue to subsist until the end of the period of fifty years from the end of the calendar year in which the photograph is first published, and shall then expire.

So, as of August 2021, photographs published after 1956 and before the end of 1970 are already in the public domain under UK law and no-one can stop the photographer (or anyone else) re-publishing them.

The bad news concerning UK law, from the point of view of a photographer wanting to publish a collection, concerns photos published less than 50 years ago and taken before 1 August 1989. The 1956 Act provided:

Section 4(3): ... where a person commissions the taking of a photograph, or the painting or drawing of a portrait, or the making of an engraving, and pays or agrees to pay for it in money or money's worth, and the work is made in pursuance of that commission, the person who so commissioned the work shall be entitled to any copyright subsisting therein by virtue of this Part of this Act.

That suggests that you should as a matter of principle seek the permission of relevant newspapers or magazines in the UK before re-publishing photographs that they commissioned, and published less than 50 years ago.

And what of photos that you took before 1 August 1989 that were commissioned but have not been published? It looks as though the commissioner still owns them, until they pass into the public domain at the end of the fiftieth year after the photographer's death.

And what of photographs taken before the Copyright Act 1956 came into force? The Copyright Act 1911 provided that:

21. The term for which copyright shall subsist in photographs shall be fifty years from the making of the original negative from which the photograph was directly or indirectly derived, and the person who was owner of such negative at the time when such negative was made shall be deemed to be the author of the work, and, where such owner is a body corporate, the body corporate shall be deemed for the purposes of this Act to reside within the parts of His Majesty's dominions to which this Act extends if it has established a place of business within such parts.

More research is, however, required to be absolutely sure whether any photographs are still in copyright under the 1911 Act.

§ See: Copyright, Designs & Patents Act 1988 <https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/48/contents>

§ See: Copyright Act 1956 <https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1956/74/section/3/enacted>

§ See: Copyright Act 1911 <https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/Geo5/1-2/46/contents/enacted>

The hazards of social media

Publicising your work on social media - Twitter, Facebook or whatever - can be equivalent to leaving a banknote stapled to a park bench. It may not be legal for anyone to take it and use it. But... you know what's going to happen.

Consider for example the case of Haitian photographer Daniel Morel. He posted pictures of the earthquake that devastated Port au Prince on 12 January 2010. He uploaded them to Twitpic, a third-party application of Twitter. One Lisandro Suero then copied the photographs onto his own Twitpic page and Tweeted that he had "exclusive photographs of the catastrophe for credit and copyright". Agence France Presse (AFP) transmitted them to Getty Images credited to Suero. They were used on front pages worldwide.

Morel sued. AFP counter-sued for "commercial defamation" and "an antagonistic assertion of rights". The defendants also claimed that Twitpic's terms and conditions at the time gave everyone in the world the right to re-sell images posted to it.

Morel was awarded $1.2 million in 2014, but - leaving out a lot of nasty detail - we're still trying to find out what, if anything, he received.

Our advice? If you must promote your work this way, take the trouble to make versions of your images to upload that are as small and degraded as is consistent with this.

Consider "watermarking" them with "© Jo Schmo" visibly across the middle, but be aware that there have been cases involving publishers removing such labels. Do not proceed without first checking the terms and conditions of the service you use.

Registering your photos in the US

The United States is unique in requiring that you register photographs to gain effective copyright protection. You should therefore consider registering your copyright in your pictures in the United States if it seems likely that it will be infringed there.

Beware scams

Note that schemes offering to register works in any other country are, on the face of it, scams. You have copyright simply by virtue of creating a work. If you expect to need to prove the date before which the work was created, you can easily and cheaply do it yourself: post a copy to yourself using the Post Office "signed for" service, keep the receipts, and do not open it when it arrives.

For full advice on whether to register your photographs in the US, and if so how, see the link below.

§ See: Registering a work in the US general advice

§ See: 'Signed for' service UK Post Office <https://www.postoffice.co.uk/mail/uk-signed>

Selling pictures through an agency

Photographers can also use the services of a photographic agency to licence pictures on their behalf, for a cut of the fee.

