Monday, 30 May 2011

Photos everywhere!

I'm really pleased, in fact over the moon, that some of my photos seem to be making it to other sites and even real publications!

The first of these was Drapers magazine - the two pictures in the top left of the page are from the Fashion City York catwalk event and from the collection of images that I took there.
I also get to say that one of my images is in Vogue next month but that's just because it's being used in an advertisement for the fabulous Notice My Name; Jo who owns/runs the company (and makes the tea) was kind enough to send me a proof for this:
I also just did a shoot for the new products she's adding to her website so hopefully those images will be appear there soon (when I've got them processed).

Websites that I know about that are using my pictures include the following


If anyone knows of any other websites where my images are being used I would love to hear about them!

Just a word on copyright: if I get paid for images then things are fairly straight-forward; I still retain copyright (unless I get paid lots and lots :D) but essentially you can do what you like with the images.

Since this really is just my hobby I do almost all of my photography for free and for fun but this is where really the rules need to be followed. All the images are covered by a Creative Commons license (the exact details can be found on my website) which essentially says you can still do anything you like with the images but you MUST give credit and link back to my website. This seems a fair exchange for free images :)

13 comments:

JAY said...

I wonder what you did, or do for a living. And I wonder how much you would like it if others did it for free, therefore driving down the costs of the service that you depend on for your livelihood?

Having your pictures published for free is not an accomplishment, nor is it anything to be proud of.

You're just being taken advantage of by profit-making concerns, and making it easier for them to take advantage of others.

It's morons like you who don't know squat running around with digital cameras, and thinking they're a "photographer" that have completely destroyed the publishing industry in the last ten years.

Fiona Bianchi said...

I work in IT as a programmer and there are indeed many people out there who can and do provide the same services/skills for free (look up Open Source Software or Free Software Foundation).

Frankly there are alot of these 'free' programmers who are much much better than me at what I get paid for. Some do land (very well paid jobs) and *still* continue to give stuff away for free because it's what they believe in and what they enjoy - and sometimes their employers are happy for this to happen (Google being a classic example).

As far as I am aware non of these IT guys and girls have in any way undermined the IT industry in anyway - in fact quite the opposite it would seem.

So, I like the scenario very much, it doesn't hurt me at all!

Regarding my photography affecting peoples livelihood and my actions "destroying the publishing industry" I would invite you to look at my images and compare to what a paid pro can do. I think you will see there is a VERY big difference in terms of what I produce and what a paid, trained, experience, professional photographer can create.

I am not a pro photographer, nor does it seem like I ever will be. However it is a serious hobby to me which I enjoy very much and want to learn more about and gain even more experience in.

Compare to a pro photographer my knowledge may seem like "squat" but it seems unfair to call me a "moron". I am reasonably intelligent and seem, on available evidence to understand enough to produce reasonable photographs in some situations.

Admittedly digital cameras make this process ALOT easier and the barrier to obtaining good images is alot lower than it was with film cameras. But that's progress, everyone has moved on from that now.

I should also point out that I'm not just "running around" with any digital camera, I did some research, read reviews and tried to get something decent - yes, it is rather annoying that almost everyone has a phone camera and floods the internet with banal pics, thus creating the illusion that everyone is a "photographer" but if you try and do anything more controlled or difficult you pretty quickly find you need to know alot more that which app to download for your iPhone.

I do think I am a "photographer" in some circumstances, I've never said I'm a pro, and I'm unsure what other term to use?

I am not being taken advantage of btw, I take pictures *I* want to take, I only take those that someone else wants by mutual agreement, TFP/TFCD/TFI whatever you want to call it.

I don't think I make it easier for profit-making concerns to take advantage of others: if someone needs pro quality they will pay for it.

I do not see why you would deny me a small amount of pride in getting a picture published for free? Someone has thought one of my images is worth publishing, I achieved a level of quality in the image that means they selected it.

