Blog, Prints & Photography Lessons from Edinburgh and the Lothians

How to take the piss out of an amateur photographer

Top 5 tips for commercial operations to take the absolute piss out of any amateur photographer:

Pisstake 1. Tell them you found them on Flickr and you think their work is GREAT! You’d like to use one of their pics in print, you can’t pay for it but you’ll get LOADS of exposure.

Pisstake 2. Tell them you love their work but there’s simply no budget for photography but they’ll get a full credit and a link back to their website that will drive them LOADS of traffic.

Pisstake 3. Need a particular image? Search Flickr for the pictures you want and just take them. Don’t worry about the copyright thing, nobody ever bothers about that. If the amateur photographer finds out, just ignore them, they’ll go away eventually.

Pisstake 4. Don’t fret if the amateur photographer doesn’t have the picture you want, chances are they will go and get it for you. Let them, whether you intend to use it or not. Not like you have to pay them anyway.

Pisstake 5. If you’ve pushed the amateur photographer too far and they start to get uppity, just cut all contact and wait about for a few minutes, there will be another one along all fresh and ready to flannel in a minute.

Any or all sound familiar?

The amateur photographer should respond to these pisstakes thus…

“Pisstake 1. Tell them you found them on Flickr and you think their work is GREAT! You’d like to use one of their pics in print, you can’t pay for it but you’ll get LOADS of exposure.”

You say: “Go fuck yourself, pay for it or piss off.” This my amateur snapper friends is the biggest lie in the book, you might have a full page shot in that publication but if won’t do diddly for you, nobody reads the credits except you and your mum

“Pisstake 2. Tell them you love their work but there’s simply no budget for photography but they’ll get a full credit and a link back to their website that will drive them LOADS of traffic.”

You say: “I’d like your product for free as there’s simply no budget to pay for it but I’ll be sure to tell everyone how good it is”. THERE IS ALWAYS A PHOTOGRAPHY BUDGET, everybody else involved gets paid, why not you?

“Pisstake 3. Need a particular image? Search Flickr for the pictures you want and just take them. Don’t worry about the copyright thing, nobody ever bothers about that. If the amateur photographer finds out, just ignore them, they’ll go away eventually.”

You do: You do a Google image search; drag the thumbnail into Chrome and it’ll search Google Images and show you where it’s used. Invoice each and every one of the websites there and then demanding payment for unauthorised use. You’re images will be removed so fast you won’t have time to blink, don’t expect any money though.

“Pisstake 4. Don’t fret if the amateur photographer doesn’t have the picture you want, chances are they will go and get it for you. Let them, whether you intend to use it or not. Not like you have to pay them anyway.”

You do: Either cut all contact and refuse to work with them again or force the issue and invoice for the work anyway. Learn from mistakes and always get a guarantee of payment in writing in advance.

“Pisstake 5. If you’ve pushed the amateur photographer too far and they start to get uppity, just cut all contact and wait about for a few minutes, there will be another one along all fresh and ready to flannel in a minute.”

You do: Well, there isn’t much you can do about this one…

Exceptions?

I personally never had any problems helping out charities or non-profit organisations. Never make an exception for any commercial operation, no matter what story they spin you; it’s simply not worth it. If they want your work to appear in something that’s for sale or advertising something for sale then you should be PAID! Stick to your guns and get what YOUR work is worth.

Written by an AMATEUR PHOTOGRAPHER…

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4 responses

  1. Pisstake 3 is becoming more and more of an issue for me. My photos of some solar panels now grace the website of most solar installation companies. And not a word of thanks, even.

    I am contemplating sending them all invoices, but know that ultimately it will do no good.

    Depressing, isn’t it?

    November 23, 2011 at 10:33 am

    • I would try it. Nothing to lose if you can prove the image is yours.

      November 23, 2011 at 10:38 am

  2. this is good for me … even though i dont know how to even market mine yet. getting there … but im glad you posted this. its a keepr!
    k☼

    November 23, 2011 at 7:41 pm

  3. I created our church blog so that folks could keep up with what goes on after they return home, so I don’t ever worry about my posted photos.

    It’s all for a good cause.

    Of course, yeah. Once in a blue moon, I take some really great shots that I’d like to consider all mine. But then I think, “Okay. Now why did you start this blog?” and I don’t fret about any of it anymore.

    I do my best to showcase authentic pix on my two blogs, though. If I learned anything while working on dissertation, it’s that original stuff works best.

    But I hear you… and I agree. Copyright infringement is a no-no.

    November 28, 2011 at 1:58 pm

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