March 9th, 2015
Craig recently ask the following question:
I have an agent/client who says she’s going to try to submit some of my photos to a large national magazine.
First of all, is it even possible that these magazines take submissions or do they contract their own photographers and have specific projects for those in-house shooters?
Also, if this is possible, what kind of compensation are we looking at? Do they pay if it’s a small blurb or just cite you as the photographer? If your photos were to be featured, what then?
You as the copyright owner, get to make the rules. What does your licensing agreement say? With a typical real estate photographers licensing agreement the agent is licensed to use the listing photos to promote the listing on the web and print media. Many national magazines promote current listings particularly if they are very high-end or owned by celebrities.
Here is a recent example in Forbes magazine. The photos in this Forbes article were shot by Ethan Tweedie, on the Big Island (the 2013 PFRE photographer of the year). Ethan says that the listing agent did a press release for the listing and the usage by Forbes falls into marketing of the property via web and print which is covered by the licensing agreement that he has with the agent. In other words, Ethan was paid by the listing agent and not Forbes. But both Ethan and the listing agent got a lot of great exposure from the Forbes article.
This is not to say that there couldn’t be some other additional usage of your images that the you could license one or more other parties, besides the listing agent, to use.
So in summary, you can’t expect to get paid again for the photos unless the use by the magazine is outside the use that you licensed the agent for.
Oh, yeah, I’m not a lawyer and this is NOT legal advise.