Sell Photos of Architecture: Permit Required?

If you're a photographer specializing in pictures of architecture, here's a guide to sell photos online or using a traditional medium. You are the probably the type of person that is fascinated by clean lines and the representation of architectural components in the every day life. The building or structure doesn't have to be famous, it just has to represent something artistic to you as a photographer. You take the picture and you end up with a masterpiece. Now you would like to make money from your hard work. In order to do this, you may have to obtain a permit. Here is what you need to do.

Materials You Will Need

Step 1 - Outline a Contact Sheet

Outline information about the architecture. Add the following questions on a piece of paper. Make sure you leave space for the answers you will develop.

  1. Name of building or architectural element
  2. Name of the person or group that owns the building or architectural element
  3. Name of the architect
  4. Contact information, (i.e. phone, email, address) for the three people and organizations noted above

Step 2 - Start Your Research

Start to detail out the information you are looking for, as outlined in the first step. It is key that you talk to everyone involved with the architectural element you have just photographed. The purpose of this research is to find out who owns what. You need to find out if there has been a copyright filed for the building. You also need to find out any possible regulations the organization or individuals have set forth applying to the photographing and selling of such pictures. Each of these elements is important in your future success of making money from this.

Step 3 - Write Out the Rules

After you have contacted everyone involved with the architectural element, write out what you need to do. Note the copyright, permit and royalty requirements involved with this piece of art.

Step 4 - Apply for Permits

If applicable, apply for the permits, as outlined in your notes.

Step 5 - Pay the Royalties

If applicable, after you have sold the photograph, pay the royalties as required in the third step.

Step 6 - Pay to License

Some works of art require that you pay an up-front license fee. Pay this before you take any photographs.

Step 7 - Reap the Rewards

Reap the rewards and enjoy the cash flow from all of your hard work.

Step 8 - Get Everything Filed Away

You can use this information again, file it away neatly in a file cabinet. Attach any relevant materials, such as copyright or permits so that you can pull this information out again the next time you would like to take a photo of this architectural piece. You may wish to photograph it again in a different season, as the sun sets, or according to weather.

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