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Author Topic: Requests to use images for free  (Read 7109 times)

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Ron

« Reply #50 on: May 13, 2014, 02:42 »
+4
you should never be offended if someone asks - because it is a perfectly normal request.

I agree 100%. People ask physicians and mechanics for opinions at parties, why should photographers or illustrators be any different? Just because you don't say yes doesn't mean that you have to be offended. Think of it as a compliment, turn them down politely, and go on about your business.
Asking for an opinion is not asking to fix a car for free. I give people advice for free all the time when they need to know something about photography. Asking for an opinion or asking for free goods or services is two different things.


« Reply #51 on: May 13, 2014, 02:51 »
+6
If at all someone asks for an image to use for free, I will take the decision weighing in a lot of factors. Since it is my effort, I get to decide that.

But, when an agency decides to allow free usage of my work without my consent, it sure is wrong irrespective of the legal position.

« Reply #52 on: May 13, 2014, 03:14 »
+2
I don't work at reduced rates but I do quite a lot of work for free for non profits, or donate licenses. That way I feel less like I am devaluing my work, more like I am making a charitable donation.

I never give away work for commercial use, it never pays off. A company that can secure your work for free on the promise of future work wont come back to you again, they will find the next sucker for the next project and so on.

It could be worse though, people could be taking work without even asking. Here are redacted versions of two emails, both received in April. Both only sent because the clients did an extraordinary amount of due diligence and were very honest, which makes me wonder how many times this happens without us finding out:

[your illustration] would be great for my logo. So great, in fact, that a graphic designer I was working with had the nerve to take this image and lay my company name on top! I would NEVER take someones work like that and not pay them...

....my company [XXX] has hired [a design studio] to do a logo design for our company for $100 us dollars. We asked them for a design that we can trademark, reproduce and sell but one of the logos they sent us back that we want to finalize after some searching we found that you are the original artist of the image......

« Reply #53 on: May 13, 2014, 03:27 »
+10
Well here is my story. I shot last year lot of sport events, for the first time with official accreditation etc. All the clubs and associations asked for free images with link to my site and my name. Even though I am in microstock few years, it was new field, and I decided to give a lot of them, to make promo. Besides that I upload them to news agency.

To sum it up at the end of the year, news agency delivered profit of $11... yes 11 :). And all the exposure I got was more demand for shooting sport events for free.

So this year, I provide only images to my friends team. And the rest must pay. They dont like it, but I dont care. It is lot of hard work. I put price on every image. If they want it, they can have it. I would rather have 1 paying customer, than 10 teams promoting my free work.

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #54 on: May 13, 2014, 06:03 »
+3
How did this attitude even come into existence??


It probably came about from a combination of photographers who have no business acumen and hobbiests.

Some hobbiests are thrilled just to have someone compliment their work which is totally understandable. So then some vulture asks to use it in a magazine for free. Sure, good bragging rights to friends and family. Then there are those photographers who value any kind of exposure. I can see certain types of exposure having a benefit but in my experience it's rare. There needs to be a measurable exchange of value.

Since I've updated my website to look more professional with my credentials I don't get free requests that often anymore. I recently had someone contact me from a wealthy California beach community wanting to use an image for free. I told him that as soon as airlines, gas companies, camera companies, car rental companies and all the rest stop charging for their products and services so will I.

I also have mostly stopped giving discounts especially on my print work. I had someone give me the "we'll give you lots of exposure by displaying your prints" deal and wanted a huge discount in return for this priceless magical exposure. I thought about it and told them no but thanks for your interest. They purchased anyway at full price. Unfortunately there are a lot of talented photographers out there who give stuff away because they don't recognize the value of their work or don't know how to negotiate or just say no.

A couple of my favorites

Harlan Ellison -- Pay the Writer


The Vendor Client relationship - in real world situations





 

« Reply #55 on: May 13, 2014, 06:14 »
+3
In my day job we are often asked by designers or PR agencies for free images for a good cause they are working on. We always ask if they are working for free as well. That always ends the conversation -- they are being paid. Donating your work and time is a noble thing to do, but it is just that -- a donation.

