When Should You Grant A Copyright Transfer?

"The request for a copyright transfer, often called a buyout, always makes me antsy - and I know I’m not alone. Copyrights are valuable and photographers know we need to charge substantially to turn them over, but what if such a big fee scares the client away? This kind of thinking regularly puts photographers between a rock and a hard place and can make us second-guess our fees. But this increasingly popular request doesn’t have to be a negotiating sticking point. Instead, photographers should learn to confidently explain to clients why a buyout costs more, and take the opportunity to help educate the customer and potentially save them money." - William Sawalich


Image Library for Insurance Company

Client type
Insurance company

Client size
Enterprise (more than 500 employees)

Assignment description
Provide a large volume of images for use in an advertising campaign as well as a library of photographs the company can tap into for future projects.

Was this a direct client, or did the job come via an ad agency, design firm, PR agency, or other intermediary?
via Advertising Agency

How long did it take to prepare for the shoot?
3 days

How long did the shoot take?
10 full days

How long did it take to edit and process the images from the shoot?
3 days

How many images did you supply to the client?

Licence purpose
All print and digital media

Licence territory
New Zealand

Licence period
In perpetuity

Licence exclusivity

Licence conditions
No attribution required

Creative fees
Photography fee: $25,000
License extension: $5,000
Post production: $5,000

Production charges
Assistant for 10 days: $3,500
Location scouting: $5,000
Travel - flights, hire car, accommodation, food: $11,500

Total cost
$55,000 + GST

Conditions of Sale
Photographer retains copyright
AIPA Terms & Conditions apply
30% payment up front, remainder paid 20th of month following invoice

If you'd like to see more photo shoot pricing data please consider joining the AIPA.