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Author Topic: Charging for CD Cover  (Read 2688 times)

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« on: June 20, 2007, 03:06 »
I recently did a photoshoot for a band I know, who have signed to Universal Japan. As it turns out, the band and the record company love the shots and want to use them for promoting the band and in particular, want to use one image for the CD cover. The aim is to sell at least 100000 units across Japan, Asia and then worldwide.

Before the shoot we didn't discuss money as I wanted to help the band out. I've known the drummer for about five years and it's great to see them progress from a band playing at school to fully-fledged rock outfit! Before the shoot I did make it clear that if the band and the record company were happy with the images then I would need to be paid, especially if it was to be used for CD cover.

My dilemma is what to charge. As it turns out, Universal have given the band money upfront and they will be paying me themselves rather than getting money direct from the record company. I will probably charge them less than the market rate but not really sure what the market rate is for this sort of licensing.

Here is a link to the band's profile on the Universal website:
featuring one of my shots

« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2007, 11:13 »
Do you have a normal hourly rate, travel stipend, equipment rental rate.. etc. that you would have charged a stranger to photograph something else - I don't know - flower arrangments or a new fashion line of clothing?

Realistically, the band may never sell 100,000 cd's.  BUT - if they are a smashing success - they may sell millions of cds, who knows.   Either way, it does work out to nice exposure for you.

I would determine what you would have charged a stranger.  I'd draw up an agreement limiting their use of the photograph to just the cd, and to just 100,000 copies.  Make sure you demand a photo credit. 

Ultimitely, Universal may want ownership of the photo and they would have to negotiate with you.  There will be a strong image association with the cd - and it will presumably have many other uses:  print ads, posters, media kits, television stills.  If they want to use the cd image on their marketing - make Universal negotiate for the right.

I know how it is, you want to help the "struggling artist".  You can't give it away.  Well, you almost can and feel good about contributing to their success - but if you restrict the usage of the photo you may have more bargaining power upon their success.

edit:  Forgot to mention merchandising royalties.  If they have a sold-out world tour, that's an awful lot of t-shirts you would want a percentage of.  I guess what I was trying to say is don't give it all away.  Let them do the cd cover, but maybe you can make $ in the end if you restrict the usage.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2007, 12:43 by Pixart »


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