« Reply #56 on: May 13, 2014, 06:17 »
0
Thanks Paulie I love the videos :D

Shelma1

« Reply #57 on: May 13, 2014, 06:25 »
0
Love the Harlan Ellison clip. It's true, you know...they pay everyone else without question. It's simply amazing to me that people expect art (in any form) for free.

ShadySue

« Reply #58 on: May 13, 2014, 06:56 »
0
Some hobbiests are thrilled just to have someone compliment their work which is totally understandable. So then some vulture asks to use it in a magazine for free. Sure, good bragging rights to friends and family. Then there are those photographers who value any kind of exposure. I can see certain types of exposure having a benefit but in my experience it's rare. There needs to be a measurable exchange of value.
Funnily enough, it can work sometimes, outwith the stock world.

For example, one of our top broadsheets has a Photo of the Day feature, for which the tog doesn't get paid. My Dad would dearly love me to have a photo there for his friends to 'notice' the credit. There were a lot of photos there from my area by one tog, which Dad had noticed often enough to ask if I knew him. I didn't, until he started coming to my Camera Club this session. Anyway, cutting to the chase, I happened to mention to another couple of members about him giving away his pics for free in the newspaper. Discovered that he is in a craft fair group locally, and the huge exposure his photos get in this quality paper,  read by many, probably most people who will go to these fairs, attracts people to his work - they assume as he is always getting his photos in that quality paper, he must be really good. They said local people talk about him in awe and reverence all the time (in fact, he's perfectly competent, but no better than the rest of us.) So although most photographers hereabouts find that photos don't sell at craft fairs, he does well, because he has a 'name'.

A friend, also not in stock, has done a lot of free gigs which have led him to get commissions private work and also other benefits, e.g. some of the models he has paid to build his portfolio (I suspect, but he hasn't actually admitted that he's hoping to start a studio when he quits his day job) have either started volunteering for the charity he works for, or their friends have. He even found an excellent employee who was a friend of a model and is a perfect fit, apparently. He's picked up weddings, parties, selling via Photobox (for a group he was providing 6x4 prints for free, but many of the members buy bigger photos for themselves).
I have to say, he's far more entrepreneurial than I am. I couldn't make that work, but he does.

I see no problems withpro bono if I want to do it. If it's a good cause I want to support, what difference does it make if I give them a donation, bake cakes, work in a charity shop, rattle cans, or take publicity photos?

If commercial entities ask for my photos free, no way: that's a different matter altogether.

EmberMike

« Reply #59 on: May 13, 2014, 07:58 »
+1
Love the Harlan Ellison clip. It's true, you know...they pay everyone else without question. It's simply amazing to me that people expect art (in any form) for free.

It's because people see "art" and think "fun" or "hobby", something that someone should enjoy doing so much that they don't even care to be paid for it. The reality is that it's a job like any other. It's work, it's stressful, it comes with all of the problems of any other line of work. Even though I work for myself and from my home, I still have personal deadlines and production goals, things I need to do to keep earning. Plus all of the other tasks that someone else would do in an office job, bookkeeping, computer maintenance, buying supplies and equipment, fixing things, etc.

No work is free to produce, not even creative work. And yet someone will still ask for it for free.

Shelma1

« Reply #60 on: May 13, 2014, 08:20 »
+4
Some hobbiests are thrilled just to have someone compliment their work which is totally understandable. So then some vulture asks to use it in a magazine for free. Sure, good bragging rights to friends and family. Then there are those photographers who value any kind of exposure. I can see certain types of exposure having a benefit but in my experience it's rare. There needs to be a measurable exchange of value.
Funnily enough, it can work sometimes, outwith the stock world.

