Photographer, Kevin Vandivier's thoughts, advice, stories, experiences and rants
Friday, March 18, 2011
Royalty Free is not Free
Yesterday one of my photo agents sent me an email with some very bad news. It seems The National Geographic Society has succumbed to greed and has changed it's contracts with photographers to include a "royalty free" clause for themselves. In other words, when they hire a photographer to shoot any job, then those photos becomes theirs to use as they see fit, without any further payment to the photographer. Photographers, RTF is not free to you. It cost you lost revenue, It creates new expectations in the industry that does not favor the photographer and it sets the standard for the RTF photographer to be "Cheap". I reallllllllly encourage all who read this to watch out for these rights grabs by greedy self serving businesses. Oh and beware of the red herring promise clauses to pay you even though they have the right to not pay you. LOL Do they think we are just plain stupid. Well, I guess I shouldn't laugh since so many have proven that yes, there are a boat load of stupid photographers out there willing to completely ruin our industry...for what, 15 minutes of fame and 30 pieces of silver!
For over 30 years, KEVIN VANDIVIER has traveled extensively throughout the U.S. & the world, covering assignments for not only LIFE, but also for NEWSWEEK, USA TODAY, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC WORLD & ADVENTURE, TEXAS MONTHLY, TEXAS HIGHWAYS and numerous other publications. Kevin Vandivier’s list of prestigious corporate clients includes Exxon, IBM, Dell, 3M and Citgo Oil.
In 2007, Kevin took a break from his freelance career to serve as Photography Editor for TEXAS HIGHWAYS MAGAZINE. As Photography Editor Kevin won multiple awards including an Honorable Mention for “PHOTO EDITOR OF THE YEAR” in the coveted 2009 BEST OF PHOTOJOURNALISM competition.
Kevin was lured away from THM by his life long desire to open a world-class photography workshop/expedition business. In November of 2008 Kevin founded TEXAS PHOTO WORKSHOPS