Something for nothing? Some camera companies think so

After I had posted on the blog yesterday about the “ambassadors” on Instagram that make sure to include all the non important info about the gear they are getting for free or being paid to promote I was contacted by a major camera company in Canada who wanted to feature my photos on Instagram but with credit of course.

I am sure that most people who get this kind of offer jump at the opportunity to be promoted. It is mainly ego driven. If someone likes my pics, hey, I must be good huh? Or so they believe.

Well, maybe they are good but what good does the extra traffic that might be generated by the “mention” get you?

You might get a few more likes but does it pay for gear or put gas in your vehicle? No.

On the other hand by showcasing your photos the company using them is getting advertising for free. They certainly increase their exposure and brand identity along with the possible long term sales that go along with it.

Me? I wasn’t so flattered that I was going to jump at the “free” exposure so I DM’ed the company rep back and asked about getting on their Pro list.

What that means for me is getting camera gear at a greatly reduced price. You get to purchase new gear at the camera stores cost and you also get preferred treatment when it comes to repairs but I haven’t ever needed my gear repaired ever so that wasn’t a concern.

For someone who is retired and on a fixed budget being able to save a few hundred dollars on a purchase is a big deal. It is more important to me than a few hundred extra Instagram likes or visits to my website.

Long story short, we messaged back and forth and nada. No Pro price for this photog so I respectfully thanked them for their offer of “free’ exposure and said no thanks, I can do without giving you free advertising while I get nothing in return.

This isn’t a big deal for me because I don’t buy much gear but it is a big deal on principle. If people continue to throw themselves at companies just for the sake of getting their photos used they are devaluing not only their photos but everyone elses too. Once you have given away your work for free why should they pay you for it the next time?

Happy shooting and please don’t give your photos away for nothing,

Dan

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~ by Dan Jurak on May 1, 2018.

6 Responses to “Something for nothing? Some camera companies think so”

  1. Always great wisdom – I have always followed that principal – mainly because no one has asked !
    I have given framed prints to close family as a gift when they had mentioned they liked a certain shot

    I car pooled with a coworker and he asked me for a print he liked and I did charge him for it but of course I never did see that thumb drive again

  2. Thank you Ray.

    You wouldn’t go to the grocery store and ask to eat something without paying and then leave but somehow it is okay for major camera companies to do that to photographers. To give stuff away for free only serves a persons ego and my ego is fine without any extra help. LOL
    Dan

  3. You and I think a bit alike. I once had someone ask to use an image of mine they had seen on my Flickr page for a pamphlet cover and as soon as I mentioned a “contract for use”, he suddenly had enough images for his purposes. I wasn’t about to give away my rights to an image that I had spent a lot of money to get, yet they wanted the image for “nothing”. My ego was also fine without the exposure (pardon the pun).

    Ron

  4. That sounds really familiar. They are interested in using it until they find out that it might cost them a few dollars. Do they also give their stuff away to people that ask for it? Doubtful.

    There will always be an overabundance of people who are only too willing to give their work away and that has devalued photographers and their images.

    Dan

  5. I have never thought about it from your perspective but from now on I will be fully aware.
    It is funny how they all disappear when you ask them to pay for your work but it is always easy for them to ask to use it for free.

    Pamela

  6. Pammy, more people than not will be flattered and trip over themselves to give their work away for free. We can’t go to the store and flatter the clerks to get free stuff. It’s exactly the same in my eyes.

    Thank you for visiting and commenting,
    Dan

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