Major Disappointment.

A lot of you will be aware of a post from a few months back, about me making a stand to not give away my images for nothing.

Well, fast forward a few months, only a few weeks before an event, and I’ve effectively been banned from shooting at an event.

Lets go back a couple years, to the first time a first shot the event. I agreed to give the organisers photos for promotional use, as I was told if I didn’t agree to that I couldn’t shoot. I had just spent $900 on airfares from Karatha plus $1500 in lost wages to come down for the weekend and “shoot” the event.

So last year, same thing. I had supplied photos for all the promotional material leading up to the race, without complaint, only praise and support from the organisers. I was there for the Friday’s practice, Saturday and Sunday. Only thing that had changed was the fact the number of photographers at the event had grown from 3 the year before, to about 6 or 7. I just carried on and did my thing, trying to stay away from all the others, but found a few times where someone else was shooting over my shoulder, or as soon as I chosen a new location, they’d be straight in there after I’d moved!! So three days shooting, and the next full day processing to get the photos out to where they had to go. It was at this time where I’d felt this wasn’t right. It was at that stage I thought this is the last time I do it for nothing, especially as, and I don’t want to “blow my own bags”, but I felt I got the job done and produced the best and cleanest images at that event, and I had total support from the organisers, who once again praised me for my quality of work.

So this year, I had no contact with the organisers at all leading up to the event, until I’d seen the link for this years event on Facebook, with someone else’s image. So this prompted me to make a call, after I frustratingly posted a comment on facebook, which offended some people. I was told by someone that I was not welcome at this year’s event, so I wanted to find out, but I had the feeling I wasn’t anyway, considering I’d gone from hero to zero from the year before. I was told we had a deal, which yes, we did, but I didn’t agree with that deal anymore. If I didn’t agree to that deal I couldn’t shoot, so I stood my ground and  made my case, but it didn’t change things, just made it worse. Even after being organised to once again do my news story on the event with ADB, as well as my local paper and other publications as last year, I was effectively banned. It is a shame because I love the event, and the fact I do the job, and produce the images.

What’s more frustrating is the money spent to bring over riders from overseas and the east coast, paying video crews to record the event and even paying the flaggies to man the jumps, but the people that produce the most beneficial promotional product have to do it for nothing if they want to shoot at the event. This to me is disappointing.

I know the link from this post will be sent to the organisers, but that’s ok, I’d expect that, I can live with my decision, but in the end I’ll probably die by my own sword, but I’m happy with the decision I made, as I feel it’s the right one for photographers out there. Maybe we need a “Photographers Union”!!! thoughts???

Anyway, as frustrating as it is, especially with the fact that Billy MacKenzie, Jay Marmont and Matt Moss are confirmed to be coming this year, it hurts to not be  part of it, but I’m not backing down, even if it is costing me money to not do it.

But I guess if you feel strongly for something you need to make a stand, and hope others follow.

Let me know your thoughts on this issue, or if  you feel I’m being a prima donna, tell me!!

This was one of my favourites from last year.


~ by Jamie Nicolaou on May 15, 2011.

17 Responses to “Major Disappointment.”

  1. Fab action shot.

    Yes, you are right to stand your ground. No, you are not a prima donna. There appear to be a few sections of the community going through similar ideas at the moment. I dont know the answer.

    As for unions, there is the AIPP which is sorta, kinda a union.

  2. Thanks Belinda. Not sure where to go with this, but I know I’m not going to this event!!

    Funny how the organiser had sent photos to the local paper for promotion, but they ended up using mine that were on file from last year…….other one’s mustn’t have been up to it!!!

  3. Thats interesting! I was going to say that the quality of the images may reduce year by year. Maybe the organisers will work it out eventually. Or maybe they will be happy with lower quality images.

    At the end of the day everyone needs to follow their own personal moral code and que sera sera.

  4. Agreed Jamie, your MX photography leaves everyone else in the dust.

    Cheers mate.

  5. Hi Jamie,
    I support your decision 100% I can’t beleive this, oh wait, it’s promoted by Willie Thomson so yes I can. For a bloke who constantly says in interviews ‘we gotta support the sport, support the riders blah blah blah’ he sure is going about things the wrong way. If you ask me he’s only in it for the money.

