Our budget has been revised

I was contacted last week by a representative of an “international press renowned for our fine art and photography publications” that wanted to include some of my photos in a publication. Wow!

Hi Mike,

XXX Australia are publishing a small format gift book (100 mm x 100 mm) on Australia for the tourist market and we are currently sourcing images to be included in the publication. As you may know, XXX are an international press renowned for our fine art and photography publications. We came across your work and feel your photographic style would be perfectly suited to this project. In particular, we are interested in using images from your Manly on a Sunday and Sydney Here we Come collections. However, we would also be very interested in any other images of iconic Sydney locations and wider NSW if you have any in your archives.

The publication will have Australian and NZ distribution so exposure to a large audience is guaranteed. We would love to include your work in this project and hope we can arrange permission with you to do so.

I look forward to hearing from you,

Kind regards,


Of course, I got back right away.

Hi Tahlia,

Thanks for getting in touch – it sounds like an interesting project. I have a number of photographs you may be interested in, both of Sydney landmarks and the Three Sisters.

Could you send me some further details on the terms and conditions and rates?

Kind Regards,


I must say, I was very excited by all this. I was also contacted by Getty Images in relation to licensing some of my images I have on Flickr. The name looked familiar enough that I was sure it was the same company. The process of registering with Getty took a while (those agreements are pretty lengthy, and I wanted to make sure I understood what I was in for). I went through my photographs of Sydney, and selected a number of photos that I thought they might be interested in, and awaited a reply.

Hi Mike,

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you.

Unfortunately after discussions with my boss, our budget has been revised and we will not be able to renumerate contributors for any images used. We would of course offer a photo credit but I understand if this is not a suitable arrangement for you.

Kind regards,


Great. So, this “international press renowned for our fine art and photography publications” had sent someone on a fishing expedition, to make a commercial publication filled with photos they wanted to get for free.

Oh well, this does give me an excuse to show a gratuitous photo of the Sydney Opera House – one of the photos they were interested in, and which I publish under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Sydney Opera House

11 thoughts on “Our budget has been revised

  1. Am I wrong to feel a little MIFFED for you ? I was all excited. SEND THE TRAIN STATION … then I finished reading.
    Sorry ! I find that a very iffy approach. She should have just been honest

    • I agree – I wish they had been up front about it. It would have saved me some time. Never mind, I do this for the enjoyment, not the money 🙂

      • It’s pretty obvious you do it for the love. However …. many of your photos are worthy of –at a minimum– recognition– and IMO **exhibition** is in order for many of them. It’s their loss. The mountain magic photos are BAD-*** They are spectacular.

      • Thanks, Laura – you are very kind! I have had a couple of exhibitions in the distant past (or, to be more accurate, taken part in). They were so long ago, though, that I had to spend weeks in the darkroom to prepare. I did get to drink champagne, though 🙂

    • Yes, it’s a shame. Newspapers the world over seem to be trying to cut costs by sacking photographers and getting their photos some other way. The Sydney Morning Herald decided to ‘crowd source’ their photos and get people to provide photos via their mobile ‘phones. A real shame.

  2. Similarly, I was approached by “pixopolitan” to allow them full rights to my photos for a fee of 15 euro per purchase. No thank you!

    Sorry you went through all the (emotional) hassle.

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