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Appropriate Fee for photo usage

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Ed Cilley
Appropriate Fee for photo usage
on Apr 16, 2010 at 2:39:02 pm

Cross posted to Business and Marketing

What is an appropriate rate/fee I should expect to pay someone for use of their photographs? If someone has images posted on the web (copyrighted) and I contact them regarding usage, what should I expect to pay?

This would be for a commercial website.

Any advice would be great.


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Curtis Thompson
Re: Appropriate Fee for photo usage
on Apr 16, 2010 at 2:43:34 pm


that's a hard question to answer - are you contacting annie leibovitz or the college kid taking night design school classes? it would totally vary by who you were contacting, and it could get very expensive depending on usage...

(or it could be very reasonable - again, there's no real average number here)

places to try that are commercial-license friendly can be wikipedia commons (some there are not for commercial use, though, and you have to attribute and potentially re-distribute) or somewhere like istockphoto, which has fixed rates based on usage and has some nice stuff...

hope that helps...


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Fernando Mol
Re: Appropriate Fee for photo usage
on Apr 17, 2010 at 12:20:55 am

Really hard to say, because is like asking what's appropriate to pay for a meal... or a party. Basically you should pay what the people ask for, if you can afford it.

You can look for reference prices in sites like istockphoto, imagebank and

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Patrick Ortman
Re: Appropriate Fee for photo usage
on Jun 22, 2010 at 6:15:00 pm

Also, do not forget Flickr and doing an advanced search for Creative Commons licensed photos.

Our most recent photo license was under a hundred dollars, but it was a non-hero photo (not super featured on the client's website). We also try to get our clients to accept giving the photographer's credit and link (it's the right thing to do, and it often makes it cheaper and easier to get the license from the photog).

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