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Author Topic: The birth of SAA (Stock Artists Alliance)  (Read 9667 times)

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« on: March 03, 2009, 16:25 »
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The Stock Artists Alliance is a group of photographers who have baned together to stand up for stock photographers rights and provides  legal support, education and social interaction for their members.

How did it all get started.... read their article here.
http://www.stockartistsalliance.org/node/121

Now if they would just open the doors to us microstock photographers.. or maybe the doors have been opened, I'm not sure. Last time this was mentioned it seemed there was still a bit of animosity in the air.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2009, 00:58 by leaf »


helix7

« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2009, 22:08 »
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They've still got that Keywords publication on the website, with the same anti-microstock rhetoric. Betsy may have toned down the public chastising of microstock artists, but at the core I think they are still very much disgusted by us and what we do, despite being very obviously misinformed about what microstock is, what prices we sell images at, etc.

I emailed Betsy a few months back about some incorrect information on the SAA website about microstock. While she did admit that the information was incorrect, she didn't exactly take responsibility for it and remove it from the site. She just blamed her writer and the fact that the article was a year old and the info was out of date. A year prior to that, the information still would have been incorrect and out of date, and would have also been wrong two or even three years prior as well.

Unless the SAA makes a very public statement supporting microstock artists and acknowledging microstock as a viable and valid business model, I have to suggest that they be ignored. 


« Last Edit: March 03, 2009, 22:12 by helix7 »

« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2009, 22:42 »
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Unless the SAA makes a very public statement supporting microstock artists and acknowledging microstock as a viable and valid business model, I have to suggest that they be ignored. 

I'd very much agree with that. I think these organisations ultimately become self-serving entities more geared towards the interests of those that are running them than that of their members __ although of course they have to make a big play of pretending quite the opposite.

I'm guessing the folk running the SAA would welcome the sub's of a few thousand more photographers but would struggle to present that in a postive way to their members.

At some point in the relatively-near future there won't be micro, mid and macro divisions anyway __ we'll all just be 'stock' photographers. It's just a matter of time before the SAA come crawling on their fat bellies to welcome us with open arms. They'll be after our money just as soon as they can risk asking for it.

« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2009, 06:34 »
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Unless the SAA makes a very public statement supporting microstock artists and acknowledging microstock as a viable and valid business model, I have to suggest that they be ignored. 

I'd very much agree with that. I think these organisations ultimately become self-serving entities more geared towards the interests of those that are running them than that of their members __ although of course they have to make a big play of pretending quite the opposite.

I'm guessing the folk running the SAA would welcome the sub's of a few thousand more photographers but would struggle to present that in a postive way to their members.

At some point in the relatively-near future there won't be micro, mid and macro divisions anyway __ we'll all just be 'stock' photographers. It's just a matter of time before the SAA come crawling on their fat bellies to welcome us with open arms. They'll be after our money just as soon as they can risk asking for it.

Dude! A little compassion would go a long way. We are all photographers at the end of the day trying to make a living! Less of the fat bellies please.

NS

helix7

« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2009, 09:52 »
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Dude! A little compassion would go a long way. We are all photographers at the end of the day trying to make a living! Less of the fat bellies please.

NS

I don't think gostwyck was inappropriate in that comment. Actually I think that is a very likely and accurate representation of what the SAA is about. I bet they'd take our money as paying members, when really we know from the garbage they post on their website that they are still very anti-microstock. Even so, I think they'd still cash that check if a microstocker offered it.

I have no compassion for that organization, and I don't know why anyone here would.



« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2009, 10:38 »
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SAA is one of these organizations that is consistently well behind what is actually happening in the world. They spent forever bemoaning RF well before micro. Too much bad blood in my opinion to consider them a viable source of anything.

« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2009, 11:05 »
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wow, it seems that lots of people here have just as hard feelings towards SAA as traditional stock photographers have had against microstock in the past.

I think things are changing, and that is why i wanted to bring up this topic again.  At UGCX there was a very open mix between microstock photographers and traditional photographers.  There were many traditional photographers getting involved in microstock, and many microstock photographers getting involved in macro.  Agencies were doing with the same.  It is clear that animosity between the two camps is definitely dieing (at least in person if not online) and thinking that one business model is better than the other is just naive.  They are different - not better or worse.

« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2009, 12:04 »
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wow, it seems that lots of people here have just as hard feelings towards SAA as traditional stock photographers have had against microstock in the past.

