chris.goodhueSo one of my friends recently informed me the ski company she was riding for is using one of my photos on their ski description this year (the little stickers that they put on the skis in the shops or whatever) without my permission.
How should I go about this and how much should I ask for? Definitely illegal what they did so I feel like I should be able to get some money for it.
I'd ask how many of those went out and charge accordingly.
Ask the friend for the contact info of their marketing people and contact them directly. You should be direct, but not rude in informing them that they used your photo without permission, and that you are seeking compensation. If you can't get in touch directly, try their customer service, their shop, etc. until you get the right person.
This is the most common headache of any ski photographer. You show an athlete a photo, they send it to their sponsors, the sponsor assumes they can use it. It's the worst. That's why I always try to deal directly with the companies myself, not through the rider. It is most likely a misunderstanding, but still it's 100% on the company to clear the rights before they use a photo. You should indeed be paid.