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getting paid for photos in book long i'm afraid.

updated thu 15 mar 01


philrogers pottery on mon 12 mar 01

I feel I should say something regarding this question of payment for =
images and the means by which authors should go about getting them.

Firstly, I think that Vince is right. It is penny pinching and short =
sighted in the extreme to worry about payment for photo images. Common =
sense should tell you that the donation of a slide or two for the right =
book or article will probably pay dividends way beyond the value of any =
small royalty. I can tell you now that the writers of ceramics books do =
not do it for the money. We do it for the effect a book will have on our =
sales, prices, invitations etc. and the self interest in the project =
itself. There is a knock on effect for those included in the book. =
Having a supply of good quality transparencies for just this kind of =
eventuality is part and parcel of being a professional maker. Of course =
publishers make a profit. However, houses like A&CO Black print a large =
number of ceramic books in fairly short print runs. The profits are not =
huge, we're not talking Jeffrey Archer here. The books do though, =
increase awareness and significantly promote ceramics generally.

Secondly, I have a rule when it comes to asking for slides for a book. I =
never ask unless I am sure that I will use at least one. (Unless the =
quality of the slides are so poor they are unusable which has never =
happened to me yet). This idea of advertising for slide submission for =
possible selection for use in a book stinks. I would be so embarrassed =
to have to return slides to someone only to have to tell them that their =
work didn't come up to scratch. It's wrong and shouldn't be done. =
Imagine putting someone to a great deal of trouble and expense only to =
reject them. I can't believe a potter would do that to another potter. I =
always know the work of whoever I ask and the decision as to whether =
they will be in the book is taken before an approach is made. That is =
right and proper.

One more thing, I have now completed three books and I have Never been =
asked for payment for any image I have asked for. Potters are generally =
sharing, generous people and feel they are contributing to a common =
knowledge apart from doing themselves a bit of good!


Phil and Lynne Rogers,
Lower Cefn Faes,
Powys. LD6 5LT.

Tel/fax. (44) 01597 810875.

Subject: Re: Getting Paid for Photos in Book

> > As for the cost of using an image. I will use a 5,000 copy edition =
> > there is a photo taking 1/4 of the page. The amount to pay would be
> > approximately, $110.00 CDN. It is not much but it is something.
> Terrance -
> It is important to realize that the net profit on most ceramics books =
> usually quite low, and the publisher and author do not make much off =
> them. The artists whose work is pictured in books get excellent =
> which may lead to invitations to conduct workshops, may improve =
chances of
> getting work in shows and sales, etc. You have no doubt been to craft =
> where the craftspeople display copies of books or magazines picturing =
> work.
> As I see it, when our work appears in books, the author and publisher =
> doing us a real service by offering this venue for exhibiting and
> publicizing our work, and the last thing we want to do is upset the =
> by expecting to getting paid for those images. To my knowledge, in =
> ceramics world no one ever gets paid for having photos of their work =
> books.
> Best wishes -
> - Vince


Terrance Lazaroff on tue 13 mar 01

Ok? I think we have a real debate here. I speak for myself and without

It may be advantageous for a clayartist to get a photo of his work published
.. Those published may get workshops or invitations to speak. They The key
word here is MAY. It is a conditional and MAY does not necessarly mean
that some good will come from having the photo in the book.

It is not penny pinching when you have to pay $300 to $400 for professional
photographer to take photos of your work. It is not penny pinching when we
give up a day of production packing the work that will go to the
photographers. It is not penny pinching when we give up another day, maybe
our weekend to ensure the photographer understands how you want your work
shown. It is not penny pinching when we hire a truck to carry the work back
and forth to the photographers studio. It is not penny pinching when we
spend $10.00 on duplicates. It is not penny pinching when we spend $15.00
packing and mailing the photos. This stuff cost the artist. He should be
compensated to some degree.

I firmly believe that soliciting photos without remuneration is much the
same as a boutique asking the artist to pay to show his work and then taking
40 or 50%. It is the same as asking the artist to pay to open a tent and as
part of the agreement,be obligated to give free demos on throwing on the
wheel. Then there are some publishers who charge to have your work
published. It seems that those, requesting the work all say the same thing.
People will see your work, you will become known, and you will get great
exposure. Well, I can get exposure by standing in the middle of the street
wearing nothing but a rain coat in sub zero weather.