I think things are changing, and that is why i wanted to bring up this topic again.  At UGCX there was a very open mix between microstock photographers and traditional photographers.  There were many traditional photographers getting involved in microstock, and many microstock photographers getting involved in macro.  Agencies were doing with the same.  It is clear that animosity between the two camps is definitely dieing (at least in person if not online) and thinking that one business model is better than the other is just naive.  They are different - not better or worse.

That's exactly right, most photographers are photographers. SAA has done some good work, I should say that. But they also have alienated tons of photographers. I know a great many who won't have anything to do with them. They started off burning bridges instead of building them and can't seem to stop.

lisafx

« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2009, 17:21 »
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That's exactly right, most photographers are photographers. SAA has done some good work, I should say that. But they also have alienated tons of photographers. I know a great many who won't have anything to do with them. They started off burning bridges instead of building them and can't seem to stop.

That's a real shame.  Personally I would be quite happy to pay dues to an organization if it would really represent our interests.  It is a PITA to constantly have to be vigilant and fight our own battles when one or another agency changes the TOS to our disadvantage.  But if, as suggested, the SAA would take our money and then not bother to negotiate better conditions, then there's no point belonging. 

« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2009, 17:39 »
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"Annual Dues: $175. Registration Fee: $45."

No way. That's it.

SAA has done some good work, I should say that.

Like what? Spamming my mailbox for instance. The moment they can do something against the subscription trend on sites, I'm willing to take a subscription. At the price of one subscription download on SS of course.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2009, 17:46 by FlemishDreams »

RT


« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2009, 17:54 »
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The SAA are a complete waste of time IMO, they're clueless about the industry they claim to represent.

But apart from everything thats been said already they have absolutely no power whatsoever over any of the agencies and as such being a member there is nothing more than a glorified club membership, most of the claims they've made about their success in shaping the industry is complete waffle.
The only thing that shapes our future in this industry is our own voices, any memorable turn arounds in agency terms has been the result of multiple members complaining directly to the agency.

« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2009, 05:00 »
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I wrote to Shanon Fagan, the president of the SAA to ask if SAA had an official stance on microstock photographers joining.  This is what he replied and allowed me to quote him here.

Quote
The SAA Board has discussed the changes in the industry, and microstock is right up there on the agenda. Your readers are asking good questions, so let me try to provide some answers and perspective.

The SAA has no official policy excluding photographers on the basis that they shoot microstock.  The only basis for membership is that the candidate be a professional involved in professional photography, whether stock or assignment. We ask for credentials which could be a website, portfolio, client lists, distributor contracts, etc.  We are an association of professionals, not hobbyists, and our membership policy is designed to maintain that distinction. 

Defining professional can be more or less difficult to define, as with the influx of Web 2.0 participants to many fields, defining professional is just as hard as defining who's serious?  :)  Indeed many involved in microstock are clearly both serious and professional, and on the traditional realm we have many participants who skirt only occasional stock submissions just like you see in micro. 

A practical issue at hand right now is that the SAA simply does not have the resources to expand our already busy advocacy role and education to an entirely new set of contracts, shoot methodology, and general support as would be needed for the micro end of the market.  While industry buzz is much about micro, and it is without a doubt gaining share, the majority (80-90% by current estimates) of stock revenues continue to be generated by traditional licenses.  Our priority must be to serve the business interests and needs of our current membership.

What I've observed is that the most serious and involved micro photographers have a tendency to participate only in micro, and the same goes for the traditional side of the market too.  Until there's more overlap, and convergence, it's likely that the SAA's emphasis will remain as is.  This may, indeed, change if and when more photographers with significant businesses in microstock begin joining the Stock Artists Alliance.   

At the present time, I'd say there's a genuine advantage to micro photographers to learn about and get to know the traditional side of the business.  That expertise is what the SAA provides to emerging pros (in both micro and traditional), and assignment photographers interested in stock.

This is a wealth of information and the SAA is the only trade organization devoted to providing it on a continual and updated basis.  The SAA is committed to being contemporary in the respects of where our market is headed.  A few years back, we expanded our missions from RM to all professional stock licensing.  This association, like our industry, is ever evolving.

We invite your feedback, your readers' input, and the start of an exciting dialogue!

Shannon Fagan

President
Stock Artists Alliance
www.stockartistsalliance.org

It sounds like a catch 22.  SAA can't begin to get involved in the microstock industry if there are no microstock members. And from what I hear hear in this thread, microstock photographers aren't interested in joining if is geared towards traditional photography.

I think SAA is a good organization and would like to see it represent both micro and macro... It appears that there is nothing in the way for that to happen except for the biases of us photographers.

« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2009, 05:01 »
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wow, it seems that lots of people here have just as hard feelings towards SAA as traditional stock photographers have had against microstock in the past.

