A Small Note on Photographers Dec 16, 2009

Photograph by Jesse Johnston

A recent comment by Jesse Johnston on the Leader Contest post prompted this.

I’ve noticed it happening a lot and I want to take this opportunity to comment. Some of my best friends are photographers. They never hesitate to provide me with content and document our riding. Like most people in the creative field, they’re struggling to get recognition in a sea of competition and in this economy, it’s tough to make ends meet. No one likes to work for free, but exposure is better than nothing. Which brings me to my point. When you link or post a photo, whether it’s on Flickr or on a website, you should always credit the photographer and link their website if you know it. Even if you can’t pay them, this exposure will eventually bring them a paying job. There is no reason why Jesse shouldn’t be credited in this photo. Especially if it’s being used for promotion of a product.

Remember, support your community, don’t trash it. Respect your photographers because if they don’t document this movement, who will?

Jesse, much respect man. I love your work. Keep it up.

  • http://blog.cyclosity.com Liam


  • http://www.ghostshipclothing.com Ghostship Matt

    I agree. It’s something that’s really easy to do and only takes a second. Good post.

  • chris

    Words to live by kid!

  • Duh

    does this surprise you coming from leader? that company is unprofessional in just about every aspect.

  • kim

    Reading Jesse’s comment infuriates me. As a photographer, I deal with this kind of garbage on a daily basis. Everyone wants something for free and after they get what they want, they take advantage of you. Words of wisdom here: always work under contract.

  • http://ampersanderson.com Ampersanderson

    Amen. I would add that, even if you don’t know the photographer’s website, spend a little time and figure it out. If the content is worth posting, the author’s info is worth the time it spent to dig up.

    Though sites like ffffound.com, and a sea of information on blogs, twitter, etc., have added a great gap between an artist’s content and the artist himself, we owe it to each other to give credit where credit is due.

  • http://mlproject.com mike ley

    in the end, if a company is going to be making money off your shots, you should be compensated.
    compensation can be defined in a lot of ways – money, exposure, product… don’t sell yourself short and keep in mind cool points don’t really keep paid work rolling in.

  • t-bone

    At least Fuzzy found Jesse’s stolen back wheel.

    Mark that one win and one loss.

    Jesse get at me. We’ll head over to Home Depot and glue some of this

    onto a Mercier we’ll buy off ebay.

    That ought to be proper compensation.

  • Taylor

    Tumblr does a good job of keeping credits on posts and reblogs. It’s actually obvious to viewers when people intentionally remove photo credit lines. That’s also what I like about Vimeo (aside from the obvious), one click and all the credit info. is saved in the embed code, again obvious when it’s removed. I don’t know anything about Leader and how they do business with photographers but it doesn’t sound good. They could turn the corner and remove that “Leader Bike LLC assume ownership and the rights to use for profit in the future.” but on the flip side that’s boiler plate legalese on most if not all UGC contests.

  • http://www.edinburghfixedgear.co.uk neek

    It’s common courtesy and I would always give props whether its a blog repost or an image credit.

    +1 on this post!

  • ladyrachel

    i second that with crediting information sources for other blogs and websites. sharing means caring!

  • http://www.tewardglazarphotography.com Ed Glazar

    Thanks for posting this Prolly. This happens all the time and it needs to be addressed. But I think

    Everyone has a “great” camera now days. Megapixels and noise suppression have begun to trump technical skill, artistic vision and experience. Those not concerned with making a living as a photographer or those trying to make their mark with their new DSLR are happy to give their images away for free. Seeing your work published is AWESOME! YES!, but it’s killing the art of photography and starving the artists. Demand credit, demand compensation.

    And don’t even get me started on the direction post processing techniques.

  • http://www.mattlingo.com Matt Lingo

    Having worked with Leader on multiple occaisons as a professional photographer I’m having a severe problem believing Jesse’s comment as they are by far one of the easier to deal with clients I’ve had the privledge to work with. They’ve followed through covering expenses and going as far as providing me with nearly a full leader bike build all in a timely fashion.

  • fix-set

    i love that you said this!!!!

  • nic

    @matt lingo
    as far as the internet has told me, you are friends with many riders in San Diego and know people who work for Leader. your proximity to and personal relations with the company are going to give you an advantage in your business dealings with them. the photographer of the shot in question lives on the other side of the country and knows no one within the company to help him out. for you, it is a face-to-face first name basis kind of situation. for him, it is simply man against business; there is no heart to help him.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/travislikespictures/ hustlejr

    So what you’re saying is if I give away my photos for free, I’m killing the art of photography?

    You shouldn’t even be putting art and money into the same sentence. Art it art. If you want to sell it, go for it. But the choice as to whether you should do it or not should not come down to money.

    If you were talking about me making bikes and then giving them away for free, it would make sense. But in regards to photography you’re making it seem like making money is more important than the art side of things.

    I, for one, have only once been offered gear in exchange for photos. My photos of Tyler Johnson get used all the time though. I couldn’t give a shit about whether I get paid or not. I still love photography.

    And incase you’re wondering, I am just some teenage punk with his DSLR taking party photos.