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Bartering photography for travel

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#1 jdaley



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Posted 22 November 2005 - 12:41 PM

I was extended an offer for a free trip to a small resort on a small caribbean island. I was invited to stay, eat and dive for free for a week but in return the resort could "use" some of the images I take that week. My understanding of "use" is print and internet advertising for the resort. I would retain full use and and rights to those images, the resort would just get to post them on their site and brochures. When they do use an image I would be credited. The monetary value of this trip is approximately $1800US.

Now to me this sounds like a fair deal, this resort is a small 20 diver family run resort not a large Sandals type operation. I can see they have some need for nice artisitic shots of the place and the local diving and its a great opportunity for me to visit this area and photograph.

I have never done a deal like this, what are your thoughts? Has anyone done something like this before, what were some of the pitfalls?



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#2 acroporas


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Posted 22 November 2005 - 12:46 PM

Sounds like a good deal to me. I'd take them up on the offer.

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#3 james


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Posted 22 November 2005 - 12:55 PM

Hi J,

It sounds like a good deal to me too. You should prepare a photo release and license form to give them to sign, when they receive the photos. The release form should spell out that they can only use the photos for promotional use - but let's be realistic here - this is in another country. So what are can you do if they decide to sell them to the airport to put up in the arrival lobby? Not much.

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#4 randapex


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Posted 22 November 2005 - 01:45 PM

I wouldn't touch that offer with a 10' pole...(What's the name of the resort? :) )

Sounds like fair value to me as well. As James suggested, get it all in writing so there is no misunderstanding about their usage later.

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#5 underwatercolours


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Posted 25 November 2005 - 07:23 AM

Hi James,

When I first started my business I did that several times, but it came back to bite my in the #%&# because I didn't make it clear to the resort that the images were for their internal use only and were not be distributed to others who are promoting their resort, such as travel wholesalers and agents. Unless that's OK with you of course, be sure to specify this. Otherwise your images will end up on every travel web site online and you will lose all control of them. Most resorts have no clue what copyright is, and don't understand it even when its explained in the clearest terms.

Considering that the resort is saving a tremendous amount of money by not paying a professional photographer AND all their expenses, you might also ask them to pick up your expenses too, or hold that as a negotiation chip for future image use.

I would also suggest that when you give them the images, that each image have the copyright info entered into the file information and add a small usage statement to each image. I typically extend the image canvas and put it there so it doesn't overlap the image, and it lets the recipient know that its OK to cut it off, but only if they are a licensed user and use the image according to the terms specified.

Of course this is just a suggestion. Something I wish I had done ten years ago.


#6 frogfish


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Posted 26 November 2005 - 04:22 AM

I barter images for dives and rides quite a bit. It can be a very good deal for both parties.

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#7 Photobeat


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Posted 02 January 2006 - 10:31 AM

I think you have to consider your expertise level. Are you a full time pro - part time - or a serious amature. Are you 100% confident you can deliver the goods meaning quality images they can use. If you are are confident of the shots but not a real pro maybe your name all over travel magazines on the pics could be a big boost. If you are at a level of say Stephen Frink then this deal would not be good. So you need to decide that based on your level. This can be a good learning ecperience to take pics under pressure as you need to come up with great stuff in a limited time. So it is a very personal decision. I have done free spec work for Chrarity to boost my experience and get some credit shooting together with pros at a professional sporting event. I couldn't have bought a pass to shoot for myself to get access, so it was worth it. This cold lead to bigger stuff so you may not want to push what you ask for if you are just starting out commercially, so no one here can give you really good advice without really knowing your skill level and previous sales, freelance work etc. If you go and you don't have much freelance experience make sure you ask lots these guys for advice.
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