You did the right thing. To come up with basic prices to get you started in negotiations you can use something like fotoQuote. While it’s no guarantee you can get the prices that fotoQuote comes up with, it gives you a good starting point.
Let me give you a #ProTip here as well about buying software… or anything online.
If you are checking out online and see a box for a promo / coupon / discount code for a product then open a new tab and google something like “Foto Quote coupon code”… chances are you’ll find some working promo codes to save some cash. I just found one that is working and will save you $22 on fotoQuote. I do this all the time when I’m buying things online. Just a tip if you’ve never done that before.
You also may have dodged a bullet because you’d better have model releases on all of those images you’d sell to a company like that because it’s a commercial use and if you didn’t have releases you could have been sued.
As far as the rate? There’s no easy scientific answer for this. Let me give you a peek at what fotoQuote would do. Note that I don’t have the full picture of what was asked of you for your images. I don’t know if they are printing these or just showing them on the web. It’s important to get all of the usage terms defined before you start to price your work.
Let’s say they are just using these images for online advertising for a national market.
fotoQuote shows a range $675 to $1,351… and get this… that is PER IMAGE!!!! Not for 20 of them. And that’s for one year’s use at a medium size on the web.
So let’s just say for shit’s and giggles that this company would BALK at those prices. Even if you just offered them each image for $150 each for two years that is still $3,000 you could charge them for usage. Just on the web. And that is a massive discount from industry standards. And that is NOT A BUYOUT!!! They don’t OWN your images. They just get to use them for X amount of time.
Let’s say they are printing 1,000 brochures and your images are going to be used in that brochure.
That’s a range of $351 - $702 PER IMAGE. Let’s say you could get $350 per image. $350 x 20 images = $7,000.
The numbers fotoQuote comes up with aren’t just pulled out of someone’s ass. These are based on real world usage numbers. Yes you can buy a shitty stock photo for a dollar but we’re talking about unique work. They are coming to you because they want something unique. Otherwise they’d just be getting cheap ass stock photos. Unique work has value.
So based on the numbers above…. Do you see how you are getting bent over and royally screwed for $500 for twenty images?
If you are balking at these prices yourself and wonder why anyone would pay $7,000+ for usage to unique photos think about the company and products being sold. If this company does good work and markets their products well they could easily gross $250,000 in sales for a year. $7k out of $250,000 is what? Less than 3%? Is my math right on that? Let’s just say they spend $50,000 on advertising and marketing and developing these products to gross $250,000 in sales. Let’s say their hard costs for printing and fulfilling these products is $100,000. They’ve spent $150,000 on marketing, developing, printing, and fulfilling these products and see a gross profit of $100,000. Now, I’m pulling these numbers out of my ass but they aren’t too far off for some industries.
When their gross profit is $100,000 in a year and they spent $150,000 to make that profit then how small of a drop in the bucket is $7,000 for image usage? And that $7,000 isn’t coming out of the final gross profit. It’s rolled into the costs of $150,000.
What happens when you look at a company that has gross sales in the millions and millions? And profits in the millions? And your usage fees to them are $20,000 - $50,000? Again, those usage fees are a drop in the bucket when you look at the millions and millions being spent on marketing, advertising, and all that.
A mom and pop produce stand in a small town? You might do well to get $100 for an image. A major print company? They should have the budget to spend more.
Anyway… Hope this helps.
I’ve always been fascinated with fighting arts. Not because I’m a violent person, I’m not, by any stretch of the imagination, but I sure love learning how to fight and the science behind it.
It has little to do with being good or even being confident of…