What is the value of a Credit?
On a very regular basis I’m asked by a publication, magazine or website if they can use one of my images to illustrate a story. Sometimes there is a budget, other times not. If there isn’t a budget the answer isn’t always no. There are definitely times when a credit in a leading publication or website with a large volume of readers or viewers has the perception of being valuable.
Last week, in Tunbridge Wells we saw the first snow of the winter, it was forecast but it was heavier than expected and started to settle. I was sat on my sofa and took a quick iPhone shot out of the window and posted to Twitter.
Approximately 30 minutes later a journalist working with ITV tweeted me asking if they could use my image.
I was slightly surprised as it wasn’t a great shot, but wasn’t going to turn down the opportunity to have an image published on the ITV website! There of course wasn’t a budget and I knew if I declined the journalist would simply move on to the next snowy image on Twitter. So I said yes, but only if they credited my photo with my business name: Grey2Black Photography. They agreed.
Ten minutes later I was forwarded a link to the story, leading with my photograph and a credit!
I don’t know how many people read this story or visited the webpage, I’m guessing a rather large number. How many of them paid attention to the photograph or the fact it was taken by Grey2Black Photography is impossible to tell. The metric that could perhaps answer this was by the volume of hits on my website, people that were interested and had wanted to see more or find out more about the photographer behind the image! (perhaps unlikely given the quality of the image but...)
That evening, some ten hours after publication I logged in and checked my Google Analytics account. I was interested to see if there had been an extra traffic to my site, the answer, no!
The image is not my best work, it was literally a snap, I even used the digital zoom on my iPhone 6 to crop into the window, so it is understandable that people didn’t want to see more images or have any interested in the photographer, the image merely supported the story.
So what was the value, to ITV a free photograph, to me, the fun of having an image published on a leading news site and a chance to Tweet/Facebook a link to my image... But really, very little in tangible value!
This piece isn’t written suggesting photographers, artists, illustrators should always say no to image use with only a credit, but before saying yes, it is worth taking the time to think what the actual value is of saying yes.
Keywords: 2015, First, Grey2Black, ITV, Kent, Photographer, Photography, Professional, Snow, Snow, Tony Rogers, Tunbridge, Wells
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