I just had a request, via flickr, for the image that heads up this page to be used in an academic book. It is, of course unpaid usage with a credit. I’m accepting as I like to get my ego stroked as much as the next guy and it’s an image where any number of similar shots can be found, so it might as well be my image as someone else’s.
Mind you, I would love it if – just for once – there was a suggestion of Payment in an image use request. After all, I paid handsomely for the 1Ds and the Canon 17mm TS-E shift lens and travel to make those images. It seems the only way I can bring money in is via print sales, but that’s tricky too as people are kinda resistant to buying photographs. Sure I’ve exhibited and sold my work but for an unknown to put on a full scale exhibition, even in the cheapest gallery space, you maybe cover venue, printing, framing flyer and private view costs…
I guess my problems are small beer compared to those facing guys who make a living from this, with their day rates being constantly undercut. Also Digital has taken the quality of everyone’s snapshots to a different level (I know my images are much better now). It makes sense that so many are moving into videos as it absolutely requires better understanding of lighting, storytelling and camera skills than most people are willing to learn.
I guess I’m lucky to be able to make images for the love of it underpinned by a day job with a good salary.