Friday, January 29, 2010

PILFERED Magazine - Copyright Scumbags10

Pilfer: to steal stealthily in small amounts and often again and again
Source: Merriam-Webster

There are scumbags, and then there are SCUMBAGS. In my book, when you are a "publication" whose sole existence is based upon stealing and exploiting work from all over the internet by creatives, then you are the embodiment of the word "scumbag", and as such, PILFERED magazine is one such uber-scumbag.

When your website's About page defines you, in part, as such:
"PILFERED is a place where artists, photographers, designers, and the inspired can submit their favorite visuals pilfered from the web to share with one another. Founded on the spirit of web democracy, and built to aid in communicating ideas and concepts, PILFERED Magazine aims to assist in speaking the thousand words – visually."
You seem to be headed down a dangerous path.
(Continued after the Jump)

The lawyers for PILFERED, however, can't have it both ways. Despite a publication title and raison d'etre that seems to promote the theft of intellectual property, their privacy policy page notes under "Prohibited Uses" that you may not:You may not use the PILFERED MAGAZINE site and or its services to transmit any content which...causes distress...upon any other person...includes any unlawful...material...may infringe the intellectual property rights or other rights of third parties, including trademark, copyright, trade secret, patent, publicity right, or privacy right.

Then they state under their "No Warranty and Limitation of Liability" :
And you think that these disclaimers will get you out of legal hot water when you are infringing peoples' copyrights? Really? REALLY??!!??

Founders and Chief-Thiefs Patrick Hoelck, Rudj, Nate "Res" Harvey, and Mia Van Valkenburg, promote themselves as "hav[ing] in the past spent hours surfing the web to put together presentations for various commercial ad and editorial jobs…and noticed the hours it took to gather images and felt it was time to have a massive image collective shared by the people, for the people." What about the people who's creative works you're stealing?

Their About page goes on:
"Content on PILFERED is submitted from around the world and carefully edited by an in-house team, as well as a new monthly guest editor, to keep issues cutting edge, fresh and informative."

Guest editors? What mini-scumbags have agreed to participate in such a scheme? Well, while their March 2009 issue was a "test issue", the rest:
  • King Britt was the guest editor for the April 2009 issue, who describes himself as a "media revolutionary" and believes that he is one who "set the example of an individual[s] what freedom truly is."
  • Cory Kennedy was the guest editor for the May 2009 issue.
  • For the guest editor for the July issue they had twins Gisela Getty and Jutta Winkelmann, described as being "actively involved with the German underground Communist Organization...they meet the young millionaire heir Paul Getty III and become life's play companion with him..."
  • George Pitts guest edits the July 2009 issue, describing himself as a photo editor and photographer whose own photographic work "is an extensive meditation on Women...", and was a former editor for Vibe Magazine
  • Guest editing the August issue is Tyler Gibney, and his site's about page lists his business "HVW8 Art + Design gallery was established in Los Angeles as a studio + gallery space for HVW8 and friends. The current mandate is to support avant-garde graphic design..." and then, for some inexplicable reason, contrary to PILFRED, has a contact person where you can contact their representative for licensing - one can only assume, for some form of compensation?
  • Brett Ratner guest edits the September issue. I wonder how he'd feel if someone PILFERED one of his films?
  • Christina Ricci guest edits the October 2009 issue - I wonder how she'd feel if someone PILFERED her likeness to sell products and services?
  • Susan Kirschbaum guest edits the November 2009 issue
  • Yosi Sergant guest edits the December 2009 issue - Sergant is descibed as a "community organizer...he organized and supported artists working to elect then candidate Barack Obama, including...artist Shepard Fairey" - enough said.
  • Anthony Mandler guest edited the January 2010 issue- I wonder how he'd feel if someone PILFERED and profited from his movies, or how his friends like Rihanna would feel about having her work PILFERED? Readers, what do you think? Is Mandler a Jackass?
This seems to me to be but one visual variation on Napster - which was inundated with copyright infringement lawsuits. Yet why hasn't PILFERED been inundated with similar suits by visual artists? There are plenty of well-known images, any one of which could be the cause for a suit that could shut them down. Copyright Action wrote about this site in May of 2009 here - and it seems that on more than one occasion, the site has been shut down, but why not permanently?

