Jump to content
dustydingo

Sorry, we don't have a budget for photos . . .

Recommended Posts

This local paper bunkum started in the UK in the 1970's with a number of groups 'sacking' long serving local freelances and asking organizations to send in their own pictures for free use - it spread from the weeklies to the evening provincials and it is rare indeed that  a provincial paper pays - TV is now following and to make matters worse they ask the contributor to grant them the rights to syndicate the still/footage to other stations.

 

It is with great delight that I can reveal that one evening local used one of my old pictures that they took from their library without paying - but pay they did in the end when my License Compliance people made contact.

 

Can't agree with you on this one Ed - I do give away a lot to good causes when they take the trouble to ask - but financially sound newspaper groups just boosting their profits - NO !

 

DD $25 is a little low, but you know what the going rate is down there - here it would be about the same in pounds sterling.....

Fully agree re: $25 a tad low, David. Usually ask between 30 and 50, which is surprisingly close to the 25 quid you mention :-) The newspaper in question this time is one I have other reasons to support (truly local, locally owned, held out against multi-national buyout attempt, has ethical advertising policy etc etc).

 

I have this morning had approach from local shire council for some of the same images . . . they're being asked for $50 a pop, my annual council rates prove they are not "non-profit" :-)

 

dd

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have received several time that " Sorry, we don't have a budget for photos . . ." history. In my case what I only give for free are images in low resolution if taken directly from my site. i.e. 72dpi and low size.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Refer "we have no budget" people to this classic rant by writer Harlan Ellison.

 

  • Upvote 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My favourite was a local web design company who tried to blackmail photos out of me because the pub they were designing a website for appeared in the background of one of my photos. Then I said no to their initial "polite" request for free image use, they threatened to inform the owner that they should seek compensation from me for their property appearing in one of my photos. I then countered that maybe I should contact the pub to check the web design company had authority to threaten legal action on their behalf and also pointed out the law in the UK regarding photography in public places, they went silent after that!

 

These days I give no photos away, charity or not. I might only charge a token fee to some but that at least establishes a contract for the intended use and makes them fully aware that I take my rights seriously.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From the Guardian and has gone viral     http://www.theguardian.com/music/2013/nov/07/whitey-tv-company-music-free-email

Read it and just change the word music to photography

"I am sick to death of your hollow schtick, of the inevitable line 'unfortunately there's no budget for music', as if some fixed law of the universe handed you down a sad but immutable financial verdict preventing you from budgeting to pay for music. Your company set out the budget. So you have chosen to allocate no money for music. I get begging letters like this every week – from a booming, affluent global media industry.

Why is this? Let's look at who we both are.

I am a professional musician, who lives from his music. It took me half a lifetime to learn the skills, years to claw my way up the structure, to the point where a stranger like you will write to me. This music is my hard-earned property. I've licensed music to some of the biggest shows, brands, games and TV production companies on earth; from Breaking Bad to The Sopranos, from Coca-Cola to Visa, HBO to Rockstar Games.

Ask yourself – would you approach a creative or a director with a resume like that, and in one flippant sentence ask them to work for nothing? Of course not. Because your industry has a precedent of paying these people, of valuing their work.

Or would you walk into someone's home, eat from their bowl, and walk out smiling, saying, "So sorry, I've no budget for food"? Of course you would not. Because, culturally, we classify that as theft.

Yet the culturally ingrained disdain for the musician that riddles your profession leads you to fleece the music angle whenever possible. You will without question pay everyone connected to a shoot – from the caterer to the grip to the extra – even the cleaner who mopped your set and scrubbed the toilets after the shoot will get paid. The musician? Give him nothing.

Now let's look at you. A quick glance at your website reveals a variety of well-known, internationally syndicated reality programmes. You are a successful, financially solvent and globally recognised company with a string of hit shows. Working on multiple series in close co-operation with Channel 4, from a west London office, with a string of awards under your belt. You have real money; to pretend otherwise is an insult.

Yet you send me this shabby request – give me your property for free. Just give us what you own, we want it.

The answer is a resounding and permanent NO.

I will now post this on my sites, forward this to several key online music sources and blogs, encourage people to reblog this. I want to see a public discussion begin about this kind of industry abuse of musicians … this was one email too far for me. Enough. I'm sick of you.

NJ White"

Spot on Mr Whitty

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tell them you are so famous that exposure is of no value to you. Then ask if there is some way you could receive a non monetary benefit from the proposed transaction.

 

A registered charity could provide you with a donation receipt, so you could save on your taxes. A large corporation could provide you with access to shoot stock in special places normally denied to  stock photographers. Think about shooting inside the mine or refinery. A public relations firm could include you on the next free trip for the press.

