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

2012 – Sydney, here we come!

I haven’t been making photographs or posting as much as I’d like to recently. That’s because we’ve been preparing for a huge change in our lives.

After several 5 a.m. Skype interviews, I have got a job in Sydney, doing something I enjoy.

What a change it will be. We are currently living in Scotland, leaving for work in the dark, coming home in the dark, and doing our best to keep out of the freezing rain and gale force winds. Much as I love my current job, and Scotland, we will definitely not miss the winters.

The process started long ago. I’ve always been interested in Australia, as long as I can remember. The unique flora and fauna, home of one of the oldest cultures, the incredible landscapes and space. By coincidence (really!), my wonderful wife is Australian, and after jumping through lots of hoops (actually, far less than I had feared) to get my visa, off we go. Much of our determination to emigrate comes from wanting our son to be able to experience as many interesting things as possible. He got his first camera for Christmas, and is very excited by it, so I am looking forward to us exploring the country together and photographing as we go.

I went over to Sydney last year to do a bit of scouting for work, and although I was only there for a few days, I was captivated by the harbour.

I stayed with some friends of friends in Manly, which is on the northern shore. The ferry runs from here, all around the harbour, and to the Central Business District. Possibly the best commute in the world?

A bit of trivia for you – the bridge was Middlesbrough, England, my adopted home town.

As the ferry docks at Circular Quay, one of the world’s most iconic buildings can be seen. I spent most of the next day there. Every angle revealed a new and dramatic view of the building. I fell in love with it.

You can catch a passenger ferry that takes you all round the harbour area. It’s an incredible way to take it all in.

I can’t wait to get back.