Need some help pricing photo for t-shirts and posters

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by epp_b, Apr 23, 2009.

  1. epp_b

    epp_b No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Every year, a local car club holds a drag race event. I took a butload of photos at last year's event. I was not commissioned to take photos, it was just for the fun and love of photography (and drag racing ;)).

    A few weeks ago, a member of the club asked me for a sample CD of the photos I took, so I gave him one which he presented to the board. He got back to me earlier today asking for one particular image that they'd like to use for printing posters and t-shirts.

    I have no idea where to start on pricing...

    Do I ask for a commission on t-shirts and posters? Plus a creative fee? What are reasonable creative and commission fees/percentages?

    Do I just figure out a reasonable flat fee for these uses of the photo?

    Do I charge for my hours spent out at the track?

    Any other ideas?


    I'd say I spent 14 hours over the two-day event if that makes any difference. I'm not quite sure what sort of organization they would be classified as, but I think it's probably non-profit.

    He also mentioned that they're willing to print attribution on the merchandise. Perhaps if they are unwilling or unable to pay a reasonable amount, this would be an option for me to gain some exposure.

    (yes, I did a search, I didn't find much of anything)
     
  2. epp_b

    epp_b No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Nobody here has ever sold t-shirts or posters? ;)
     
  3. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Price according to how many times they are going to use the image. Do club members pay dues? Does the club have other sources of income?

    How many t-shirts and how many posters? Front and back on the t-shirts or only one side. What size posters? 11x14?, 16x20?, 20x30? 4'x6'?

    Do they want exclusive rights to the image or can you sell it to other clients that may appear later? Do they want All Rights?

    What was the paid attendence at last years event?

    There's not a bunch of photographers out here selling t-shirts and posters.

    They'll sell a whole lot more t-shirts with your image on 'em than just the name of the car club and they won't sell squat for posters with no image. Consider how much leverage you have.

    Hope that gives you some ideas.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2009
  4. Blank

    Blank TPF Noob!

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  5. epp_b

    epp_b No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thanks, KmH, that's really helpful information. Blank, thanks for the link, your first response there has some good stuff.

    I've written up a worksheet for myself...

    What do you think? Look OK? Anything missing?
     
  6. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Whoa.......

    Tell me why you give non-profits a big break. They aren't the same as a charity.

    I know some non-profits where the employees make huge salaries. If you want to help them out that's fine and admirable. But protect the photographic industry; charge them full rate but make a separate personal donation that you can also deduct on your taxes.
     
  7. epp_b

    epp_b No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I guess I don't have a complete understanding of what distinguishes a non-profit organization.

    Thanks.
     
  8. Blank

    Blank TPF Noob!

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    This is a situation alot of us end up in. How you handle it now, will dictate your future with this "club". Me personally, I would tread lightly. Since you were never asked to cover the event by anyone, invoicing for any figure on your worksheet may have a negative reply.




    This is what you have:
    • Interest in 1 image
    • An interest in licensing of 1 image
    That (if I read your post right) is all you have.
    If I were you, I would sell the image with licensed restrictions based on application:

    1. A poster desinged by you with "x" copies. Just as I pointed out in the attached link. Your price for design = $x/hr x however long it takes to put the poster together. Then apply a margin to "your cost" to having that quantity printed and delivered. Poster size for designing is irrelevant when working in Photoshop or whatever program you intend to use. Poster size for print reasons will obviously alter your price.
    2. If they want an image for use of print on a tshirt, have a licensing agreement drawn up for use of that particular image, for "x" amount of t-shirts. Some even state a period of time the image can be in production. Some even request visual credit (like an art signature). There should be a sliding scale for this image license. My question would be "how many t-shirts do you intend to print?". If they say no more than 100, that should be in your license agreement and you might charge as follows:
    100 t-shirts at $15.00 each = $1,500. Since your image is probably the focus of the t-shirt sales, 5 to 10% is not an unfair asking price. Therefore, say 7.5% of $1,500 is $112.50. That $112.50 for that many t-shirts is reasonable. License is the key. $112 for 1 image to give some guy to put on a t-shirt is a pretty good pay for you! Of course, put in your own percentage justification.

    I honestly beleive, if you go to this club with any of your worksheet prices, you will be turned away and your chance to work with these people may in future may dry up on the spot. The above desription is exactly how I have handled exactly the same situation with short track dirt racing (cars). I am now have the only media access to the inner part of the track where all the best vantage points are and have exclusive rights selling images through their website.

    These guys/gals probably dont care if it took 4 days to get that 1 image, their logic is "why are we paying $400-600 for 1 picture?" Would you?

    This is completely different than what you are proposing, I wanted to make you aware of.
     
  9. epp_b

    epp_b No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I didn't mean for it to look like I was going to ask $600+ for one photo on a t-shirt, but I can see why it may have looked that way. I just displayed those amounts as a generic outline.

    They have already said that they have a business in mind for designing the poster. I assume they have some relationship or standing deal with said business (the poster they had for last year's event looked pretty good; I wouldn't mind a photo of mine being on it).
     
  10. Chairman7w

    Chairman7w TPF Noob!

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    No need to overthink the matter my man.

    If you charge more than $20 for a t-shirt, they're going to laugh and walk away. All that other stuff is just numbers.

    Same with the poster, really. I don't know anybody that would pay more than that.

    Frankly, there's not a lot of money to be had selling posters and t-shirts to people, unless it's on a very large scale.
     
  11. epp_b

    epp_b No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'll have to find out how many t-shirts they're going to be making before coming up with any final numbers.

    Surely you don't mean $20 in total for all the t-shirts they print... ?
     
  12. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    To buy the t-shirts and get them silkscreened will cost them say $14 a shirt that they will sell for $20.00. That leaves $6 in profit for each t-shirt. You get a cut of their profit, up front. They still have a bit of work to do to actually get the t-shirts sold so.........Either way you can check with local shops that do silkscreening to figure out about what their costs are going to be. Just go to a silscreen shop and get an estimate as if your were a customer.

    Without YOUR image on them (or someone elses) they are'nt likely to sell any t-shirts.
     

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