Obviously my actions have upset you but you react to this by attempting to belittle and insult me. Could you possibly explain why?

If, as your profile says you were a professional photo journalist why bother attacking me in such a nasty way - is this how pros treat amateur photographers? Seems rather vindictive.

I'm not going to delete your comment despite it being pretty offensive. I would appreciate an apology for the personal attack, seems uncalled for, I'm happy to continue to constructive discussion about the whole pro/free thing though.

JAY said...

"is this how pros treat amateur photographers? Seems rather vindictive."

Next time you see a "working" professional somewhere you are shooting, I suggest you go up to them and tell them what you do with your pictures, and ask them what they think of that. I'm sure their response will be similar to mine.

Yes, I was a professional photojournalist - for 20-years. I have also worked as a photo editor for a great many publications and news organizations.

I got out of editorial work after watching day-rates decline by half, and licensing and copyright agreements become more and more onerous, because corporations suddenly had people like yourself to play-off against photographers who could no longer charge enough money for their work to support themselves.

I quit being an editor because I could no longer in good-conscious attempt look other photographers in the eye working for employers who trying to grab the rights they were from them, or pay them the paltry sums offered for their work.

Giving away pictures for free does have a deleterious effect on the marketplace. I've seen it from both sides, both as a photographer, and as an editor who assigned work and purchased the right to publish photographs. So much so that it is practically impossible these days for one to make a living from editorial photography, unless you want to spend your working life living in your parent's basement.

As far as the difference between what a "pro" can do and what an "amateur" can do, there is a difference, but most publications are run by accountants these days, not art directors and editors, and all they see is the bottom line. They have no concern for the quality of the photography, which is why so many publications these days are mere shadows of themselves.

So, people doing what you're doing do have an effect. Nobody pays for a photograph anymore when they can get another one for free - even if the free one is of lesser quality. Most of the people running publications these days can't even tell the difference anymore. They care about the money they are saving not the quality of their publication.

You will get no respect from the people using your pictures. Nobody respects anything that comes for free. Though I'm sure they are nice to you on the phone and by email, I can guarantee they are laughing at you behind your back after they hang-up.

And going about it the way you are you will certainly never get any respect from other working photographers who will not even view you as a whore - who will do anything for a price, but merely a "slut," who gives it away for free.

I suggest you read some pages and blogs dealing with the kinds of issues we are discussing here, and maybe you will start to get some idea of the kind of disservice people like yourself are doing, not only to others, but to yourselves, and the publishing industry in general:

http://editorialphoto.com/

http://www.aphotoeditor.com/

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_119223038089277

Educate yourself a little. You may see what you're doing differently after you have. But be careful, the truth may hurt.

If I sound harsh, it's because I hate to see ignorant self-justifying people like yourself ruining something that I care very much for.

If you want to be an "amateur," fine. I can totally respect that. I know amateurs that produce photos as fine as any professional, and better than most.

But put your photos up on a website or Flickr or something, instead of giving them to publications for free. Then you won't be taking food out of other peoples mouths, just so you can feel a warm fuzzy glow, and think of yourself as talented.

Carolyn Ann said...

Congratulations, Fiona. :-)

Having your pictures used by others is an accomplishment. The compensation you receive is not for others to comment on, is it?

Jay's argument is one of stasis: things shouldn't change because, well, no good comes of it. It's like listening to an old crone lamenting that life was better when kids respected their elders and betters, didn't answer back and other crap like that. The fact is photography has changed, along with journalism and a few other specialisms. You've not "destroyed" either photography or publishing; you've been part of the change that happens when people are empowered with new technologies and techniques. People like Jay simply resent that they can't adapt to those changes. And they begrudge the participants of that change.

I wouldn't be concerned about Jay's antipathy and insults; it's her usual conversation.

