Usage From the Experts


Brands are turning to influencers more and more as the holiday season ramps up. Brands know that they can trust influencers to speak to consumers directly and authentically. As we’ve said in previous posts, this season can make the most cash for your online business. Today we are brushing up on some licensing and usage tips before the rush of the season so you are paid properly for the job.

Licensing and usage is a term for designating where a client may use the content you produce. We were able to get some key information from notable NYC photographer Tayler Smith and one of our incredible clients Lydia Hudgens (also an NYC photographer) on what’s most important when it comes to your business and usage rights.

There are set amounts of times that the client is able to use your imagery and set payments that go with duration and content. All parties are responsible for protecting their own rights. Here’s what you need to know:

If you did not press the shutter button on the camera then you are not the copyright owner. That means that if you are producing content you need to understand that usage is an additional fee that should be considered outside of your other content fees. You do not own any images your photographer created unless you sign that your payment to them is a full buyout of the copyright.

Ask Questions. Clarify the amount of final images, where the images will be used, budget and timeline before entering any contract. Bottomline is you must protect yourself or your work can be and will be exploited.

Loop in your videographer or photographer. In order for fair pricing you should always loop in your videographer and photographer to ensure they are earning a fair price for usage. Pay them out of your rate or put them in direct contact with the brand you are working with so they can discuss payment and usage of their images

Understand your worth. Licensing is broken down into two categories; print use and digital use. Your fees should be different for all digital use versus worldwide use since worldwide use encompasses all print and digital use. Look for In Perpetuity in contracts. That means the brand is requesting usage rights forever.

As you can tell transparency and clarity are huge when it comes to executing brand partnerships. The content you create is only protected by you and the terms you agree to so be sure you are having discussions with your account manager at Blogist, your photographer/videographer(s), and the brand to get everyone on the same page. Since you’ve done some homework on usage check out this blog post on how to get started and make marketing content for brands.

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