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Thread: Is credit on a published photo worth anything....

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    Member jeffde's Avatar
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    Is credit on a published photo worth anything....

    For those of you who think that getting published, and getting credit is going to bring you business.....

    I have worked for the local paper (a fairfax publication) for the last 11 months as a casual filling in when they are short (paid an hourly rate).

    I have had hundreds of photo's published (including news, sport and socials) and about a dozen front pages, and a few back pages.

    As a direct result of these published photo's - with credit attributed to me - i have had NIL phone calls...

    Yes NIL - so when someone offers you credit in lieu of payment - do everybody a favour, including yourself - and say no - ask for payment. Even a small payment....
    Jeff - Jeff D Photography
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    As you say, probably not, but I suppose it depends on the subject. Occasionally you might get a request to buy from someone, either in the photo, or with a spiritual type link to the subject. I once had an elderly lady contact me regarding a photo of mine she had seen in a local (small country town) newspaper. The photo in question was a disused dilapidated shed..or so I thought. Turned out she was born in the 'shed' 87 years prior and had grown up in it as her home, till her family moved from the area. The emotive/spiritual link was the key to that one.

    But how often is that going to happen?
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    Have to disagree with you Jeff, it depends on your subject/line of work/clentele

    In Jan I did a small editorial campaign for a fashion designer, she credited me on her website, other fashion sites that it was published on etc. I had enquiries from Singapore and HK after. This is not uncommon. Comes down to the line of work you are in and what clients want etc.

    I dont ever recall any client of mine or anyone I know, booking or enquiring about a photographer just from seeing 1 or 2 images in the local newspaper unfortunately. Obviously they would go on your website after further looking into your name. But what would you want them to hire you for?
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    if you do accept photo credit as a form of payment, it's more something that goes into your portfolio to seek further work, not sit back and listen to the phone ring hot.

    I have friends shooting as staff at big name newspapers for a decade, and have never heard of someone contacting them for a photo shoot just because they photographed a crash scene or a criminal or court case.

    As JM said, what would they hire you for?
    Successful People Make Adjustments - Evander Holyfield

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    If I'm not mistaken, Jeff is a very good sports photographer. Were they all sports images Jeff, or were they other shots as well? I wouldn't expect any phone calls for sports shots, except from those wanting them for free. Wedding images would be a different story. Fashion images published in a newspaper might not get the same response as those put on a website or a fashion journal. I'm not expert, but that is my gut feeling on it.

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    Hi Guys - i was more referring to people who get images published or asked for images at sports events etc - who think getting a byline or credit is worth big $ - its not - obviously fashion etc is very different. You see posts all the time (here and other places) where people get asked about "i got asked to supply an image and there giving me credit but no $ "

    Of course i keep the great images (buy the paper...LOL) and front pages and there good for portfolio's ... but having your name on the page doesn't neccesarily generate enquiries...

    I gave Car race photos to the other local rag - and got a wedding - she thought if i like cars i can take photo's of there wedding - and the 5 Trucks there using as bridal cars......

    - - - Updated - - -

    And Rick when i'm working for the paper - as a waged casual - Fairfax own the copyright - as i'm an employee - i can retain the images for books / exhibition etc... but i can't sell them...

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    Working for 'credit' is simply working for free. If the payback is the ego boost it gives (for those who've never had anything published) then that's fine, but in most circumstances it's quite delusional to think it will some how lead to phone calls from paying clients. There are of course exceptions to this but that's what they are, exceptions.

    If you want to generate phone calls then why not include 'works for free' (because that's what's really happening) in the credit itself. That should do the trick.

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    Jeff, credits are funny things (photographs or films). Not many people read them unless they have a particular interest in the subject (like Rick said). Over the years I've had hundreds of photographs published with organisations like Quest Newspapers, I wrote a business column for three years. I contributed to Bank Notes for ages, both photographs and stories, again hundreds (this was the internal magazine for the Commonwealth Bank circ. 50,000) and more recently contributed both photographs and stories to Auscam magazine (about seven years worth on a monthly basis). On top of that I've been a photojournalist for National Geographic on and off since 1988.
    Feedback from associated stories is fairly common but little comes from photographic work outside a very tight circle of friends and associates.
    Given that the pay has been fairly good over the years I think if you want recognition your previous work is simply a tool to gain further opportunities - marketing if you like. But you need to do it yourself and if you crave instant recognition in the street you will sadly be disappointed.
    Photojournalist | Filmmaker | Writer | National Geographic | Royal Geographic

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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    Think Jeff may be reasonably comfortable with where he's at, and was just making a point for others. Though it has lead to some interesting posts.

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    I couldn't agree more, Mark.

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    My point entirely Mark and redgum... Credit doesn't pay bills - i get a buzz and a thrill when my photos are published still but a "buzz" doesn't p[ay the bills... (i was getting paid by the paper - ableit casual rates per hour.....

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