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Magazine wants to use my photographs
Anything I should be careful about?

 12:46 pm on Jun 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

I run a travel website which features lots of photographs (taken by me) of the area covered in the site.

I was contacted this morning by the editor of a magazine about my country, asking if she could use some of my photographs in the next edition of her magazine. She said that my site would be given credit for the pictures.

This seems like a good opportunity to get publicity (and possibly a link) but is there anything I should be careful of before agreeing to this?

I've googled the name of the magazine and the name of the editor but can't find anything on the internet about either.




 1:14 pm on Jun 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

Such things are always good publicity. Make the most of it.

Editor's are generally a trustworthy and professional bunch (!) although sometimes a bit too keen to take a mile when only an inch has been offered. You shouldn't have any problems. However, it's always wise to cover all the angles. Here are a few suggestions:

* Raise the fact that you cannot find out anything about them.
* Check the name of the publishing company - do they publish other things?
* Ask to see a back copy of the magazine.
* Provide the editor with the credit you want to appear alongside your photo's. Keep it simple.
* Ensure you assert copyright in this credit.
* Assert that the images are for one time use only, otherwise fees will have to be paid to you.
* Ask for two or three copies of the magazine upon publication (known as voucher copies).
* If images are being supplied traditionally, ensure you get the prints/negs/transparencies/slides back as soon as the magazine is printed.
* Confirm everything in writing.
* Be helpful. Editors like helpful people with useful resources and they have a tendency to return to those resources - if they are helpful!

As you can see, it's all just common sense stuff and very straightforward.


Fortune Hunter

 1:13 pm on Jun 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

Syzygy's post is dead on. One more thing...

Get it all in writing.

The world of business would be a lot smoother if everyone got all agreements in writing and eliminated the ambiguity out of any written agreements.


 9:29 pm on Jun 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

The only time I sold a photo for money, they (very reputable publisher) had their boilerplate contract, so this publisher may as well. Check it against Syzygy's list and make sure it's okay.

My contract stated that it was for a one-time use, but also allowed for using the image in advertising materials associated with the product that used the image.

The mistake I made (aside from not negotiating a higher fee actually) was not putting a URL in the credits.


 7:55 pm on Jun 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

In my experience very few publishers agree to put URL in credits.
One thing is they fear losing the reader to a website.


 8:25 pm on Jun 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

Don't bother wasting your time, marvin. The deal is stacked as a one-way resource suck (hence the above-noted disdain for url credits). Oh, and watermark your images on the web as they will often use them anyway, claiming that they made a mistake and somehow confused it with a public domain picture they had in their research folder.


 9:25 pm on Jun 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

In my experience very few publishers agree to put URL in credits.
One thing is they fear losing the reader to a website.

Maybe so, but this project had four other contributors and the smarter ones did indeed get their URL in the credits. I just didn't think to ask because, like you, I assumed they would only give my name for copyright purposes. Not so. Could have had my URL there!


 2:30 am on Jun 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

Lots of newspapers have official/unofficial policies/standards/practices of avoiding providing URLs. They want your quotes, images, content filler, what-have-you - but will give as little as possible, and URLs are often high on the 'sleight of hand' list of available trickery.


 9:43 pm on Jun 27, 2008 (gmt 0)


Editors don't have time for that sort of trickery, they devote it to the readers and advertisers instead.

Sorry, one image is just too insignificant to care about - for most - especially when each edition of your publication is stuffed with such things.

Best thing to do is get your demands in straight away and as forcefully as possible.That way the editor will make a note that a specific credit is needed.

Much later, when the publication is being laid out and is nearly ready for repro, they'll come across your particular pic - one out of many - and will likely read their earlier notes and ensure this credit is put in place.

However, don't bug the editor...

I'll tell you this, more than once in my publishing career I've deliberately spelt the names of contributors incorrectly - and probably worse. Usually because they've become a pain in the backside for what essentially is some small reason.

Having your photo published might be the biggest thing in the world to you, but for the editor it's just another picture in a proverbial cast (or gallery) of thousands...


Waves all-powerful red-pen-light-sabre in the air and gives often practised nefarious editorial laugh :-)


 10:35 pm on Jun 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

more than once in my publishing career I've deliberately spelt the names of contributors incorrectly - and probably worse.

LOL - Which is why I suck up to editors/writers/whomever from Day 1, try to get I need, and hope that I don't get shafted anyway.

Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely, and all that.

I'm glad my print experience is pretty much limited to submitting copy that isn't my responsibility afterward.

<End rant before it starts.>

Use the force. Beware the dark side.


 2:26 am on Jul 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

Thanks everyone.

I've given the magazine the go-ahead (following Syzgy's suggestions). I'll let you know how things work out.



 2:18 am on Jul 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

i've had similar experience. They used some of my pictures but would like me to write a small description on them. In return i got small pocket money of US$384.

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