There are those who advocate that the neither the author nor the publisher
is getting much money for their work. Nevertheless, they do get money. Why
don't they do it for free or better yet, pay to do it. Some say they author
books for the effect it will have on their sales. The key words here is,
THEIR SALES, NOT MINE. I find that hard to believe. If it wasn't lucrative
books wouldn't be published. It is as simple as that.

I recently checked with a printer on how much it costs to print an all
colour, soft cover book; approximately 5" by 7", 140 pages of photos and
text on high quality paper, at least one photo per page. The print job was
going to cost approximately $25,000 for 5,000 copies. I believe this
equates to $5.00 for each book. I am looking at a similar size book in
black and white and the retail price tag is $35.00. Where did the $30.00
difference go? Now let us just say that we put a 1/4 page size photo on
each page. The cost of the printing and photo copyright payment would be
approximately $40,000. This averages the cost out to a bit more than $8.00
per copy. I think the real penny pinchers here are those who are making
the money.

Will things change? I don't think so. People will continue to allow their
egos to control their life. That is the problem. Others give it away, so
why pay those who ask. Until we all get on net we will never get our share
of the profits.

Finally, very few images of my work have been published. I am not bothered
by this fact as I sell well, teach well and work well within our ceramic

So if anyone wants a photo of my work, they will have to purchase the
copyright. Not because I am famous but because I worked to produce the
image, organised the logistics to get the photos and took the time to get
them into the mail. I use my photos for my personal publicity. If I wish to
have my work shown in a book, I may have to publish it myself. At least I
will be in control.

Remember. this is a debate.

Terrance Lazaroff on tue 13 mar 01

I do not know if I was clear when I used the term copyright. I use the term
meaning "royalties", paid for the use of images. We do not let go or our
copyright. We allow it to be used.

Sorry for the confusion and thank you to Mary where ever you are.


Marie Gibbons on tue 13 mar 01

well.... I hate to do this, but .... here is another can of worms
When I have sent my slides in for submission for books, or mag. articles I
give the photo credit to my photographer (who is a professional ... who takes
wonderful photos. . . whom I pay 100 an hour plus the cost of film) Recently
I was in Clay Times magazine... They pay for their photos, to the person who
is given the photo credits...

I would not feel right saying that the photo credits belong to me... I could
not take these photos... mine are awful... that is why i go to my
photographer, and he deserves the credit, and the possible business he may
get from others seeing his work.

At times I would think "man, he makes an awful good salary here, 100 bucks an
then i started thinking about it... he spends maybe 15 - 20 min with me when
i drop off my work, talking about the shoot, hearing what i want. (on his
own time)
he does the shoot, (and keeps track of the time for the shoot only... that is
what i am charged for).
he then has to drop off the film, pick up the film, organize my slides
(probably another 20 to 25 min on his time)
I come pick up my work, in which he takes the time to go over the slides with
me, and spends a little bit just discussing the work, how the shoot when etc.
(on his time) (about another 10 to 20 min on his time)

He has all the expensive equipment, he has the proper lighting, the space,
and the know how to do this the right way. He takes beautiful slides.
he is getting paid for an hour of shooting time and spending another 45 min
to an hour with me unpaid. so in actuality he is making more like 50 an hour.

so, photo credits..... and payment for photos.... who should be making the
money on the payment of use of your works images?? If you own a pot and
someone wants to use it in a book... and you give them an image of it, do you
claim credit ... no you give the artist credit even though you paid for the
pot, and it is yours. Publications are purchasing the image, if you didn't
make the image you are not the one paid for it.