When people run around espousing the notion that "copyright is changing", I get it, and I know that. However, there is a huge difference between "changing" and becoming worthless or irrelevant. PILFERED seems to suggest that your copyright is worth something because it's worth stealing, but worth nothing in terms of the creator being paid for the use of their work. Hoelck, in an interview here, suggests " You either get it or you don’t and are pissed by it." No, we get it - you are promoting stealing of creative works. Anyone who's been a guest editor should hope that this "magazine" vanishes into the ether, because if these guest editors ever have their work stolen and they sue, the defendant in that lawsuit will hold up PILFERED and say something to the effect of "...why isn't what's good for the goose, not good for the gander?"

Please post your comments by clicking the link below. If you've got questions, please pose them in our Photo Business Forum Flickr Group Discussion Threads.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

On Commercial Photographers - Everything Is Relative

Anytime people get together to focus attention on the critical matter of the business aspects of photography, even when they are misguided, I applaud it. I applaud even the misguided discussions because someone will come out and get it right, and others will alteast spend some of their otherwise mis-focused thoughts on business for a change, and eventually, they'll get it right.

It is to that end that I applaud Rob Haggart's A Photo Editor, who poses the important question - How Much Money Do Commercial Photographers Make?

And I thought I'd take and make commentary on much of what was said, correctly, or incorrectly.
"One commercial photographer told me he was bringing in $250,000 in profits and another said he has several million in billings."
This is a loaded statement, because someone could have $250k in profits and next to no expenses in a number of circumstances. Further, someone could have several million in billings and be running at a deficit.
(Continued after the Jump)

"So, what do successful commercial photographers make? I’ve always believed it was a lot."
Success is not always defined by what someone makes. For example, the owners of LifeTouch - the business that does a large number of school portraits across the country is a commercial enterprise, bringing in millions each year. Yet is that success? For the owners? For the commercial photographer that runs the on-tripod camera with formulaic strobe setups?
"How has the economy effected the way people price? "
While you might seem to think that there would be an effect, and erroneously, there is, it isn't a long term solution - because when you're a $1,000 photographer for X, and you do the job for 1/2 of X, that client will remember you at the 1/2 price rate when the economy rebounds.
"Are photographers starting to base their usage on their cost of doing business instead of the cost of the use?"
This too is a flawed question - usage should never be based on the CODB, it should be based upon the use. However, one's photographers fees should have, as an absolute floor, that photographer's CODB when it comes to a photographers creative/assignment fees.

Amanda Sosa Stone and Suzanne Sease wrote:
"we had 1 photographer bold enough to give the answer everyone has been waiting for."
I'm not sure which one they are speaking about, so knowing this would be helpful.

The "Hot Emerging Photographer" (HEP) states "...My rep basically bids on what the client’s budget is..." and that's a problem. Knowing what the client's budget is is critical, and it's a question I always ask. However, when the budget is too low to properly do the assignment, then bidding on that can be a problem! Further, sometimes prospective clients will mis-represent the budget for any number of reasons, not the least of which is to see if you come in at a proper number that is well above the stated budget. I understand the point HEP makes when stating "...we push the production as low as we can to do a good job then create the fee out of the gap..." but that gap has to be a number that includes your CODB as well as a fee that compensates you for whatever creative talents you bring to the assignment. Lastly, HEP suggests "...I vote to keep an industry standard of fees..." and that's not going to float from an anti-trust standpoint. However, resources like FotoQuote/FotoBiz, Hindsight, and others are great resources for photographers to refer to outside of and formal establishing of prices by the trade organizations, which legally cannot happen.

