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The Art of Licensing Your Images


So this isn’t about licensing so much as a hot tip about how to price yourself when a licensing request comes in. I recently had a third party (small business) ask about licensing some images I had shot for a publication who’s short term license had expired. It made me think about how most photographers I know freeze on pricing… they don’t want to undervalue themselves, and they don’t want to throw out a number so high that they lose the sale. I’ve learned that licensing images is one of the best ways to keep some passive income flowing in. A wise photo rep also once told me that you should make your licensing fees attractive to the client. Don’t throw out numbers in the thousands because they want a buy out. It’s in your best interest to get those images licensed! When said request came in asking for rates I paused and mulled over my numbers. The ideal is obviously the highest number you can get them to pay… but like I already mentioned I didn’t want to scare them off with the highest price. So I made a 3 tier offer.

Really budget : low res web only for one year fee/image
Medium budget : web and print for one year fee/image
My highest but still fair price : buyout rights indefinitely fee/image

By giving this client three options I was securing the sale by letting them choose what they had in their budget to spend. Incidentally they came back and did a buyout of 6 images at the highest cost. Easy breezy money in the bank. As with all negotiations I always try to keep it a conversation. Never just one flat fee. Just a lil life experience hot tip when it comes to negotiating your licensing fees!