Forums: Skydiving Disciplines: Photography and Video:
A picture is worth . . . ?

 

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Premier quade  (D 22635)
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Jan 21, 2004, 2:08 PM
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A picture is worth . . . ? Can't Post

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but what is the exchange rate in real cash?

I know maybe a handful of camera flyers that have made "ok" money from selling photos and videos, but I think the vast majority of us are getting ripped off right and left.

I want you all to have a look at a web site: http://www.editorialphoto.com. This is a web site for freelance editorial photographers. They have a tool on the web site that allows a photographer to plug in some numbers and see what the fair market value of a photograph is based on the circulation of the magazine and its ad rates. Circulation is how many people receive the magazine and ad rate is the full page color rate that an advertiser would have to pay.

Here's the web page for the on-line tool: http://www.editorialphoto.com/...ts/estimatorweb.html

Now, if you plug in the circulation and ad rate numbers for a popular parachutist magazine, I think you'll be really surprised to find out what that magazine would have to pay for photos if only it were just about any field other than skydiving. As anyone who has submitted and had photographs published in this magazine can tell you, this magazine pays only a small fration of what a magazine in any other field would pay.

Magazine advertising is even worse!

For an advertisement, one would normally would pay upwards of at least twice the ad rate for the media buy, but some advertisers in the skydiving industry seem to think that photographs are literally worthless.

The gear manufaturers are making money, the drop zones are making money, the magazine is making money . . . why -shouldn't- we?

I know camera flyers out there that have kids to support and are supplying amazing photographs to advertisers and magazines, but I swear these same photographers are almost at the poverty level.

We have a problem of supply and demand with hundreds of people submitting photographs to the skydiving industry for ads and editorial purposes. We probably can't change that, so the skydiving industry is probably always going to under value our work.

I'd -like- to say we should all talk among all the camera flyers we know and stop working for cheap, but I think the problem is there are simply too many camera flyers out there willing to work for nothing.

And, I have to admit this, I've done it myself. I've been too easily swayed by the "we're just starting out and we don't have a budget" and "why can't you just give something back to the sport" and "if you do this one for free, I'll take care of you later".

How can this change?

Certainly it's not going to change over night.


diablopilot  (D License)

Jan 21, 2004, 2:23 PM
Post #2 of 76 (3490 views)
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Re: [quade] A picture is worth . . . ? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
The gear manufaturers are making money, the drop zones are making money, the magazine is making money

Says who?

Quote:
but I think the problem is there are simply too many camera flyers out there willing to work for nothing.

Agreed.


However none of us got into this for the money, and one must realize the demand is not enough to suport everyone getting paid. It's the same as Wal-Mart putting the squeze on other retailers. Free market society.

So now what? Unionize it? How? And for what result? Then we're the ones out on the picket line like the Vons people.

Those that have invested themselves, sacraficed other livelyhoods to improve thier skill, and be around when opportunity knocks have benifited. Look at OB, or McGowin, ect.

I'd like to get paid, and I resent upstarts who get jobs they are not qualified for, and those that hire them, but I'm not gonna piss into the wind....


(This post was edited by diablopilot on Jan 21, 2004, 2:24 PM)


skreamer

Jan 21, 2004, 2:29 PM
Post #3 of 76 (3484 views)
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Re: [quade] A picture is worth . . . ? [In reply to] Can't Post

Yeah, I see too many coaches and AFF instructors doing fun jumps with low timers. They should stop, don't they know what their skills are worth in the market-place?

Some people get more out of skydiving than a second income.

Will


Premier quade  (D 22635)
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Jan 21, 2004, 2:39 PM
Post #4 of 76 (3480 views)
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Re: [diablopilot] A picture is worth . . . ? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Quote:
The gear manufaturers are making money, the drop zones are making money, the magazine is making money
Says who?

Says me! I'm not saying they're making huge money, but no business stays a business for long if they aren't making money.

