Stock Photo Prices - Fine Art Prints

Posted on 9/6/2008 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Pricing use of photographs as art can be very subjective. Recently, I was asked to offer some guidelines for use of photos as decoration on the walls of a restaurant chain. The same photos were to be used in all the restaurants in the chain. The following discussion may provide some guidelines.

There are several different approaches that are commonly taken to price this type of usage. To use a single image for one year, in one location I would charge $440 for the 1x2m size and $360 for the 13x18cm size. This is just for use of the image and does not include any cost for printing or framing. Those costs would be extra. If they wanted to keep the pictures on the wall indefinitely, I would try to negotiate a 50% to 100% additional fee on top of the base fee. However, such uses are always very negotiable.

Since these images have already been used without authorization I would charge an extra 25% for not including a byline (assuming the agency’s normal practice is to insist on a byline for this type of use) and three times the base price for unauthorized use. If this case were to get to court it is not uncommon in the current legal environment for a judge to refuse to allow charges of the normal fee for unauthorized use.

Getty Images would charge $625 for 5 year rights for one image in one location. They make no distinction as to size so in theory the price would be the same regardless of whether the use was 8x10 inches or 5x10 feet. However, I am sure that anyone contemplating a small use would call Getty to negotiate and get a much lower price. I think this price is already way too low for a large mural, but based on Getty’s online pricing that is the most the customer would be charged.

Now we get to multiple locations. Normally, if a restaurant were going to post the image in multiple locations they would do a single buy for the right to make multiple prints and then they would prorate the charge to each restaurant. Getty would charge $1720 for the right to make 100 prints (or $17.20 per print) for 5 year rights to display the picture. They would charge slightly more if the customer wanted to display the print for more than 5 years.

I think this price is ridiculously low, but it certainly would be a normal practice to give a significant discount on the first base price for each additional location and the discount would depend to a degree on the number of locations. If I were pricing for multiple locations I would start by proposing the following prices. If there were <25 locations I might charge 50% of the base price for each additional location; 25 to 50 would be 35% or the base price; 50 to 100 would be 25% of the base price; 100 to 250 would be 15% of the base price and anything over 250 would be 10% of the base price.

There are very few sales of this type and normally there would be a lot of negotiation up front before setting a price. It is very hard to say what a standard is and it would depend on the total number of images in the buy, the total number of locations, the size of the prints, the reputation of the photographer, the uniqueness of the image and who the customer is.


In the event that you want to discuss the specifics of a particular use Jim Pickerell is available for telephone consultations at 301-251-0720. The fee for such consultations is $2.50 per minute. Most only take a few minutes. Another resource to look at for pricing fine art prints is

Copyright © 2008 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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