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Image publication for magazine use

japcur 9 10
3 May 2009 2:02AM

i've been taking pictures of swimmers at a dock for some time. to make a short story shorter, i was in a brief discussion with a swimmer who had spoken to a magazine editor. the swimmer wanted to take a couple of pictures of swimmers at the docks with some nice buildings as the background. for some reasons this may be challenging for him. so i told him i could pass him a few pictures which he could then send to the editor and see what he (the editor wanted to use it) thought.

so, i dont know what the deal is. in fact, i guess there may not be a deal at all because he said he wasnt sure whether the editor would, eventually, want anything from him.

but i would like to ask a few questions and get advice from you.

i told him i would send him a few pictures in small size because i wanted to protect my copyright. here,

1. should i watermark the photos?
2. should i state something like this on the email: the photographer retains the copyright of the photos at all time. any editorial or commercial use of any image attached to the email requires express consent in written form from the photographer?
3. or...?

if i do the first 2 things above, do you think it will put the editor off?

also, shall i charge for the pictures should they be used? i was told this was a new magazine and i personally never have any sports pictures published before. i want to use this opportunity to help me getting into the world but people here say never give anything away for free. personally i am happy if my name is shown before the image but what should i do?

if you want to see the pictures could you please tell me what to do or link me somewhere that tells me so.



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yellowmunky 13 127 1 Wales
3 May 2009 2:25AM
It's a tough call... while you want to break the market, you'd still be doing a disservice to yourself if you do not charge. Lots of mags want stuff for free, but most will throw in a few shekels.

I'd offer a 'sample' image which is watermarked and lo-res, but not so low as to compromise quality. Next, if they are liking the image, either negotiate a fee, or at the very least insist on credit (if you have a website, get this in there too.)

If you are just in it for the thrill of getting published, then you'll know what to do.

If your images are worth the salt, then there's no harm commanding a fee; and if they don't buy into it, go somewhere else. If your work is consistently great then soon you'll have no probs shifting your work; most of the hard work comes from pitching to the right market. Some mags will also want a few words to go with the piece and will often pay per word, or agree an overall fee.

Ultimately it's all down to negotiation. If you don't get in there, don't worry... just keep trying, practice your genre, or if you are happy, start pitching to people.
Remember, the more you feel inclined to give freebies, the more disservice you do to yourself and the profession
GlennH 12 1.9k 1 France
3 May 2009 8:06AM
By all means watermark any previews you send - subtly.

Don't be over-protective of your pictures - which is something that amateurs tend to be more than pros. Copyright is already yours, and using the pics without permission is never advisable - it gives you legal leverage to charge them as you see fit (within reason of course).

There's no need to be overly formal about any of it. Just use language which makes it clear you want to be paid, ie 'at your usual rates', or 'for a negotiable fee'.

Giving pictures away is an issue for you - but I'd always advise against. Unless you are getting very high profile exposure, photo credits aren't worth the paper they're written on!
mark_delta 10 1.3k
3 May 2009 8:37AM
Over egg the cake and they will just hire a shift photographer to get the pictures and recreate the set, happens every day to someone
GlennH 12 1.9k 1 France
3 May 2009 9:28AM

Quote:Over egg the cake and they will just hire a shift photographer to get the pictures and recreate the set, happens every day to someone

Yeah, well, good luck to the shift photographer. Probably this mag is low-budget, and maybe no-budget. It comes down to what each individual is willing to accept. There are plenty of publications out there that will pay (something at least). Taking the bull by the horns is likely to be more fruitful than waiting for dubious half-chances.
mark_delta 10 1.3k
3 May 2009 10:10AM
many of these magazines go from one photographer to the next publishing images on the promise that the lucky tog will be first in line for any paid work, it rarely if ever materialises, the profits are kept high and they never appear to have a shortage of Photographers hoping to be the next to be given a chance to hit he big time and kick in the day job, as soon as money is mentioned they drop you like hot s4it and when it is time to get a commission they use one from the list provided by the parent company, the illusion that these titles are budget set ups is just that an illusion, the vast vast majority are sub titles linked to multi million pound publishing companies who only care about profit.
Many magazines should be seen as vanity only publishing, because this is all you will get by submitting to them, but don't get me wrong, I have nothing against anyone wishing to see their hard work in print, what I am against is these multimillion pound companies tricking it out of them whilst the money rolls in, the joy of telling everyone down the pub or friends and family that the uncredited unpaid for work in a magazine is yours will not help pay for the shopping .
Beware, it is a pool of big fat greedy sharks, ask for a order by e.mail requesting the images including a agreed price or just accept that vanity is all you will get, Mark
GlennH 12 1.9k 1 France
3 May 2009 11:08AM
Mark, of course you're right. Photographers are no more 'important' than the average employee, and similarly they provide work so that someone else may reap a far bigger reward. But there is usually 'a budget', regardless of the intrinsic wealth behind it. Magazine titles hit the wall all the time - they have to be viable, and of course if photographers provide usable stuff for nothing editors are going to grab it.

Still, I'm cynical, as I suspect you are. Vanity was never really a motive for me, although I've occasionally enjoyed publication. The only real affirmation to be had from photography has to come from within.
japcur 9 10
4 May 2009 11:14PM
thanks a lot everyone for your input.

i'll watermark the pictures and forward them to the swimmer and see what he/the editor says afterwards. meanwhile, i will try to find out a bit more - if possible - about whether a deal had already been made.

thanks Glennh for reminding me not to be over-protective of the pictures. when i was thinking of whether i should use the statement, i was concerned that it might be too intimidating to the swimmer and it would just put the editor straight off from a potential folow-up.

thanks mark_delta for raising the possibility of the business people to recreate a set through a shift photographer. in the present context, one of the possible backgrounds - the landmark of the city - can hardly be reproduced because right at the moment, a new building is being built between the buildings and the docks.

i'll update you with the progress. for now, thank you again for your advice and comments.
bikejourno 12 114 United Kingdom
7 May 2009 11:55AM
of course mags will use free pics
they are a business and need to show due diligence in costings etc
for every paid job there is dozens of new folk dying to do the work for free "just to get in"
thankfully their work is usually so poor and under researched as to make it hardly worth viewing in the first place i know i get tons in my email in box every monday morning

a snapper is "needed" if they have a particular style or work ethic that is important to the publication
high quality of images is also important as is the need to supply on time and in the format required

make the job as easy as possible for the editor, supply what is asked for, and you will make some headway i am sure
japcur 9 10
7 May 2009 3:21PM
bikejourno, I made a mistake you mentioned and now the opportunity to 'just to get in' might have been gone. I forgot to ask the swimmer whether there was a deadline to send the pictures. Saw him yesterday and he said the editor wanted to see the pictures last Friday. He had sent him some and said he would wait and see what the editor said.

Well, worse comes to the worst, I will ring the editor myself and ask whether he's interested.

Anyway I will still send the swimmer a couple of pictures, just because when he raised the issue, I told him I could pass him a couple of pictures - I feel responsible for my response you see - included one of his. Who knows, he might like them even if the editor didn't.
japcur 9 10
15 May 2009 6:01PM
a small update. no news yet. didn't see the swimmer this week. hopefully there is more meaningful update next time.

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