In recent years this has become less and less advisable, as one agency - Getty - has achieved a near-monopoly position. It has bought many of the smaller agencies, many of which used to offer skilled picture research services in specialised fields. It has driven down prices for the use of photos, while offering publishers "all-you-can-eat" subscription deals. It also owns istockphoto.com, which feeds publishers' and other users' demand for pixels - any pixels, so long as they're colourful - to fill space, usually at low cost.

Word from photographers used to be that Alamy was in some ways the least-hostile agency. That does not mean they have not had troubles with it. And then of course there's the rather exclusive Magnum co-operative...

We welcome your reports of dealing with agencies to help expand this section.

Tracking down pirates

Technology for finding photographs changes quite fast. At the moment your best bet is often to search for text that would be likely to be wrapped round a particular photo.

Searching for actual images

The author uses tineye.com to locate instances of particular photographs used online. You can either upload the photo, or give it a address where the photo already appears, and it will return other places where it appears.

At the time of writing it said it had details of 36 billion such images. It matches photos accurately, with hardly any "false positives". It is of course impossible to tell in practice how many instances of a photo being used or abused it finds.

The image search options offered by search engines google.com and bing.com are much looser - and the false positives can be surprising and entertaining if you have time to wade through them.

One service that offered to search for your pictures themselves is picscout.com - which compares sample images you send to it with images it finds on the web. But it's now promoting itself as a tool for advertisers.

Look for the text wrapped round the pic

So you may well be searching for text - words that really ought to appear in a picture's caption or other accompanying text. It is likely that images.google.com at least is, in fact, mainly searching the text in the web page that a picture appears on, and picsearch.com definitely does this. Each of these then presents results as a "gallery" of picture thumbnails that's easy to scan visually.

If you want to do a thorough search, do not restrict yourself to image search engines. A search for caption text 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 amazon.com and books.google.com provide.

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

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 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"

You could also try spelling her name properly as Björk with an umlaut on the "o" to see how the search engine you're using handles accents.

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

You're pretty much stuck with searching for words and phrases in the text wrapped around the video. You may find the site news.google.com useful - especially since it scans major news sites hourly or more often.

Searching within specific sites

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 use the site: prefix 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 - to restrict your search to pages whose URLs begin thus. Then you type a space and words that should appear in the page.

Now see the links below for tips on what you can do once you have found a rip-off...

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

§ 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

§ See: Bing image search from Microsoft <https://www.bing.com/visualsearch>

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

Informational links

Other resources

Below we link to some other organisations working for photographers:

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

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

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

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; rates in major markets, can be 35% more - or higher.

We divide magazines into broad bands or categories - A to D - based on our understanding of their advertising page rates.

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 clientsGBP880.00
Day rate - at leastGBP550.00
Half-day rateGBP330.00
 

Notes: photography / magazines / commissions

  • 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 rateGBP385.00
Half-day rateGBP220.00
 

Notes: photography / magazines / commissions

  • 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 rateGBP330.00
Half-day rateGBP192.50
 
 
Stock pictures - Magazines - category: A: large-circulation and glossy mags
CoverGBP528.00
Double-page spreadGBP462.00
Full pageGBP324.50
1/2 pageGBP154.00
1/4 pageGBP104.50
1/8 pageGBP88.00
 

Notes: photography / magazines / stock pictures

  • Stock picture rates are for one use only in print.
  • Add 50% for simultaneous web publication.
Stock pictures - Magazines - category: B: smaller consumer mags
CoverGBP357.50
Double-page spreadGBP324.50
Full pageGBP231.00
1/2 pageGBP132.00
1/4 pageGBP93.50
1/8 pageGBP82.50
 

Notes: photography / magazines / stock pictures

  • 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
CoverGBP275.00
Double-page spreadGBP258.50
Full pageGBP198.00
1/2 pageGBP110.00
1/4 pageGBP77.00
1/8 pageGBP66.00
 
 

Public relations

Photography for promotional and public relations 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.

Commissions may be for a single or limited immediate use - such as a press release, leaflet, newsletter, or in-house magazine; or they may be for a continuing campaign, which should obviously attract a significantly higher fee.

