Sunday, January 6, 2013

Another Unpaid Usage of my Photo

First of all, to be clear, NG Kids paid the agency but the agency didn't pay me.  Same story as this entry : agency is having financial troubles, can't/won't pay, owner ignores attempts at contact, refuses legal release from contract based on non-payment, presumably gambles on legal costs being beyond that of the average photographer. 

A few photographers have warned me to keep my mouth shut.  I am not sure what is more appalling: the unpaid use of the image or the inclination of more accomplished photographers than myself alluding to my keeping my mouth shut about it; perhaps an indication of the sacrifices necessary to really "make it".  What a poison industry. 

I have never received compensation for something because of favoritism in any facet of my history of gainful employment as a mechanical engineer, high-school teacher or wildlife photographer.  I have never earned a salary large enough that I could not replace it doing something else.  As such, I will never live in fear of saying the wrong thing and effectively ousting myself from any hierarchy.  This does not mean I am willing to shoot my mouth off for nothing; I know what discretion and professionalism means.  And I still have never mentioned the name of the agency in question.  But I know that I cannot shut my mouth when something is so obviously wrong.          

The fact remains, the anonymous $1000+ agency purchases of two of my images in as many months tells me that the work speaks for itself -- even if others reap the financial benefits.  What's left to do?  Hunker down, accept my roll as really just a stock shooter and try not to communicate too much with the elite of the business who will never see the world in the same light I do.  The conversations with the elite and the ideological clashes that occur between the lines do nothing but bring me down and minimize my hardships.   No new material to any agents;  Everything I create now resides here


  1. In lieu of agencies, maybe you should start a cooperative for photographers who have had experiences like yours and who do not want to "go along" with such exploitation to "get along" and get ahead. Once you get the cooperative up and running, issue a press release. Seek news stories about it. Challenge magazines to give you business because your work is as good as that of the best. Give them, perhaps, a small break financially over the agencies since no one is taking a cut save for small administrative costs.

  2. Dear Scott,

    I defenitely do not have the kind of experince to really put out any remarks on what has happened with you. But it surely is a warning to upcoming photogrpahers to chose the right place and terms and conditions with any agency before signing contract.

    Chennai, India

  3. You should not keep your mouth shut about this matter. Have you talked about this issue with your lawyer? You must not let the liable party get away with it. You have to be compensated properly because it is your property that they used to make a profit. If you don’t have a lawyer, you must hire now and discuss this issue.

    >Cade Culpepper