I’ve Had My Picture Stolen – How to Get the Money?

Pictures get stolen all the time. It happens to every photographer. I won’t post any pictures nor mention anyone, who has taken my pictures without a permission, because it really does not matter to me anymore.

I have personally come to terms with the fact that the photographers’ rights and the work they’ve done are not respected, but this does not mean you should give up. Fight for your rights and against every violation when you see the need, but I’ve found that AFTERWARDS it’s often just fighting a losing battle. You’ll probably see your pictures pulled out, but the damage has been done and you rarely get the money you think you would deserve, or it all takes so much time and effort that it’s not worth it in the end. Sad but true.

Instead, you should be thinking IN ADVANCE that your pictures will be used a lot, even without a permission. See, it is almost always a good thing to SOMEONE that pictures get viewed widely and that SOMEONE should be willing to pay for the extra coverage.

That means reversing your thinking!

Here are my two tips for getting your money – and get it in advance:

  1. Make your client understand that the more their pictures (e.g. products, sponsor tags, whatever) are seen, the better it is for them.
  2. Find a balance where you are happy when there’s unauthorised use of your pictures and your client is happy even with the additional cost because of the unexpected visibility.

That should result in something that’s a little more than you would get in the first place. Not many clients are willing to pay much more for “potential unauthorised additional visibility”, but once they understand your point, they do chip in some.

Hope that helps someone! Keep shooting, keep posting, keep making good deals in advance, and avoid the fights afterwards!

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