We Love Your Photo, We’ll Give You A Credit!

Varsity Theater, Athens OH, December 1979.

Varsity Theater, Athens OH, December 1979.

These words “We Love Your Photo” will delight any photographer. Beware. Are they actually going to pay you for it? Or do they want it for free? And will you roll over for it? Don’t.

I got this come-on, read on.

Subject: Your photos of Athens, OH
Date: 17th July, 2013

Hi Larry,
I’m a researcher for a design company that’s doing a community-focused remodel of the Applebee’s restaurant in Athens, OH called, “Connections”.Your images of Athens are fantastic and we would like to include some of them in the project.The Connections remodel is 100% donated images that are for display-only, one-time use at this location. Credit would be given to you in the form of a “Thank You” plaque posted in the waiting area of the Athens Applebee’s with your name and whatever website link you’d like to include.Please let me know if you’d like to participate and how you’d like to be credited. We just need high-resolution digital copies. I can download the photos straight from your Flickr account, but we may need higher-resolution files for some. If you can provide them, I will send you the images that we need larger files for and our Dropbox info to upload them to.Please let me know as soon as you can though since we are on deadline and need all photos in as soon as possible.

If you have any questions, please contact me anytime. My contact info is below.


Jeremy Emerson
Design Project Researcher

813-985-9000 x2015

 They’re in a hurry. Need them high-rez files stat! Gotta help them out, ’cause you’re gonna get credit!

Re: Your photos of Athens, OH

17 Jul 13, 7.03AM PDT

Hello Jeremy:

Thanks for your interest and compliments.

My images are available for licensing. They are not free. Really. If I get a credit, can I spend that somewhere? Can I buy a set of tires? No.

Is your firm working for a credit line somewhere? I don’t think so.

Looking at your client list, I see opportunities for commerce. This is the reality of my world.

Best regards,
Larry Gassan

THUD. Filthy lucre and crass commerce has been broached. Note the following arguments:

Subject: Re: Your photos of Athens, OH
Date: 17th July, 2013

Hi Larry,I don’t know if a “credit” in itself buys tires or puts speding cash in your pocket, but I do know that hundreds of people looking at your work in a commercial space on a daily basis is good free advertising. The Thank You plaque posted in the waiting area with your name and web address on it will be seen by thousands per month. I also didn’t notice the name “Applebee’s” on your client list…might be a nice addition.I’m a photographer too when I’m not here working here. I can tell you that I donate alot of my time and photography for these types of things and it pays off (for me).If you want to set a per-image price, I can take it to the Project Managers here and run it by them, but the reality of our world is that there are other photographers who would gladly provide images for a project like this for credit only. I contacted you though because your work stands out from the rest.Please let me know.Thanks again,
813-985-9000 x2015

So I fire up BlinkBid, and start plugging in elements to create a toothy estimate. I submit the estimate, and based on what they’re telling me, its “only” going to be displayed. But wait. They want a high-rez image. We know what that means. Once that hi-rez image is out of your hands, who knows where it will turn up.

The football gets tossed back and forth a few more times. When the estimate with the dollars lands, the tone becomes noticeably chilly. This is good.

From: Jeremy Emerson <JEmerson@publicimagery.com>
Date: July 17, 2013 10:29:00 AM PDT
To: Larry Gassan <larry@larrygassan.com>
Subject: RE: [Flickr] Your photos of Athens, OH / estimate attached

Hi Larry,
Thanks for the quote. Unfortunately, your cost per image is not within the project budget. We’ll keep you in mind for future work.

Jeremy Emerson
From: Jeremy Emerson <JEmerson@publicimagery.com>
Date: July 17, 2013 11:52:35 AM PDT
To: Larry Gassan <larry@larrygassan.com>
Subject: RE: [Flickr] Your photos of Athens, OH / estimate attached
Hi Larry,
There is no set budget for imagery with the Connections project.
I was just taking a deeper look into your Flickr images of Athens, OH and it doesn’t look like there’s too much there. I like your image of the tractors lined up though. We might be able to use that one in the remodel if you’re willing to donate it. You would still receive the credit I described earlier if it’s used.
Let me know if you’re interested.
Jeremy Emerson
Well now. Let’s close with a quote from Frédéric Neema:
Licensing is Not Selling – Frédéric Neema

In my case as a photographer, Copyright is a right granted to me by law that enables me to control the copying, reproduction, distribution, derivative use, and public display of my photographs and to sue for unauthorized use (infringement) of my work. As the copyright owner, I have to license my clients to use my images in writing before they can legally do so. A license is simply a permission to use the photograph(s) with certain limitations.

Vintage tractors at Athens Co OH Fairgrounds, Athens OH. July 2003

Vintage tractors at Athens Co OH Fairgrounds, Athens OH. July 2003

2 responses to “We Love Your Photo, We’ll Give You A Credit!

  1. C’mon Larry, he’s a photographer too, when he’s not pimping for Applebees. He feels your pain and he knows how much good vibes you can generate, isn’t that better than filthy lucre? Oh, on second thought, your images aren’t all that great, just the tractor thingy…well how about giving them THAT one?
    Can’t ya help a brutha out?

    Liked by 1 person

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