 

A travel wholesaler could provide you with free travel vouchers. They normally do not do this, but they need something you have, and they are coming to you.

 

 

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tell them you are so famous that exposure is of no value to you. Then ask if there is some way you could receive a non monetary benefit from the proposed transaction.

 

A registered charity could provide you with a donation receipt, so you could save on your taxes. A large corporation could provide you with access to shoot stock in special places normally denied to  stock photographers. Think about shooting inside the mine or refinery. A public relations firm could include you on the next free trip for the press.

 

A travel wholesaler could provide you with free travel vouchers. They normally do not do this, but they need something you have, and they are coming to you.

 You're right Bill, I get £35 worth of bird food a month, loads of feeders and exposure on their blog for allowing a Bird Food Manufacturer to use a few of my bird pictures  -  over a year it adds up and they are now talking about calendars and cards (for next year) - we are heading for the world of barter again - what is the maddest barter deal that you have done for one of your pictures ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought the Hardan Ellison video was wonderful (saw it elsewhere and was going to post it). It says everything I feel but says it much more eloquently!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

be careful...even 'benefits in kind' are seen as income by the inland revenue and need to be declared

 

km

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Absolutely and £400 worth of food declared -  less the percentage spoiled, and the quantity eaten by birds, squirrels and other vermin, the feeders are 'on loan' for promotional purposes  but thanks for the heads up.......as the sparrows are in fact the beneficiaries of the feed I am expecting some interesting discussions with my accountants.......they are already convinced that early dementia can be detected.....

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


be careful...even 'benefits in kind' are seen as income by the inland revenue and need to be declared

 

km

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Edited by DavidC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Absolutely and £400 worth of food declared - less the percentage spoiled, and the quantity eaten by birds, squirrels and other vermin, the feeders are 'on loan' for promotional purposes but thanks for the heads up.......as the sparrows are in fact the beneficiaries of the feed I am expecting some interesting discussions with my accountants.......they are already convinced that early dementia can be detected.....

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

be careful...even 'benefits in kind' are seen as income by the inland revenue and need to be declared

 

km

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sparrows can now detect dementia in accountants? Wow! I'm surprised the two parties are even in discussions any more...

 

Sorry, have I gone OT? I'm off to have a chat about all this with the wood pigeons.

Edited by losdemas

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Absolutely and £400 worth of food declared -  less the percentage spoiled, and the quantity eaten by birds, squirrels and other vermin, the feeders are 'on loan' for promotional purposes  but thanks for the heads up.......as the sparrows are in fact the beneficiaries of the feed I am expecting some interesting discussions with my accountants.......they are already convinced that early dementia can be detected.....

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

be careful...even 'benefits in kind' are seen as income by the inland revenue and need to be declared

 

km

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If you use it to attract birds to be photographed for stock then it's a business expense anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Absolutely and £400 worth of food declared -  less the percentage spoiled, and the quantity eaten by birds, squirrels and other vermin, the feeders are 'on loan' for promotional purposes  but thanks for the heads up.......as the sparrows are in fact the beneficiaries of the feed I am expecting some interesting discussions with my accountants.......they are already convinced that early dementia can be detected.....

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

be careful...even 'benefits in kind' are seen as income by the inland revenue and need to be declared

 

km

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If you use it to attract birds to be photographed for stock then it's a business expense anyway.

 

 

Suppose however that you have a dark culinary intent ?

D0KATJ.jpg

 

 

This is 'Percy' a refugee from a local Game shooting Syndicate who gets very upset if accused of Tax Evasion - (The pheasant not the syndicate !)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

mmm pheasant.

Reminds me of a 2002 Pomerol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

Absolutely and £400 worth of food declared -  less the percentage spoiled, and the quantity eaten by birds, squirrels and other vermin, the feeders are 'on loan' for promotional purposes  but thanks for the heads up.......as the sparrows are in fact the beneficiaries of the feed I am expecting some interesting discussions with my accountants.......they are already convinced that early dementia can be detected.....

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

be careful...even 'benefits in kind' are seen as income by the inland revenue and need to be declared

 

km

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

If you use it to attract birds to be photographed for stock then it's a business expense anyway.
 

 

Suppose however that you have a dark culinary intent ?

D0KATJ.jpg

 

This is 'Percy' a refugee from a local Game shooting Syndicate who gets very upset if accused of Tax Evasion - (The pheasant not the syndicate !)

Now there's a stock photo idea appropriate in the States this time of year. Someone feeding a turkey with one hand and holding a hatchet in the other.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now there's a stock photo idea appropriate in the States this time of year. Someone feeding a turkey with one hand and holding a hatchet in the other.