Let's just look at the magazine for instance, they have a subscription rate of a normal magazine and the ad rates of a normal magazine based on their circulation numbers, but they aren't paying their photographers the same as a regular magazine . . . so, there must be some money there somewhere?

As for the manufacturers, I'm not just talking about gear manufacturers. What about the sports energy drink manufacturers? Are you suggesting that the marketing and mark-up of those can't support realistic photographic ad rates? They can pay for amazingly expensive niche marketing expeditions to exotic locations, but when the swoop competition comes to town, they want to under pay the local photographer? Hmmm.

BTW, I think we both might be using at least one of the same photographers to make our respective points. Interesting.

As for unions and other things. No. I'm not really in favor of creating some sort of camera flyer's union, although I will admit to joking about it every now and then.


velo90

Jan 21, 2004, 2:49 PM
Post #5 of 76 (3473 views)
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Re: [quade] A picture is worth . . . ? [In reply to] Can't Post

$1200 for 2 mins of freefall video (that 2 camera's on one jump) from a crappy RW6 plus a few digital stills.

Is that ok?

I won't charge the pax's that sort of money, but for media folks It's too cheap


Premier quade  (D 22635)
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Jan 21, 2004, 2:50 PM
Post #6 of 76 (3472 views)
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Re: [skreamer] A picture is worth . . . ? [In reply to] Can't Post

How many AFF instructors do you know that would do actual AFF jumps on a regular basis for free? How would the other AFF instructors feel about this?

Would your drop zone allow you to offer tandem rides for free?

Come to a major drop zone and set up a free tandem op. I'd like to see how long you are welcome.

The fact is, skydiving -IS- a business for some people. Maybe not a huge and high profit one, but it's still a business.

BTW, I started this thread at the -request- of some of the professionals in the business of camera flying. I do so, at my own risk of losing business to the very magazines, manufacturers and drop zones I'm talking about.


Premier quade  (D 22635)
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Jan 21, 2004, 2:52 PM
Post #7 of 76 (3468 views)
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Re: [velo90] A picture is worth . . . ? [In reply to] Can't Post

Actually in SoCal the going rate for stock footage of skydivng is $700 per minute with a 1 minute minimum.

Directed footage should be much higher.


(This post was edited by quade on Jan 21, 2004, 2:55 PM)


skreamer

Jan 21, 2004, 2:56 PM
Post #8 of 76 (3462 views)
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Re: [quade] A picture is worth . . . ? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I do so, at my own risk of losing business to the very magazines, manufacturers and drop zones I'm talking about.

Well I don't see you actually naming names (OK the magazine is fairly obvious) so would hope you wouldn't lose business just for having this discussion.


jdhill  (D License)

Jan 21, 2004, 3:03 PM
Post #9 of 76 (3458 views)
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Re: [quade] A picture is worth . . . ? [In reply to] Can't Post

So, if a gear manufacturer wanted to use a photo for a full page ad in Parachutist, they should pay the photographer at least $2760 (2 x the full page color ad rate of $1380 (845+435))...

Parachutist should also be paying close to $1K for a cover...

If either paid half that, I'd probably be happy with that, but neither pay even close to that...

"giving back to the sport" can only carry things so far... having ones art displayed to several thousand readers can go a little ways too... but with jump prices going up as they have, getting a picture published doesn't even cover a jump anymore. Sponsorship of some sort might ease the pain... but you don't see too much of that for the guys behind the camera...

Not sure how to change it... and I still dutifully send my pictures in to the magazinesCrazy...

J


(This post was edited by jdhill on Jan 21, 2004, 3:04 PM)


diablopilot  (D License)

Jan 21, 2004, 3:09 PM
Post #10 of 76 (3452 views)
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Re: [jdhill] A picture is worth . . . ? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
"giving back to the sport" can only carry things so far...

