Q: Does Don require a contract and what are the usual terms and conditions?
A: Yes. As for any business relationship, a contract specifying terms and conditions (T&C) is to the benefit of both parties. Ambiguity in any relationship is seldom a “good thing.” Knowing what you are getting, what your rights are, what you are paying for, etc. up front avoids uncomfortable situations. I use this as a starting point. It’s not complicated and subject to negotiation. But you have to start somewhere. I hate this stuff as much as you do and it’s in both of our interests to quickly and painlessly come to terms.
Q: Why are images licensed?
A: Like music, movies, or any other artistic endeavor, licensing of images allows me the artist and you the consumer to know how the images are being used and what the terms of that use are (see above). It is not the file you are buying but my aesthetic and vision.
Q: Licensing sounds expensive.
A: The fact that an image is licensed has no bearing on the cost to you. An image has a useful lifetime (your product changes, you present it differently, your advertising and marketing campaigns change). Keep this in mind when we discuss licensing.
Q: How are images delivered?
A: Typically images are delivered electronically. Prints are unusual in commercial photography and the images are almost always used within another layout. I deliver high resolution images. Typically I deliver in JPEG format but we can agree to others. I do not deliver RAW files.
Q: What type of post processing or retouching do you do?
A: This is part of our contract, but, unless specified, I correct any flaws (dust, scratches, etc). The images are true to the agreed upon “look.”
Q: What is your typical lead time? How quickly are the images processed and delivered?
A: This is negotiable, but a week is normally sufficient (depending on availability) for both lead time and processing.