Selling a photo (maybe)

This afternoon I received a very exciting email:

I think your image “zzz” works very well. Do you have it in high quality ? Can I use it ? We are able to pay 100-200 US$ for it. (full rights-you will not be able to apply in commercial use again) [sic]
Please let me know.

Naturally I’m thrilled that someone wants to buy one of my photos (see on Flickr). However, I have to admit that I’m a total newbie when it comes to negotiating commercial rights to my shots.

I’ve replied asking for more details of what specific purpose they want it for, and to explain the rights issue, as I’m not sure I’m comfortable assigning “full rights” – I assume that would mean that I retain copyright, rights for personal use, etc. but I’m not clear. I’m also not sure on the value.

Any advice from any of my readers would be welcomed!

In addition, currently my Flickr shots are marked as All rights reserved. I’m thinking of switching to a Creative Commons license (specifically, Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs). Any thoughts on that?

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8 thoughts on “Selling a photo (maybe)”

  1. A great compliment, but I’m with you. What do they want to use the image for. Consulting an attorney would cost as much as your profit, but might be useful in the future to know your rights.

    I personally have no idea. There are several legal sites on the web that might have some answers.

  2. Congratulations! That’s quite exciting.

    I’ve set all my photos to Creative Commons 2.5 license. I have no idea if that’s good or bad, so will follow the conversation here with interest.

  3. I received a not to dissimilar comment the other day:

    “Hi Aidy I love the picture is look so confortable. Aidy I’m magazine real estate president we can use the picture for magazine cover. We’re located in chicago, IL Please Let me know if you agree. Thx you”

    The bad English and the fact that the profile of the sender contains no photos, contacts etc. makes me think that it is spam. Probably just trying to harvest email addresses from any responses.

  4. Thanks Kelly, Debbie – I’m pretty pleased, but cautious.

    Not sure there would be any value in email harvesting, since I’ve not replied with my email address and the only way he can contact me is via FlickrMail, which is not all that easy to spam.

    It looks like there’s a Russian company behind this wanting to use the image in some advertising. Ola quite rightly pointed out that I can take a hundred more images like this one, and as a first effort to sell an image this is pretty exciting, so I’ve gone ahead and said I’m interested and will wait to see if they confirm that they want it.

    Incidentally, I found a site which lets you estimate the value of stock photos – might be interesting for other readers.

  5. Be careful with selling photos. A lot of stock photo sites say that if you sell them the photo, you must quote them as the owners of it anywhere it is used for personal use, and you cannot use it for non-personal use anywhere.

    I love the idea of selling my photos, but not selling away all my rights to them.

  6. It all went quiet 🙁

    We exchanged a couple of emails, and I indicated my willingness to do business, but so far nothing. Shame. You never know, the guy might come back to me yet…

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