Digital Jewelry Photography Solutions >> Tips and Advice >> Buying Photos

Four Crucial Considerations

Are you buying jewelry photography for the first time? This brief guide will help you understand and navigate the process of buying jewelry photography.

When buying jewelry photography, there are four key elements you must consider. Before contacting a professional jewelry photographer, it is worth taking a little time to prepare to discuss your specific needs and the details of your project. Do your homework by asking yourself the following four questions:

First: How do you plan to utilize the images?
Will the images be used primarily for a web site? Perhaps printed as postcards? Maybe in a catalog or magazine for advertising, or just for inventory record purposes? Perhaps you will utilize the jewelry photography for one purpose now and for a different purpose in the future.

Second: How much of your inventory you need photographed?
If your sample line is vast, will you photograph hundreds of items? This can be expensive. Could you start with photographing just the essence of your collection at the beginning, make some sales with those images, recover some of your initial investment, and get more images later? The technique of PII (progressive


inventory imaging) is a practical way to acquire great looking images on a limited budget. Do you plan to advertise your jewelry online? The cost of getting people to an online store is not a negligible amount! The more striking images you display on your site, the greater the chances for customers to come back for more!

Third: Do you want to ‘own’ the images?
The term “buying” photography is not accurate because one does not buy the photograph, but rather buys a license or the rights to reproduce a certain image of photographed jewelry.

Federal copyright laws specify that the images created by the photographer become the creator’s intellectual property and thereby belong to the photographer. The photographer owns the images produced of your jewelry, and you, the client, buy the license to use or reproduce those images for your specific needs, for a specified length of time. When dealing with a professional jewelry photographer, you will find those usage rights specified on the estimate sheet you should be receiving prior to commencing with the assignment.

If you expect to ‘own’ the digital image since you paid for the assignment, no problem, you certainly can, but you would be paying more than you actually need to. If the sole serving purpose of your digital image is to

unlock your customers’ wallets, displaying a digital reproduction of your jewelry will produce income regardless of image ownership. The question is in what proportion?

Look at it this way, what would you pay and consider fair value for a digital image that represents your diamond ring, which retails for $1200.00 in your online store? Let’s say you are comfortable with $15.00. Would you want to pay the same price for that same image if it was going to be used additionally in a national print ad campaign? Of course not, it has a greater value because it will produce more income. How about if it would be also used to create co-op catalogs? Definitely, the image has a greater value yet. A digital reproduction of your jewelry produces income!

The cost of your photography is relative to its income producing power; therefore, you compensate the asset-creator accordingly. That is called ‘usage’. Usage saves money. You buy only what you need! Why pay for the above-mentioned three usages if you are going to use it for the online store only? You can re-license the image for any additional usage, when needed, and save the money for inventory!

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