.................But recently I'm feeling that I'm missing something.
Does doing this reduce their value somewhat?...if any
Yes - Never give away today what you expect to charge for tomorrow.
Whilst on a flight recently, I read an interview with the editor of Vogue magazine, with reference to their newly-launced Ipad App. It was interesting reading; I can't remember the exact details, but the article said (among other things) that if your customers get used to seeing the photo shoot videos on the magazine website for free, how can you then expect them to pay £3.99 for the App?
This really is a no-brainer. Simple economics dictate that if someone can get something for free, where is the logic in charging for it.
It is no mistake that precious little of my work is on the web. There are several reasons:-
1. As John says, many think that copyright does not apply to the internet. It does and there are many cases to prove otherwise, but it fills one with little joy when it comes to tracking down infringers and recovering damages. That is not to say I don't pursue infringement - I do - but it isn't much fun. Copyright infringement was normally around 1-5% of my annual turnover, but the trend this year looks like it will be higher......
2. If I am licensing images to magazines, why would anyone buy the mag to see my work? One could argue why indeed
, but that's not the point. If there are the same images on line, then the unique selling point for the magazine (and therefore myself) is lost, or at least degraded.
3. I sell web use rights for images. Licensing work for reproduction in a printed publication and the web require separate licenses and neither are free. Posting work on the web for nowt or giving your work away for free sets the market rate at which you expect your licenses to sell for.....
4. Creative Commons is an admirable thing, but zoos, aquariums, schools and publishers will all buy licenses if they really want the image. If they won't pay, then do they really need it? Not in my experience. Charities plus all of the above have licensed images, and will do so in exchange for money, all one has to do is ask. Giving work away in this way devalues photography for the amateur and pro alike - the commercial world has evolved to understand that money, not credits, are the real commodity. Credits do not work at the petrol station, supermarket or, heaven forbid, the underwater camera shop.....and we all know the value of the kit we use - right? As John says, its your choice....and one I understand but do not and never will agree with. That's not to say I don't give some work away - I do - but it is usually in the form of a print, as a way of saying thank you to someone or an organisation for their help, assistance or access.
5. Getting your name known is great, but known for what? A great source of cheap or free material? If you want to establish a name
, go and enter competitions. If you want to earn money, don't give things away. For what its worth, every time something of mine runs in a magazine I get recognition and
money. Truth is Gina, I don't want to be known
, but do actually need
the income I derive from creating images. It helps feed and clothe my kids.
If you genuinely want to be a pro and derive income then the first step is to act and think like one.
I do apologise if this comes over a bit heavy.....its been a long, tiring day.........if the above is too much to wade through, just try replacing the word "image" or "picture" with "car" (or other object you desire) and they try the "Can I have one for free" conversation in the local Audi dealership........
Edited by decosnapper, 30 November 2010 - 10:59 AM.