marie gibbons

Jean Cappadonna Nichols on tue 13 mar 01

I certainly respect your decision and conclusion to not send slides to be
published free of charge. My own decision to participate in sending slides
freely to authors of ceramics books, both tabletop AND textbook types, comes
from the knowledge that one must invest in one's business. I chalk it up to
overhead. I have been published many times; I can't attribute any direct
sales to that fact, but I can't discount it either. I am a sculptor. I am
collected by both individual patrons as well as a few museums. When art is
purchased, the purchasers want to know that the artist has a track
record--that he is not a "one-hit wonder". Whether one considers it to be an
indulgence of vanity or not, a book is an item which can be held in one's
hand, looked at repeatedly and can be enjoyed for many years to come; it
creates a permanent record of one's history. When someone purchases a piece
of my work, if that particular work has been published, I make a gift of that
book to the patron. One can all it brown nosing if one wishes; I call it good
business. That simple act brings great joy to people.
I also go through the same process which you described, to have my work
photographed. My husband and I spent last Sunday driving to another city to
get slides made of five new sculptures. We helped the photographer by lifting
and hefting those hundred pound behemoths to the correct positions, waited
hours for light adjustments to be made, etc. Paid the $500.00 to the
photographer for his time; left feeling exhausted but gratified to have found
someone who does excellent professional work and relieved , once more, to
having it over with. This then, is the business of art. Those slides were not
made to be sent to any publication, but, if I'm lucky, they will be. I will
have the duplicates made for fifty three cents apiece. It's worth every penny
of it and I will send them to anyone who will publish them. The wonderful
thing about being in a free country is that these options are ours. If one
doesn't wish to participate, just say "no".

Jean Cappadonna-Nichols

Cindy Strnad on tue 13 mar 01

About photographic images--

Actually, the fact that you didn't make the image doesn't necessarily mean
you don't own it.

If you don't own the image, then you need your photographer's permission to
have the image reproduced in any form. This is the way most portrait studios
work. They do not sell you the copyright, but only copies of the images they
have created for the purpose of selling them to you.

They're not likely to complain that their image appeared in a wedding
announcement or a graduating seniors section of the newspaper, but just ask
for a negative sometime and see what happens. I think that, in most cases,
you will be asked to pay a substantial additional fee.

If you do own the image, your photographer has participated in a "work for
hire" agreement with you. The copyright belongs to you. If you manage to
publish the image for compensation, the royalties or fees properly go to
you, the owner of the copyright. I haven't dealt with this situation
personally, however I think it would be reasonable to request such an
arrangement for photographs and slides of your art work.

Yes, you give proper credit to the photographer. If he has sold you the
image complete with copyright, however, credits are all he will expect to

As to working for $100/hr, Marie correctly enumerated the additional time
spent visiting and consulting, the expensive equipment, etc. There is
another consideration, which might be worth remembering. Most high-quality
photographers I'm aquainted with do their own developing and printing as
well. This is as much an art as the picture taking itself and can have a
profound effect on the type and quality of the image. So, no, I don't think
for a minute that photographer is making even $50/hr.

Cindy Strnad
Earthen Vessels Pottery
RR 1, Box 51
Custer, SD 57730

Milton Markey on wed 14 mar 01

In a message dated 3/13/2001, Marie writes:

> so, photo credits..... and payment for photos.... who should be making the
> money on the payment of use of your works images?? If you own a pot and
> someone wants to use it in a book... and you give them an image of it, do
> you
> claim credit ... no you give the artist credit even though you paid for the
> pot, and it is yours. Publications are purchasing the image, if you didn't
> make the image you are not the one paid for it.

Hi Marie, and Everybody!

This is an instance where a clear negotiation with the photographer needs to
be made. As both and clay artist and photographer, I ask for credit for the
photos I shoot, when I photograph someone else's art. Usually this is done in
a caption, or sometimes printed sideways by the picture, in a published
magazine. Not as often, my name may appear with the title of the article and
author's name.

Unless there's a contract between the author of an article to be published
and the photographer, regarding compensation (including the rare royalties)
paid to both parties, the author is usually the one who gets paid, for both
the article and the photos.

It really not a matter of what is depicted in the photo, to the publisher's
point of view. As long as the photo is clean, in the acceptable format
(slides or negatives), and the author provides accurate captioning, the
publisher of a magazine or journal is usually satisfied.

I suggest that you purchase (or visit the website of) both The Photographer's
Market, and The Writer's Market. The details of having one's work published
are in these books.

Best wishes!

Milton NakedClay@AOL.COM