… not your own, obviously. Just get somebody to pay you for you publishing their photographs.I read this comment on Flak Photo Network, which is an interesting (albeit somewhat chaotic) resource on Facebook:

“A publisher has approached me about printing some of my work in their photography magazine, but it is pay-to-play. The cost to print 8-10 photos is $1,500. I know there are photo magazine/journals that have no advertizements, so a fee for the promotion is necessary. But, still, how do you all feel about this, especially if they contact you instead of you seeking them out?”

You might think: wow, that will pay for the printing and distribution of the publication itself, and if a few photographers join in, imagine my wages after I sell some! Well, not so fast, because it turns out later in the conversation that the whole thing is an online publication. Profit over profit! It’s almost like a tax on low self esteem.

  • dentists with leicas spring to mind.
    if i had a spare $1,500 (i wish..in this industry!?) i would rather invest it in making work…I wouldn’t have had to ditch a project that lots of people liked then.
    my primary reason for making work is to satisfy my own curiosity about people anyway
    this whole industry plays on people’s egos (awards) and insecurities (vanity publishing) – two sides of the same coin

  • Ciara, it just seems that more and more photographers are being sidelined out of photography and instead used to, well, pay everybody else’s wages!

  • Ironic isn’t it? Even actors don’t have to pay someone to perform….

  • Well to answer the question posed….

    “But, still, how do you all feel about this, especially if they contact you instead of you seeking them out?”

    ….I’d have to say if they found you already, then having to spend $1500 for ‘exposure’ strikes me as being unnecessary.

    The really frightening, and very telling, aspect of this is that the photog didn’t immediately tell them to eff off, and has felt it necessary to ask advice in case they’re missing out on an opportunity!

    Oh dear I need to lie down.

  • Yeah, I know, that anybody might even try to justify it is weird.

    This is a selection of my replies on the thread:

    “Does the person who contacted you also pay the magazine to work in it or do they get wages? I’d base my reply on the answer to that one”

    “If on top of that they say something like “They are using the argument that if “I believe in my work, I will invest in it.””… well, doesn’t look good to me. As a low profile gallerist I think that it’s the peer review and the trust what makes photographers stand out. Somebody should show some commitment and put their own balls and wallet in the fire for you.”

  • …and a good reply is…….

    “I do believe in my work, thats why I already invested in it. If you REALLY believe in it too, then you’d better be prepared to invest in it as well.”

  • …and could add……

    “without you I’ll have $1500 in my pocket, and will still be a prominent photog – I must be if you sought me out to publish….and without me…well….you’ll have….nothing”

    • It’s almost like a caption competition!

  • …..captions….words that are worth a thousand photographs!

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