I don’t think I’m a particularly brilliant photographer. Sure, I’ve carved out a little niche here in a small part of the world and my landscape photography is relatively well known amongst the local community, but I’m no big-shot Instagram influencer, I haven’t got a nationally or internationally recognisable name and I sure as shit do not earn a living from photography.
Tim Wallace is a top-notch photographer, he has shot for McLaren, Peugeot, Lexus, Aston Martin, and a bunch of other global clients. It’s always fascinating to me how some “potential clients” approach Tim Wallace for free work. It fascinates me, even more, when Tim takes the time to converse with them. The result of Tim patiently explaining to the client why he will not work for free is absolutely hilarious. Other than that, it serves as a good reminder to always be aware of your value.
How many times have you been asked to work for free or “for exposure?” No matter your experience and skill, I bet this has happened more than once. But why are there more and more people who aren’t willing to pay photographers for their work? In this video, Jessica Kobeissi discusses this problem and how we can solve it.
Clients can sometimes be… tricky. Okay, “tricky” is an understatement in some situations. They can be absolutely horrific. I’m sure you’ve been offered an “amazing opportunity” to work for exposure at least once in your career. Or maybe you’ve even had an offer you just couldn’t refuse, like working for socks or spray tan. I wonder if people would apply the same logic to other professions. Guys from Foil Arms and Hog wondered the same thing, so they have created a really funny video that shows what it would like if you ask a plumber to work for free.
Sometimes ranting about things works. On Friday, Jared Polin of FroKnowsPhoto posted a rant in which he expressed his frustration with Live Nation about their policy of not paying photographers for their work while retaining the rights to the images.
After replying to a job ad looking for photographers to cover the opening of their new Ascend Amphitheater, Polin was informed that the position “is a great opportunity to build a portfolio.” In response, Polin made a video as an open letter to Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino. In his original bog post, Jared urged readers to “share this out with the world and lets make Michael Rapino hear that he needs to make a change inside his company and #RespectPhotographers.” And, apparently, it worked.
Please allow me to introduce myself: I’m Pat Pope and I’m addicted to reading negative comments and abuse hurled at me on the internet. For the sake of my own sanity, this is me going cold turkey.
Last week I made the mistake of writing one of those Open Letters you hear about. I wrote it in response to a request from Garbage’s management company that they’d like my permission to use a photo that I took and I own in a book they intend to publish and sell for money. But they’d like to not pay me. Since it went out on the internet it’s caused a huge debate, and within that debate I’ve been called a “whiney weener”, a “shitty douchebag”, and an “egomaniac”, and I’ve been encouraged to “watch your back” because “we will find you”. I found it quite hard to read those comments, not least because I’m English and I’m not sure what two of them actually mean. For the sake of balance, I’ve also been described as an “internet warrior” and someone who is “standing up for the little guy”, so it wasn’t all terrifying, some of it was just a bit mad. But I need to get back to my life now, so I’m turning it all off. This is my final and only comment on the whole debacle, and I just want to use it to clear up some misconceptions.