When we pitch our services to clients we always seems to get the same questions “What are I buying”, “Why spend the money on your photography when Sydney, the Intern has a good camera”, “We struggle to see the value” and lastly, “it’s way too complicated, studios, stylists, models, and not forgetting licensing, what’s all that about?” 

Most smaller businesses have no real understanding of what it mean to “buy” photography. Of course some large clients employ agencies or producers to do all the hard work, but this adds considerably to the budget, which is fine when you become a household brand with a huge turnover, but in the meantime, what do you do. How do you “buy” photography. You might have noticed that I used “buy” in quotes, this is because essentially you don’t buy photography, you buy someone’s time and expertise and facilities to produce the images, which by Federal law are created by the photographer and are copyrighted by the photographer. He or she owns the images and sells to you, the client, specific usage rights to reproduce the images in the ways, places and time specified in the license agreement.

“What?” you might ask, “If I pay for a photographer, I should own the images!” Well, while that certainly is possible, you’d be paying for much more than you actually need. Look at it this way, do you want to pay the same price for an image you’re going to use once in a Instagram post as you would if the image was going to be used in a international television ad campaign that will reach millions of consumers? 

You buy what you need, but you’re not limited. Let’s say the image used for that Instagram post would be perfect for that same company’s website. Traditionally you can re-license the image for that additional usage, and the fee will again be based on that specific usage, “But,” a client will say, “I don’t want to be bothered with re-licensing for each additional usage.” It’s possible to get a perpetual, unlimited exclusive licence but normally that’s overkill. Next year posting this years images isn’t so attractive, you will want next years images posted and the perptual license on last years images is not only unnecessary, it’s a waste. 


For most of our clients all the possible usage you will need is trade advertising ads, corporate website, Social Media and maybe a single print brochure or advert, and all that for only one year. Our included simple licenses covers you for all of these. Of course we can license any image for any purpose beyond these, just ask, but you seldom need to “own” the image, if you can use it without the expense of unlimited, exclusive, perpetual licenses.

Maybe when our photography helps you become the next Nike, your needs will change, we’d love to see that happen.

Email: colin@cbm.photography, Tel: +1-602-872-7191 ,6060 N. 16th Street, Phoenix, AZ, 85016

© 2020 by Colin Murray Photography LLC

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