Posts Tagged ‘free photos’

Fear and loathing of PHOTOGRAPHY

Many cultures long viewed photographs with fear, worrying that a piece of the soul disappeared when a photo was taken. Never mess with a man’s religion.


Those cultures that retain a belief in ‘sympathetic’ magic (where something that was a part of the person, like nail clippings, hair, blood or even an article of clothing) could be used to cast a spell or curse. A part of the ‘victim’ is essential in creating a ‘voodoo doll’. As a courtesy, it might be nice to let these people own their souls. There are plenty of celebrities giving away their souls as paparazzi “Canon fauder”, get it? Canon….the cameras, forget it, I digress.

Some museums forbid all photography, even without a flash, for no other reason than fear. Clearly a famous painting is worth more than an unknown one–and just as clearly, the artist who painted the image probably wanted other people to see it. There is some evidence that over time the camera flash will degrade the properties of the art work. They may want to protect the right of children is the background of your selfsih shot as illustrated in the post from PhotoShelter. ” If you are on private property and are asked not to take pictures, you are obligated to honor that request. This includes posted signs.”

What a missed oppritunity to have the visitors shooting images of the art work to spread the word of the amazing work. 

Even worse is the hypocrisy of serikotik1970’s on Flickr. It is obvious he broke the rules of the museum and poached a few shots because he felt entitled. He posts them to the Flickr site and locks them down so no one can “steal” them with out his consent. Oh like that is going to work, if someone wants something online it is way to easy to lift it. Wouldn’t it make more sense to properly tag the jpeg and like pollen on a bee, use the audience to spread your creative? You obviously have a need to be acknowledged or you would have gone so far as to put up a PRO Flickr account. I had to do a lot of extra work to get the image I lifted from your Flickr account, to link back to you so you can benefit from anyone in our studionemo audience that may want to work with you at some level.

Back to why I started this post. 

The inspiration for this piece was a photo student inquiring about being “ripped” off by a website that used his photo with out his consent. He felt he was due compensation and maybe rightfully and legal so. If the same situation was looked at differently could it be a positive marketing situation, no money needs to exchange hands let’s face it the fee is so small and by the time Uncle Sam gets his 40%, it wasn’t worth the conversation). Could there be lessons in other industries that would could look at and adapt to photo to help our Fear of being ripped off?


Head into the food court of any mall and the Chinese place will be handing out free sample so of the Orange chicken on a tooth pick. They could charge a quarter for a bite size snack like the candy bar world does, however, they know that once you have the customer in your “web” then the stats go up that they are ready to purchase. With may other choice right there; a lot of energy is used to reel them in for the final sale. Could a web photo usage e considered similar to the Chinese free give away model?

Food Court


Lets look at another similar industry, the music industry. With the MP3 the traditional business model of selling a physical CD has tanked. My friend and business partner at Pamplemoose, Dave Allen has this to say in a post on the Moose, A Five Point Plan to Save the Music Business.


“Free doesn’t mean no money: The music industry should not fear free. It needs to embrace it. The culture of the net is free or at least feeling free. But money can still be made from other sources: everything from advertising supported services, to brands paying for an association with the artists to newspapers paying for giveaway CDs”.


Back to the original situation. Can we look at this web usage as a form of “free” marketing that “reels” a potential customer in for a larger, smarter, business opportunity? The world is a changing market and if we as shooters don’t keep up and leverage new outlets then we get left behind and Darwin-ism puts in our place, out of business.


Here is a short tail to the long tail answer of do I give a photo usage away for free? Any photo posted to any website anywhere should be considered a marketing seed for your photography business. The old cliché goes, you need to spend money to make money, posting a jpeg is nearly free marketing dollars. The jpeg is out there with a hotlink to your website, meta data with your copyright that leads to your website and as a seed, it will populate across the web and lead potential customers to your website, your Chinese food stand. The big sales can be with custom prints, day shoots, and license fees for advertisement needs. The “free” sample actual can be considered as “free” promotions for your photo businesses. It makes sense to kiss the hand that feeds you and not bite it.

This could have been a FREE promo. Don\'t let a false sense of security prevent you from promoting yourself as a photographer.