I think things are changing, and that is why i wanted to bring up this topic again.  At UGCX there was a very open mix between microstock photographers and traditional photographers.  There were many traditional photographers getting involved in microstock, and many microstock photographers getting involved in macro.  Agencies were doing with the same.  It is clear that animosity between the two camps is definitely dieing (at least in person if not online) and thinking that one business model is better than the other is just naive.  They are different - not better or worse.

I am firmly with leaf on this one. The real divide in Stock is not between the Micro and Macro snappers. Rather it is between those for whom stock photography is a hobby or supplement to their main career, and those for whom it is the primary source of income. Both approaches are valid, and both sections should respect, learn from and enrich each other.

Stock photography has always been a great community filled with larger than life individuals and companies who although they are competing against each other, still meet up, have the craic and a beer together (often a little too many!). The interpersonal connections that I have made over the years have been one of the most pleasurable aspects of doing this for a living.

Generally the more successful people in this business have been a part of that community, with some exceptions as you always get the odd arrogant something or other. I am sorry to report that some of the new breed of stock snappers have this attitude and for what reason is beyond my understanding.

Anyway keep the community spirit going!!

NS



NS

« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2009, 09:01 »
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Quote
(...)
A practical issue at hand right now is that the SAA simply does not have the resources to expand our already busy advocacy role and education to an entirely new set of contracts, shoot methodology, and general support as would be needed for the micro end of the market.  While industry buzz is much about micro, and it is without a doubt gaining share, the majority (80-90% by current estimates) of stock revenues continue to be generated by traditional licenses.  Our priority must be to serve the business interests and needs of our current membership.
(...)
Shannon Fagan

President
Stock Artists Alliance
www.stockartistsalliance.org

Well, well, well... How manipulative can someone be?

From what I've heard from SAA members, Micro is destroying the stock industry; because of Micro I can no longer put food in the table for my children; Global Warming and AIDS are Micro fault's, and let's bun micro photographers in the stake after a Spanish Inquisition torture session. The last two may be exaggerated but are close to the feelings of the SAA members.

But it seems that, after all, Micro represents only 10-20% of the industry!!! How cataclysmic can that be?!! After all the BS and hate I've read in the last years that's how destructive Micro is?

And because of that it doesn't justify for the SAA to support Micro photographers, against the agencies which were destroying stock and all the previous cra* I've read from their people!

Am I missing something or is this just a polite way to say "Scre* You"?

I was less than impressed by this organization, but after that answer I can only say that at this moment they deserve little respect from the Micro photographers, and surely no confidence.

This answer only shows that they don't want to have anything to do with Micro, and are not shy in being manipulative.

Regards

« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2009, 11:24 »
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Years ago I remember visting Photoexpo where SAA members were busy handing out SAY NO TO CLIPART buttons. There way of fighting the incoming RF market. Yes the traditional RF market almost everyone now participates if you are trad shooter. Now they have micro to hate. Nah, it's the same people.

tan510jomast

« Reply #15 on: March 05, 2009, 12:05 »
0
Quote
(...)
A practical issue at hand right now is that the SAA simply does not have the resources to expand our already busy advocacy role and education to an entirely new set of contracts, shoot methodology, and general support as would be needed for the micro end of the market.  While industry buzz is much about micro, and it is without a doubt gaining share, the majority (80-90% by current estimates) of stock revenues continue to be generated by traditional licenses.  Our priority must be to serve the business interests and needs of our current membership.
(...)
Shannon Fagan

President
Stock Artists Alliance
www.stockartistsalliance.org

Well, well, well... How manipulative can someone be?

From what I've heard from SAA members, Micro is destroying the stock industry; because of Micro I can no longer put food in the table for my children; Global Warming and AIDS are Micro fault's, and let's bun micro photographers in the stake after a Spanish Inquisition torture session. The last two may be exaggerated but are close to the feelings of the SAA members.

But it seems that, after all, Micro represents only 10-20% of the industry!!! How cataclysmic can that be?!! After all the BS and hate I've read in the last years that's how destructive Micro is?

And because of that it doesn't justify for the SAA to support Micro photographers, against the agencies which were destroying stock and all the previous cra* I've read from their people!

Am I missing something or is this just a polite way to say "Scre* You"?

I was less than impressed by this organization, but after that answer I can only say that at this moment they deserve little respect from the Micro photographers, and surely no confidence.

This answer only shows that they don't want to have anything to do with Micro, and are not shy in being manipulative.

