Here are some of the common questions starting with, “Why” that may cross your mind before we work together.
Why don’t I get to keep the RAW photo or video files?
To keep the costs down for you, the copyright for the image or video belongs to the photographer or videographer, respectively. This is the standard around the world.
Similarly, when you purchase the music you listen to everyday, you only own a license to listen to it. When you go to your favourite bar for a cocktail, you’re only purchasing the ingredients for that drink and license to consume the drink.
This is usually enough for the majority of projects out there.
However, there are exceptions.
If you really must have the RAW photo or video file, these may be negotiated and worked into the final fee. Purchasing the RAW image or video file buys you the full copyright so you have a perpetual license to do whatever you wish with it. It also means that the responsibility for archiving and making back-ups of the RAW photo or video files is handed over to you.
Why don’t I get to use the photos and images in perpetuity?
It’s not commercially beneficial for you to re-use a photo that’s several years old. In this day and age, it’s important to keep your brand strategy updated to help you stand out. Discover what’s working and what isn’t. As a result, the photos and videos published should reflect these updates to attract more customers.
If you really must have the images for a specific use forever, this exception may be negotiated and worked into the proposal.
Why do you have image licenses? It feels so rigid and complex.
Image licensing protects all parties.
The license is a mutual agreement about how an image is used. This helps you keep track of how the image gets distributed. If for whatever reason your competitor starts using your image and you purchased an exclusive use commercial license, it’s likely that the image was illegally obtained and used.
Sometimes the model or the managers of the location will specify a limited amount of time you may use the image.
Here’s an article if you would like to learn more about image licensing.
Why does my talent need to sign a model release?
The model release is another standard legal (not what you were expecting were you) document that protects all parties.
It clearly defines how the photos and video will be used, gives the client and image maker the right to use their face and likeliness in the images and the permission to publish them according to how the photo or video will be used.
If the model is a minor (usually under 18), their parent or guardian will need to sign the form.
I love your work but can’t afford it. Can we work out alternative payments like credit or exposure?
Thanks for your praise and positive feedback.
Understand that a photo or video, in print or in digital form, is always tailor made just for your needs. There is a lot of creativity and craftsmanship based on years of accumulated experience that goes into each image. The process of continuous professional development also involves financial investment.
All of this combined with the costs of actual materials, equipment and utilities going up with the crumbling economies requires adequate financial compensation.
I thank you for your kind offer of payment by exposure and regretfully decline. Best of luck with your business and campaign.