 

In this local version of the US scenario you paint, one hand is feeding the pheasant while the other holds the method of despatching said pheasant . . . a blue frisbee. Local customs eh, you gotta luve 'em :-)

 

dd

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

what is the maddest barter deal that you have done for one of your pictures ?

DavidC asked,  none are mad, but here are some that worked out. I would caution that this was years ago and the industry may have changed.

 

Travel wholesaler agreed that if wife and I went to a location for a week to shoot hotels, that I could also shoot stock at the same time. Nothing for my time, but all expenses paid including all film shot for both assignment and stock. Travel company also provided van and driver/bodyguard. Relationship lasted a year until travel wholesaler was sold to bigger company. Sent to Cuba, Mexico (3 times), and Barbados. Hotels and tourism boards bent over backwards to facilitate shoots. 

 

Reduced my day rate by 30% to shoot assignments for a major oil company. in return, copyright of all images to revert to me after a year, to sell as stock. Charged full day rate and no stock, to shoot in situations oil company wished to keep private. Relationship lasted 4 years.

 

House sitting for free on Caribbean island of Nevis. I paid my own air tickets. Owners of house provided cook, gardener, car, and most importantly, introduction to island politicians who facilitated stock shoot. Went back 3 times in two years. Relationship lasted until owners sold property.

 

Asked by a hotel owner to shoot, at no charge, hotel, whale watch, and island locations, for hotel's evening slide show . Free room and meals, free whale watch, for me and wife assistant. I provided duplicates for slide show and kept originals as stock. Went back two years running, for 3 weeks at a time. Introduced to tourism rep, who had film crew on board whale watch boat. Tourism advertising agency later leased my still images of whale watchers watching whales. A shot suggested to me by the tourism rep who told the advertising agency.

 

Shot semi famous authors for free and did not charge for some stock images used on book covers, for a book publishing company that was just starting up. Later did 9 photographic books for that company over a 10 year period for a 10% royalty. Roughly $140,000 in book royalties over 10 years. Photographic books generated stock images. Books no longer in print, but I still get a yearly payment from the Canada Council for public lending right, as the books are still in libraries.

 

Approached for very large number of free stock photos by a book publisher to use in a publishing proposal to financiers. Agreed to provide stock images for free for the presentation, but I would receive 1% royalty if presentation successful. Presentation successful, project very large, and I paid off my house mortgage.

 

The important thing about these kind of requests is to draw up a contract. Exposure counts for nothing, barter may be worth something. I walked away from some proposals when the client would not put anything in writing. You have to take the attitude that you do not need the deal. I doubt if I would take some of these stock generating deals today, because of the much lower price of stock photos.

 

Be careful

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

what is the maddest barter deal that you have done for one of your pictures ?

Not for one picture, but...

 

I once got 6 months accommodation for a set of half a dozen pics and a fairly simple website to put them on. At the end of the dot com bubble around the beginning of 2001, the company I was working for in Silicon Valley went to the wall. No-one in America wanted to hire foreigners any more, but at the same time no-one wanted to rent the hundreds of apartments that suddenly came on the market. So I proposed to the owner of the complex where I was living that I would take some pics and build him a website to promote the apartments, in exchange for free accommodation as a substantial number of the units were now empty. I managed to string this arrangement out for 6 months, $9k-worth of accommodation, before he decided he wasn't going to get any more value out of the deal.

 

Alan

Edited by Inchiquin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This was an interesting and related article (about writers and other artists asked to do free work) that was mentioned in the comments of the Harlan Ellison video posted above.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/27/opinion/sunday/slaves-of-the-internet-unite.html?_r=0

Thank you very much indeed for that link.

Best wishes

john

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

be careful...even 'benefits in kind' are seen as income by the inland revenue and need to be declared

 

km

Quite

and they prefer "soft" targets.

[you are not in the banking or financial spheres I assume......]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just collected $2000 from a company that snagged an early 1980s photo of mine.They didn't want to pay but offered me a photo credit on their commercial site seeing they really didn't have a photo budget...they would just get photos from the web.

 

I offered them a meeting with the judge and a jury trial that could have set them back 6 figures.

This was a big company with locations around the world.

They paid up.

 

L

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our Linda is no soft target. Chew 'em up, Linda!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been reviewing this old thread trying to get some advice.  What if it is a charity that contacts you and asks you to shoot high res photos for use in their print materials? - of volunteers at work, headshots of employees, etc.  It's a local charity that does good work.  They are looking for volunteers, no pay.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.