The Established Photographer 1 (EP1) suggests "...250K in profits! I want to be him. In my best year, I grossed 225K and I was quite pleased. I can’t remember what I net’d but would have to guess around 1/3 of that." Most businesses look at a 3% - 7% net profit after taxes. If your net profit is 30%, I'd suggest that either you are the most amazing business person of the year, or you're not factoring in overhead items that you should be.

EP1 goes on "...It’s also difficult to compare me to most; I was away from business from 2005-2007 and have had a very challenging economy to grapple with upon my return so there’s no steady recent history for me to gather information with." So, we're to rely on the insights of someone who's been out of business for 2 (or even 3) years, with no steady recent history? This alone should be reason to discount these insights as valuable.

EP1 concludes "...I have estimated jobs based on usage, and I haven’t won many of them :-(" which to me that EP1 isn't doing a proper job of conveying usage to clients, or calculating it.

Next up Established Photographer 2 (EP2) reveals one of the reasons that this industry - especially assignment-type work, is in the current state, when they state "I have always tried to avoid talking about this kind of stuff." Whomever EP2 is needs to be talking about the business of photography with atleast their assistants, if not their local colleagues.

Then EP2 says "Even though I bill well over a Million Dollars in gross billing annually. What you actually pay yourself is much, much less....I am at the top of my game and probably make about what a halfway decent Attorney makes...It is quite exaggerated what photographers make." According to, the median salary for an attorney with 5-9 years ranges from $70K-$114K. An attorney "at the top of their game" can expect a salary of $200k or more coming out of a top-end law school.

Established Photographer 3 (EP3) seems resigned to the fact that they "... can’t say I am a poster boy for usage fees either. " Atleast EP3 acknowledges the possibility (hint: reality) that "..... Maybe I am getting played, but it usually happens in competitive bids where they say the other guy will do this usage for this money, so to be competitive I need to come closer to that number – that kind of thing. I typically but not always cave into it..." THAT is the definition of getting played - that they are playing you against the others, and the others against you.

EP3 does, however, suggest "... in that sense my cost of business does figure into it, but I only consider it when pressed to meet another person’s price." and in doing so, hopefully isn't accepting creative/assignment fees that are lower than their CODB.

EP4, while the least of the providers of information, does include a few details that are worthwhile. EP5 on the other hand, has it right in handling his money properly through a corporation, and I think EP4 was asked the flawed CODB question. EP5 concludes with one model that works for a lot of photographers "...License model, combined with photographers fee (shown as one line item!!) is the way the top guys estimate."

The EP with actual salary numbers provides succicint numbers, however is that a wedding photographer, an event photographer, or some other type? It seems to me that it is a wedding photographer.

The Very Established Art Buyer (VEAB) has some great insights. They know that "... top photographers do gross a million or more in fees.", but those fees cover overhead, and, as they acknowledge, "...agent commissions come out of that, but it’s still a nice living." It's refreshing when they reveal "...I don’t see top photographers any more willing to compromise on pricing than before the economic downturn." and that should be a guide for the rest of us.

The VEAB notes that "...Usage pricing is all over the board and there seems to be no rhyme or reason to it." and this is something that I, along with others (including Leslie Burns Del'Acqua) have been trying to promote for some time now, and that is that usage fees should be a percentage of media buys for advertising, anywhere from 5-7% down to 2% or so for large buys. Heck, if an ad buy is $2,000,000, is it unreasonable that you'd be paid $40,000 when it is your heroic picture selling the product? I don't think so.

I agree with Amanda and Susanne when they say " have to do your part to get those jobs and keep those clients and ask for what you are worth – NOT WHAT IT COSTS TO PAY YOUR BILLS!" However, you have to know what it costs to pay your bills before establishing your fees, or risk setting them below your CODB.

Commenter Jacob wrote "...I’ve noticed more and more that major ad campaigns are now crediting the photographer in ad work." and then Suzanne responded "...I am on the phone with Amanda right now and the answer is yes..." and it is important to note that the advertising landscape will change whenever the Orphan Works legislation gets through, because most of the versions I've seen will need photo credits in order to properly protect the work, even in ads.

