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02-18-2015, 06:31 PM   #1
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Request for permission to use my photos

I've got a request on flickr to use some of my photos of seals and walrus for a book revision. In the message it states "Although a commercial venture, we are only funded to provide complimentary electronic and hard copies of the book to photographers who provide images, and as such are mostly relying on colleagues and researchers who support the project."

Is it worth it giving permission to use photos for free to a commercial venture?
They are willing to give me a copy of their book so it isn't actually giving away my photos for free.

02-18-2015, 06:37 PM   #2
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I think based on what is happening with the industry as a whole the answer should be no.
02-18-2015, 06:47 PM - 2 Likes   #3
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I made the mistake of providing one of my images to a group like this (although a research report on the impact of cats on wildlife).

I never heard from them again, never got a copy of the work. Fortunately I only provided a web sized image to them.
In retrospect, I also have come to learn that pretty much what they are saying is: "we want your image for free because we don't value the photographers hard work to get this image."
They don't go to a publisher and say "can you print 1000 copies for free?"
And they don't expect that their work is done without pay - otherwise it would not be a commercial venture.

it is just their way of reducing costs to maximize profit.
02-18-2015, 06:55 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Chaos_Realm Quote
it is just their way of reducing costs to maximize profit.
Yes exactly.

They might tell you all sorts of nice stuff but at the end of the day the money goes to them not you. Unless they are National Geographic 'exposure' is not payment.

02-18-2015, 07:26 PM   #5
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Remember though, flickr have given you a terabyte of free space to show off your images.
02-18-2015, 07:28 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steve.Ledger Quote
flickr have given you a terabyte of free space
Its not free - its is a captivated audience for advertisers to troll.
02-18-2015, 07:35 PM   #7
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Of course it's free. Doesn't cost you any money does it?
Additionally you're free to choose whether you use it or not. Simple really.
02-18-2015, 07:36 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by RollsUp Quote
Is it worth it giving permission to use photos for free to a commercial venture?
They are willing to give me a copy of their book so it isn't actually giving away my photos for free.
If giving permission to use your photos is worth a copy of their book for you, then sure. Don't count on getting any exposure out of it, don't count on hordes of print requests or commissions as a result of being published in a book, just consider how much you'd value a copy of the book and how much you value your photos. If this is a purely commercial venture, then unless it's going to be a book of stupendous awesomeness I'd probably say no.

I do have a "photo for free book" that's being published this year that came about via flickr. It is a reputable non-profit organization doing the publishing, and it is a book I'll read and am interested in. If they weren't a non-profit, I would have asked for cash at the going rate and probably ended up declining when they refused to pay.

02-18-2015, 07:57 PM   #9
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Do you feel that these photos are actually saleable? Do they hold great value to you? Do you often sell your work? Are you doing photography as a rewarding hobby or to pay the bills? Do you feel that having your photos in a book somehow cheapens them?

I give my photos away all the time because the value to me is in taking them and seeing that I have done a fine job. I'm not trying to make a buck.

Its really your call, but I'd happily give mine away. The point to me in taking photos is so that others may enjoy them. Having them in a book guarantees this.
02-18-2015, 08:14 PM   #10
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You can die of "exposure," but no one ever died from getting paid.

Tons of these guys trawl Flickr for free work.
02-18-2015, 08:22 PM   #11
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A couple of years ago I wrote this piece:

How long-lived is a piece of string? – Opinion – ABC Environment (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

for which I was expecting to be paid around $100 AUD, which would have been modest compensation for the amount of work that went into it.

After it had already gone live, the editor informed me that they pay professional freelance journalists but nobody else. Previously, she had told me that both the copy and the photos were very professionally done and didn't need any work. While I am happy to write and photograph for nothing, I want to choose the occasions when I do that. Unfortunately, there is now an expectation from platforms that can afford to pay that they can get away with not paying.
02-18-2015, 11:23 PM   #12
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Hi. Not only in photography does this freebee expectation exist. I have a particular charity cause for which I do talks at schools and community groups, TV and newspaper interviews etc. I do not ask for personal payment but I do like to be covered for expenses and a donation to the charity concerned. I have lost count of the number of times promised expense payments and donations have not been forthcoming. Often I co present with paid professionals who are either paid freelance rates up to $5000 a session or are paid to attend these events as part of their employment. These folk have no trouble getting paid. Why? Because they demand payment in advance. No cash - no attendance. Great for them but the well meaning amateur is screwed over time and again.
02-19-2015, 12:28 AM - 1 Like   #13
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I must admit that I would say no, try that type of line next time your at the supermarket check out and see what you get told.
02-19-2015, 03:12 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by RollsUp Quote
I've got a request on flickr to use some of my photos of seals and walrus for a book revision. In the message it states "Although a commercial venture, we are only funded to provide complimentary electronic and hard copies of the book to photographers who provide images, and as such are mostly relying on colleagues and researchers who support the project."

Is it worth it giving permission to use photos for free to a commercial venture?
They are willing to give me a copy of their book so it isn't actually giving away my photos for free.
i'm a working photographer. giving free access to a commercial venture is completely wrong and undermine thousand of photographer out there. they are trying not to buy
commercially licensed images, that's why they go in flickr and try to obtain free photo, and they will make money with the book , be sure of this. or they try to make money.
once a photo for book was worth thousand of dollar, now this is the trend. photography is cheap to obtain out there, steal buy from amateur, buy in instagram or flickr, that's why serious photography will die on day. cause in flickr you won't find war photos, great reportage photos, that photo are provided by professional who spend money to obtain those images, amateur don't do this. if professional cannot live with photography, because everybody try to obtain free photo, that will be a problem for all photography world.

---------- Post added 02-19-2015 at 03:16 AM ----------

people in flickr should understand that their work most of the time is chosen cause is free. not cause is the best for the task. that's shameful in my opinion.
02-19-2015, 03:17 AM   #15
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Depends. I was one of dozens of authors (and image contributors) for "The Mammals of Australia" and the associated Field Guide which are published by the Australian Museum. We got a copy of the book (or two copies if we covered two species, as I did) as payment. The book retails for $128 and the Field Guide for $50, so two of each seemed reasonable. But the kudos of being asked to contribute to the major Australian mammals reference work was worth it anyway. As long as you get credit and it gives you some sort of profile, it may be worth considering.
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