HOW TO BUY JEWELRY PHOTOGRAPHY
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
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
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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