Publicity departments are, however, 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-budget and low-budget categories are for guidance only. The most important point is that they do not divide between profit-making 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 rateGBP1100.00
Half-day rateGBP700.00
 

Notes: photography / public relations / commissions: extended use

  • 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 rateGBP500.00
Half-day rateGBP340.00
 
 
Commissions: single or limited use - Public relations - category: High budget
Day rateGBP600.00
Half-day rateGBP400.00
 

Notes: photography / public relations / commissions: single or limited use

  • 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 rateGBP360.00
Half-day rateGBP240.00
 
 
Stock pictures: Brochures, reports etc - Public relations - category: High budget
CoverGBP605.00
Double-page spreadGBP550.00
Full pageGBP385.00
3/4 pageGBP330.00
1/2 pageGBP286.00
1/4 pageGBP242.00
1/8 pageGBP220.00
 
 
Stock pictures: Brochures, reports etc - Public relations - category: Low budget
CoverGBP385.00
Double-page spreadGBP330.00
Full pageGBP220.00
3/4 pageGBP187.00
1/2 pageGBP165.00
1/4 pageGBP143.00
1/8 pageGBP132.00
 
 
Stock pictures: In-house magazine - Public relations - category: High budget
CoverGBP530.00
Double-page spreadGBP465.00
Full pageGBP330.00
3/4 pageGBP260.00
1/2 pageGBP154.00
1/4 pageGBP104.50
1/8 pageGBP88.00
 
 
Stock pictures: In-house magazine - Public relations - category: Low budget
CoverGBP310.00
Double-page spreadGBP260.00
Full pageGBP200.00
3/4 pageGBP165.00
1/2 pageGBP110.00
1/4 pageGBP77.00
1/8 pageGBP66.00
 
 
Stock pictures: Public information leaflets - Public relations - category: High budget
CoverGBP440.00
Double-page spreadGBP420.00
Full pageGBP290.00
3/4 pageGBP250.00
1/2 pageGBP214.50
1/4 pageGBP181.50
1/8 pageGBP165.00
 
 
Stock pictures: Public information leaflets - Public relations - category: Low budget
CoverGBP286.00
Double-page spreadGBP247.50
Full pageGBP165.00
3/4 pageGBP137.50
1/2 pageGBP121.00
1/4 pageGBP110.00
1/8 pageGBP99.00
 
 

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 on this try the Association of Photographers website - see the link below).

To try 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 public relations and advertising rates, and should reflect 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 photographer should always license use for a limited time period. After two or three years 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 licences granted for the range of day rates suggested here.

Production charges tend also to be 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.

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 day, high-profile work fromGBP3000.00
Per day, at leastGBP1800.00
 
 
Commissions - Corporate work - category: Low budget
Per dayGBP880.00
 
 

National newspapers

National papers may pay less for a day's work 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 real 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.

Guardian agreed rate: per dayGBP267.68
Better-paying - eg Telegraph commissionGBP275.00
Guardian agreed rate: per day as of 12 Oct 2017GBP275.00
CommissionGBP220.00

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

 

Notes: photography / national newspapers / commissions

  • 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 insGBP71.50
10 sq ins or 1/32 pageGBP77.00
11-20 sq ins or 1/16 pageGBP88.00
21-42 sq ins or 1/8 pageGBP110.00
43-85 sq ins or 1/4 pageGBP176.00
86-170 sq ins or 1/2 pageGBP231.00
 

Notes: photography / national newspapers / stock pictures

  • 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 pageGBP71.50
5-11 sq ins or 1/16 pageGBP88.00
12-22 sq ins or 1/8 pageGBP110.00
23-44 sq ins or 1/4 pageGBP176.00
45-90 sq ins or 1/2 pageGBP231.00
 

Notes: photography / national newspapers / stock pictures

  • 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 £100 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 rateGBP132.00
 
 
Commissions - Regional newspapers - category: Weekly/local newspapers
Day rateGBP110.00

Notes: photography / regional newspapers / commissions

  • 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 pageGBP110.00
30-50 sq ins or 1/4 pageGBP88.00
15-30 sq ins or 1/8 pageGBP66.00
 