Glen Wexler commented, on this subject ".... With ad work, a comparable level of freedom rarely exists, and the photographer’s vision is often shaped to the “greater good” of the brand. The process of making an ad is much more collaborative than editorial. An editorial photo credit is a must..." and then he goes on to point out, quite accurately, "...the media buy almost always dwarfs the photo fees" and then makes a huge point "...If photographers begins to reduce fees in exchange for exposure gained by ad work, where is the payoff? Wouldn’t you simply be setting a precedent of reducing fees to gain more reduced fees?"

Edward McCain seems quite fatalistic when suggesting "...I hope young photographers in most parts of the U.S. realize that they probably won’t ever net as much as a school teacher or plumber." If that's the case, the photographer has only themselves to blame. McCain also suggests "...I only know a handful of photographers that actually net more than $25-50K." I do hope ( but doubt) that he's referring to a net on their business income after having paid themselves a reasonable salary.

In the end, the discourse is of significant value, and I do look forward to Amanda and Suzanne's continued contributions.

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Monday, January 18, 2010

SpiderPic -How Stupid Can Photographers Be?

Let's get the upside out of the way here - SpiderPic is a great solution for the photo buyer, in the short term. SpiderPic is an aggregator that brings together search results across microstock sites, showing you your results, and in examples like at right, where there are identical images - which place has the best price. Paul Melcher, in his piece - A Microstock Price War? - has a good analysis of this service, and was where I first learned about it.

I have not delved deep into the ownership of SpiderPic, but what I have learned is that their revenue is from referrals to each of the microstock sites, where they take a piece of each transaction. Melcher is right - this will create a price war. Further, guess what - the loser will be - that's right - the photographer.

But how stupid can these photographers really be?
(Continued after the Jump)

If you are one of the many photographers who are selling the exact same image in different portals, at difference rates, for the same exact usage, then you need to re-think your common sense - not to mention your business sense.

Do I blame SpiderPic for facilitating this? Yes, and no. First, they are just making it easier to do what someone previously had to do manually, and so, for that service, they get a piece. However, as creative budgets get slashed by these low prices, budgets will make it all but impossible to create fresh content for assignments, and that's bad long term.

Now all the microstock photographers can pile on here in the comments, with sentiments like "I just want to see my photo in print, who cares about the money..." and "...for some of us it's not about the money it's about the fame..." and other equally idiotic sentiments. go ahead and subsidize multi-national corporations and mega-corporation quarterly reports with your EOS Rebel or D90 photos. Some day, you'll tire of all the work and the market will be so flooded you'll lose interest. Go ahead - I'll wait.....that's right, patience is a virtue, and while I have more than I need of it, clearly one "virtue" of these microstockers is that they couldn't care less about the profession of photography as a sustainable endeavor. SpiderPic's results demonstrates just one more manifestation of that.

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Charitable Giving - Do's, Don'ts, And Cautions

Charitable Giving is a cornerstone of a compassionate citizenry. Yet, it's very important that you know what you can, and can't give, and how to best give.

First - legally, if you designate a specific disaster (for example, Haitian relief) the organization is obligated to spend those funds on Haiti only. Guess what? In a few weeks, there will be another disaster, and if the organization recieves an excess amount of funds earmarked for one disaster - so much so that they can't spend it (guess what - this happens a lot!) they can't transfer those funds to other needs, so don't earmark your donation for a specific incident, let the charity manage their funds as they best can.

