We regularly send out mailings marketing your images to registered picture buyers. We don’t send them to people who haven’t signed up to fotoLibra, because we’re terrified of being seen as a spammer by some robot in California.

Choosing subjects is fun. Our Taxonomy Matrix (at the back of our User Manual) covers 256 aspects of life and stuff in, on and out of this planet, so we never run out of interesting and topical things to tell buyers about. Occasionally we’ll feature one of our leading photographers, and with the Tour De France starting in Yorkshire tomorrow, we thought we’d give Nick Jenkins a turn.

Here’s what we sent:

fotoLibra mailing

A fotoLibra buyer mailing

We had this reply from the Picture Editor of a famous magazine, one of the best-known and most venerable magazines in Great Britain:

They are fab – are they free to use, sorry we do not have a budget

Words failed me. So I resorted to expletives. Luckily I wasn’t allowed to reply, as I’m recovering from an op and as a result all my opinions are censored.

What do they think we are? Who do they think you are? How do they imagine we feed our little ones? I assume they all work for free and give the magazine away?

As Jesus said, the labourer is worthy of his hire, so if you missed Italian photographer Enzo dal Verme’s video in this blog post we made in May, now’s the time to watch it.


Add your comment


16 Responses to “Are They Free To Use?”

  1. I’m seeing more regular use of images containing stock library watermarks, for commercial or promotional use, that in days of yore would have been paid for.

    These are presumably being downloaded as “comps” from stock library websites and then displayed on social media and even on commercial websites.

    It’s a practice that is trying to get around the requirement to pay for images and one that I feel should be stamped on (perhaps with a heavy invoice) before it becomes common practice.

    • Gwyn Headley says:

      Yes Stephen, we’re just signing up to a system which claims to spot illegal usage of our images and then chases the malfeasants on our behalf. Our fingers are crossed that it works, although it won’t be active till we supply them with 3/4 million Previews — which takes a little time.

  2. Tim Gartside says:

    not Lancashire Life by any chance?

  3. Stuart Wilson says:

    Name and shame them I say

  4. Derek Metson says:

    Everything’s wanted free AND instant these days. When we first opened our studio in 1979, we reckoned a wedding album charged at £xx would bring in reprint orders to the same value. By 1992 when John Major’s recession made us (and lots of other high street studios) bankrupt we considered ourselves lucky if we got a reprint order.

    By then people could buy cameras that took well exposed – sometimes even auto-focussed colour pics over my shoulder. No one cared that when I worked fast and walked into their shot they couldn’t get a very good pic – after all it was cheap.

    By then, too, early colour photocopiers were on the market and shops paying a fortune to buy or hire them weren’t too fussy about the originals they were copying. In a small town, what do you do? Find out what’s going on and go to court – a pretty sure way to lose customers as too many would consider that unreasonable. They would probably do the same themselves. In the end, however desirable our products, the thought that next week the family breadwinner might be out of a job put too many off buying professional family portraits.

    With all the technology now available and so many people being delighted to see their ‘masterpieces’ either online, in print or on TV, all with no thought of being paid, what chance to real photographers have?

    Being in the same age group as Gwyn, I suspect I am just a cynical as he is about the present situation. Its not going to get better!

    Even paid for pics don’t make the money they used to. Our last calendar pic sold through an agency using our original transparencies (remember film?) made £80 in the late seventies. Recent calendar sales online through fotoLibra have fetched £41 each. Whatever happened to inflation??

    • Brian Murray says:

      It seems to me, too, that what people call a “good photo” now is of a lot lower standard than in the past. Often, it’s only deemed good if they or someone they know are in it. This partially explains the rise of the “selfie”.

      Maybe I am just getting old, but I really am sure that things are going downhill in so many respects. There’s little respect for professionals. Or their work.

    • Peter says:

      do you see a time when cameras are obsolete due to the iphone.. and are professionals becoming fewer, I have an aquaintance who specialises in weddings and does very well ..the only way I make some money is when I have an exhibition , I may sell a cple.. most people it seems dont value a good photo as art. but they will take it for free when I offer..

  5. Peter says:

    I have had a plethora of photos stolen, I submitted them on request from W.E.N.N photo agency in London. they are in constant use all over the world in celebrity and entertainment mags and websites.. they were stolen as WENN Photo agency in London never paid me, as Im based in NZ it was quite easy for them to do.. they used an excuse that when they sold them that as the photos were added to a pool system of theirs it made these particular photos unidentifiable to the photographer who owned them.. and they offered me 50 pounds for the lot. I emailed them and told them to donate the cash to the homeless.

  6. moris kushelevitch says:

    no tickee , no washee

  7. G Longmate says:

    How is it that a Magazine and a well known one at that, has no budget for pictures or images. I wonder if they have a budget for printing. Perhaps they get that done for free.

  8. Ian Kydd Miller says:

    It never ceases to amaze me how people have an expectation that others will work for nothing while they make a profit. Hope you sent a big resonding NO THEY ARE NOT ..

  9. Ian Garfield says:

    ARGH! This really rattles my giblet something rotten! People just don’t want to pay for quality any more. They’d be more happy to get a picture for free that is of inferior quality. Such is the trouble these days for us photographers.

    I had a rant on facebook earlier because I was fed up of people happy clapping others who take shockingly awful photos. Yet I increasingly find that they are the ones who would gladly give a picture to a magazine for free thus depriving us of hard-earned income! So many frustrations these days being a photographer!!!!!

    I had an email from a chap in Australia a few weeks ago who wanted to use one of my low flying aviation pics in his second novel. Of course, he couldn’t pay for it as he was only an amateur writer but I would get worldwide recognition because his first book was such a success and sold about 1,000 copies. Bit of digging and I saw that his first book was around a fiver – so he’s earning potentially £5,000 from the book yet says he can’t afford to buy one photo? As I said at the start, AAAARRRGGGHHHHHHH!

  10. With social networking sites like Pinterest and Facebook where images are used and re-used willy nilly, with no payment what soever, it would be understandable that the general public thinks images are always free, however, as a magazine man the chap should have know better and does , I am sure know better.One can always try !