Common Cents
Welcome Back
February/March 2010

by Mark Loundy

"Welcome back, to that same old place that you laughed about."

— John Sebastian (Theme to "Welcome Back, Kotter")

The Good, the Bad and The Ugly built up during my month off for the POY issue. Here they are in all of their businesslike goodness:

The Good

Preservation magazine. Reasonable rates and only asks for one-time rights. Yes!

The Bad

• Cavan Images for offering $50 per selected image in exchange for all rights.

ACP Hospitalist for its $350 rate for cover images. They charge more than $2,600 for a page of advertising.

• The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning for its all-too-typical all-rights image harvest disguised as a photo contest.

The Ugly

• For this, there needs to be a category lower than merely "Ugly." Time Inc. deserves its own special circle of hell for offering to pay its contributors in a reasonable amount of time – for a price.

• The Fort Worth Star-Telegram for its payment-on-publication policy. This is what the terminal gurgle sounds like as the newspaper industry takes the final plunge.

• Federal District Court Judge Denny Chin for ruling that photographers are not authors for the purposes of settlement between Google and several authors groups.

• Marketing agency Story Worldwide for requiring pro-level skills for its unpaid internships. I don't care if it's common practice in advertising for interns to be unpaid. It's exploitative and it's wrong.

• The "client" in Fredericksburg, Md., who needed a photographer to shoot some press kit photos. For free. In their generosity, they did say, "We will consider you for future paid projects."

Please let me know of any particularly good, bad or ugly dealings that you have had with clients recently. I will use the client's name, but I won't use your name if you don't want me to. Anonymous submissions will not be considered. Please include contact information for yourself and for the client.


• Photographer Rosh Sillars offers up "189 Business Building Ideas for Photographers" in his New Media Photographer blog. #187: "Remember your copyright has value. (If it didn't, people wouldn't be asking for it.)"

• The American Society of Journalists and Authors has brought back its Contracts Watch feature, this time as a Web site. Missing since 2007, CW covers contracts trends and developments.

• Freelancers can now get some unit benefits from the California Media Workers Guild's freelancers unit. Although freelancers can't legally participate in collective bargaining, the guild offers contract advice, bidding for group benefits such as health insurance and job search assistance.

• If you've ever had a client from you-know-where, check out the hilarious, fictional (I think) and totally not-suitable-for-work exchange by "27b/6" at .

• You know a high-school football event has gotten too full of itself when its media information looks like an NFL attorney wrote it. The restrictions for the Maryland Crab Bowl run more than 1,000 words.

• Beware using the CVS Pharmacy photo lab. Their terms of service allow them to do whatever they want with your images.

• I'm seeing reports of repeated unpermissioned usage in Business You might want to keep an eye out for your work.


Time Inc. Will Pay You Promptly, If You Pay Them for the Service

New Media Photographer Blog

ASJA Contracts Watch

Photographers Are Not Authors

California Media Workers Guild Freelancers Unit

Maryland Crab Bowl Media Information

CVS Pharmacy Photo Lab

NPPA Independent Photographers Toolkit

Advertising Photographers of America Business Manual

Common Cents Column On The Cost of Doing Business

Editorial Photographers

Editorial Photographers Yahoo! Group (Message Archives)

Small Business Administration

NPPA Online Discussion Group Instructions

© Mark Loundy

Mark Loundy is a visual journalist, writer and media consultant based in San Jose, California.

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