(I did enjoy Jay complaining about you being vindictive! I should note that I've never "seen" Jay applying the draconian standards she uses to judge others to herself. So her insults are "truth to power", and your retort is vindictive... She can be astonishingly childish in her vindictiveness. (I see she's deleted the photo manipulation she did of me.) )

Anyway, congratulations! Getting in Vogue is certainly an accomplishment. :-)

Fiona Bianchi said...

Jay, I had a look at the links you mentioned in the interests of "educating myself", I found this page to be interesting:

http://editorialphoto.com/outreachep/digital_manifesto.asp

I think the thrust of the manifesto is much like your viewpoint which is that, for the good of professional photographers everywhere, a certain price must be maintained for images no matter what. I don't see how that can be achieved, short of forming a cartel, which I believe is illegal.

This link found from the aphotoeditor.com blog - which actually quotes the negative points of the article and skips the positive!

http://laurencekim.com/2011/04/28/the-photography-business-and-the-american-dream/

That article basically seems to say to me that photography probably isn't the business it once was but moaning about it is pointless, adapt, update and there is money to be made.

I really don't know why you want to attack me, as Carolyn said, things have moved on. The decline in publishing is due to many things, the prime suspect I would say is the internet; why pay for something in print when you can get something close enough for free and in a more convenient form?

As I've said, I'm not a pro, photography is my hobby and it's something that gives me pleasure. My achievements in it are very very minor but they are little milestones (yard stones given the scale) for me.

Nothing in my blog is boastful nor do I claim any talent in any way to rival that of a professional, yet you accuse me of doing just that. Why are you so bitter and why take it out on me?

You call me names and accuse me of lots of things without knowing anything about me or the background to the photography I've done.

For example. do a little research of your own on Fashion City York, look at the about page:

"Fashion City York is a not-for-profit organisation run by a team of volunteers from various fashion and beauty businesses in York, working in collaboration with City of York Council and Visit York."

VOLUNTEERS. NOT-FOR-PROFIT.

My photography didn't "take food out of other peoples mouth'" - lots of photographers were there and all volunteered their services to capture the weekend. There was no money available but they got plenty of coverage. I believe the press photographer was being paid by the paper, others maybe got more contacts and work out of the event.

(My pictures ended up in the magazine as one of the models knew the editor and talked about getting FCY some coverage/publicity - I was happy to help)

So my photography hurts no-one, whereas your comments seem to aim to do that. Moreover, you do other photographers a disservice by representing them so badly.

(I know several pro photographers and they are lovely people and, without exception, much more skilled and experience than me by a long way. They can rightly command a good price for their services, against which I could not hope, nor would I want, to compete, even at zero cost)

JAY said...

As someone once said on this subject, about an amateur photographer who allowed an image to be used for a ridiculous price, which would have easily garnered her thousands of dollars, "If I went up to that woman and asked for her car for free, she'd call the police on me. If she accepted, her family members would probably have her committed."

Carolyn? Please. And yes, things have moved on, but not the way so many people think they have. The internet has made images more valuable than they ever were.

http://www.aphotoeditor.com/2011/05/13/the-future-of-advertising-is-integrated/

Not boasting?

"I'm really pleased, in fact over the moon, that some of my photos seem to be making it to other sites and even real publications!"

Sorry, that sounds like boasting to me. And what do you mean by "real publications?" I assume you mean publications that are published for a profit. The event may have been non-profit, but the magazine that used it probably charges for the advertising that appeared on the page right next to it. And yes, that could hurt someone, especially if one of those pro photographers called up right after you and attempted to market some of their images from the event. Photographers rarely get paid for the things they are shooting by the people that are putting them on. They get paid by marketing the images to the media afterward.

I guess one can adopt such a lackadaisical attitude to providing companies with a valuable resource for free in a socialist utopia like Great Britain, where if you can't manage to provide for yourself, the govt. will be happy to provide for you.

But elsewhere in the world, life is a little sharper, and a lot less forgiving. If you can't afford to feed yourself: you don't eat.

