04 May, 2011 | Posted by: st
Going With An Agency
Signing up with a stock photo agency
isnít fast money, far from it.
Make certain you understand how the agency works in the area of payments to you, as few things can turn a business relationship sour as fast as misunderstandings
about when payments are made.
Many photobuyers work 4-6 months to a year or even two years ahead before making a photo selection.
Until they are close to going to print, they donít send payment for your photo usage.
This means that when you enter your photographs with an agency, you should be prepared to wait. How long? For a year or two before you start seeing consistent sales.
As you can see from the above examples, the time between when a sale is made and a payment is received, can vary.
Not happy with the results you are getting from an agency? Reasons for terminating the contract should be specified in the contract
It should spell out:
1.) how the agency is required to return your database of photos, or to keep your digital database of images.
2.) What is to be done with a remaining account balance, and the other important financial details.
3.) Don't expect to find that your stock photo agency, in their ciontract with you, will cover (with insurance) the cost, in case of fire, flood, wind, etc. damage to your images (digital or film, or prints.)
Again, the contract is in place to protect your interests as well as the interests of the agency. It is a wise investment to have your attorney look over a contract youíre not feeling sure about
. Also, if photographer friends are signed up with the same agency, get their feedback.
One important detail the contract should spell out is what happens in the case of a serious disagreement. The agency should be willing to provide you, or your representative, access to their books, so you can find out if sales are being credited properly.
Most contracts stipulate arbitration
to be carried out by a licensed/certified arbiter in the state where the agency is located.
Signing up with an agecy is a great accomplishment, but no one said the journey was going to be easy.
Photojournalist Mikael Karlsson has 28 years' experience of working for magazines and newspapers in more than 30 countries. He moved to the
United States in 1998 from his native Sweden. He lives in Nebraska and is currently USA correspondent for 11 Swedish magazines and writes a
how to photograph column for PhotoStockNOTES. To reach Mikael
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