Usually the payment for photos is “exposure credits” - recently someone gave me “money” and I’m not sure what to do now !!!
Over 18 months ago I was privileged to photograph a special wedding occasion after a man with Alzheimer’s forgot that he was already married for 38 years and proposed to his wife again - she went through with a second wedding. The story went viral and appeared in several magazines. Caters new agency asked us to go exclusive with them with promises of big payouts which neither of us received. That’s in the past and a good lesson learned. Today the story takes a nice turn - I was happy with the increased traffic to my website and hadn’t expected any payment anyway but this is an example of how a professional organisation conducts business with a photographer. I was contacted last month by someone else wanting to use some of the images from that special day.
I’m one of the photo editors for Guideposts; we’re working on a story about Linda Joyce for Mysterious Ways, one of our sister magazines, and I was hoping to license the photos you took on her and Michael on their wedding day? https://www.springbokphotography.com/blog/2018/1/21/a-special-wedding-shoot. Their story is absolutely beautiful and touching, and I know our readers will enjoy reading it …………..”
This was my reply “Hi Katie, thanks for making contact. I think the story is worth sharing so let me know which image/s you would like to use and I will send you full size versions to use free of charge. :)
Considering how Caters ripped us off [ https://www.springbokphotography.com/blog/2019/1/27/caters-new-media-promised-me-thousands-to-go-exclusive-with-them?rq=caters%20 ]I'm just happy for a bit of traffic to my website”
I was taken aback by the reply which included “I’m happy to pay for image use Once we have the layout approved and the size of the image determined, can I invoice you for the one or two images we use?”
I replied that I’d be happy with $100. And was once again taken aback by a reply a few days later “we used 6 images please invoice us for $600”. I had hoped for $100 in total but they were offering $100 for each image. I began to wonder whether they were related to the Nigerian prince who has been wanting to transfer several million dollars via my bank account for some time. I sent an invoice still expecting that to be the last I heard of the subject but a few days later received forms from them for transfer of funds to a country outside the USA. I filled in the forms, sent them off and waited. Since many companies make payments at the end of the month I forgot about it for two weeks then today checked my bank account and realised that while i was talking New Zealand dollars they had paid in US$ and I now had $900 in my bank account for the use of 6 images.
Of course there are many companies just scraping by and wanting to use images in exchange for “exposure” but it’s great to know that there are one or two companies prepared to offer payment willingly and make it worthwhile for us.
Update 5/09/2019. I was contacted by Linda Joyce asking about the forms needed to be filled in to get payment from the company - I was pleased to find out she was also going to get a little more out of it after the experience with Caters. Once again they actually volunteered payment.