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Old 23-06-2008, 22:22   #1 (permalink)
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How to word a letter?

Hello,
I am going to a couple of festivals this year and obviously, it would be great to sell some images from these to magazines, publications etc.

So, Freelance Market Handbook in tow, I am going to email/write to picture editors asking if they would be interested.

My question is how do I slip in a cost for publishing the images? Do I ask at the initial contact what their freelance rate is? Do I get the ok, send the images, wait for them to be published and then invoice them? Or do I get the OK from them then ask?

I dont want to be pushy as I am an unknown entity to them so they can just as easily dismiss me but obviously, I want cold hard cash at the end of the day!

How have people on here approached this, if at all?
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Old 23-06-2008, 22:57   #2 (permalink)
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Re: How to word a letter?

It depends on the publication's circulation and market. Unless it's pretty special they have a set rate based on size and location in the publication.
This is not a bad guide
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Old 24-06-2008, 08:57   #3 (permalink)
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Re: How to word a letter?

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It depends on the publication's circulation and market. Unless it's pretty special they have a set rate based on size and location in the publication.
This is not a bad guide
Cheers for that Vinny

The rates on the guide seem to be more than some magazines are quoted as paying in the book!

Would it be advisable to refer to the guide in corresondence to them do you think?

I am really just thinking how to structure a speculative letter and wondering if anyone has had any success sending images to the mags, and got paid!
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Old 24-06-2008, 09:15   #4 (permalink)
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Re: How to word a letter?

Good link there Vinny, thanks.

Loafer, I'm in the same boat myself, just starting out to try to sell images to publications, and wondering the same thing.

My understanding is that most publications have a set of fixed prices and will tell you what they are willing to pay. It is then down to you or I to decide if we believe that is enough or if we walk away. If the image has some particular selling point then I expect the publication might be willing to negotiate but if it is just a stock image that they can get from anywhere (or one similar enough) then it is a buyer's market and you like it or leave it.

So if we get some really good 'newsworthy' images we might be able to demand the higher rates but for 'standard' shots without any unique appeal I would expect to get paid whatever they offer.

But then maybe someone with more experience than me will come along and tell us how it is really done.
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Old 24-06-2008, 11:03   #5 (permalink)
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Re: How to word a letter?

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Originally Posted by Larne View Post
Good link there Vinny, thanks.

Loafer, I'm in the same boat myself, just starting out to try to sell images to publications, and wondering the same thing.

My understanding is that most publications have a set of fixed prices and will tell you what they are willing to pay. It is then down to you or I to decide if we believe that is enough or if we walk away. If the image has some particular selling point then I expect the publication might be willing to negotiate but if it is just a stock image that they can get from anywhere (or one similar enough) then it is a buyer's market and you like it or leave it.

So if we get some really good 'newsworthy' images we might be able to demand the higher rates but for 'standard' shots without any unique appeal I would expect to get paid whatever they offer.

But then maybe someone with more experience than me will come along and tell us how it is really done.
Its hard getting started isnt it?
I just am a bit cautious as I work on the picture desk for my local rag. If someone emails pics in and asks about money, then we dont use the pictures. The exception is stuff that we cant get from PA. We only pay the staff photographers and our registered freelancers. Submitted photos are accepted and if theres any doubt as to whether theres a cost implication, then they are not used.
I would imagine its different for nationals and magazines but dont want to put them off straight away! My photos will do that!!
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Old 24-06-2008, 19:42   #6 (permalink)
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Re: How to word a letter?

From what I have read a great number of publications are making do with 'readers pics' these days to get away without having to pay. On principle I will never allow one of my images to be used for something where the user should be expected to have a budget for photos but there are far too many people who are just happy to get an image in print and consider the 'fame' to be payment enough.
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Old 26-06-2008, 19:01   #7 (permalink)
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Re: How to word a letter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larne View Post
From what I have read a great number of publications are making do with 'readers pics' these days to get away without having to pay. On principle I will never allow one of my images to be used for something where the user should be expected to have a budget for photos but there are far too many people who are just happy to get an image in print and consider the 'fame' to be payment enough.
I dont think its "fame" as such; more the fact that being a published photographer can open more doors than not being published.. I can see their point but do think that my work has improved to the stage where I can hold my own against published photographers. Its just they have access to better subject matter, if that makes sense.

so frustrating!!
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Old 26-06-2008, 20:18   #8 (permalink)
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Re: How to word a letter?

Well, there is a bit of a debate about whether being published really makes that much difference. I know quite a few of the pro 'togs on here are dead set against giving work away. There was also a very interesting debate on the subject in the June issue of Professional Photographer magazine.

Personally I'm not planning to give my work away just to get myself in print, at least not to people who should be in a position to pay. I do some 'pro bono' work to gain experience but I choose to do that for charities who wouldn't be in a position to pay anyway.
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Old 28-06-2008, 09:44   #9 (permalink)
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Re: How to word a letter?

I reckon being published would make alot of difference to the tog in terms of esteem, etc. Esp if you have been at it a while. It would do to me anyway.

That said, free images? I am not so sure, unless it was a prelude to regular paid work.

I am a volunteer photographer for a local charity too. And will happily do anything for them at cost (at the very most and usually at their instistance)

You are right about the companies who have a budget though.. i might have to invest in this months PP
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Old 28-06-2008, 15:27   #10 (permalink)
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Re: How to word a letter?

maybe you should also try and get a website, only publish your best work, but not, obviously, full size Dl's of it... I am sure you could just get a blog site, buy a domain name and point it to the blogsite.

if they are going to be hiring you they will be looking at your portfolio...get to grips with what is, technically, a bad photo...every sausage on here has their own opinion of what makes a good one.

your Deviantart thingy isn't that much help i don't think, but you can just get a domain name and point it to that instead...or even photium.com - they will sort you out with a more professional look.

maybe add some photo's to pixalo...although, if you are looking for some hardcore critique, maybe that section of the forum can help.

get a good prime lens - like a 50mm f1.4-8 always comes in handy.
something like that
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Old 28-06-2008, 20:48   #11 (permalink)
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Re: How to word a letter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by traer View Post
maybe you should also try and get a website, only publish your best work, but not, obviously, full size Dl's of it... I am sure you could just get a blog site, buy a domain name and point it to the blogsite.

if they are going to be hiring you they will be looking at your portfolio...get to grips with what is, technically, a bad photo...every sausage on here has their own opinion of what makes a good one.

your Deviantart thingy isn't that much help i don't think, but you can just get a domain name and point it to that instead...or even photium.com - they will sort you out with a more professional look.

maybe add some photo's to pixalo...although, if you are looking for some hardcore critique, maybe that section of the forum can help.

get a good prime lens - like a 50mm f1.4-8 always comes in handy.
something like that
Hey.. Thanks so much for that! just goes to show how much I check my profile here.. I have had a website for a few months now and never updated my profile! My gear has largely changed too - so nice one for bringing that up!

My deviantart site was AWFUL! - my current site may not be much better to some - but I like it!

Yep. i will be including my link in any correspondence to the magazines.

Lens wise, I have a nifty (50mm f1.8) and a siggy 70-200 f2.8. I have an 18-55mm IS but am looking for a low light (f2.8) mid zoom to replace that.

I did try to upload to pixalo once but the process took forever! Even after resizing but anyne is welcome to leave a comment at my site HERE
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