I’m sure we’ve all been in the situation where a customer or potential client has asked you to supply goods or services on terms that are not agreeable. As a photographer whose work includes assignments for newspapers I am forever being asked if I could ‘just email me a copy’ a of the photo I’ve just taken. Although I am being paid for the days work, the copyright of the pictures belongs to me and the newspaper I work for also has the option to sell my work as reprints. Therefore I am not happy about just distributing free photo files about, willy nilly. How best to explain this though to the subjects of my photos? A straight No, brings me across as a ‘grumpy old git’, a conversation about copyright makes their eyes glaze over and may come across as a bit of a lecture and an offer to provide a watermarked version produces the furrowed brow of someone working out how they’re going to remove said watermark with their photo-editing program of choice. The key issue here is that people want something for nothing but of course there are always costs involved- even if it’s just attaching a finished file to an email and sending it.
So how do you turn this situation around? Is must be possible to convert the ‘want it for free’ attitude into ‘ yes I’m happy to pay’ Any tips or strategies for doing this would be appreciated.