The "credit" myth

This is a discussion on The "credit" myth within the Making Money From Photography forums, part of the PHOTO FORUM category; One of the greatest myths in photography today is the credit myth. The story goes like this: Let us use your images or content and ...


Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    Proud Nikon Shooter
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    San Francisco's North Bay area
    Posts
    1,547
    PHOTO EDITING NOT OK
    One of the greatest myths in photography today is the credit myth.

    The story goes like this: Let us use your images or content and we will give you "credit".

    The truth is: Allow us to earn money without any effort on our part and we will bury a link to your name or website among thousands of others.

    It is the Wimpy scenario, "Give me a hamburger today, and I will gladly pay you on Tuesday". Ever notice that Tuesday is never shown?

    Companies will tout their hundreds of thousands of visitors, but never the mention the clicks on links. Where are the thousands of testimonials from satisfied contributors?

    I am a strong believer in the barter system, I provide something tangible that is a value to you, give me something tangible in return. Providing me with "credit" ranks right up there with naming a moon rock after me. Sure it sounds cool on paper, but it doesn't pay the bills.

    The reason that this myth works is because most people love to see their name in print. In their mind, hundreds of thousands of people will see it and magically they will become a success because of it. Even small newspapers have jumped on this myth. They tell you that while the pay won't cover your gas, the "credit" will make up for it in ways money won't.

    These companies follow the myth with, "If you don't do it, thousands of others will".

    They are absolutely right. People will always follow the myth. The reason why this works is simple, people always want to believe. It is the same reason that get rich quick schemes work.

    Keep in mind that it works incredibly well for those running the scheme.

    When someone starts off with "We cannot afford to pay you", your response should be "I cannot afford to work for you".

    One of the most important words in the language of business is "No". Learn it, love it, live it.



    Steve

    Never complain, Never explain. Learn it, live it


    Our blog
    Our website
    My gear list


  • #2
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Virginia, USA
    Posts
    16,727
    PHOTO EDITING OK
    More sage advice, Steve. Thanks for the contribution.

    I understand the allure, especially to the amatuer aspiring for more. "Wow - they like my stuff enough to want to publish it!" But you quickly come to realize that the more you work for free, the more you'll be expected to work for free.


    “Try and penetrate with our limited means the secrets of nature and you will find that,
    behind all the discernible concatenations, there remains something subtle, intangible and inexplicable.
    Veneration for this force beyond anything that we can comprehend is my religion.”
    (Albert Einstein)


  • #3

    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    168
    PHOTO EDITING OK
    Quote Originally Posted by Cygnus Studios View Post
    One of the greatest myths in photography today is the credit myth.

    The story goes like this: Let us use your images or content and we will give you "credit".

    The truth is: Allow us to earn money without any effort on our part and we will bury a link to your name or website among thousands of others.

    It is the Wimpy scenario, "Give me a hamburger today, and I will gladly pay you on Tuesday". Ever notice that Tuesday is never shown?

    Companies will tout their hundreds of thousands of visitors, but never the mention the clicks on links. Where are the thousands of testimonials from satisfied contributors?

    I am a strong believer in the barter system, I provide something tangible that is a value to you, give me something tangible in return. Providing me with "credit" ranks right up there with naming a moon rock after me. Sure it sounds cool on paper, but it doesn't pay the bills.

    The reason that this myth works is because most people love to see their name in print. In their mind, hundreds of thousands of people will see it and magically they will become a success because of it. Even small newspapers have jumped on this myth. They tell you that while the pay won't cover your gas, the "credit" will make up for it in ways money won't.

    These companies follow the myth with, "If you don't do it, thousands of others will".

    They are absolutely right. People will always follow the myth. The reason why this works is simple, people always want to believe. It is the same reason that get rich quick schemes work.

    Keep in mind that it works incredibly well for those running the scheme.

    When someone starts off with "We cannot afford to pay you", your response should be "I cannot afford to work for you".

    One of the most important words in the language of business is "No". Learn it, love it, live it.

    This is one of the reasons I am not a pro. If I'm not gonna be paid for it, I can shoot what I want how I want when I want where I want.

