The “free” drum beat continues

Richard Charpentier Photography, The Business of Photography 1 Comment

After putting my post up this evening I sat down and listened to my voice mail from the day.  I’d missed a couple of calls while driving in heavy traffic.

One call was from a friend wishing me safe travels.  Another from a client that I’m currently working with.  And the final call that I listened to really made steam come out of my ears.

The message was from someone I’d met years ago.  They’d been in and out of the gallery multiple times.  Never a purchase of course, but loved all of my work.  And the message was about my work.

The caller wanted to use multiple photos of mine for a travel publication.  In exchange I would get photo credit and a mention of my business location.  Unfortunately I closed that business last November as you might recall.  So strike one, not even knowing whether or not I’m in business.  Strike two, asking me to give my work out freely in exchange for exposure.  Strike three, it is for a publication to advertise businesses that sponsor the publication.  Let’s break it down:

  • The folks listed in the publication are commercial companies trying to get more customers.  Not a non profit push or anything of the sort.
  • Those listed in the publication pay money, not exposure / likes / or compliments, in order to get listed in the publication.  Money is involved.
  • The staff assembling the magazine is compensated for putting the work together.
  • The printer who publishes the magazine is paid for their work via the money paid by the advertisers.
  • And they want to offer me “exposure” as my compensation????

I called back and left a message declining the exposure compensation in exchange for my work.  It was a nice friendly message where I explained that part of the reason I closed last year was lack of paying clients.  When I got the caller’s voice mail it was a business voice mail.  They work at a high end real estate firm.  I wonder if they get compensated with exposure or money when they close a house sale….


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