To Sell or Not to Sell.

This post has been written out of frustration, simply because I felt insulted after a phone call I received today. The will be no names published, but I tell you I’d like to.

I received a message on my phone today from a person, asking if they could “use” one of my images for the cover of a DVD which is in the process of being released. A 2nd message was received soon after asking if I could email the image to an address (I hadn’t actually spoken to this person yet!!) When I got to smoko I returned the call. I was simply told by this person that he was wanting to use one of my images. When I asked if there had been any funds “allocated”, I got a big fat “NO”. I’m sure we have all been in the situation where someone has asked you “Can you just email me some of them photos?” …….ummm……sorry, but no!! I simply got a response of “you get free entry to the event!!”. I was gobsmacked, considering the time I have spent shooting and to help promote this particular event, including using images for press releases. I just got a lame answer saying “There are a few to choose from, so I’ll use one of them!” I thought it was time to stand up and demand that I be rewarded, like all photographers should be, especially for the investment in quality gear and time spent shooting/processing. I know it’s the way of the digital age where people put no value in photography. The frustrating thing is that photography is the best marketing tool for this type of event.

I know we have all been there, and the problem lies with people willing to do anything including giving away images for the purpose of saying “Hey, see that, they’re my photos!!” What’s more frustrating is that companies and people looking to promote events/ businesses, seem to forget that paying for quality will actually help promote their cause. Maybe I’m being a bit of a sook, but to think of what I have done to help out  at my own expense ( in time and processing) and to simply be disrespected like that just shits me to tears.

Well that’s my whinge for the day…..hope you all had a good one too!!


~ by Jamie Nicolaou on December 9, 2010.

13 Responses to “To Sell or Not to Sell.”

  1. Hey mate you know how I feel about this. I agree with you!
    This is pretty much the reason why I dont have anything to do with motocross anymore.

  2. Stick it too them Jamie. I totally agree. Like you say they all think mate there digital they did not cost you anything! Far out what fools they are.

    Give them nothing, take them nowhere.

    I get it all the time and at work too. Discount, free stuff they all want it. You know what I tell people at the bike shop when they say “i spent $500 here, give me a discount” well I say mate you spend over $200 a week at Woollie’s ask them for a discount.

  3. Stick to your guns and say no pay no picture, hard as it is.

    It is a problem because someone else will buy gear, call themselves a photographer and do it for nothing and the mags expect it for nothing or next to it.

    Sometimes i think this is just a very expensive hobbie unfortunatly.

    • I’ll be honest, the mags have been good, and pay, but it’s just others who feel they have the right to demand images off you for the promotion of “their” event. I might just tell them to go spend 20 grand and take their own photos!!

  4. I agree with you totally on this issue Jamie. I have spent the last two years learning the skills of sports photography & it is unbelievable how many people want the pic’s for free. Up until now i have been handing the stuff out pretty much for nothing, as i wasnt sure if it was of a good enough standard, but that is about to change. $12000 worth of equipment & hrs of shooting,travelling,processing etc say’s it has to change.

  5. I know how you feel mate, Canon tried to do the same to me until I told them to stick it. Funny they don’t like me much anymore!! haha
    You must be paid, people must pay, photographers who give stuff away will only ruin it for themselves if they really want to do this gig for a living.The reality is the photography hasn’t improved overall because of digital, it has just made it easier for hacks to go out and produce crap that some people are happy with if they get it free.
    Screw em mate, demand money and if they use your image unlawfully go after them.

    • I knew your feelings on this issue well before you posted this response, and It is all true, unfortunately. They didn’t use my photo in the end because they didn’t want to pay…….screw em too I said!!

  6. good work Jamie,

    They are very good at screwing over inexperienced people. This happens often in surfing publications with the statement ‘It is good publicity for your work”

    • That’s the unfortunate thing, they will try and get everything for nothing. Good publicity to do what? The idea is to make money from who wants to use the photos. But as we know, there are people who are happy to screw you by cutting your grass, even if it means giving them for nothing.

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