Any publication that can afford to publish your images for free, can afford to pay you for them. They're worth far more than you think, and the only thing probably preventing you from getting money for them is the fact that you are not asking.

Would you go in to your employer and work all day for free? No, you wouldn't, and you wouldn't appreciate anyone that sat down at your desk and displaced you by doing your job for free either.

It's the EXACT same thing.

JAY said...

Not for profit?

What are you talking about????

Drapers, the magazine you posted your picture being in is the LEADING BUSINESS TO BUSINESS DAILY PUBLICATION in the fashion industry in the United Kingdom?

It certainly is NOT a non-profit. It is a multi-million dollar media empire.

They certainly could have afforded to pay you, and you certainly did take food out of someone's mouth who's pictures (paid for) could have been there if you weren't out there undercutting them at a price that no professional can match.

Sorry.. your whole argument just fell apart with that discovery.

Call Drapers tomorrow, and ask them if they would be willing to give you a "free" subscription to their magazine, or if they would be willing to give you even a quarter page of "free" advertising to you.

I think you will find they will not be as nice to you on the phone as when you were providing them "free" pictures.

Fiona Bianchi said...

Hmmm, it's beginning to look like trolling to me. Oh well, I thought I was having a sensible discussion with someone, it would appear not.

I sincerely hope you continue to have fun with your photography, whether that be paid or unpaid.

Deborah said...

Fi, you're one of the most articulate and intelligent souls I know - you do yourself siginficant credit via your calm and considered responses. You demonstrate far more composure than I would be prepared to offer in a similiar situation.
If there is a troll traipsing around, I suggest that they retreat under their bridge and stay away from places where their opinions are not welcome.

JAY said...

Yes, of course. Whenever someone points out that you are dead wrong, that can ONLY be "trolling."

I will leave you to your delusions. Adios!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Fiona! :)

I wasn't going to respond further, but it became clear Jay wasn't even listening. As Fiona said, Fashion City York is a non profit, and she was there to support FCY. Drapers is a commercial publication, sure, but the point was to support FCY and get it more publicity rather than support Drapers, and anyone who had given the paragraph more that a cursory read would have spotted that... *sigh*

And I'll take Jay's analogy further: I get paid by the day, eight hours. And frequently I work UNPAID overtime. Why? To meet deadlines and put in enhancements that the project needs. But it's my choice, and completely optional. In truth, it helps me indirectly.

Let's also not forget that one of the world's most profitable industries - the legal profession - generally requires lawyers to work for free for a year or two before being taken on into chambers (it's called "pupillage").

Jay's arguments are nothing more or less than abuse for the sake of it. Jay may have twenty years experience as a photographer, but they clearly know almost nothing about the real world of business or how to compete in it.

Fiona Bianchi said...

Thanks for your nice words and support Deborah :)

Fiona Bianchi said...

I had this lovely comment from "Anonymous" but for some reason it hasn't showed up. I'm quoting it here verbatim:

---
Congratulations Fiona! :)

I wasn't going to respond further, but it became clear Jay wasn't even listening. As Fiona said, Fashion City York is a non profit, and she was there to support FCY. Drapers is a commercial publication, sure, but the point was to support FCY and get it more publicity rather than support Drapers, and anyone who had given the paragraph more that a cursory read would have spotted that... *sigh*

And I'll take Jay's analogy further: I get paid by the day, eight hours. And frequently I work UNPAID overtime. Why? To meet deadlines and put in enhancements that the project needs. But it's my choice, and completely optional. In truth, it helps me indirectly.

Let's also not forget that one of the world's most profitable industries - the legal profession - generally requires lawyers to work for free for a year or two before being taken on into chambers (it's called "pupillage").

Jay's arguments are nothing more or less than abuse for the sake of it. Jay may have twenty years experience as a photographer, but they clearly know almost nothing about the real world of business or how to compete in it.
---

Thanks :)