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Photography Usage

Was: Photographing Jewelry 101

Okay, so were all learning how to take great photos. (camera,
lights, background, diffusion, and reflection control), AND were
learning how to manipulate these photos so our imperfections are now
perfect…Here comes the next delima and food for thought.

Photography Usage: Is it really free?

I dont know about the rest of you, but some of us here have INVESTED
a great deal of time and money acquiring professional photography
equipment, not to mention the time and more time learning
photo-manipulation tools (Photoshop, etc…etc…)

When it comes to photography useage, how would you treat situations
where YOUR photographs of YOUR work are being request for print?

Well, there is one situation, just give them the rights to use your
photos. Nice and easy, and youll get free press out of the deal.

Then there is a second instance, an article is written (on the
publications own accord), they need photographs of your work. Do you
just give it to them like the above situation, or since this
publication is asking this of you at the last minute (this always
seems to happen), do you charge them for the photos, a useage fee if
you will. Seems like standard rates from professional photographers
are in the hundreds of dollars per image used.

I am currently in this second situation, part of me is saying “Cool,
ill get my work printed!!!”, but the other part of me is saying
"Dang, im going to spend the next 4 to 8 hours of my day getting all
these photos (5-10 requested) formatted, ready for print, at high
resolution. THEN upload all these images over my internet connection
(which is marginal at best) over the next couple of hours. When, in
fact, I could be making jewelry (which I need to do anyway).

Now to add to this, I maintain a high level of photographic skill,
and I retain all rights to my photography, and release my rights

Is the time invested in taking photos, manipulating them, building
stock of print ready images, and having the ability to submit on
demand a free service that all jewelers should offer? (personally Im
torn on this one, after all, a lot of time is being put into proper

What about the jewelers that dont have the time, or the skill to
shoot adequate photos? Then the artist would have to hire their own
photographer to build their photo stock?

Lastly, if the publication really, really needs the images, they
would hire a photographer to do the work, and as we all know, its not

So, how do you consider your time with photos?..Is it free? Is it
the cost of doing business? Or do you really care?


Hi Pat,

What you say is true enough. I have paid as high as 100 dollars a
shot when shooting pieces in 4 x 5 transparency film and that was in
1995. I have no idea what that would cost anymore. The images from
that were top notch and I have a written agreement concerning the
usage. I also have pieces shot now for jury images. I do the fixing
myself because of minute lint or something, the patch tool is my
quick little friend. I like to do the fixing and cleaning up of the
images if they need it because I know what it is supposed to look

It is the cost of doing business and is integrated into the
accounting system.


If I am getting free press from a magazine I will give them all the
pictures they want and kiss their (whatever). Free press could be
worth thousands of dollars in sales and even more free press from
others mags or newspaper. Send a CD if you don’t want to tie up the
phone for hours. But do whatever you need to get free press.

Just my 2 cents
Bill Wismar

If I am getting free press from a magazine I will give them all
the pictures they want and kiss their (whatever). 

Bill your website appears to be down.

How do you get press from a magazine? You’re right, it’s worth a lot
and I’d like a piece of it.


I couldn’t agree more with Bill.

One thing to remember is to always give credit to the photographer.
If you are using a professional you may want to remember that they
own the image of your work. Most photographers, in my experience,
grant the artist unlimited use of the image of their work for use
with juries and publication. But still, they own the image. I always
have a signed release from my photographer handy.

Andy Cooperman

Well first of all it does help to advertise in the magazine or
newspaper. Recently I won the best of show in the Alabama Jewelry
Association Contest so the piece will go to New York to the Jewelers
of America Show so we sent press releases to every print media in
the area. We got into both newspapers and one magazine is working us
in when they can. We also offer jewelry for the photo shoots. We have
had lots of free press just by suggesting jewelry type articles,
which they wrote. We are the only jewelry gallery that sells studio
jewelers work in the area so we have something different. Have
something unique to offer them and keep sending info eventually you
will get in. Send info in the form of a press release.

Bill Wismar

Lastly, if the publication really, really needs the images, they
would hire a photographer to do the work, and as we all know, its
not cheap. 

I do consider just another cost of doing business. And I would
rather supply photos than have the publication take them, when
possible, because I am convinced that no one, and I mean no one,
will care as much as I do to get it right. (Though the young woman
who does color correction for digital images for my pro photog,
Larry Sanders, comes close).

For my work in any case, photographers who are not accustomed to
shooting titanium tend to do a much poorer job on it than my guy,
especially in pieces that also have polished silver or gold.

Plus, do you want to surrender the work to them?