Photographers, give your work away, but don’t GIVE it away!!
Recently, I was contacted by a design firm that does murals and interior design for a famous restaurant chain. They shall remain nameless but I will clue you in that the first part of their name was the fruit that landed on Newtons head. Anyway.. all of my works this year are Creative Commons, Non-Commercial, No derivatives. This means if you are a private individual that wants to use my work, go ahead and put it in your blog, use it for your desktop, put it on your website whatever, just give me credit somewhere for the use. and link back to my site here. If you are a business though, you cannot use my work for free.
So along comes this design agency that I knew about as a fellow photographer had given them some photos already. So the email that I got said they saw some of my work on Flickr.com and that they would like to use my shots in their interior design for this famous restaurant. I replied with a simple thank you and a mention that the company could license my shots easily. Just choose the shots you want, sign an agreement, send me a check, and away you go. I immediately go back an email that asked how much I would want for roughly 10-15 non-commissioned shots. These were photos that I took of an area event and had them available and ready to go. Very little post work involved. So I shot back an email and told the representative I would do $10 a shot. So $150 for 15 photos that would be used to decorate a famous restaurant. Not a lot of money when you look at who it is, who is doing the installation, etc.
To make a long story shorter, the deadline came and went without a peep from the agency. Now, I get not wanting to pay for something when you are a huge rich business, I get that, I really do. The least you could do is TELL me! So yesterday I shot off an email that simply stated that I guess they didn’t want my photos as the deadline had come and passed. Here is the email that I got in return:
Seriously? That’s all you have? So here it is folks, you MUST stand by your work! These people have the money…DON’T GIVE THEM YOUR PHOTOS! You give them your photos without compensation you hurt everyone. You are not going to get recognition from your photos being in this place because NO CREDIT will be given. Your name will not be on the photos, etc. Sure, you can tell your friends, family, and such, but what actually comes from that? To me it is clear that this company taking advantage of photographers and it needs to stop. All they are doing is taking your hard work and using it to their credit. They are getting paid huge amounts of cash for these interior upgrades…and paying out NOTHING for the design. Photographers beware!
“Give it away now” inspired by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Buy their music HERE!