How to have a successful negotiation asking the right questions.

Part of being a good negotiator is knowing what questions to ask. Understanding how your image adds value to your client’s project is the key to effective negotiation. It’s your work that’s adding value to their project.

With the Stock Order Form in fotoBiz and fotoQuote you’ll know what questions to ask every time you speak with a client. These questions will help you determine the value of your image to their project.

The same photo in stock photography can bring anything from a minor payment to thousands of dollars if your image is going to be the key that brings in large amounts of money to your client. This is something you have to negotiate; you can’t just say a photograph on a brochure cover is worth $800. It might be worth $600 to your local baker and it might be worth $7,000 to Ralph Lauren. I’ll say it again; it all depends on the value your image is bringing to the company.

Questions to ask to determine a price:

When determining your price, you have to make a number of subjective decisions about your picture and the client’s level of commitment to your image.

Before deciding on your price, you should determine the importance of your photo to the project. The easiest way to do this is to get a comp faxed or emailed to your office. If a comp is not available, then ask the client specifics about how your image will be used. Is it the only picture on the page, or one of many? Is it being used on the cover, or inside? If you determine your picture is an important element to the project, then your price will be a little higher.

If the job is important to the client, then the client will be more willing to spend the extra money to buy the right pictures. Ask, “Is this is the only project the client will do this year to promote his product?” Ask, “Do you do a similar project often or is this a one of a kind?” You can even ask, “What is in the budget?” You’re trying to find out how much the client has riding on this project.

The level of commitment your client has to your picture is also important when determining your price. Ask the art director if the client has approved the image? If the answer is yes, then you’re in a better bargaining position because the art director doesn’t want to go back for another client approval.

Reread the information in “Steps to a Sale” in the Coach section of fotoQuote. The information in the Coach section and the Stock Order Form are simple yet effective tools that help you sharpen your negotiating skills, leaving less money on the table and more in your pocket.

Want the FULL solution that includes invoicing, gear management and more?


Cradoc fotoSoftware fotoBiz® X is a comprehensive, powerful, and easy to use business management software available for your stock and assignment photography estimating and billing needs. It is the favorite of professional freelance photographers worldwide!

No monthly fees, No annual fees, No subscription fees