Second - your time is NOT a tax-deductible donation. Even if you have an hourly rate of $100, or a rate for an assignment for a charity documentary project of $750 for each day you are doing that type of documentary work, you cannot donate your services and take a deduction for that. If you incur airfare/hotel/food/shooting expenses during the trip, those you can deduct. (For more information on what is, and is NOT deductible, check out IRS Publication 526 - page 6 is where is says "You cannot deduct as a charitable contribution - 4. The value of your time or services,...")
(Continued after the Jump)

Third - make sure your donation is to a true charitable organization, and check them out! For example, making a donation to the Government of Haiti is NOT a tax deductible donation! Further, while everyone from the First Lady to Price Club are encouraging you to donate to the Red Cross, here are a few facts about them you should be aware of:
Red Faces At The Red Cross - In the hours after the Sept. 11 attacks, a record-breaking amount of donations started pouring into more than 1,000 local American Red Cross chapters. What donors didn't know was that some of the chapters entrusted with all that money had been identified by Red Cross headquarters just a few weeks before for having poor accounting procedures, inaccurate financial reports and for keeping national disaster contributions that should have been sent to headquarters in Washington.

Red Cross defends handling of Sept. 11 donations - "Don't confuse us with the 9/11 Fund in New York. Don't confuse us with Habitat for Humanity. Don't confuse us with the scholarship in New York for the victims. We have to get that out," [Healy] said. Controversy over the Liberty Fund was one reason Healy decided to resign at year's end.

Red Cross Blinks - The Red Cross had planned to use about half of the Liberty Fund to build up blood supplies and prepare for possible future terrorist attacks...The public responded with outrage to the disclosure that not all of the donated funds were being spent on victims of the attacks. "I donated money three times for the people directly affected by the attack on America, Sept. 11th. I did not donate money for the Red Cross to use as they wished.
It may be that your local church group, or a specific group, like the one photographer Cameron Davidson supports both with his time and money - The Community Coalition for Haiti, are a better destination for your donations. Just because everyone is championing one cause or another, doesn't mean you should take the easy path and do the same - figure out what you want to give, and how to best do it. Experts are saying that financial donations are best because if you, for example, donate bags of food or clothing, they may not only not be needed, but also, the costs to get them down there could be quite high.

It is important too, to realize that most people have a mindset of "I can give $x amount this year to charity..." and when they give that much, they don't give again for awhile. In the year after September 11, 2001, charitable organizations were reporting sharp drops in donations, because much of what people had planned to give to, say, research for a specific disease, or homelessness, was instead given to 9/11 charities. So, as you give for the current disaster - Haiti - remember your other charitable giving and don't make it an either/or - do both, if at all possible.

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Surprise! It's NOT All About The Pictures!

Over at Rob Haggart's A Photo Editor, his article - Good News In Photography - Points out something quite interesting, which I've re-arranged for the sake of discussion:
Here are other key points to why my business is growing:
NON-Photo/Creative Related:
  1. Easy To Work With
  2. Flexible
  3. Honesty
  4. Be Polite
  5. Marketing
  6. Surround Yourself With Good People
  1. People are really responding to my vision
  2. Being a true part of the creative process
  3. Personal projects

There's a lot more insight into each of those points in Rob's piece, but I want to make sure you understand that succeeding is often not about great photos, but about all manner of other things!
(Comments, if any, after the Jump)

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Monday, January 11, 2010

PhotoShelter - Advice For The AfterStaff Circumstance

The good folks over at PhotoShelter called the other day to ask what 10 things a current staffer should do to prepare for their inevitable "switch" to freelance, and also the 10 things a newfound freelancer from the "Staff World" should do, so I gave them a few ideas, contemplated after a long spell in the shower, and I encourage you to head over there to check them out -


This advice applies if you are:

  1. A freelancer welcoming the former staffer now newfound freelancer into your community (help them and welcome them, dammit, don't be a selfish jerk)

  2. A staffer who thinks your staff job is safe (it's not - REALLY, IT'S NOT)

  3. A staffer who just was forcibly "switched" to freelance by your (now former) employer

  4. The spouse or partner of a freelancer who is now worried about healthcare, rent/mortgage, and small things like where the next meal is coming from, and wants to know how to kick their freelance spouse back into gear and out of their malaise, and otherwise help.

