From time to time, I’m asked for images, which are to be used for various purposes, such as a blog or calendar – typically these are not for profit, or charity organisations who want a nice image to use. It usually is a short run of something, or an image for a website, which will be small – and then I’m offered a credit, or link back to my own gallery. Sometimes I’ll do a trade for goods, or services – such as stationery, or being helped with my SEO (which I’m really bad at….)
Sometimes though, I’m asked for images that are to be used by people who will be making money in large quantities, and still want the image for free… usually I won’t have any truck with them.
Lately though, I’ve been asked on more than one occasion for images that I have taken commercially, for commercial use.
A good number of requests come via Flickr – running on the lines of “we think your images are wonderful, and we’d really like to use one on our blog/website/newsletter etc…. however we have a low/zero budget, but we will be prepared to credit you on our site/newsletter whatever….. ” Sometimes they even tell me what the print run will be with the image being used, but they still don’t have a budget for it.
Can someone please explain why it is, that these people do have a budget for production, publicity, advertising, printing etc.. but none to get the images in the first place. So here’s the deal…. it actually costs money to get these pictures. I have to buy the kit, learn how to use it, buy the computer, the software, the car (to get me to the locations), the fuel to put in it – and all the time it takes me to produce the image at the end… and for what? A credit, that will simply ‘drive’ traffic through to my website…..
When was the last time you picked up a greetings card or calendar, and was curious enough about the author to look them up on Google, or wherever, and view the rest of their images…??? Some photographers might, but the general public…. I’m not so sure about that.
So, the deal is that every time an image is given away for a credit, the market for the legitimate photographer shrinks. More and more companies are asking for images for free, because to an extent now, they know they can get away with it. If they can’t get them off me for free, they’ll turn elsewhere… and everytime they get an image it reinforces their mentality. Image credits don’t put bread on the table on a Friday night.
After all, when was the last time you got diesel for you car, and said, “Hey, I can’t pay you right now, I don’t have a budget for fuel, but if anyone asks, I’ll tell them I got it from this great garage in Stockport, just think of all the extra trade you’ll get”…. see what I mean…????