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Charging For Prop Wares

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Hi there,

I recently had a prominent food prop stylist / writer / taste maker request using my products for photo shoot.

I'm not sure what the standard trade is in this case. Would you charge a borrowing fee, or is it more exposure in social media (linking to my site)?

 

Anyone have experience in this area?

 

Thank you!

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I only have anecdotal information from potters who did this ... so take it for what its worth ... I have no personal experience.

 

They had trouble getting the pieces back since it seems once pictures are taken, everybody leaves and the prop sometimes gets left behind or appropriated.

 

So I would make sure they sign some paperwork as to the objects, the retail value, the date you expect it to be returned by.

Then mentally write it off as gone. : - )

 

Regardless of this I would still do it.

I would not charge but use links to the finished article on my site, my facebook pages ... all over the Internet to make sure everyone knew about it and saw it.

D.M.Ernst and PotterPutter like this

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Long time back-the 70s I had a friend who was in my art collage classes . Star collage borrowed some work for a still life-it now hangs in my retiring doctors office-If I recall the work got busted before it was returned. I later loaded a few works for a play-that also never returned. I think now you should take Chris's advice - consider them gone and be happy.Unless you just say no straight up.Props are just that a means to and end-that end has nothing to do with profit for the props.

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They had trouble getting the pieces back since it seems once pictures are taken, everybody leaves and the prop sometimes gets left behind or appropriated.

 

So I would make sure they sign some paperwork as to the objects, the retail value, the date you expect it to be returned by.

 

Would asking for a deposit be appropriate with a 100% refund if returned in good order?

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I would rather get written permission to use the photos forever ... not ask for a few bucks now.

 

Added later ...

I say this based on the original description of the person requesting the work ...

 

>I recently had a prominent food prop stylist / writer / taste maker request using my products for photo shoot.

Edited by Chris Campbell
GiselleNo5 and RonSa like this

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I agree with Chris. Ask for permission to use the photos in your own marketing. And get the agreement in writing. Professional photographs can have a lot of impact on your website, business cards, maybe a banner for your booth.

 

I would hand them a thumb drive and say "here you can put them on this."

D.M.Ernst, preeta, JBaymore and 2 others like this

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Ages ago I had some pieces in Good Housekeeping (70s) . I did not own the work, it had been already purchased. It was in an article featuring Carol Burnett. I like the idea of getting to use them for publicity. zip drive sounds perfect. Good call , Mea!

Marcia

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I loaned a few pieces to Etsy for them to use on Instagram. Someone in their office ended up buying one of the pieces and the second was returned. I would go for it. Unless the pieces they want to borrow are worth a fortune, it's worth the risk. Sounds like great exposure.

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There is precedent in social media circles for how to proceed with a circumstance like this. A lot of it depends on how much this influencer is able to help you, and how much you're able to help that stylist, and how even an exchange the whole thing is.

 

Frankly it's a bit weird for an influencer to be seeking your product out, unless the two of you really do have aesthetics and audiences that are truly compatible, or if you have similarly sized and engaged audiences. Professional influencers or bloggers are usually inundated with offers of product for them to feature in one way or another, and don't have to solicit. Some newer bloggers or social media try and solicit freebies for "exposure." Just remember, people can die of exposure.

 

That said, if you really do think this person's offer or request is legit, say, if it's from someone who is up-and-coming (or your are):

 

Firstly, don't expect to get whatever prop back. Unless you live in the same town as this influencer and can drop things off and pick them up, the shipping isn't worth the expense or hassle. You need to look at this as an advertising cost, and from that angle you need to decide if the prospective benefit is worth what you're paying out.

 

Since you've been approached by this stylist:

 

If this influencer is truly in a position to give you a BIG boost, give them the product in exchange for them writing an article or blog post that features it, or social media features, or whatever you agree upon. Professional photos are definitely a good thing to have. At this point, your product is written off like an advertising cost. To decide if the boost in question is big enough, have a long hard look at this influencer, and ask:

-does this person/organization have a large enough, or engaged enough audience for this to be worth the cost of the piece as an advertising expense? How big is their reach?

-does this influencer have the same audience I'm looking to target? All the reach in the world is no good if they're talking to the wrong audience.

-In the event that this influencer's reach isn't that big, how engaged is her audience? A small, super engaged audience can sometimes be better than a huge, mildly interested one.