Giving back to the sport is what it's all about. Charge the media, Hollywod, and outside business all you want and the market will bear, but if you got into this thing for the money, well.... weddings pay more. Been there done that (not photography).

If they won't meet your rates stop submiting. Expecting parachutist or skydiving to pay regular magazine rates is like pissing up a rope.


jdhill  (D License)

Jan 21, 2004, 3:19 PM
Post #11 of 76 (3444 views)
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Re: [diablopilot] A picture is worth . . . ? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Giving back to the sport is what it's all about.

If that were the case, gear would be free, and jumps would be too... or at the very least "at cost"; so I don't buy that...

In reply to:
Expecting parachutist or skydiving to pay regular magazine rates is like pissing up a rope.

I don't really expect them too... I realize it is a niche market... but most of the time, what they pay does not even cover the cost of getting the shot...

Even with that said, I still like to see my pictures in print... like I said in my initial post...

Quote:
and I still dutifully send my pictures in to the magazines... Crazy

J


diablopilot  (D License)

Jan 21, 2004, 3:20 PM
Post #12 of 76 (3440 views)
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Re: [jdhill] A picture is worth . . . ? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
If that were the case, gear would be free, and jumps would be too... or at the very least "at cost"; so I don't buy that...

Sometimes it is.


Premier PhreeZone  (D License)
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Jan 21, 2004, 3:50 PM
Post #13 of 76 (3426 views)
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Re: [quade] A picture is worth . . . ? [In reply to] Can't Post

If a picture is worth that much, and a single minute of freefall footage is $700, whats the going rate on a fully edited year end video that so many people put together?

From what I've seen the people that sit down and do the year end stuff usually do it for free or for a few dollars. What they are really doing it for is for their friends and to give back to the community.

The only way to make money shooting video or stills in skydiving is
A) Tandems
B) Contact footage
C) Motion picture film

Unless you are doing A while seeking out contracts for B while waiting on your shot to do C... don't expect to make a lot of money. Even the greats like Norman Kent and Tom Sanders all submit photos to the magizines. If you are complaining about the low fees that the indusrty supports, don't sell your pictures. Outside the industry things are a bit different, but even there no one is forcing you to sell a picture or video.


Deuce  (D 25597)

Jan 21, 2004, 3:57 PM
Post #14 of 76 (3423 views)
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Re: [PhreeZone] A picture is worth . . . ? [In reply to] Can't Post

Well, the issue is that if the folks that use the pictures are making money with them, the professional camera flier should recieve fair compensation.


Premier PhreeZone  (D License)
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Jan 21, 2004, 4:14 PM
Post #15 of 76 (3414 views)
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Re: [Deuce] A picture is worth . . . ? [In reply to] Can't Post

Fine... you wanna make money? Do contract shooting where you are gauranting the client that you will get the exact shot that they want, not just one out of a portfolio.

There is a fairly well known picture of JC swooping the pond at WFFC. He's in the middle of his swoop with a peace sign being flashed by him in one hand, and the photographer is just above the water. Icarus, WFFC, Parachutist and a few other groups have used that picture in advertisements. The Photographer that took that was freelance and as such there is no way that he made the same money that he would have recieved if he would have taken a contract out on that shot before he took it.

Professional status is relying on it for your primary income. Joe Jennings, Norm Kent and a hand full of other people are able to do it by pounding the pavement and doing contract work more then they do freelance.


ltdiver  (D 20506)

Jan 21, 2004, 5:52 PM
Post #16 of 76 (3399 views)
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Re: [PhreeZone] A picture is worth . . . ? [In reply to] Can't Post

A little write up about earning a living while doing sport photography.

By someone who does what he loves....and sees the reality of it all.

