Thread: Selling Photos?
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Old 04-16-2015, 09:39 PM   #4
KevinM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Massachusetts
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I think Mitch covered it pretty well. What you ask for really depends upon who the customer is and what they intend to do with the image. If they want it for one issue of a railfan magazine, that's one thing. Railfan mags typically pay anything from nothing, to perhaps a couple of hundred. If it's for a more mainstream publication (like TIME), that's a step up. Mainstream mags may well be able to afford more than specialty mags. If someone wants EXCLUSIVE USE, feel free to set your price. They are essentially taking the photo away from you.

I think it is reasonable to lend the (free) use of one's images to tourist railroads, museums, 501C3s and other such causes. Those folks need our help, and providing such help may also help you get closer to their organization. It's a win-win.

Other potential (commercial) users should offer you SOMETHING (besides just a photo credit) to use your image in some sort of publication. They may not have a big budget for imagery, and that's fine. They should still make at least a token offer. Otherwise, they are essentially saying that your photos are worthless, and you know that's not the case. You didn't get them for free. You have travel expenses, perhaps charter expenses, and of course, your gear is expensive.

Unfortunately, these days, with every teenage railfan running around with a 24 MP DSLR, many consumers of railroad photos seem to think they can drive the market into the ground. They can only do that if we let them.

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