Regards


then perharps micro photographers can start their own . they have enough clout with good people eg. yuri, the lady who specializes in food (sorry i can't recall her name, only that her reputation),
... i am sure there is a motivation to do something like that,
considering lately Yuri himself was concerned about some not good proper things happening with the use of his RF .
if trads don't want you, or micro stockers fill like bast#rd childs, maybe a union specifically for micro could be the real solution. naturally, the membership has to be reasonable, as micro don't earn as much, except for the established one. that again, would be more reason for the established ones to form their own SAA

« Reply #16 on: March 05, 2009, 12:41 »
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if trads don't want you, or micro stockers fill like bast#rd childs, maybe a union specifically for micro could be the real solution.

I made the same remark in another thread. What SAA really says is that they are willing to accept your hefty membership fee, and then they will maybe see... Of course, that's not how it works.

Leaf has done a great job contacting SAA and obtaining a long reply, but he wouldn't have gotten it if he hadn't his MSG behind him. I reckon that the MSG has become the leading independent microstock forum in the past 1-2 years, and Leaf did a great job with keeping it up and saving it from disasters like Talkmicro that lost its entire database a while ago.

If there should be a MSA (MicroStock Alliance), Leaf would be the right person to nurse it.  That is, if he has the time and the courage for it. A working class hero is something to be (John Lennon).


« Reply #17 on: March 05, 2009, 18:00 »
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you *insult removed* chased her away... read this:

March 03, 2009
Stock Artists Alliance Director is Resigning

Stock Artists Alliance executive director Betsy Reid, who has been with the organization for seven years, will resign later this month. In an e-mail today, Reid said she is taking a position at the Professional Photographers of America in the Studio Management Services division. PPA is a much larger organization, with 22,000 members.

Reid and the SAA board will work on a transition plan. Whatever their decisions, the SAA has a hard road ahead. After years of working to preserve high-cost, rights-managed licensing, the SAA must face a realty where royalty-free microstock is popular with customers and growing fast.

Xalanx

« Reply #18 on: March 05, 2009, 18:03 »
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yeah, the microstock boo.  :P

RT


« Reply #19 on: March 05, 2009, 18:09 »
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After years of working to preserve high-cost, rights-managed licensing, the SAA must face a realty...... that they are as useless as a wet paper bag is for carrying rocks.

« Reply #20 on: March 05, 2009, 18:15 »
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Whatever their decisions, the SAA has a hard road ahead. After years of working to preserve high-cost, rights-managed licensing, the SAA must face a realty where royalty-free microstock is popular with customers and growing fast.

So the captain was fired, and the ship ran into the cliffs. "A hard road ahead" : I always love corporate newspeak...  ;D

helix7

« Reply #21 on: March 05, 2009, 22:42 »
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Leaf, I appreciate you reaching out to the SAA and getting some feedback from them regarding their thoughts about microstock. However I can't believe anything any representative of the SAA says about being open to microstock members when they have crap like this on their website:

Quote
Have you heard about the web sites offering Royalty Free images for a dollar? On one of them, theres an open chat room where the photographers post when they discover that their images are being used for ads, web banners and point-of-sale posters by major advertisers. Fellow shooters offer their congratulations.

Are we missing something? It may be exciting to see your image in print, but after the initial thrill is gone, whats so great about giving your image away to a major corporation for a buck? (Actually, the photographers share is only 20 cents.) This must be why these companies are being referred to as micropayment agencies.

For the stock web site owner, a dollar a download can add up to millions. To an advertiser, a dollar an image is a giveaway. But for the photographer, is this any way to build a business?

Granted that could be just some left over propaganda from the Betsy Reid era. But I have a hard time believing that anyone at the SAA is really open to having microstock members when they have that kind of stuff on their organization's website today. If they are serious about changing their official opinion of microstock photographers, a good first step would be to clean up the website and get rid of the garbage articles like this one. 

« Last Edit: March 05, 2009, 22:45 by helix7 »

« Reply #22 on: March 06, 2009, 09:28 »
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I don't care much for the SAA myself either. I got the impression that it's a group for the middle aged white guys who love to hate micro to get together and collaborate each others' world view about microstock being evil, a passing fad, or full of crappy photos. I publicly challenged the previous president's thoughts on the industry and we had short blog-post dialogue.

But last year I met Shannon Fagan and liked what he had to say about the industry from a traditional stock photographer's perspective.  He's since taken on the SAA presidency and I'm impressed with what he's doing. In my view, he's a square peg in a round hole, and I get the impression he's committed to helping rid the SAA of misinformation and fear mongering that's been cited here. In my view, he'll save many SAA members from themselves, though I'm sure he would put it differently.

