there is no free ride

By 10/05/2011photography

I started collecting photographs a long, long time ago, mainly by swapping photographs with colleagues on a one for one basis. Later I bought the occasional photograph that impressed me when I could afford it. And they were quite cheap in those days fortunately. A photographer friend of mine, one of 2 or 3 professionals who were members of a mainly amateur photoclub in the (not so close) neighbourhood saw my small collection. He liked it so much that he asked me if I could speak one evening at his club and tell about my passion, and explain about the photographs.

However enthousiast he was about his own idea, he immediately made it very clear that he expected me to do this for free! The club wouldn’t pay the small compensation for the night’s speaker as they had on other occasions, when I had shown my own work. His reasoning was “after all you didn’t take those photographs yourself” (!)

I replied that the payment is for the talk, not the pictures, and he saw it as some compensation for copyrights. Why would I go through the trouble of selecting a series of pictures, thinking up some cohesive story about the photographs that made sense as well, transport them (I did not have a car of my own), risk damage, all for a small applause in the best case… He still did not see it my way, or would not come round. The evening didn’t happen.