So, go read, and be enlightened, and be thoughtful - it's a good thing for your karma.
(Comments, if any, after the Jump)

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What's In a Picture? Apparently NOT Mr. Hero to "0"!

Gilbert Arenas, known by his jersey number "0" seems to have gone from hero to a REAL zero, and then (at least temporarily) non-existent. Arenas, after apparently breaking the law by not only possessing handguns in Washington DC, but, if some reports are to be believed, brandishing them, is, according to NBA Commissioner David Stern, "...not currently fit to take the court...", then while it would stand to reason that the NBA wouldn't want the bad publicity, why would Getty Images - take down the images? Getty's "editorial policy" (here) states, in part, "...Images illustrate and reflect the events of our world today and therefore have a responsibility to be delivered to the customer with accuracy and impartiality." If this, which is an obvious follow-on to the censoring of the images from the NBA brawl (more here where Getty Images surprisingly had no images to show of the brawl), doesn't demonstrate that Getty Images is, in many ways, NOT an impartial wire service, then I don't know what would. Getty co-mingles images from their commercial clients, and those that are truly editorial/independant, with seeming reckless abandon. Getty Images is a commercial conduit in almost all manner of speaking. Try calling the AP, Reuters, or AFP, and getting them to take down a photograph "because it makes us look bad". Wouldn't happen. The only way I've ever seen a true wire-service photo taken down was when it was demonstrated that the distribution of the photo was in violation of someone elses copyright (as with JonBenet Ramsey, here) or if the photo was manipulated, as with the Reuters "picture kill" (here).
(Continued after the Jump)

The New York Times (here) raises questions about this relationship, and rightly so. I have no problem with Getty being a conduit, but I do have a problem when their content is held out as independently as AP/Reuters/AFP/UPI/Bloomberg. In many cases, it's not.

As an aside, the image of Arenas (as seen in the NYT piece) seems to be a large part of what is responsible for Stern's suspension of Arenas, putting in jeopardy a $111,000,000 contract. Per game suspended, Arenas will lose $147,000 - that's a lot of money to lose over being a tough guy, seemingly full of himself but clearly not man enough to be able to defend his gambling positions with his own force alone, relying on the cowardly weapons that street thugs do. Yet, it is the power of a single photograph, capturing a few seconds of an interaction, that likely filled his cement shoes and sent Arenas packing.

Thus, the power of a photograph.

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Friday, January 8, 2010

Obama - Rights of Privacy and Publicity

Much has been made of the controversy surrounding the use by PETA and the company Weatherproof of their use without permission of the likenesses of the First Lady and President respectively.

No less than The Washington Post (PETA latest to use an ad with an Obama without permission, 1/8/10) and The New York Times (Coat Maker Transforms Obama Photo Into Ad, 1/8/10) have weighed in on this, along with countless other news outlets, and blogs. The image at right is one in question, of the President in a Weatherproof jacket in China, in this case, what seems to be a catalog page, which is a part of the larger objection to the Times Square billboard, which you can see in context in the Washington Post and New York Times links above.

The law is pretty clear - in order to use someone's likeness in an advertisement/endorsement, you need their permission. Celebrities make untold millions leveraging their likeness for all manner of product, and that is good, right, and fair, since the corporations are profiting, why shouldn't the celebrity get a piece of that when they put their good name on a product or service? Not since prior to the dawn of the internet age have we had a President so primed to be used, given their heroic status. President Clinton was the last real candidate for these types of shenanigans, and the White House had to fend off more than one use, including the use of his likeness to promote a popular sub chain in the DC area - Jerry's Subs and Pizzas, which their Big Bubba sandwich. While the family of Martin Luther King was successful in the case of Martin Luther King, Jr., in the case Center for Social Change, Inc. v. American Heritage Products, Inc., 250 Ga. 135 (1982), it is, in large part, because MLK was a private citizen, and not a public official.
(Continued after the Jump)