I've had quite a dialogue with Shannon over the past year. I like the guy personally, and love what he stands for, and I admire his thinking and insights. Plus he's an amazing photographers as well. Let's see what he can do for the SAA. He has my support, in full knowledge of where I stand on the organisation.

« Reply #23 on: March 06, 2009, 10:03 »
0
I don't care much for the SAA myself either. I got the impression that it's a group for the middle aged white guys who love to hate micro to get together and collaborate each others' world view about microstock being evil, a passing fad, or full of crappy photos. I publicly challenged the previous president's thoughts on the industry and we had short blog-post dialogue.

But last year I met Shannon Fagan and liked what he had to say about the industry from a traditional stock photographer's perspective.  He's since taken on the SAA presidency and I'm impressed with what he's doing. In my view, he's a square peg in a round hole, and I get the impression he's committed to helping rid the SAA of misinformation and fear mongering that's been cited here. In my view, he'll save many SAA members from themselves, though I'm sure he would put it differently.

I've had quite a dialogue with Shannon over the past year. I like the guy personally, and love what he stands for, and I admire his thinking and insights. Plus he's an amazing photographers as well. Let's see what he can do for the SAA. He has my support, in full knowledge of where I stand on the organisation.

Right on Lee. Everyone and every organisation can change for the better.

NS

tan510jomast

« Reply #24 on: March 06, 2009, 10:17 »
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Leaf, I appreciate you reaching out to the SAA and getting some feedback from them regarding their thoughts about microstock. However I can't believe anything any representative of the SAA says about being open to microstock members when they have crap like this on their website:

Quote
Have you heard about the web sites offering Royalty Free images for a dollar? On one of them, theres an open chat room where the photographers post when they discover that their images are being used for ads, web banners and point-of-sale posters by major advertisers. Fellow shooters offer their congratulations.

Are we missing something? It may be exciting to see your image in print, but after the initial thrill is gone, whats so great about giving your image away to a major corporation for a buck? (Actually, the photographers share is only 20 cents.) This must be why these companies are being referred to as micropayment agencies.

For the stock web site owner, a dollar a download can add up to millions. To an advertiser, a dollar an image is a giveaway. But for the photographer, is this any way to build a business?

Granted that could be just some left over propaganda from the Betsy Reid era. But I have a hard time believing that anyone at the SAA is really open to having microstock members when they have that kind of stuff on their organization's website today. If they are serious about changing their official opinion of microstock photographers, a good first step would be to clean up the website and get rid of the garbage articles like this one. 



1) yes, i think leaf should be the president of a micro type SAA
2) when your lifelihood is threatened, paranoia strikes, and propaganda is usually the result. you don't have to look at trad photographers for this. even here among micro photos we get such divisive bs ;)

helix7

« Reply #25 on: March 06, 2009, 22:47 »
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...
2) when your lifelihood is threatened, paranoia strikes, and propaganda is usually the result. you don't have to look at trad photographers for this. even here among micro photos we get such divisive bs ;)

What would really make the paranoia fun is some old-fashioned propaganda posters, warning of the evils of microstock. Man would those be cool.. :)



« Reply #26 on: March 07, 2009, 02:51 »
0
...
2) when your lifelihood is threatened, paranoia strikes, and propaganda is usually the result. you don't have to look at trad photographers for this. even here among micro photos we get such divisive bs ;)

What would really make the paranoia fun is some old-fashioned propaganda posters, warning of the evils of microstock. Man would those be cool.. :)




You mean like this? ;)




helix7

« Reply #27 on: March 07, 2009, 11:16 »
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Nice! Yeah, that's what I was thinking. Or those old WWII posters, like the "When you ride alone, you ride with Hitler." It could be "When you shoot microstock, you shoot with Hitler."

;D


tan510jomast

« Reply #28 on: March 07, 2009, 12:42 »
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Nice! Yeah, that's what I was thinking. Or those old WWII posters, like the "When you ride alone, you ride with Hitler." It could be "When you shoot microstock, you shoot with Hitler."

;D



is that why the top micro site is SS ?  ;D

« Reply #29 on: March 07, 2009, 14:04 »
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Or those old WWII posters, like the "When you ride alone, you ride with Hitler."


 ;D


lisafx

« Reply #30 on: March 07, 2009, 14:22 »
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ROFL!  Great posters! 

You guys are talented!!  You should get "real jobs" and stop wasting your time with microstock ;)

vonkara

« Reply #31 on: March 07, 2009, 17:23 »
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Yea I work for Satan LOL Great "post"er

« Reply #32 on: March 09, 2009, 15:25 »
0
Or those old WWII posters, like the "When you ride alone, you ride with Hitler."


 ;D




LOL classic!


 

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