Check out the first line...

ltdiver


fasterfaller  (E License)

Jan 21, 2004, 7:01 PM
Post #17 of 76 (3377 views)
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Re: [quade] A picture is worth . . . ? [In reply to] Can't Post

I think skydiving photographers are taken advantage of when it comes time to write the check . I also believe that skydiving photographers are way behind the curve when it comes time to selling their work . I considered selling some images to a magazine and was shocked at how little they are willing to pay . I have a stock agency that sells images for me and they protect my interests and make sure I get a going market rate for my work . I think you guys should all get together and form your own stock agency and get everyone you know that shoots skydiving photos to work only through the agency .

When I sell a stock photo I get at least $500 for a one time use fee . If it is a recurring ad I can get many times that amount . Calendars I get payed based on how many they print and the quality of the printing used in the calendar .

I shot a wedding a month ago for $1500 and when the couple signed the contract they also gave me the rights to publish their photos . I sold the photos through a stock agency for another $5000.00 making wedding total of $6500.00 and I will even make money off of all print sales for the wedding as I have control of that too .


Premier PhreeZone  (D License)
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Jan 21, 2004, 7:14 PM
Post #18 of 76 (3372 views)
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Re: [ltdiver] A picture is worth . . . ? [In reply to] Can't Post

Anyone that thinks that they are going to be able to retire on skydiving pictures needs to think again. Tongue

There are two completely differnt markets for photos, in industry and external. In industry is anything directly related to skydiving. External is the whuffo stuff.

Has anyone ever taken a close look at the budget from the USPA on Parachutist? There is no money being made on it. Its a advertisement plus dues money operation. If you want to be paid more one of two things need to happen. Either increase the dues or increase the advertising amount. Its pretty much as high as most retailers are willing to go right now so the only viable option is to increase dues. Any one want to take that to the membership?

Charge the whuffos anything you want, its the jumper oriented publications that are money losers already.


fasterfaller  (E License)

Jan 21, 2004, 7:27 PM
Post #19 of 76 (3366 views)
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Re: [PhreeZone] A picture is worth . . . ? [In reply to] Can't Post

Phree you guys are all missing the point . Get together and make another market to sell your photos . Skydiving don't pay shit but there are ways to make it pay you big time . Think outside the box and find a better way to market your photography .

If I only got paid for the studio work I did I would only make around 65k a year . Every job I do I shoot a few extra shots that the client never sees and sell them as stock . Stock sales is where I really rake the money in as I made close to 80k in stock sales last year and have made $4700 so far this year .

If you want to make money you need to market yourself .


(This post was edited by fasterfaller on Jan 21, 2004, 8:03 PM)


Premier quade  (D 22635)
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Jan 21, 2004, 7:31 PM
Post #20 of 76 (3362 views)
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Re: [PhreeZone] A picture is worth . . . ? [In reply to] Can't Post

Phree --

Do me a favor and explore the web sites I linked to in the first post of this thread.

I want you to especially explore the web page that calculates the market value of photographs.

Go to a magazine web site, get their circulation numbers, get their ad rate numbers and plug them in.

After that, I want you to take a good hard look at the web page. On it, you'll find the price per magazine it's costing the publisher to print the photo at those rates with that amount of circulation. This would be the ONLY variable in the increase in doing business by paying the photographer the fair market value of the photos since the other costs of printing the magazine would be fixed at current levels and nothing else would change.

Check it out and I think you'll find it's pennies per photo. How many photos are in the typical skydiving magazine? 50? 100?

Ok, so -maybe- it's not cost effective to pay those rates. Does it seem reasonable that there might be a rate between what they're currently paying and that?

What about the advertisers?

BTW, do you have any idea how much a person gets paid for a half dozen photos being published in one of these magazines? I do. Go ahead and check out the Nationals coverage in one of them. Count up how many photos one person had published and get back to us with a guess of how much the check was.


(This post was edited by quade on Jan 21, 2004, 7:33 PM)


Premier PhreeZone  (D License)
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Jan 21, 2004, 9:16 PM
Post #21 of 76 (3339 views)
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Re: [quade] A picture is worth . . . ? [In reply to] Can't Post

Whats the difference between the Transitional and the Target rates about?

