The following post was published last year on my old blog and is being re-shared on this new photoblog. This post generated the most comments of any blog post I have ever done. A year later, I still feel the same way.
Ok, time to be honest, you can tell me the truth. You have been shooting a lot since you got your new digital camera. You have posted a lot of pictures to places like Flickr and 500px and have shared them on your social media streams. You have people leaving you a lot of positive comments and are really liking your work, and at some point you have had a publication ask you to use your image in exchange for getting credit for the shot. Seems like a pretty good idea doesn’t it, you get your image out in front of people and they even print your name with it, what could be better?
Guess what, you just sold yourself short, contributed to driving down the market for images and possibly screwed a fellow photog. Surely you realized that the publication that you just granted a free license to is going to use your image to help bolster their profits. Your image is going to help them make money, shouldn’t that be worth a little something to you?
I won’t go into detail, but I just had a deal for a sequence of haboob images fall apart because a fellow photog was willing to give their images of the haboob away for free to a magazine that was more than willing to pay for the images. According to my contact, the free images were “not nearly as good” as mine but were “good enough” for being free, I can’t speak to that as I have not seen the images.
I will not lie, I am upset that I lost the deal, but I am also upset that we seem to live in a world where images that are “just good enough” seem to be acceptable, and I am even upset that a fellow photog is not aware that their work has value and so happily gave it away so that someone else could make money off of their hard work.
I look forward to your comments on this post. Do you agree or disagree with me?