Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer slams CBS for asking for free photos

Oct 6, 2015

Liron Samuels

Liron Samuels is a wildlife and commercial photographer based in Israel. When he isn’t waking up at 4am to take photos of nature, he stays awake until 4am taking photos of the night skies or time lapses. You can see more of his work on his website or follow him on Facebook.

Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer slams CBS for asking for free photos

Oct 6, 2015

Liron Samuels

Liron Samuels is a wildlife and commercial photographer based in Israel. When he isn’t waking up at 4am to take photos of nature, he stays awake until 4am taking photos of the night skies or time lapses. You can see more of his work on his website or follow him on Facebook.

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Chances are that in the time it took you to read this sentence, a photographer (or ten) was asked if his photos can be used for free.

This happens all the time and has gotten to the point where it doesn’t faze most people, but when a company valued at over $30 billion asks a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer if they can use his photos in exchange for credit, you know you’ve hit rock bottom.

Keep reading to view the correspondence between award winning photographer David Carson and a Twitter account belonging to CBS.

Several days ago David posted photos on Twitter from a football game that was interrupted by gun fire nearby.

Soon after he received a comment from an account named ‘mhsCBS’ asking if they could use the photos on “all our platforms”. Obviously they didn’t want to use the photos completely for free – they offered to credit David and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for which he works.

I’m not flat out against providing photos for free. I think it all depends on where you are as a photographer, who the client is, what you’ll get out of it and many other factors.

But, and this is a big but, when you’re a winner of what is probably the most prestigious photojournalism award in the world and the party asking to monetize your hard work is a giant money-making corporation, there can be only one answer:

“@mhsCBS no, you can’t have my photos for free, I’m a professional your offer is insulting”.

It seems like ‘mshCBS’ tried saving face by responding that he could respond with his professional fee:

but Carson didn’t let them off the hook so easily:

It appears that ‘mshCBS’ gave up on getting photos from David as they never responded, but that doesn’t mean they’ve changed their ways. A quick look at the account’s recent activity shows that this was common practice for them long before they approached David, and now they’ve just moved on looking for other suckers:

Carson_3

[via PetaPixel]

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Liron Samuels

Liron Samuels

Liron Samuels is a wildlife and commercial photographer based in Israel. When he isn’t waking up at 4am to take photos of nature, he stays awake until 4am taking photos of the night skies or time lapses. You can see more of his work on his website or follow him on Facebook.

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24 responses to “Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer slams CBS for asking for free photos”

  1. Luca Pierro Avatar
    Luca Pierro

    At least they asked the permission…

  2. Demetris C Christodoulides Avatar
    Demetris C Christodoulides

    Win

  3. Sasa Janjusic Avatar
    Sasa Janjusic

    Nice! So what did they said? Are they working for credit?

  4. Chongo Yu Avatar
    Chongo Yu

    I have given many free to those who don’t even ask, never hurts to ask. The word charitable or humble comes to mind

    1. Danny Drane Avatar
      Danny Drane

      not with CBS, they won’t let you advertise for credit to them…….

    2. Chongo Yu Avatar
      Chongo Yu

      True. Lol. But never hurts

  5. bi_right Avatar
    bi_right

    @mhsCBS can’t be CBS News’s content. Look at the profile. A couple hundred tweets with horrible graphics. Asking to use people’s pix shot over a dashboard. I dunno whose account that really is but it can’t be the legit CBS.

    1. Jacques Cornell Avatar
      Jacques Cornell

      Wrong. CBS verified.

  6. Dani Neugebauer Avatar
    Dani Neugebauer

    All serious photographers should charge for their work and never, ever give for free.

  7. Maurizio Caravaggi Avatar
    Maurizio Caravaggi

    correct reply given in an idiot way… he could reply “it depends how much you are willing to pay” or sorts like that.

  8. Dave Lundy Avatar
    Dave Lundy

    There’s always work at the Chicago Sun times. Oh wait…

  9. Dave Lundy Avatar
    Dave Lundy

    I hear Sports Illustrated is hiring

  10. Angelo Avatar
    Angelo

    Well… what’s wrong with just asking? “Ask, and it shall be given you” (Luke, 11:9)

    They never tried to use the photos without permission; they asked for it, and accepted a “no” for answer; they can just keep asking… maybe ten photographers will answer “no”, but one in ten will say “yes”, and one is just enough.

    1. GB Avatar
      GB

      So I guess everyone should always ask for everything for free, like your dentist, doctor, medical insurance, mortgage company, grocery, gas station and on and on. Get real. Do you work for free?!? If so, how do you pay your bills? Oh, I forgot, you get everything for free! ROFLOL

      1. Angelo Avatar
        Angelo

        You could try asking for free… the worst that can happen is that you will get a refusal.

        And yes, I sometimes worked for free, when I feel that it’s the right thing to do. And I am non the only one, by the way.

        I guess you never heard about things like Wikipedia, for example… have a look at it, you might even learn something.

        1. Jacques Cornell Avatar
          Jacques Cornell

          You go around telling people, “Your work is worthless, but I’ll give you a nickel for it. Whaddya say?” and you’ll get a lot worse than just a refusal.

        2. Donald S Avatar
          Donald S

          Well you are a tool so keep asking for handouts loser.

          1. Angelo Avatar
            Angelo

            If you really think that, you should never use wikipedia, libreoffice, firefox, or any open source resource. But I guess you are using some of them.

    2. Fabrizio F. Caragnano Avatar
      Fabrizio F. Caragnano

      Ciao Angelo :-) ti scrivo qui seguendo i tuoi commenti sul sito di efficacemente :-),
      se ti interessa il miglioramento personale, ti va di fare una capatina sul mio sito? http://www.studiomepec.it
      Ti scrivo qui perchè usando disqus non ho capito come si fa, se è possibile, comunicare direttamente fra iscritti….
      Sono un Mental Coach, mi chiamo Fabrizio :-) dimmi cosa ne pensi, scrivo ogni mercoledì, e due settimane fa ho scritto un articolo proprio in risposta a quello di Giuliodori sulla Teoria del Parcheggio Libero che ha scatenato tutti quei commenti :-)

      Aspetto i tuoi commenti sul mio sito, a presto ;-)

  11. Dave Koslow Avatar
    Dave Koslow

    Sure you can. Can I bang Kaley Cuoco and get free cable for life?

  12. Michael Egbert Avatar
    Michael Egbert

    The photographer responded unprofessionally in my opinion. A simple, “My limited license fee per image is $$$.” Instead they acted like an amateur with lens rental fees due.

    Act like a professional and the chances of being treated like one skyrocket.

  13. John Sheehan Avatar
    John Sheehan

    There’s something wrong here. Why is “mhsCBS” not verified, like all of
    CBS’s other Twitter accounts. And all it’s tweets seem to be asking to
    use photos, nothing about news stories or what’s coming up tonight. And
    there’s no link to a CBS website. And it only has 38 follows while CBS
    News has 3.9 million followers.

    I don’t think this is a real account.

    1. Jacques Cornell Avatar
      Jacques Cornell

      It is a real account, and CBS has confirmed it was their staff sending out the tweets.