Your photography in their hands. That’s the mantra that we follow every month when we send out a round of printed postcards to dozens of art buyers, photo editors, and other movers and shakers in the industry. For the past few years, we’ve chosen to work with Modern Postcard to help us get our images out there in the world – month after month they’ve delivered expertly printed results mailed out to a smattering of creatives in the industry.
After years of working together, we were approached from the folks at Modern Postcard with an inquiry to use one of Chris’s photos on a promotional mailer they were planning on sending out to potential new clients in the creative field. Specifically marketing to photographers, the mailer details the benefits of collaboration with Modern Postcard.
Naturally, we were honored by the request to use one of our fall lifestyle photos as the cover image to their mailer, but this request also opened up a dialogue for licensing and usage of the photo.
In many cases, it’s very easy to be flattered and loose sight of the true value of one’s images. In this situation, we collaborated with the marketing team at Modern Postcard and reached a agreement that was fair for everyone.
This may be a very specific example, but it is certainly applicable to our entire industry – remember that at it’s core, photography is a licensing and usage based business and you as the photographer almost always retain sole copyright and ownership of the photos that you create. No matter how flattering or humbling a request may be to use your photos, it should still be a fair and equitable transfer. If we abandon this model, we as the creators of content lose not only the value of what we create, but we stand the chance of losing our livelihood as creators. To put it frankly, image credit and bylines just can’t pay the bills.