I attended the official launch of a store two weeks ago. Actually, I attended two launches for two different stores – one on Thursday, and another on Friday. I had a particular ‘job’ to do at these launches and I thought I’d take my camera along and take a few photos.
Thursday’s event was great fun. It was well organised. A local ‘celebrity’ was there to cut the ribbon, a professional photographer took photographs, and the shop owner also had a camera.
Friday’s event was also fun, although a marketing agency who were, allegedly, supposed to show up at 11:00 that morning, didn’t turn up until 2.15 that afternoon. By the time they turned up we had the show on the road and I had taken a few photos too. The marketing crowd started setting up their gear, and their Team Leader noticed that I had a camera.
‘I’d like to download your photos’
The Team Leader approached me and asked what I was going to do with my photos. I told him that they’d be going on the website of the people who’d asked me to attend the launch. THEN he said that he’d like to download the photos when I had them uploaded as he’d left his own camera behind him.
Some people mightn’t think twice about saying ‘ok’ to this request. I, on the other hand, don’t like my images being downloaded by others (thus I’ve recently started to put my name on the ones I upload to this blog). This guy was supposed to be a marketing agency team leader, so he couldn’t be that daft as to think that my photos would be free for the taking, especially when he was being paid (or at least I presume he was) to take his own images.
I didn’t want to get into an ‘awkward’ discussion about prices for images in front of customers and staff in the shop (and I hadn’t a clue how to address the subject either), so I told TL that the photos probably wouldn’t be great quality if he was to download them, to which he responded that they were for an image upload website. He asked me for my phone number, which I gave to him.
Email me your images
A few days later, lo and behold, TL phoned me. The conversation went like this:
TL: ‘Have you those photos uploaded’
Me: ‘No, I haven’t had a chance yet, I’ve been up to my eyes’
TL: ‘When are you going to have them uploaded?’
Me: ‘Well, hopefully by this weekend’
TL: ‘I was thinking you could email me the images when you’re uploading them’
Me: ‘Well, there will be a fee for the images, you know?’ (I really hope that this doesn’t sound condescending. As I said this, I could feel a roar in my ears, and my heart pounding in my chest. I’ve never asked for a fee for anything before and I’m very uncomfortable with it as it’s new territory, yet, at the same time, I believed I was entitled to do so.)
TL: ‘A FEE???’
TL: I didn’t realise there’d be a fee. Weren’t you meant to be there anyway?
Me: ‘Em…yes….but it was my own decision to take photographs’
TL: You’ve put me in a very awkward position. I’ve promised those photographs to my client’s Head Office’
When he said this I was absolutely gobsmacked! Imagine telling someone else they could have my images too.
Me: ‘Well look, perhaps you’d like to go away and have a think about it’ (which would also give me time to compose myself and to think about it too)
TL: ‘Yes, I think I’ll have to. I didn’t realise there’d be a fee involved’
That was more or less the way the conversation went.
Email ME your images!
Two days later I got an email from a sales rep who requested that I email him the photos from *both* launches as *both* clients were getting anxious.
Considering the supply of photographs was not an element of the original service provided (by us), and that Thursday’s client had a professional photographer there, I fail to see why this client would want my images…..which leaves Friday’s client….and their marketing agency.
I thought about emailing watermarked thumbnails to the sales rep. Then I thought about it some more and realised I didn’t want to spend time and energy on something that wouldn’t produce any return.
Look, it’s not like I was going to demand an exhorbitant amount of money in return for the images, but I do think I’m entitled to something, and nobody actually bothered to ask how much I was looking for. The minute Mr. TL heard the word ‘fee’, he put down the phone and called Mr. Sales Rep, obviously of the opinion that Mr. Sales Rep would succeed in getting the images out of me.
I told my brother what had happened. He compared it to a photographer turning up at a wedding with no camera and asking the guests for their photos. The idea was so outlandish that I couldn’t help but laugh, and yet, that’s basically what’s happened here….isn’t it?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Thanks for reading.