 
Stock pictures - Regional newspapers - category: Weekly/local newspapers

Notes: photography / / stock pictures

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

Videography

Freelance videographers, like freelance photographers, own the copyright in their film 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.Under the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 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. But for moving pictures the first owner 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. For news 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, and once edited can rapidly be cut into other videos. It 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 due to be updated again soon. 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 equipmentGBP550.00
Editing/production dayGBP550.00

Notes: photography / videography / commissions by the day

  • 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 transmittedGBP330.00
Per subsequent minute transmittedGBP330.00
Up to 1 minute transmitted - no less thanGBP275.00
Per subsequent minute transmitted - no less thanGBP275.00

Notes: photography / / tv news footage

  • 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.
 

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 non-exclusive 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 rateGBP330.00
With non-exclusive world rights for one titleGBP550.00
With right to re-use in a subsequent editionGBP825.00

§ See: Suggested schedule of cancellation fees

Notes: photography / books / commissions

  • 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
WrapGBP530.00
CoverGBP290.00
BackGBP220.00
Double-pageGBP220.00
Full pageGBP145.00
3/4 pageGBP115.50
1/2 pageGBP88.00
1/4 pageGBP71.50
1/8 pageGBP66.00
 

Notes: photography / books / stock pictures

  • 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
WrapGBP540.00
CoverGBP310.00
Double-pageGBP264.00
BackGBP242.00
Full pageGBP154.00
3/4 pageGBP121.00
1/2 pageGBP104.50
1/4 pageGBP82.50
1/8 pageGBP77.00
 

Notes: photography / books / stock pictures

  • 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
WrapGBP583.00
CoverGBP352.00
BackGBP297.00
Double-pageGBP286.00
Full pageGBP176.00
3/4 pageGBP132.00
1/2 pageGBP115.50
1/4 pageGBP93.50
1/8 pageGBP88.00
 

Notes: photography / books / stock pictures

  • 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
WrapGBP605.00
CoverGBP429.00
Double-pageGBP385.00
BackGBP330.00
Full pageGBP231.00
3/4 pageGBP176.00
1/2 pageGBP143.00
1/4 pageGBP121.00
1/8 pageGBP110.00
 

Notes: photography / books / stock pictures

  • 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
WrapGBP638.00
CoverGBP484.00
Double-pageGBP385.00
BackGBP374.00
Full pageGBP253.00
3/4 pageGBP198.00
1/2 pageGBP176.00
1/4 pageGBP143.00
1/8 pageGBP132.00
 
 

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 dayGBP478.50
At least: per dayGBP302.50

§ See: Suggested schedule of cancellation fees

Notes: photography / broadcasting / commissions

 
Stock pictures: transmission time - Broadcasting -
Single transmission - up to 10 secondsGBP121.00
Single transmission - 4 secondsGBP93.50

Notes: photography / / stock pictures: transmission time

  • 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
 

Online use of photos

This category was introduced back when producing the Fees Guide involved felling trees. It has now been retired: more here.

Notes on negotiating rates for online use of photos

This category was introduced back when producing the Fees Guide involved felling trees. It has now been retired: more here.

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

One of the first predictions made when publications started to go online was "convergence": essentially everything would be an online publication, sometimes with a print edition as well.

It has happened.

The effect for our purposes in the Fees Guide is that the rates paid are determined by the type of publication. Salon is effectively a fairly-glossy magazine, though it has no print edition. The Independent is an online-only newspaper, and pays roughly as badly as it always did.

The Guardian and New Scientist, for example, are first published online and then print versions are put together from that - often, it has to be said, with the picture desk getting a chance to find new and better photos for print, and pay for them.

And so on. It no longer makes sense to deal with "online use" as if it were a separate market for photographs.

Many publishers of print editions expect to use photos online as well for a single fee. It remains worth checking whether your client is prepared to pay an uplift. It is all part of negotiating the rate for that job.

Note that publications that want to use a photo only online often want to pay less than they would for the print edition. The Daily Mail and MailOnline for many purposes, including this at the time of writing, are separate business operations and should pay separately.

