A few days ago, in response to my post about Dell using one of my photos for some promotional purposes, a professional photographer e-mailed me. He was courteous, but wanted to know why I felt compelled to give my photos away for free, when other folks are trying to make a living at photography.
This isn’t the first time I’ve been asked about this. I’ve talked to quite a few photographers on this subject, some of them are close friends. In the end, photography is a hobby so I don’t look to derive any major income from it. If that upsets existing business models, then I’m sorry, but it’s a reality…and it will only continue to get worse.
In the end I go back and forth on the subject. I understand how some folks feel threatened by the glut of free images out there, but a few friends are somewhat glad. Why? Well either they’ve used their free images on Flickr to transition to a paying career, or it’s forced them to up their game and in the end get more work from clients that are willing to pay and understand/realize the value/quality of the work they do.
What are your thoughts?