Finance companies have used the President's image in video ads, and the President's voice has been used countless times in commercials on radio. Immediately following the Presidents inauguration, Bloomberg published a piece about White House efforts to quell the use of Obamas' likeness (White House Lawyers Look to Limit Commercial Use of President, 1/30/09) and they list a number of uses of the Presidents image and voice which are worth looking at. Of note is the suggestion that "Appropriation of a president’s face and voice, to a large degree, come with the territory, said Princeton University historian Fred Greenstein." Even the first daughters are not immune - when Ty - the makers of Beanie Babies came out with dolls with their names on them, and their names were evoked in ads looking to raise awareness for school lunch programs.

It is important to note that rights of publicity that would govern these issues is a matter of state law, and varies from state to state.

In point of fact, Shepard Fairey's original poster campaign of then Senator Obama, from which Fairey generated a great deal of revenue (which is has publicly stated he re-invested in other Obama-supporting efforts) did not have a release. While a single piece of art (or even a limited edition series) would likely not require a release, a poster campaign with tens of thousands of posters would. Perhaps when Fairey was later commissioned by the campaign to do a poster from a legally obtained image, that contract provided retroactive protections for the previous poster, or then again, perhaps not. However, picking and choosing which battles to fight can be problematic if a case goes to court.

In the end, even if the billboards come down, Weatherproof has gottten their moneys' worth out of the campaign.

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Jim Mathis School of Photography - Teaching Wrongs about Rights

It appears that Jim Mathis is teaching really bad business management skills if the message he is delivering to his students is that the price for an image should be the same whether it's a family down the street, or a multi-national corporation looking to use the image as the icon of its business for years.

In response to my November interview in Photo District News about establishing your pricing, Mathis wrote in here and suggested that his studios' establishment in 1973 and immediate price list publication somehow gives him some air of authority, when he says of me "His is the type of attitude I have been fighting for years." Really? Really! Really?
(Continued after the Jump)

Wrong-way Mathis then suggests that my methodology is that of "sizing up the ''schmuck' and charging whatever we think they will pay..." and the only thing more wrong than that opinion is how he uses a portrait of himself with a Nikon F in his article about "digital resolution", where he incorrectly states "In reality, a five-meg, or 5 million pixel camera, is about equal to 35mm film in resolution." No, Jim, that's impossible. The actual megapixel comparison is closer to 21 megapixels.

Fortunately for all, Mathis seems to be standing alone. PDN sought out two industry leaders for their thoughts. Susan Carr, past ASMP National President and current Education Director, wrote here "Pricing photography assignments cannot fit into a one-size-fits-all hourly or day rate system." Carr then goes on to provide several other worthwhile insights on this subject. Next PDN presents the learned thoughts of Jeff Sedlik, former National President of the Advertising Photographers of America, here. Sedlik suggests that some photographers "opt to spend their careers emulating plumbers". I suggest that Mathis has much to learn about his own business. Yes, being paid by the hour regardless of client type is really a day-laborer mindset best left for the picking fields.

Mathis touts his membership in the "International Photography Hall of Fame", on his website here and I submit that he should be the poster child for the International Hall of Photographic Shame for his really really bad photography advice.

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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

PETA, Michelle Obama, and Rights of Publicity

When does "saluting" women in an ad become an endorsement? When the anti-war groups used an image of Gen. Petraeus in their ad (here) being critical, was that fair to do without his permission? How about an and that is positive, saying "Fur-Free and Fabulous!" and directing people to the PETA website to "Read all about it"? It doesn't come across, per se, as an endorsement, however, it seems to come very close to crossing a line - but did it cross the line? ExtraTV reports here that the White House is upset about this.

Here's the ad:

PETA's President, Ingrid Newkirk is quoted as acknowledging they didn't get permission because they knew it couldn't be done, however said "the fact is that Michelle Obama has issued a statement indicating that she doesn't wear fur, and the world should know that in PETA's eyds, that makes her pretty fabulous."

What do you think?
(Comments, after the Jump)

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