It remains the case that, in general, photographers get to keep more rights than reporters and columnists do. You can and should expect to be asked to negotiate a new licence if a magazine produces a "best of" book, for example.

Please see the sections for each type of use linked below.

Online use of photos -

Please see the varieties of use of photographs listed below.

§ 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>

§ 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>

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

§ See: Day rate calculator

§ See: Negotiating rates and rights advice for photographers

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

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

§ See: Production charges / expenses : rates

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

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

§ 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

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

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

§ See: Photographers' networks

§ See: Search fees

§ See: Search fees

§ See: Photographers' networks

§ See: Suggested rates for Public Relations work

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

§ See: Search fees

§ See: Suggested schedule of cancellation fees

§ See: Photographers' networks

§ See: Photography / PR - higher rates apply...

§ See: Search fees

§ See: Photographers' networks

§ See: Day/base rates advice

§ See: Photography/Regional newspapers

§ See: Search fees

§ See: Photographers' networks

§ See: Photographers' networks

§ See: Photography / PR - higher rates apply...

§ See: Search fees

§ See: Search fees

§ See: Photographers' networks

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

§ See: Corporate work suggested rates

§ See: Negotiating rates and rights advice for photographers

§ See: Search fees

§ See: Photographers' networks

§ See: Day/base rates advice

§ See: Photography/National newspapers

§ See: Search fees

§ See: Photographers' networks

§ See: BECTU going rates for camera work <http://www.bectu.org.uk/advice-resources/rates/freelance-camera-rates>

§ See: Photographers' networks

§ See: BBC rates for edited packages

§ See: BECTU agreements with TV producers in PACT <http://www.bectu.org.uk/advice-resources/agreements/pact-agreement-2003>

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

§ See: Photography: Magazines - rates

§ See: Photography: Public Relations - rates

§ See: Photography: Corporate work - rates

§ See: Photography: National newspapers - rates

§ See: Photography: Regional newspapers - rates

§ See: Photography: Videography - rates

§ See: Photography: Broadcasting - rates

§ See: pic4press guidelines from Periodical Publishers' Association <https://www.ppa.co.uk/resource/pic4press-download>

§ See: Bing image search from Microsoft <https://www.bing.com/visualsearch>

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

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

§ 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 <https://www.ppa.co.uk/resource/pic4press-download>

§ See: Negotiating rates and rights advice for photographers

§ See: Indemnities - challenge them and get insurance

§ See: Contracts and paperwork advice for photographers

§ See: Some things you should know about 'quoting' in one printable page <http://www.londonfreelance.org/quoting.html>

§ See: Employment status advice for all who may be self-employed

§ See: Negotiating rates and rights general advice:

§ See: Negotiating rates and rights advice for photographers

 

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.

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)GBP16.50
Bulk processing images: per hourGBP110.00
Bulk processing images minimum charge: per hourGBP66.00
Wiring selected but uncorrected ex-camera filesGBP55.00
Digital transmissionGBP22.00
Contact sheet (in print or on the web)GBP22.00
Writing to CD/DVDGBP11.00

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

Notes: photography / production charges / exes / digital production charges

  • 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 mountedGBP27.50
Black & White film process and contact sheetGBP22.00
Colour film process and contact sheetGBP24.00
Black & white hand print (10"x8") first off neg.GBP11.00
Black & white hand print: subsequent printsGBP9.90
Colour hand print (10"x8") first off negGBP22.00
Colour hand print: subsequent printsGBP11.00
Colour machine print (10"x8")GBP13.75
 
 
Lost originals - Production charges / exes -
Lost originalGBP550.00
Unrepeatable imageGBP1100.00
Lost filmGBP5500.00

Notes: photography / production charges / exes / lost originals

  • 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 mileages - reduced HMRC allowanceGBP0.45
 
 
 
This is updated to 2021-09-22 22:30:00; if you have a printout, check the current version at http://www.londonfreelance.org/feesguide/print.php?section=photography.

Text © Mike Holderness & previous contributors; Moral rights asserted. The collection (database right) © National Union of Journalists. 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.