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Selling photos

dclarke5 15 147 United Kingdom
1 Mar 2004 9:43PM
Sorry to harp on. But having looked at that little flower on NT land, instead of taking a photograph I in fact take out my pastels and sketch it. I then take that pastel picture, frame it and then sell it at a local craft show, do the same rules apply? Do I still need permission from the National Trust? Or is it just photographers who are at a "disadvantage"?

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Just Jas Plus
16 26.2k 1 England
1 Mar 2004 9:50PM
frenchie - no problem with paying an entry fee, these places must earn an honest crust of bread from the parched earth (as I think Donovan once said on a TV interview).

The professional going in and shooting productively and maximising the shoot ,as you suggest above, expecting to get a reasonable return for his 38 - which presumably he does regularly or he wouldn't be professional for long - is one thing, but it does sem a bit hard on the guy who is really amatuer but shoots off a few rolls and hopes that he might be able to sell one or two if he's lucky.

Or perhaps it serves him right for trying to emulate the 'big boys'.

My point is the full time professional operates in professional way and gets professional results.

The guy who shoots a small amount of film, mostly at week ends, and perhaps sells the occasional picture has very little return for his outlay. Possibly student photographers hopefully intending to become professional, may feel the same way. I feel more in sympathy with them, as they are not yet getting a real income from photography, and may be on low income anyway.

What do you think?

Just Jas
mattw 14 5.2k 10 United Kingdom
2 Mar 2004 7:56AM
Oops, I appear to have split a can of worms (I did say this issue was debatable)...

We should be careful here that so far we haven't yet spoken to the NT to get their official line on this matter so all we have at the moment is conjecture. However, I did choose them as an example for a good reason -

To be honest I sit on the middle of the fence here. On one hand, the quoted price of 38 to be able to sell photographs is pricey for someone starting out, but not totally beyond possibility.

However, Just because Durham Cathedral is relatively accommodating does not mean that everyone else is. I was talking about this issue to a security guard in one of the London parks last year, and she said that they charge a 3 figure sun for professional photography!!!! What if the NT follows this example?? If they are legally allowed to charge, then they will be able to charge what ever they like, which in my view could be a bad precedent (The liberal in me says that if it's natural, then you should be able to photograph it, and then do what you like with the photos...)

while I concede that the NT are unlikely to be happy about me sending images of their land to rival image librarys (should I wish to do so), I do not see that selling at odd print or two at craft fairs is in any way competition for their image library....


PS, wasnt this issue discussed in Scotland last year, with the Law eventually siding with the photographers rather than the land owners???
UserDeleted 15 3.6k
2 Mar 2004 7:56AM
Just Jas,

I guess my response to that would be that if you are an amateur who likes shooting nature and hopes that you may sell a few prints and consequently do not want to commit to entry fees and photography licences then there are plenty of subjects around that require no licence to photograph. It is not as if restrictive practices are in place.

Colin Varndell, who is a pro nature photographer, started by photographing plants and birds in his own back garden, and still does.

If I think about what makes an image sell it tends to be good light and composition not that the particular specimen was in an RHS garden and so there are many ways to create saleable photographs (in your house, garden and in public areas).

Finally, and I do sympathise with those who genuinely have little, but there are plenty of amateurs walking round with > 10,000 worth of kit. If some of the capital used to buy equipment was diverted and used to shoot then that 38 might not be so much of a problem.

My role model is Flossie - Anne takes fantastic saleable photographs of flowers and never complains about lack of access to sites, equipment etc.....

mattw 14 5.2k 10 United Kingdom
2 Mar 2004 7:58AM

I don't know if anyone is still following this..... But we have discussed selling images and prints - but where does the law stand upon the issue of publication? I would assume that the same situation exists if I recieve payment for publication of a photograph? Correct?

