ASMP and Time, Inc.

Posted on 6/5/1999 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)



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

some time."

Copyright © 1999 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to:  


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