My question is: Is this the real market value of his work? There is nothing particularly creative or spectacular about his contribution — any competent photographer could have done the same. I know art galleries often charge high amounts for reprints of their work by controlling access to who gets to photograph it under which conditions. It seems like the largest economic contribution to the work was from Sofitel, who allowed access to the property and closed it to customers.
I don't have any issue in a photographer wanting to be paid fairly for his work, and asking for perhaps double or treble the original price for the breach of contract to match what an unlimited license would have costed. After all, with this money they could have employed a professional for a month and automatically obtained full rights to the work.
Any other competent photographer could have done the job just as well (and perhaps have done a better job on correcting the pincushion distortion!), but it seems like this guy is trying to take advantage of an oversight by a large corporation, never to have to work again.
What do you think?