Special note: a professional influencer should have numbers about her reach and engagement, and should be fully prepared and willing to provide them without defensiveness or hesitation.

 

If the influencer is in a position to give you only a nominal boost, but your work does really fit with the overall aesthetic of this influencer's body of work, if you're giving them product, you definitely need photos out of it, and good quality ones. You should declare photo credit when you use them. In this instance, they shouldn't be asking for your most expensive work, but maybe one of your best sellers. In this scenario, you might consider boosting each other by cross posting on social media, or on each other's blogs.

 

If the influencer is fishing for free product and can't offer enough benefit to you, they can purchase the product outright. If you like them, maybe offer them wholesale. Charge shipping. You're not a charity.

 

Edited for spelling.

Edited by Callie Beller Diesel
RonSa, GEP, LindaSkipper and 4 others like this

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There is precedent in social media circles for how to proceed with a circumstance like this. A lot of it depends on how much this influencer is able to help you, and how much you're able to help that stylist, and how even an exchange the whole thing is.

 

Frankly it's a bit weird for an influencer to be seeking your product out, unless the two of you really do have aesthetics and audiences that are truly compatible, or if you have similarly sized and engaged audiences. Professional influencers or bloggers are usually inundated with offers of product for them to feature in one way or another, and don't have to solicit. Some newer bloggers or social media try and solicit freebies for "exposure." Just remember, people can die of exposure.

 

That said, if you really do think this person's offer or request is legit, say, if it's from someone who is up-and-coming (or your are):

 

Firstly, don't expect to get whatever prop back. Unless you live in the same town as this influencer and can drop things off and pick them up, the shipping isn't worth the expense or hassle. You need to look at this as an advertising cost, and from that angle you need to decide if the prospective benefit is worth what you're paying out.

 

Since you've been approached by this stylist:

 

If this influencer is truly in a position to give you a BIG boost, give them the product in exchange for them writing an article or blog post that features it, or social media features, or whatever you agree upon. Professional photos are definitely a good thing to have. At this point, your product is written off like an advertising cost. To decide if the boost in question is big enough, have a long hard look at this influencer, and ask:

-does this person/organization have a large enough, or engaged enough audience for this to be worth the cost of the piece as an advertising expense? How big is their reach?

-does this influencer have the same audience I'm looking to target? All the reach in the world is no good if they're talking to the wrong audience.

-In the event that this influencer's reach isn't that big, how engaged is her audience? A small, super engaged audience can sometimes be better than a huge, mildly interested one.

Special note: a professional influencer should have numbers about her reach and engagement, and should be fully prepared and willing to provide them without defensiveness or hesitation.

 

If the influencer is in a position to give you only a nominal boost, but your work does really fit with the overall aesthetic of this influencer's body of work, if you're giving them product, you definitely need photos out of it, and good quality ones. You should declare photo credit when you use them. In this instance, they shouldn't be asking for your most expensive work, but maybe one of your best sellers. In this scenario, you might consider boosting each other by cross posting on social media, or on each other's blogs.

 

If the influencer is fishing for free product and can't offer enough benefit to you, they can purchase the product outright. If you like them, maybe offer them wholesale. Charge shipping. You're not a charity.

 

Edited for spelling.

 

 

^^^ THIS WHOLE ENTIRE POST. I agree with it. Out of positive votes for the day. :) 

LindaSkipper likes this

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If the influencer is fishing for free product and can't offer enough benefit to you, they can purchase the product outright. If you like them, maybe offer them wholesale. Charge shipping. You're not a charity.

 

well said

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Depending on their venue, always at least ask for a link and a credit line, or a mention on a Thank You page, but if that doesn't suit their layout/content, they may not do it, which is not unreasonable.

 

Absolutely draw up a written Agreement-including the retail cost reimbursement if they fail to return the pieces. Decide whether you are granting one time rights or pepetual rights to use each/all images with your work in them. Do writen Agreements regardless of whether it is a friendly small-potatoes deal or a heavy-duty commercial one.

 

From the other end of the situation, I sometimes have other people's pieces in my studio that end up in demonstration pics of me working (not even using their pieces as props--just "Sally's" beautiflu slip trailed coffee mug sitting in the background on the work table) and I always ask permission. An email response that says "OK" is fine, just be sure to print out and save the email.  Also ask if it is OK to insert their link (never just insert someone's link without getting an OK in writing) or a named credit or "thank you" line. 

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