Recently, I stumbled upon this beautiful blog dedicated to awful clients: Clients From Hell. It makes me laugh a lot, for I get a few like those a year, indeed. No later than last December, in fact.
Do you remember I shot Restaurants & Bars for Télérama Sortir last year in February?
We found your photo here on Flickr and like it very much! We – The [X] Community Commission of [a West-European Capital] – spread a six monthly, free magazine in [a West-European Capital], with an overview of all cultural activities in the community centres of [a West-European Capital]. You can download the full ‘[name]’ magazine here.
We believe your photo can be useful to us and our readers. Therefore we want to ask you if we could use your photo, free of charge, in our 36 page magazine (72.000 copies, spread in[a West-European Capital])? Of course, the correct copyright will be mentioned with your picture. While we offer no payment for publication, many photographers are pleased to submit their photos, as ‘[name-of-the-magazine]’ give their work recognition and exposure in[a West-European Capital], and is free of charge to readers.
Our submission deadline is Monday, December 7. If you’d agree with our demand, can you send us as early as possible a high-res version of the photo (300 dpi) to firstname.lastname@example.org ?
Thank you in advance.
The [name-of-the-magazine] team
So? What’s my statement here? Well, obviously, I should be happy with this great chance to get screwed! Look: « the correct copyright will be mentioned with your picture » (well it’s the law, honey…). Besides, « While [they] offer no payment for publication, many photographers are pleased to submit their photos, as ‘[name-of-the-magazine]’ give their work recognition and exposure »! many photographers are pleased ?!! Damned fools…
You know what? I do work on assignments for Le Monde, Monocle, Vibrations, etc. Does that get me visibility? it does! and, you know what? I get paid! Yeah. Sounds incredible. But no new client calls after seing your picture in a paper… it’s quite rare, in fact. But I use those pieces of work to contact new clients, like « hey look at what I do blah blah blah ».
Please, thou who give your pictures away to such people as [name-of-the-magazine] which happens to publish in [a West-European Capital]: Stop it! you’re doing nothing but getting ripped off, in addition to harming the whole industry… Does your gear cost nothing? and your rent? I don’t think so!
Never ever give away pictures. Always negociate something, even small stuff… make it at least symbolic, when it’s a small organization, for instance. Did you know it might be the best way to support the profession? yeah yeah yeah…