34 Standing Up For Rights
June 18, 1996 -
Peter Brandt wrote recently that standing up for your rights and being
persistent does pay off. He outlined his recent experience with Rodale
I got a stock request from Runners World (Rodale Press) for photos to be used
in a photo composition. They purchased rights to use my images for full page
lead image to an editorial article.
When the magazine hit the news stand I saw the article and noticed that it
wasn't used as a full page, but instead as a two page spread plus a quarter page
further on. After speaking to the art director, he authorized the increase in
the invoice with no apologies.
I then decided to buy the issue to keep on hand, in case of trouble. Upon
reviewing the magazine at home I noticed the image used again (a third use) as a
two page spread ghosted down as a background for products. I sent another
invoice. All invoices were sent at normal rates according to your "Negotiating"
price guide. When payment got late on the last invoice, I called the art
director and was informed that I had been paid more than enough and this last
invoice was not going to be paid. I informed him that the stock industry has
"usage" as its primary means of deciding value as well as "trust" in negotiating
the actual usage. None the less, no more fees.
I didn't take no as an answer and wrote to the president of Rodale Press and
explained it all. He agreed with me and told the president of Runners World to
pay. It took another month with no results and my leaving messages to Rodale's
president. Suddenly the art director called, "What's going on here??!!" I
responded I'm just trying to get paid. Two days later the check arrived in the
It's not likely I'll submit photos to this art director again where ever he may
work, but next time, I'm going to send an invoice with much higher fees when I
see myself being taken advantage of. Trying to be fair all the way through to
the end may have been the deciding factor to getting paid but I wonder if
getting tough may have gotten quicker results.