In the past few years, I had several inquiries from companies who wanted to license my images for murals in commercial or office spaces. Since it’s a pretty specific use, I thought some of you might be interested in the process.

First, in those situations, let me explain how licensing works. I licensed the right for my client to use a high-resolution file to create a print for a mural. I’m not handling the printing and the only thing they can do with the image is print it once. Those terms are highlighted in a contract that the client has to sign before getting the image file.

So, after they inquire about licensing the image, I usually ask about the size of the mural and where it will be. The bigger the print, the more expensive my fee will be. The location matters too. In the images above, the mural is in the kitchen space of a corporate office. It’s more of an artistic print meant to hide what’s behind the window. In the example below, the mural is the first thing you see when you get to the Skydeck, the observatory at the top of the Willis Tower in Chicago. It’s public-facing, so it’s commercial use and I will charge more.

How much should you charge? Good question, to which I don’t have a straight answer. It depends on the factors I mentioned above and it can go from a few hundred dollars to several thousand of dollars (or even more if you’re lucky). I often use FotoQuote as a reference. It’s not very expensive, and well worth the cost if you license a lot of work.

Your next question is probably about image resolution. Obviously, with massive prints like the Skydeck one, most cameras won’t have enough resolution to produce a print that holds up when you get close. But it’s not an issue, as the print is meant to be seen from a few feet away so you can see the whole thing. I use Photoshop to resize the file to the client’s resolution and usually don’t have issues. This image was shot with a 16MP camera and the print is 20-by-8 feet.

While licensing images isn’t my main source of income, it is nice to have a few of those come in each year as a bonus. If you have any questions, just add a comment or reach out directly!