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getting paid for photos in a book

updated mon 19 mar 01


PAGCarr@AOL.COM on sun 18 mar 01

I have followed this thread with great interest, and agree with both points
of views. I really appreciate the openness of the discussion, and felt that
I might contribute to it.

I have had images of my work published multiple times. Twice I was paid very
handsomely, and given copies of the articles by Encyclopedia Britannica and
Smith College. In both cases, my images were brokered by a representative of
a registry, and the organization took a 50% commission. In a third instance,
an author asked to use one of my image along with the images of several other
artists in this registry. She was paying one of the artists quite a bit,
several others, something, and just wanted my permission ("since I wasn't
well established"). Because she was paying the other artists, I felt that I,
too, should be paid. We negotiated, and I accepted a token amount. I
probably should have been more demanding, especially since the audience was
not artists. I was even paid a token amount ($2) to participate in a video.
I have no idea if that video ever had an audience, but the payment was really
for the protection of the filmmaker, and was his idea. Several times I have
been asked for, and given my permission to print images without charge for
shows, etc., and counted myself honored. In one case, the image was printed
in the Sunday circular of a Vermont newspaper; I wasn't even aware that the
image was being used until a month after the printing. I could have been put
out that they had failed to ask my permission (and probably should have
been), but since it was on the cover, I was pleased as punch! In all of the
above cases, the images of my work were used to accompany articles that were
not about me, my work, or type of work, or art per se. I have only been
asked once to submit photos for an art book, but at the time I had nothing.
If I had, I would have done it without charge for the very reasons of
publication (or perish), documentation and exposure. But, I do agree with
Ron, especially if the image of your work becomes representative of a given
subject area. I don't want my work to become clip art. When a publisher has
to pay, even a token amount for something, it is clear that it is not in the
public domain. I hope that I am not being too muddy, but, maybe, each
situation should be considered individually ... and I always insist upon a
credit line, and ask for a copy of the article. As usual, there is more than
one right answer!!!

Paulette Carr