How to handle a client who only wants to purchase stock images from my design mockup, instead of my design?

I am a graphic designer who provided spec work for a client. I worked on a flyer and I gave them 2 options. They went with one, paid for it.

Now they have another project and would like to use the other preliminary draft from the last project. I gave them a quote (seeing as I would have to purchase photo under my license and adjust layout for text, etc.) The client decided they didn’t want to pay for me to do the work, they just wanted to pay me for the use of the photo. Due to licensing restrictions, I am not able to re-sell the copyright. This photo, however is a concept that I came up with.

Should I turn over the link where they can find this image so that the client can purchase and let them use how they would like? I feel as they are wanting to use my design idea to make something similar without paying me. What is the correct, professional way to handle?


If it’s a stock photo available on the web, they’ll find it eventually. Especially if they know it’s merely a stock photo. If you can’t resell it, then your choices are clear – give a link or tell them no.

The bigger question is how important is the client? Especially compared to the value of the stock photo? Trying to hold on to clients with an iron grip will often cause you to lose more than you retain. And, if you’re perceived as “willing to help” with everything, they are more likely to return to you when they realize that secretary didn’t do a good job even though they had the stock photo.

The suggestion to charge for the photo search will almost certainly result in losing the client permanently. The photo search should have been covered in the first project and double-billing is sure-fire way to make clients angry.

It’s a stock photo which can be purchased by any one of a million companies, not your original artwork… send them a link with a smile and offer to help with anything more they may need.

In the long run that small act of goodwill may buy you thousands in future projects from them.

Source : Link , Question Author : ahinton271 , Answer Author : Scott

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