For example, one of our top broadsheets has a Photo of the Day feature, for which the tog doesn't get paid. My Dad would dearly love me to have a photo there for his friends to 'notice' the credit. There were a lot of photos there from my area by one tog, which Dad had noticed often enough to ask if I knew him. I didn't, until he started coming to my Camera Club this session. Anyway, cutting to the chase, I happened to mention to another couple of members about him giving away his pics for free in the newspaper. Discovered that he is in a craft fair group locally, and the huge exposure his photos get in this quality paper,  read by many, probably most people who will go to these fairs, attracts people to his work - they assume as he is always getting his photos in that quality paper, he must be really good. They said local people talk about him in awe and reverence all the time (in fact, he's perfectly competent, but no better than the rest of us.) So although most photographers hereabouts find that photos don't sell at craft fairs, he does well, because he has a 'name'.

A friend, also not in stock, has done a lot of free gigs which have led him to get commissions private work and also other benefits, e.g. some of the models he has paid to build his portfolio (I suspect, but he hasn't actually admitted that he's hoping to start a studio when he quits his day job) have either started volunteering for the charity he works for, or their friends have. He even found an excellent employee who was a friend of a model and is a perfect fit, apparently. He's picked up weddings, parties, selling via Photobox (for a group he was providing 6x4 prints for free, but many of the members buy bigger photos for themselves).
I have to say, he's far more entrepreneurial than I am. I couldn't make that work, but he does.

I see no problems withpro bono if I want to do it. If it's a good cause I want to support, what difference does it make if I give them a donation, bake cakes, work in a charity shop, rattle cans, or take publicity photos?

If commercial entities ask for my photos free, no way: that's a different matter altogether.

It's great that the exposure brings him sales. But why doesn't the newspaper pay him? Serious question. They pay the reporters, the editors, the delivery people, the printer, the paper manufacturer, the owners of the building they're in, they pay for ink, for web hosting, web design, marketing, etc. etc. etc. But the photographer works for "exposure." Why is he the exception? Surely the newspaper can afford to pay something once a week.

ShadySue

« Reply #61 on: May 13, 2014, 08:35 »
0
It's great that the exposure brings him sales. But why doesn't the newspaper pay him? Serious question. They pay the reporters, the editors, the delivery people, the printer, the paper manufacturer, the owners of the building they're in, they pay for ink, for web hosting, web design, marketing, etc. etc. etc. But the photographer works for "exposure." Why is he the exception? Surely the newspaper can afford to pay something once a week.
Actually, they're near the wall and have had to lay off most of their staff togs and several of their reporters. However, you're right, everyone left is paid.
I wasn't condoning it, just saying it works for him.
If they paid him, they wouldn't necessarily credit him.  (I've noticed most of my editorial found in-uses aren't credited although iS's TOS requires it for files used editorially.)
If he had to pay for advertising, it wouldn't benefit him - no-one is few people are  impressed by advertising.
But also, 'he that pays the piper calls the tune'. ATM, he can shoot whatever he likes, whenever he likes.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2014, 12:36 by ShadySue »

« Reply #62 on: May 13, 2014, 08:37 »
+2
They pay the reporters, the editors, the delivery people, the printer, the paper manufacturer, the owners of the building they're in, they pay for ink, for web hosting, web design, marketing, etc. etc. etc. But the photographer works for "exposure." Why is he the exception? Surely the newspaper can afford to pay something once a week.

So shouldn't stock models always get paid too then ?

Shelma1

« Reply #63 on: May 13, 2014, 08:44 »
+2
They pay the reporters, the editors, the delivery people, the printer, the paper manufacturer, the owners of the building they're in, they pay for ink, for web hosting, web design, marketing, etc. etc. etc. But the photographer works for "exposure." Why is he the exception? Surely the newspaper can afford to pay something once a week.

So shouldn't stock models always get paid too then ?

Yes.

