Where to Turn to When You Need Pictures For Ads

April 8, 2009 by  Filed under: Advertising 

Picture libraries

Picture libraries work in different ways. The usual procedure is for you to contact them – a telephone call is often sufficient, but a letter gives you a permanent record. Tell them what kind of picture you want, and whether you want colour or black and white. They will send you a selection, together with the prices, and you can mate your choice.

You should keep any pictures you decide to use and return the rest immediately. If you decide not to use any, you simply return them all. While they are in your possession, you are responsible for them, and you are liable for any loss or damage. This can vary from about £25 for a print or duplicate transparency to hundreds of pounds for an original. They should therefore be handled with care, and always sent by registered post or delivered by hand, so that there is some proof of delivery.

The picture library usually holds the copyright in the photographs they send you, and you may be asked to acknowledge them when you use any. The usual form is simply ‘…………….Picture Library’ in small letters alongside the photograph.

The price of a photograph usually depends on the size at which you intend to reproduce it, and the print run of the brochure or publication.

You will usually only be paying for the use of the photograph, and you will be required to return it when you have finished with it. Your fee also only entitles you to use it once. Some libraries may want to charge a ‘research fee’ whether you use anything or not. It’s best to check their terms and conditions carefully before ordering anything.

Using photographers

As with your designer, ensure that any professional photographer knows just what you want. You should first give him or her a copy of your layout, but there is certainly scope for the photographer to present ideas to you as well. Good photographers have an eye for composition, and for effects that the rest of us sometimes miss; they can often suggest different ways of approaching a particular shot.

When you have decided exactly what you want the photographer should be able to give you a quote for the job. Make sure that you are fully aware of what you are paying for. For example:

1) Will you get more than one shot of each subject so that you can choose the one you like best?

2) What size of prints or transparencies will you get?

3) Do you want the negatives?

But if the brief is very specific and the required photograph very simple, you may find that the photographer only quotes for one picture, and that if you want extra shots, there is an extra charge.

If you want them, the photographer should also supply reference prints – small black and white prints, the precise size for the layout – so that you can paste them down on your artwork to indicate to the printer where each picture is to go. If your layout is fairly simple, reference prints aren’t really necessary. Whatever you decide, make sure that the price the photographer quotes you includes everything you want.

As with the designer, you are under no obligation to accept the photographer’s pictures if they clearly aren’t what you asked for. However, you will have to pay the agreed price if the photograph does reasonably conform to your brief, even if you decide not to use it.

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