    Photographers in this sport find it hard enough to gain support from the riders, but now promoters are making it hard too.

  6. Didn’t you know that everyone with a digital SLR is a pro photographer these days Jamie,
    I think the news media are pretty bad to asking people after the news every night to send in their snapshots instead of paying and getting quality pro photos for some of their stories. I think it’s just part of the decline in overall standards these days in nearly everything and has got nothing to do with your stance on this. Remember, we not fancy but we cheap !

    • Ha ha, I know what you;re saying here Pete. Just like the vegetable industry, why buy quality local produce when we can eat chinese produced crap!! And it’s not just the people with cheap gear, you also have the old “all the gear no idea” people as well!!

  7. I think you should take the stand you have Jamie. But I would try again and have a business meeting with the organizer to put your case to them direct and explain the situation as to your other commitments to ADB etc and get accred for that. If they can’t see reason then you have no real choice to just move on and never work for them again.
    Sounds like the event promoter could self destruct in a couple of years anyway.

    As Pete said everyone thinks they are a pro if they spend 2k on a camera. Stick to the events that are going to enhance your name and keep on shooting , don’t give up.

  8. I honestly think it’s past that stage now Merv, I have put my case forward, but even though I had ADB lined up, I would still have to give the event promotional photos… no go. Too bad I had a timber bridge, take a bit longer than a couple weeks to build another!!!
    I’ve got my other events to do, where they do look after you, so you look after each other. The events that are run for the riders!!!

  9. Sorry to hear you are getting treated in such a shoddy manner Jamie. Your MX photography is the best I’ve seen around these parts and it’s definitely their loss.

    I too have decided to stop giving my images away, after being burnt a number of times by quality magazines who have promised to credit me and failed to do so, with one actually crediting an image of mine to the author of the article. That was extremely disappointing. In addition, there way are too many dodgy publications and sites that steal images happily enough.

    It’s very good to hear you are working at other events that have organisers who look after you. Best of luck to you, and good on you for sticking your ground!

    P.S. Brilliant image in the post 🙂

    • Hey Charlene, I know where you’re coming from there, I’ve had that done as well, a number of times. Especially worse when someone else’s name gets credited on your photo. My name is mud among circles, but that’s ok, I’m happy with the decision I’ve made, so I don’t really give a shit.
      Digital photography has just made it easier for publications to do what they do.
      Cheers for dropping by.

  10. Hi Jamie. Man i am really sad to read that this issue has not been resolved. Unfortunatly, this expectation that we as photographers must hand over our work to organisers of different sporting events is wide spread & a real shame. WE place so much pride & pashion in many cases to supply a product, to be simply viewed or purchased & then get pressured by organisers & clubs to hand over these pictures. I dont have a solution, but i do fully understand the pain that you must have in regards this matter, as i firmly believe that you are without doubt, one of the best motocross photographers in this state. Both you & Shannon have been the two people i have tried to learn from to hopefully become a better motocross photographer. I really do hope, that with the three weeks remaining before Manjimup 15000, that i will hear on your blog that you will be there.
    P.S I still think that image is Manjimup 2010
    Your friend

    • Hey Gordon, thanks for the support here mate. I can assure you though, I don’t believe I will be on the infield come event time. I’m losing out, but I’m not backing down from my stand against this issue.
      How’s things with you anyway? Hope you’re back to full fitness with the leg now.
      That image is from last year.

  11. Going well thanks. The leg is getting better, but still got a way to go. It runs out of steam prity quick. Ive started my own website about two months ago, & it is really going well, eventhough it will take a while to get its name out to the sports that i shoot. Did you ever get the 300 f2.8 lens you spoke of in an earlier post. I’m saving up for a 400 for Rugby Union, but thats a loooong way off. I was just saying that to me it was the best pic of Manjimup 2010.

  12. Good on you for making a stand mate, as ive spoken to you before i think we all need to start making a stand otherwise the photography industry is going to keep going down hill with all the overnight professional photographers!
    Nice to see you posting again mate, April was very quite around here.
    Photographers Union?? Count me in!!

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