ShadySue

« Reply #64 on: May 13, 2014, 09:02 »
0
BTW, it's not only creatives who give services free or at low cost.
For example, many small local groups and charities use accountants doing 'mates' rates' or 'favours' for necessary auditing of annual accounts.
Whenever a local group/organisation has a fundraiser, they're round all the local businesses to ask for donations in goods or kind.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2014, 12:31 by ShadySue »

Ron

« Reply #65 on: May 13, 2014, 09:04 »
+1
They pay the reporters, the editors, the delivery people, the printer, the paper manufacturer, the owners of the building they're in, they pay for ink, for web hosting, web design, marketing, etc. etc. etc. But the photographer works for "exposure." Why is he the exception? Surely the newspaper can afford to pay something once a week.

So shouldn't stock models always get paid too then ?

Yes.
I am not paying my dad when I photograph him around the house. :)

Shelma1

« Reply #66 on: May 13, 2014, 09:17 »
0
They pay the reporters, the editors, the delivery people, the printer, the paper manufacturer, the owners of the building they're in, they pay for ink, for web hosting, web design, marketing, etc. etc. etc. But the photographer works for "exposure." Why is he the exception? Surely the newspaper can afford to pay something once a week.

So shouldn't stock models always get paid too then ?

Yes.
I am not paying my dad when I photograph him around the house. :)

Really? I would offer to pay him a portion of my sales of his image. Of course, if he's like my dad, he would vehemently refuse to accept payment. ;)

Here's an example. My niece is absolutely beautiful (she's seven years old). Instead of asking if I could shoot her, I suggested my sister get headshots and I could introduce her to casting agents to get some work in print ads or commercials if she thought it would be fun. That way she could put the money aside for college. My nephew modeled for awhile because he thought it was fun. Once it was not fun, that stopped. But he was paid. (He modeled for Fisher-price toys.)


« Reply #67 on: May 13, 2014, 09:18 »
+4
Conversation with a lawyer:

Me: I was wondering if you wouldn't mind working for free?
Lawyer: You already owe me ten dollars.
Me: What for?
Lawyer: Make that twenty.

« Reply #68 on: May 13, 2014, 09:20 »
0
Conversation with a lawyer:

Me: I was wondering if you wouldn't mind working for free?
Lawyer: You already owe me ten dollars.
Me: What for?
Lawyer: Make that twenty.

Have you thought of offering a CD with some photos of him instead of money ?

« Reply #69 on: May 13, 2014, 09:29 »
0
How did this attitude even come into existence??

People love free stuff. If you are an attorney, they ask for free legal advice.
If you are a GP and go to a party, someone certainly asks about their headaches or tummy pains.
If you are a hairdresser you will get asked about hair products.
Work for a health store, health products.
Then there is this share craziness in social media, people share photos, video, media etc.
Lines get blurred as to what is appropriate and what is not.

Of course people asking for free photos is annoying, we work hard for creating them and we invest in our gear (it is not like we point and shoot with a cheap compact and voila! are ready). A lot of people don't seem to realize the time and effort we put into this. They don't understand what "stock" is, they don't realize we do the post production, write keywords, captions, think categories, and before this think what sells, what to shoot, which images to choose, meanwhile educating ourselves. They believe these things just "happen".
However, I can't really blame them, because I can't steer a ferry or change a computer hard drive, as these things all require different skills.

I guess my point is: try think of this philosophically. People have a weakness for free things  :)
Our work is valuable and we should always get something in return.





« Reply #70 on: May 13, 2014, 09:41 »
0
Conversation with a lawyer:

Me: I was wondering if you wouldn't mind working for free?
Lawyer: You already owe me ten dollars.
Me: What for?
Lawyer: Make that twenty.

 :D :D

Shelma1

« Reply #71 on: May 13, 2014, 11:54 »
0
Timely posttoday  on the Freelancer's Union blog:

https://medium.com/i-love-charts/9f47fdd7152a

« Reply #72 on: May 13, 2014, 12:25 »
+1
Timely posttoday  on the Freelancer's Union blog:

https://medium.com/i-love-charts/9f47fdd7152a

Love this  :) :) :)


 

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