I get the rest of the figures and I had to laugh at what they think the rate is for some of the pictures. $440+ for a full page like the Photo Finish? $900+ For a cover shot? I can see SI doing that, but Parachutist? I'm all for trying to get all the money to can squeeze out of people that want to use stock photos to sell TV's or what ever, but complaining about an industry mag not paying anything? As the submition paperwork states: The Parachutist staff welcomes and solicits editorial and photographic submissions from
our readers. The contributions are what make the magazine possible.

I'm all for selling photos as stock and getting market price for them from the rest of the world. Part of the issue with that is there is only limited stock that the outside world can actually use. Having great 4 way pictures is great, but there are very few buyers, but they do exist. Things like the CRW record will probally be used in posters in the future so there is a market for that.

I'll bet for the 6 photos the check was $75-100

I'm eagerly awaiting my Digital Rebel to start shooting stills of my own...


(This post was edited by PhreeZone on Jan 21, 2004, 9:22 PM)


Premier quade  (D 22635)
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Jan 21, 2004, 9:58 PM
Post #22 of 76 (3329 views)
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Re: [PhreeZone] A picture is worth . . . ? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I get the rest of the figures and I had to laugh at what they think the rate is for some of the pictures. $440+ for a full page like the Photo Finish? $900+ For a cover shot? I can see SI doing that, but Parachutist?

That would be a comparable rate for Parachutist based on their circulation and what they charge advertisers for ad space.

Sports Illustrated pays, far, far more than $900 for a cover shot.

Quote:
I'll bet for the 6 photos the check was $75-100

Ok, so we're starting to come to an understanding of the situation.

Based on your knowledge that we're talking about the current prices that skydiving industry magazines are willing to pay -- you now believe the photos were actually worth between $75 and $100.

The check was for less than half of that.

And once again, I want to point out that I do not, under any circumstances hold skydiving industry magazines to the same editorial pay structure, but there must be -some- room for movement.

Further, everyone seems to be focusing solely on the editorial photographic work -- what about the advertising photographs? Any comments there?


jdhill  (D License)

Jan 22, 2004, 6:14 AM
Post #23 of 76 (3281 views)
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Re: [quade] A picture is worth . . . ? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Further, everyone seems to be focusing solely on the editorial photographic work -- what about the advertising photographs? Any comments there?
From your original post...
Quote:
For an advertisement, one would normally would pay upwards of at least twice the ad rate for the media buy, but some advertisers in the skydiving industry seem to think that photographs are literally worthless.

OK... the full color ad rate, for a full page, 12 month run... in magazine A, its $1135... in magazine B its $1059... using your minimum of 2x the add rate advertisers should be paying a photographer between $2100 and $2300 (assuming that the photo is the only one in the add, and its full page)... Am I doing the math right?

What do they actually pay (ball park)?

J


(This post was edited by jdhill on Jan 22, 2004, 6:14 AM)


lister55  (D 26917)

Jan 22, 2004, 6:50 AM
Post #24 of 76 (3264 views)
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Re: [quade] A picture is worth . . . ? [In reply to] Can't Post

I am fairly new to photogrophy. I have only been shooting for about 6 months now, Almost All tandem and AFF for the local DZ. How would I even get into the market and where do go I go to get pics published or sold. I, like several others, only really got into this for the fun and to pay for some jumps, however I have been thinking of ways to make skydiving another part of my income and relly have no clue on how to get started. Any advice would be appreciated


jdhill  (D License)

Jan 22, 2004, 7:30 AM
Post #25 of 76 (3247 views)
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Re: [lister55] A picture is worth . . . ? [In reply to] Can't Post

at present, selling your pictures is not likely to do any more than pay for a few jumps, hence the discussion... doing student work (tandem, aff) is where the most money is to be had for most camera people... and even then most of your money will go back into the sport.

for info on getting stuff into the magazines, start here and here...

J


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