My search engine optimization seems to be working well, as I’m getting unsolicited inquiries about my photography. Here’s a recent one that reinforces one of my issues about why the photography marketplace is so difficult lately: With the proliferation of high-quality, low-cost consumer cameras, many people expect photographs to be free. In lots of cases, non-professionals are, in fact, giving their images away, and this is wrecking the market for the professionals. I tried to explain this politely, and I hope the person who inquired will understand and offer to license some of my photos. Here is our exchange:
Inquiry: I’m starting a travel website. We’re featuring Asbury Park and would love to include your photography. We’d give you credit. Can you send me some of your images?
My response: Thanks for your interest in my work. Photography is how I make my living, and unfortunately photo credits never pay the bills. I sometimes offer my photos to nonprofits who support causes I believe in, but as a professional photographer, I feel that commercial enterprises that make a profit should pay for photography just as they pay for their office supplies, web hosting, etc. If you do decide that you have a budget for top-quality, professional images for your website, please contact me about licensing them. My rates are pretty reasonable, and I’m sure we can work something out.
The photo above is of the Paramount Theatre on the Asbury Park boardwalk. It could be one of the images the website owner is interested in.