The @RIBA would like your images for free
Felt pretty stressed today. Lots to do and try and achieve before a meeting tomorrow and then I get this in my inbox.
I am including a case study on the **project** in a book on domestic refurbishment projects to be published by RIBA Publishing in spring next year. Around 30 projects will be featured and the book will be a well-designed hardback with an initial print run of 2,000. I do not have a budget for the reproduction of photographs so I am having to rely on the architects concerned to supply illustrations free of charge. I don’t know what your arrangement is with **** Architects but I am hoping you can supply the shots included on their website. You will be properly credited, of course. The book includes the best work of the leading young architects in London and the rest of the UK and the photography I have received so far is by well respected architectural photographers so you will be in good company.
The book is soon to go into production so I would need to receive the material as soon as possible.
First impressions, wow…
As a fully paid up member of the RIBA it’s pretty crap that they don’t even think that paying for photography is necessary. Would they suggest Architects work for free? Now I’m sure they’re not giving this book away as it’s “a well-designed hardback“. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe it is going to be free? So if they don’t have the budget to pay photographers then they don’t have the budget to publish a book surely? I’m sure they’ll be charging a decent fee and making a profit of some form. In addition Mr RIBA is suggesting that a credit will suffice and that it’ll probably get me more work. I’ll also be surrounded by the best of the best, all of whom are giving their work for free.
Now I feel slightly conflicted as I’d love the Architects I shot for to be published and gain more work for themselves as well as wider recognition. So I do want them to be published but why should the RIBA make money off them and me without giving anything back? There’s not even the offer of a free copy of the book!
And to top it all off.. can you get us images as soon as possible please? Not only are they free but they’re very urgent. Unbelievable. I wonder if the RIBA will give me my 2014 membership for free? I don’t have a budget for it and it’s urgent as 2013 is almost over.
Now I’m not the sort that objects to free work of any kind. I’ve done free designs, sketches, photos, in fact entire days of photography for free. But they are all done for a reason, whether that be PR and exposure, friends, a charity or just because I’ve offered to waive my fee. But this stinks, really stinks. I wish the RIBA had a bit more respect for their own professionals as well as photographers who are trying to make a living. It’s not very easy paying the rent with a credit.
So I’ll probably give them the images anyway as I feel for the Architects but holy hell it’s one more nail in the RIBA’s coffin for me.
EDIT: As pointed out on Twitter by Steve Parnell the RIBA and RIBA publishing are two different entities. The RIBA is a registered charity which I’m more inclined to support – as above comment on working for free. RIBA Publishing is a fully fledged business though.