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  1. #1
    Senior Member AgingEyes's Avatar
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    Do you sell your raw files?

    An acquaintance is interested in a couple of my photos and asked me for the original files (whatever that means but I shoot raw) and does not mind paying for them.

    I'm wondering if any of you can help me out here because nobody wanted my photos before (I mean why would anyone) and so now I have something to think about:

    1. Does anyone give out/sell the "original" files (to me it's the raw files)?
    2. If any of you do sell the files, are you selling a copy of that file or you completely leave no copy to yourself (hope it's not a stupid question )?
    3. If I sell a file, be it tiff or raw, how much should I charge?

    The photos are action shots and so can never be shot again. For that reason I don't really want to part with the files totally. I think the acquaintance (who's in the marketing business FWIW) would like to have the files because of the person (a family member) in the photos rather than the image quality of them. I don't know if they will be used for other purpose though.

    I'm pondering my options but would like to hear what you guys think.

    What would you do?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Panarus biarmicus Moderator (Sports) SmartWombat's Avatar
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    Re: Do you sell your raw files?

    1) never
    2) use is licensed (through fotolibra), or prints sold
    3) can't answer that one, it's difficult

    Since he's in marketing he probably has all the graphic tools and people available to process the file.
    PAul

    Scroll down to the Sports Forum and post your sports pictures !

  3. #3
    project forum co-moderator Frog's Avatar
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    Re: Do you sell your raw files?

    I think you need to ask you acquaintance what he means by 'original' file.
    A raw file is pretty much useless isn't it. I mean he can't print it until its converted.
    I'd tell him that you can sell him the best quality jpeg after the raw is converted.
    Does he have the programs needed to convert the file?
    Keep Shooting!

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  4. #4
    Senior Member AgingEyes's Avatar
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    Re: Do you sell your raw files?

    Quote Originally Posted by SmartWombat
    [snip]
    Since he's in marketing he probably has all the graphic tools and people available to process the file.
    Yes !! He is a photographer himself and has used some of his photos in posters for promoting events.

  5. #5
    Senior Member AgingEyes's Avatar
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    Re: Do you sell your raw files?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frog
    I think you need to ask you acquaintance what he means by 'original' file.
    A raw file is pretty much useless isn't it. I mean he can't print it until its converted.
    I'd tell him that you can sell him the best quality jpeg after the raw is converted.
    Does he have the programs needed to convert the file?
    I also think I should clarify something first before making any decision. The word "original"...shocks me He does have means to do whatever he wants with the file.

  6. #6
    Kentucky Wildlife
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    Re: Do you sell your raw files?

    I would presume that any rights you sell to an individual are the same as what I sell to magazines. These vary according to price and publication. The highest paying publications usuall want to buy "All Rights," which means they own it, can do anything they want to with it, and you no longer can market that image in any way or form. Since I'm in this for the long haul, I quit selling All Rights to any of my images decades ago, even though the price is attractive. In fact, the only way I will sell pictures, or writing, is for One-Time Rights or First Rights or First North American Serial Rights. On all of these, the rights revert back to me once the image is published, but I expect more for First Rights (which means it hasn't been published before) than for One-Time Rights. And I expect even more for First North American Serial Rights, because that means they can use that image in subsequent publications and in other publications within their conglomerate in the future without giving me additional payment.
    Sounds like this guy wants All Rights, and if you think this image might have any future marketability, I wouldn't do it. And if you do sell it to him, I would ask a bundle for it, because you will be giving up all rights to it and even to any credit for the exposure.
    I think he's trying to take advantage of you, and if you start talking to him about "rights" he'll know he can't do that.

  7. #7
    Moderator Skyman's Avatar
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    Re: Do you sell your raw files?

    Sounds like he wants to work on and publish the image - if he is a photographer, he no doubt knows that you shoot raw and understands the benefits therein. If he was after a print for himself or a family member then he wouldn't need the "original file" I would be asking him what he intends to do with it and working out what you think it is worth from there. If you sell him a royalty free license, then he can use the image any way he wants and you can't get another cent out of him, although you retain the copyright to the image and can also use it and sell it in any way you choose - with the exception of selling an exclusive rights agreement. If however you establish how he wants to use it you can draw up a limited rights contract - using the image for say three months for a billboard and magazine add for example. After the conclusion of the time period, the rights revert to you and he would be required to destroy all electronic copies of the image he may have made. Finally if it is being used as part of an advertising campaign he may wish to buy exclusive rights to the image. This is effectively selling your copyright in the image, so after the fact you cannot use or reproduce the image or file in any way. This is more the norm for major advertising campaigns where have others able to access the image could potentially diminish the impact of the campaign. If he is after an exclusive rights agreement and you are happy to part completely with the image make sure you are very well compensated (see if he will tell you how the image is going to be used as this will give you an idea of what to charge) also check out places like getty images for pricing but remember that since you only have the one image to sell you probably want more for a royalty free contract than they charge, but again you can judge this by how he intends to use it.

    It might help to google image license contracts to have a look at what your options are and if you think you have an image that is worth a bundle get a lawyer to draw up the usage agreement before you part with the file. Incidentally in everything except an exclusive rights contract a copy of the raw file will suffice. for an exclusive rights agreement you will need to delete all copies you have of the file.

  8. #8
    Senior Member AgingEyes's Avatar
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    Re: Do you sell your raw files?

    Quote Originally Posted by Skyman
    Sounds like he wants to work on and publish the image - if he is a photographer, he no doubt knows that you shoot raw and understands the benefits therein. If he was after a print for himself or a family member then he wouldn't need the "original file"
    That's exactly my thoughts and concerns !

    If he just wanted a photo, I would be happy to print it (my edition) out for him even free of charge ( I had e-mailed him my edited, low resolution copy of the shot to him already some days before). But, original file, to somebody who is in the industry and has his photos used for promotional and marketing purposes before?

    I later asked him what he meant by the "original" file. He said he meant the unedited file (didn't specify format). I thought about it a bit more and decided to just turn him down. He also didn't pursue it anymore.

    Thanks Ron and Skyman !! Your responses are very informative and educational to me.

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