  • #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Naples, Florida, USA
    Posts
    824
    Equipment
    Canon, Cambro/Calumet
    PHOTO EDITING OK
    I think this is fine as far as it goes. Turn it around and it works; Let me get some images and you can use them for "credit".

    I have just obtained permission to photograph a place that won't even let you in the front door with a camera. I went to the director of public affairs and proposed a deal where I would take photos and in exchange allow them non-exclusive use for credit (I still retain copyright). Of course I want the photos for my portfolio but also because this is a high end community organization known for its 'networking', I feel it is certainly valid for me.

    Will I get any business from this credit? I don't know but I certainly bought my way into a situation I would never have gotten other wise. Rather than say for credit is bad say use for credit wisely.
    Capture all the photons you want; the universe will make more.

  • #5
    Proud Nikon Shooter
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    San Francisco's North Bay area
    Posts
    1,547
    PHOTO EDITING NOT OK
    Quote Originally Posted by DSRay View Post
    I have just obtained permission to photograph a place that won't even let you in the front door with a camera.
    This is an example of a barter situation, not a "credit" situation.
    Steve

    Never complain, Never explain. Learn it, live it


    Our blog
    Our website
    My gear list

  • #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    LaGrange, GA-USA
    Posts
    52
    PHOTO EDITING OK
    Interesting this should come up...
    A local paper advertised for a photographer to shoot the local football games, (3 local schools and local college). I called them up to see what the "deal" was.
    They wanted "donated" images of the games.
    I laughed and said as a professional, I couldn't do it for free.

    The owner of the paper called me the next day. They offered the following:
    1/4 page ad and extra ad space as allowed. Full color.
    All images would have my copyright on every shot they used.
    All images would be owned by me as long as I remained on "retainer". After that, they could no longer use any images provided.

    This is documented in an email, (written).

    My ad looked very nice on the back page of the paper today. It rotates around from day to day.

    Do not give your stuff away. The people that want your stuff free, won't value it.

  • #7
    Proud Nikon Shooter
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    San Francisco's North Bay area
    Posts
    1,547
    PHOTO EDITING NOT OK
    Newspapers are the absolute worst when it comes to getting some dollars, but the press pass is totally freakin cool and worth it if you can put up with the little cash. On a really good month, I covered my gas.
    Steve

    Never complain, Never explain. Learn it, live it


    Our blog
    Our website
    My gear list

  • #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    LaGrange, GA-USA
    Posts
    52
    PHOTO EDITING OK
    Well, I'm winding down the football season. Learned a ton of stuff photographing football games.
    I've have some "football moms" contact me about shooting action shots of their players.
    Quick-easy money since I was on the sidelines anyway.
    This has also led to getting contracts for other local events like golf tournaments. I shot a local amateur event this weekend for 4.5 hours and made some good bucks from that. A company that travels around taking photos of players, (to sell to moms and dads) had an opening locally. They were short one photographer and they tracked me down by my website.

    Since I've posted the photos to my site, they were ready with a checkbook in had to have an extra camera on the course.

  • #9
    Nikon Shooter
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Eatontown, NJ
    Posts
    1,006
    PHOTO EDITING OK
    The one I saw recently was around a Halloween event.

    To get inside the ropes at a particular parade, you needed a press pass. To get the pass, you have to publish your pictures on their web site where they get to use them (not sure of the terms). If you don't upload your pix, you won't get the press pass next year.

    Regards,
    Marlo

    Check out my blog! --- http://marlomontanaro.wordpress.com

  • #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    SW WI
    Posts
    3,731
    PHOTO EDITING OK
    Been there and got 'credit' for a photo...got nada in return except a thank you from a local business person.
    Sage advice.
    *I believe in God, only I spell it Nature. ~Frank Lloyd Wright, quoted, 14 August 1966*

    Assorted cameras.
    P&S
    Nikon D40
    Olympus E-420


    My Flickr

    Mulewings~My Blog
    Val


  •  

    Remove Ads

    Sponsored Links

    Posting Permissions

    • You may not post new threads
    • You may not post replies
    • You may not post attachments
    • You may not edit your posts
    •