Neither "accreditation" nor "exposure" pays our bills. (Please PAY photographers).

February 25, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

I (honestly) hope this post doesn't upset the chap who was yesterday, the most recent person (in a long line over the last decade or so) to ask me for permission to use my images for a scientific publication (or for other purposes), without paying for the use. 

At least this chap (the latest chap) asked me... (some don't) and he seems to be a nice chap.  

So I've blacked out his name and the name of the organisation he works* for in the screenshots below. (*Yes.. he is an employee of his organisation, not a volunteer).


This chap's email to me yesterday. (Again I hope he isn't upset by this... this is why I've blacked out his name and organisation).


And my rather short (I'm sorry to say now) reply, today:




As photographers, we're all more than a little peeved with this stubborn notion that whilst other artistic work commands a price (sometime a heavy price) - photographers will give away our work for free. For "full accreditation" or "exposure" etc.

My mortgage provider doesn't accept "accreditation" as a payment. Nor "exposure". 

Not only that, but my (and others') photographers take TIME. And SKILL. And.... wait for it... MONEY.

Now I don't intend to lie to you and tell you that I own a £1000 camera and a series of £500 lenses.

I don't.

But I do own two DSLRs (about 7 years old, both of them - and a couple of lenses (older than that!) and some expensive batteries and chargers and a tripod or two and a remote trigger - and a laptop and a cataloguing and basic editing bit of software (Lightroom Classic) and a monitor and two external hard drives on which to store and backup my images. Not to mention a trail camera and a few articles of clothing that make me blend into the countryside. And a pair of binoculars and a sturdy car which needs to be insured and taxed and MOT'd and fuelled  before I can take it into the countryside to spots where I take my images.

Then I spend HOURS and HOURS and DAYS and WEEKS and MONTHS in the field. Always have done.

All this costs real money.

None of it comes free.

If I painted an oil painting of what I photograph - you'd pay dearly for it. 

If I wrote a lyrical piece on the wildlife I photograph - ditto.

If I photographed your wedding - would you ask me to consider "exposure" or "accreditation" as your payment?


So why do you continue to believe that I will give my other photographic images away for free?


These images, again, take time and money to produce.


The go-to-card for people asking for free-use of my images is often that they are charities or third-sector organisations.

I'm afraid now that doesn't matter to me.

I've had a recent run-in with someone giving away my "swift photos" for free over the last few years, without even asking me. 

This is unacceptable I'm afraid.

He should have known better.

He does now.


I'm now sick and tired of being asked to give away my work for free - and have changed my "about" page to reflect that (did so several months ago in fact).

I just wish all photographers would follow suit.

Our work costs money to make - like everyone else's work.

Please, please now extend us the courtesy of acknowledging that and offering us real money for their use.







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