UserDeleted 15 3.6k
2 Mar 2004 7:59AM


mattw 14 5.2k 10 United Kingdom
2 Mar 2004 8:06AM

Very true, however for the landscape photographer, the back garden is rarely on option!

I brought this up because I enjoy photographing dramatic landscapes, and the fact of the matter is that most of then in this country are under the care of the NT. If I can't afford the NT's demands, then I will look elsewhere, but it will make life more difficult - especially as it is often difficult to know if you have strayed onto someones private land.

UserDeleted 15 3.6k
2 Mar 2004 8:17AM

Valid point I had stayed onto Dave's line of thinking around flowers

Just Jas Plus
16 26.2k 1 England
2 Mar 2004 10:02AM
Mike - quoting the case of the well off doesn't invalidate the plight of much less well off photographer.

Re garden photography - fine, if that's what one wants to do.

If one wants to get out and enjoy the countryside around and takes a few pics of interesting sites seen, then then worry of some action if published on a site such as this, or exhibited, just isn't wanted.

Just Jas
UserDeleted 15 3.6k
2 Mar 2004 10:16AM
Just Jas,

I wasn't quoting the case of the well off. What I said was that everyone has to allocate their dispensible income, and at a lower level the disposable income that is spent on photography.

Photography 80 years ago was the preserve of the extremely well off - it is not that now. However, it is not a national right to be the owner of photographic equipment nor to be immune to the restrictions placed on professionals just because you might want to sell a few photographs but can't be sure.


If I had 100 of disposable income for photography (assume it is my main and only hobby) per month and spent all of it on kit then I can hardly complain that I can't shoot inside a church through lack of funds.

However, if I spent 60 on equipment / processing etc and 38 on entry to the church to take saleable pics then I have made space for the expense.....that's all.

As far as I can tell there is no limitation on individuals taking landscapes for their own pleasure. I would imagine that no-one from the NT will complain if you post the pics on this site for others to view and critique. You might even, with permission, be allowed to exhibit (providing the photographs were not for sale).

The issue arises if you want to make a profit and then your argument is not relevant because you are doing so because you expect money in to be greater than money out - and that as Barrie asserts is the risk of being a pro photographer.

kit-monster 14 3.7k 2 Singapore
2 Mar 2004 10:34AM
So in theory, we or epz should ask the NT permission to post pictures of their land on this site? This site does make money from advertising, brought in on the strength of it's memebership and visitor numbers viewing the gallery, which according to the site's own poll is the most popular part!
roxpix 14 2.2k 11 Scotland
2 Mar 2004 10:42AM
I dont have an issue with paying for commercial photography in museums formal gardens, chuch's abbeys etc. the list goes on...

What I dont get is how you cannot sell a photograph of a mountain range/coastline without paying/getting permision from the 'owner'.

So not only does someone own the mountain they own the view of the mountain as well!!

If they didnt want to run the risk of people selling pics of their mountain they shouldnt leave it lying about.

This is a part of the planet, not a structure added later or errected on the land.

This has been a bug bear of mine since I drove to Cornwall on hols many years ago to find that someone had bought Lands End, and if i wanted to even see it I would have to pay. Naturally being a Scotsman and having principles I turned around and left.

just my view

UserDeleted 15 3.6k
2 Mar 2004 10:44AM

That's a long way to drive and not take your camera out oft he bag ! :0)

kit-monster 14 3.7k 2 Singapore
2 Mar 2004 10:47AM
Alan - I totally agree. I'm pretty mad about what's happened to the Cairngorm. Maybe as a Scotsman you can explain a few of the land issues in Scotland. Is it the same? Would I need permission to sell pictures of, say, the Cullins that are privately owned?
Carabosse 15 41.1k 270 England
2 Mar 2004 10:50AM
I photographed Lands End years ago. How times change!

It is tempting to say "Just do it!" so far as selling photos of natural features, like mountains, is concerned.

How many landowners would want to make themselves look silly by trying to make a legal issue out of some photos of a mountain?

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