Posts Tagged business

A byline won’t pay for my groceries!

Note: Update to this blog post at the bottom…

A funny email exchange yesterday between a rural Australian newspaper and myself that I thought I’d share with anyone who may care to read.  If you’re a keen amateur photographer or a professional with no business sense be wary of newspapers offering a byline as payment on their belief that it will act as ‘publicity’ for you.

Hi Cameron 

Thanks again for your help. This is the url that I found the pic –

Like I mentioned it was taken in 2006 so if you happen to have a more updated one of him that we could use, that’d be great. If not this image where he’s playing for the East Tigers in Townsville Qld will be fine. And of course we will attribute the image to you.


Hi ———, 

Thanks for your email.  I didn’t realise that ————- was a Rural Press newspaper, a wholly owned part of Fairfax.  As of yesterday Fairfax (FXJ) had a market capitalisation of 1,790 million dollars.  That is a LOT, LOT, LOT more than mine and the only way I will ever get closer to that valuation is if I get paid for my photos. 

How about I give you a discount and sell you the photo for 1/10,000,000 of the value of Fairfax?  $179.00 (+GST).  My normal price is $250.00 (+GST) 

Thanks in advance, I’ll wait to hear back from you. 


Hi Cameron 

I totally understand your reasons and need to charge for the publication of your photos and I will put forward your request to my manager, however the problem is we need to photo today (for tomorrow’s paper) and the whole process of going through management may take too long. And I can’t promise anything – we don’t usually pay for photos but rather we give the photographer publicity. 

I’ll let you know if my manager gets back to me in time.

No problem ———, I’ve been working in the media industry for 15 years – I understand how slow the pencil pushers are.  ‘Publicity’ might be handy for budding amateur photographers in the —– area but as I’m a professional and about 3000km from you I can’t see what good ‘publicity’ in — —– ——- is for me. 

Here’s a tip that is always fun – Wander in to your COS or editor and say “I need to run a photo of Luke Branighan and a professional photographer from Townsville has a great one that he is willing to sell me for only $179 which is actually a good discount”.  I’m willing to bet his response will be something along the lines of “F*ck him, we don’t pay for photos” or “Tell him the most we’ll pay is $50”.  You can then respond with this – “He is willing to give us the photo for free if we give him a byline but it has to read – “We shafted Cameron Laird for this free photo” 

Let me know the response.



I didn’t hear back from her.


It appears that the newspaper didn’t use my photo which is both good and bad.  Good because they didn’t use a photo without permission and bad because it also means they didn’t use my suggested byline of  “We shafted Cameron Laird for this free photo”.  That would have been a real shining beacon in my career if they had! :-)

Whilst they didn’t use my photo without permission they have found another photo of Luke Branighan.  Interestingly though – it seems to have proof or copyright markings on the image.  I’m not accusing them of anything, just surprised that they would run a watermarked image when they have should have the rights to the unwatermarked image.

Here’s a screengrab from their site, no idea what ran in the actual hardcopy.. (click on the image for a fullsize version)


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Ever tried green cavair?

Last week I went out to James Cook University in Townsville, Australia to photograph the aptly named “Green Cavair”, a type of seaweed with very similar taste and texture to genuine cavair.  It is very rare in Australia but commonly used in many asian countries as a garnish, as a side dish or in salads.

Dr. Nick Paul and David Ireland were kind enough to let me sample the product and honestly, it was absolutely fantastic!  Why we aren’t all eating it is beyond me…  Hopefully their plans will change that!

Read more about it at The Courier-Mail

Click to view the story from the paper fullsize

Click to view the story from the paper fullsize

Seaweed story web

As the story appears on The Courier-Mail's website

Seaweed small

Link on the front page of The Courier-Mail's website

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