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Suggested Minimum Rates for Photographers

We have an article on setting your own rate card, and for all photographers interested in using photography as a major part of their income this is the essential process. However some photographers will only undertake occasional commissioned or freelance work, and it is for these that we have created this sheet. It is based on NUJ recommended minimum rates, increased to allow for inflation and in places simplified.

You get a price by adding together figures from sections A, B and C. Section X shows individual one off rates, based on using either your stock photographs or reusing images beyond the rights granted when costing on the ABC approach.

These figures have been obtained by taking NUJ recommended rates produced a few years back, simplifying the variation of classifications and then adding 20% for inflation and rising costs. This is a quick starting point, to create your own minimum rate sheet.

Section A - Commissioned Day Rates

We take three client groups

  • A: large or demanding clients and this includes large charities, governments, large unions

  • B: regional and medium sized operations

  • C: very small business, small charities and very local low run publications

While there is no such thing as a half day job, on the basis that you don't get two jobs into a day,  some may like to offer this, and this is computed as 60% of the day rate.

This includes photography and editing within the same time, and single use. wider rights are added in section B.

Day rate

Client Groups A B C
magazine - bigger budgets or demanding 960 575 480
magazine 600 420 360
PR 996 600 516
Corporate/ advertising 2400 1800 960
National news 384 300 --
Regional news 300 144 120
Broadcast 522 420 330

Books  - Day Rates

  • With rights to use in subsequent editions  900

  • With exclusive world rights in one title   600

  • Day rate only (all rights extra)             360

  • If print run is over 100,000 add 10%, if over 250,000 add 20%.

Section B

Additions for extra rights (wider use of the images), rights not bought initially should be charged at the freelancing individual use rates in section X.

Simultaneous web use add 50%.

Wider use for other purposes, at least 100% extra, but its best to define each rather than making it an open licence.

Where a publisher sells on image rights to others around the world, 50% of fee obtained.

Section C - Production Costs

Bulk processing or editing images 90-150 per hour.

Rushed or out of normal working hours. Bulk processing or editing image 180-300 per hour.

Writing to CD/DVD 15 each.

Photographic/editing assistant at half the photographers rate in section A.

Car mileage at 70p per mile.

Section X

One off reproduction rights for use of photos, either from your stock images or from commissioned work beyond the use granted in the original licence.

Magazine  Rates

print rates per print, single use.

  A B C
Cover 576 390 300
Double page spread 504 354 282
Full page 354 252 216
Half page 168 144 120
Quarter page 114 102 84
Eighth page 96 90 72

  • Group A = glossy and high circulation plus high advertising rate specialist publications.
  • Group B = smaller national Consumer magazines.
  • Group C = trade and cheap specialist magazines.

PR rates for single image use - magazine rates plus 20% (using groups defined in section A or this section).

Advertising use at least twice the magazine rates (using groups defined in Section A).

For public information leaflets and the like, take the magazine rate for one size smaller, i.e. full page at the magazine half page rate.

Tabloid (red top) newspapers as magazine A group rates.

Other national newspaper's, half the magazine A rates.

Regional newspapers - magazine C rates

Web use of photos can range from a 1,000 a year down to 75 for a single months use of small photo in editorial online. This depends on the commercial nature of the website and the size of the image. If discussing web use alongside the rights add 50% to 100% to the day rate to cover this.

Creative commons images are free for non profit use and have commercial fees for commercial site us.


By: Keith Park   Section: Photography Section Key:
Page Ref: Minimum_rates Topic: Photography Income  Last Updated: 01/2010

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