How to appropriately charge a client for past resources?

Freelance based question…..

Scenario: A piece was designed two years ago. In the piece there are several client-supplied photographs. When the original piece was designed, the only image alterations which were made to these client-supplied photos was to extract them and remove the background. This was all built into the original design fee for the piece.

Today, the client requests just the photos.

  1. They are client supplied images so I automatically do not
    associate any fee with sending the images back. Client is merely lucky if I still have them years later.
  2. Work was done to facilitate the photos in the original piece.
    Returning the edited photos would constitute additional use of the
    work beyond the original scope.
  3. There’s no real way to know what the original amount of time
    the extractions took. It’s been years, skills have improved and if time were to be calculated today it may be inaccurate and rates may be
  4. If these were designer-supplied photos, original artwork, or even original constructon images based upon client supplied photos I would automatically associate
    additional usage fees with this request
    Original construction: i.e. a client sends 5 separate photos and all must be extracted then combined to create a “global product shot” and client is requesting this global shot.

Is it appropriate to charge the client anything for return of these edited client-supplied photos?

I do realize this is somewhat subjective and opinion-based. I am merely seeking “best practices” or “common procedures” used by professionals in the field.

I’m leaning towards “no” based upon the quantity of photos in this instance (only 2). However, if there were a great many photos I’d be far more uncertain as to whether or not I should charge.


I think it’s more than fair to at least charge a ‘archive retrieval’ fee. It takes time to locate old work and prep it for delivery. That should be time you bill for.

Source : Link , Question Author : Scott , Answer Author : DA01

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