227 ASMP AND TIME INC.
June 5, 1999
ASMP is pressing TIME Inc. to raise their minimum editorial day rate from
$400 to $550 immediately. They also want subsequent raises to $600 in 2000
and $650 in 2001. These rates would be for one-time use in print media and
not include electronic rights, foreign language rights, English language
rights outside of North America, or any reprint rights.
Regardless of TIME's position, ASMP also believes that photographers have
good reason to adopt these recommended rates in their individual
negotiations with other publishers. They also point out that while
photographers are free to ignore ASMP's opinion and recommendations, to do
so would only further threaten their economic futures.
Richard Weisgrau, ASMP executive director, has produced a white paper on
Editorial Day Rates and is making it available to both
members and non-members at
He recommends that all editorial
photographers forward copies of this report to the editors with whom they
While these figures would be a substantial increase over TIME's current $400
day rate ($500 if electronic rights are included) many photographers feel
ASMP is asking far too little, and has pulled numbers out of the air without
consultation with editorial photographers.
Roger Ressmeyer has pointed out that when he produced ASMP's editorial
photography white paper in 1988 (over ten years ago) some of the top
shooters said the day rate needed to be $1000 a day at that time.
The ASMP report itself points out that in 1973 the day rate was $200 and if
that were adjusted for inflation based on the consumer price index the 1998
rate would have been $734. While the magaines rate has doubled in the past
25 years that certainly has not kept pace with the cost of living. Even the
minimum wage has increased 3.2 times from $1.60 per hour to $5.15 per hour the
last 25 years years photographer's day rates have only doubled.
In the past 45 days a forum for editorial photographers has been established
on the web and it now has over 400 registered users. Informal sharing on
this site has revealed that many other publications are currently paying
much better rates that Time Inc.
The general conclusion after reading comments from working editorial
photographers is that it is extremely important to negotiate each editorial
assignment based on its merits and that there is no "standard" editorial day
rate, although the rates at Time Inc. seem to be lower than most.
(See Story 225) .
The editorial photographers group has recommendd that Time shooters write to
Caren Clarke to explain their need for higher rates. Based on his discussions
with Time, Mr. Weisgrau recommends the opposite.
He says, "In the interim, between now and more developments, I would advise
photographers to back off on the letter writing to Caren Clarke. She knows
that photographers and ASMP cannot accept what Time has offered, and she is
part of the team working on change. What photographers MUST do, if they
want to get that raise they deserve is to send a copy of the ASMP Day Rate
paper to every editor they work with, not just people at Time, Inc.
magazines. The ASMP paper has to reach the masses of editors. It should be
accompanied with a note telling them that a raise is in order, and that the
paper explains why. Unless, the photographer doesn't want a raise, in which
case do nothing. Pressure has to be put on the executives at the top from
the lower levels. Upper management has to hear from middle management that
photographers are getting restless and NEED more money. We have to
influence the budget makers from bottom to top."
Weisgrau concluded, "Keep in mind that Time, Inc. is discussing this matter in good faith. This
has been the history of dealings between ASMP and Time. Let's give Time