13 January 2014

£100

"A hundred pounds, a hundred pounds...you can hear the whistle
 blow, a hundred pounds" (with apologies to Hedy West)

This little tale of life in the internetted world began in early December when - out of the blue - I received an e-mail request from an office interiors company based in Leeds. They wanted permission to use one of my photographs of Sheffield. They had found it via Google Image Search. I was informed that the company were furnishing a new office suite in Sheffield and the client had requested a large photo collage of Sheffield images to grace one of the blank walls. Permission was duly granted.

Then a day or two later the company phoned me to see if I had other pictures of Sheffield they could use. In fact, they had a requirement list of about twenty photographs. I already had about fifteen of these and with the promise of some payment I agreed to go out and snap the last four or five which I did one morning in mid-December.

All of the pictures were emailed to the office interiors company. After Christmas, I contacted them again to remind them of their payment promise and they asked me how much I wanted. Being an ascetic* kind of soul with no particular interest in money, I plumped for a nice round sum - one hundred pounds or what we English (and Welsh) call a "ton".  (*characterized by severe self-discipline and abstention from all forms of indulgence, typically for religious reasons.)

There were no quibbles about my fee. I was just asked to make an invoice for their records and on Friday of last week the hundred pounds duly arrived. So it's official I am now a professional photographer - available for weddings, christenings and funerals. Regarding the latter, isn't it funny that  picture taking is rare at funerals? Oh look - that one's of the casket going behind the curtains - and that one - that's you Auntie Jean - good heavens you looked as miserable as sin! And this was Grandma's burial.... Perhaps it's an area in which I should specialise.
Velocity Tower, Sheffield
This was the picture that started it all
A preserved drop forging hammer in Sheffield's Don Valley
This was one of the special request pictures.

31 comments:

  1. You charged 100 quid for 20 photographs? That equals a fiver per pic, and them not arguing about your fee shows that you sold your work way too cheap. I have not been following your blog for long, but what I have seen so far were all excellent pictures that take skill, and are certainly worth more than a fiver each.
    Photos at funerals are certainly a niche you could explore.
    Congratulations on your new career!

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    1. Librarian - Thanks for implying that I am a dumb schmuck. You are possibly right. However, if the office interiors company had been more alert they would have realised that fifteen of the pictures - hosted by the geograph website - did not require "permission" or payment - just acknowledgement of the copyright. In other words, they could have used them for free! Anyway, I have never been mercenary. That's one of the things that drew me into teaching. It wasn't about the money. Regarding my new career, your avatar suggests you'd be a good subject for some "natural" photo modelling. Please call round my studio...said the spider to the fly.

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    2. I don't think an invitation to view photographs has quite the same pulling power as an invitation to peruse etchings.

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    3. It sounds like you have tried it Adrian! But many women would be fearful of a walk down a dark, puddled track to a motor home encampment with a man who has two faces and is guarded by two vicious hounds.

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    4. Many times, I have started to use the same system as call centres. Keep asking and ask and ask again. Eventually one gets a hit.

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  2. Well done, I charge between £400.00p and a thousand pounds a day. I don't get many days work a year.
    All my low resolution images are free. I enjoy so much shareware that it seems churlish not to give something back.

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  3. Well done. It was only a matter of time. Next it will be the calendar makers knocking at your door for some of those lovely images of the countryside to use in their calendars. Put your price up next time. You can finance all sorts of holidays lke that one in Canada you were talking about.

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    1. Now you mention it, how are you financing your trip to Italy? Selling bed quilts and designer bird tables?...Thanks for the encouragement Helen.

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  4. £100 ~ your shout at the pub YP. Is it just me or is that tower leaning?

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    1. I am usually quite meticulous about straightening them up but you may be right Carol - very slightly off vertical I fear.

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    2. I like the leaning tower of Sheffield. Carol, everywhere one goes other than Pizza Buildings are built plumb. This is a great shot but shot through a middling lens. You need tilt shift to get rid of tapering and a grid on the view finder to achieve plumb.

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    3. ..Or you can straighten up later on the computer. Perhaps the office interiors company should have contacted you instead Adrian!

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  5. Do you do Bar Mitzvahs as well? Seriously, your photos are pretty darned good - I think you undersold yourself!

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    1. Shalom SP! Never realised you were Jewish mate! I have heard there's a lot of them over there in Greater Manchester. Thanks for the encouragement.

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  6. Not bad! We'll be round at the weekend for free drinks to celebrate. ;)

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    1. I am looking for some life models so I can practise my photographic skills Jenny. Do you think there'll be time for a session with me in our "underhouse" - the place where I imprisoned all those parking enforcement officers?

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  7. Any money you get for doing something you love is a wonderful bonus. I would happily buy a calendar of your photos of the countryside. You could have them made at Cafepress. Actually, did you know that you could have your photo turned into a shower curtain there, too?

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    1. Eh? A shower curtain with my face on it? Can't see that selling very well. This year as Xmas gifts I had a few calendars made using my own photos. They were really good though I say so myself.

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  8. Congratulations. It's most satisfying to be recognized and have your photos published.

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    1. You are right Red. I don't want my pictures to be for my eyes only. That's not motivational.

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  9. Well, good on you Mr. Pudding. The word of your art will get around via the city and you will be on to a new profession. I am happy for you.

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    1. I'll have an office, a driver, airline tickets, a fat bank account. There'll be exhibitions, glossy magazines, interviews. No longer will I have to say "I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum". But don't worry MT, I won't forget you as I rise to international prominence.

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  10. How wonderful - well done YP. I must admit I have often thought that funeral photos could be quite interesting.

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    1. If you pay up front Libby, I will be happy to be the cameraman at your funeral. This will include a black silk-bound album containing up to fifty pictures. Glossy or matt - it's your choice.. Video coverage may also be possible.

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  11. Well done indeed! If you can get 100 quid for photos of Sheffield, just imagine how much you'd get for shots of Barnsley!!
    Now, where'd I leave that camera (*planning expensive holidays already*) ....

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    1. Brian - Twenty pics of Barnsley? About four shillings and sixpence should cover it.

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  12. Being a good Socialist you accepted fair recompense for honest work with no thought of exploiting your client. I am proud of you.

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    1. Naturally, I have donated the £100 to the Yorkshire Revolutionary Army's fight for freedom against our Etonian oppressors and their allies The BFP (Bankers Fascist Party). One day, we shall overcome!

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  13. You could start a new craze...Funeral Fotos! Cremation Creations!

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  14. Hiya YP. I'm still lurking :) I think funerals have already been done.... http://selfiesatfunerals.tumblr.com/

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  15. Well YP I've just let one of my photos be used commercially for what the purchaser offered and described as a meagre £25. The purchaser had an interesting line though and made the offer on the basis of payment to me or to a charity of my choice. As I have absolutely no intention of getting involved with the Inland Revenue again if I can help it I chose the charity option. Within 20 minutes of my email a receipt came back from the charity. There are honest people out there. My other requests have come from charities so I've made no charge. I wonder how many people just use out photos though without so much as a request or offer.

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Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.