Wednesday, January 20, 2010

We'd Like To Use Your Images...

Portland Skyline at Dusk, Jan 29 09

I received an email today from iFly Magazine, the digital magazine of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.  They have asked if they could use some images for an upcoming article on Portland.  They didn't specify which.  I wrote them back and asked which images they were interested in, and whether they would be compensating me for the images.

I couldn't access their website from work, but when I got home I took a look, and it's one slick online magazine.  It's very fancy, but I think we're all on modern internet connections here so you should be able to check it out.

Hit the little "ENG" button near the top right to change it to English.  Anyway, it's pretty multi-media heavy.

I did a little searching about this magazine, and read a glowing review from some trade blog... apparently this magazine is very popular with KLM's customers and has helped them gain a lot of repeat business.

So now I have to wait for their response.  In my experience, they will respond and inform me that there will be no compensation.  Everyone who has ever asked to use one of my images has promised me nothing more than credit, and I tend to refuse.  While I have let a few meh-level images be used, I don't think I've ever given away the use of any shot I am particularly proud of.  I imagine KLM will be wanting one I am proud of.

I appreciate the value of my work, and the value of photography in general... I think a lot of people give their work away needlessly, and I don't want to be one of those people.  So I've refused in the past based on this principal.  And with this offer, I'm even more inclined to refuse, as they obviously have the budget to build a high level website and maintain it.  I'd like to think that whenever someone gives an image away, that means someone else doesn't sell an image.  Unfortunately, the reality is looking more like someone else will just give theirs away instead.

So there's where I have a sort of quandry.  Although it's a principled stance, does it really mean anything?  I'm not a professional, nor am I well-known.  So why not give it away?  Am I really making myself less valuable for doing so, when my financial value as a photographer is already well into negative territory?

We'll see what I decide when I hear back.  This should be an easy pass, but it is awfully high profile (relatively speaking) so it's kind of flattering, especially considering my lack of success...


OhCaptain said...

That's very cool!

Sean G said...

Thanks Captain. I'll feel much cooler if they offer me some money.

I'm bitter that the stock sites reject me, so I'm taking it out on the people who want to accept me. :)