I get requests often from agencies, individuals etc asking me for permission to use my photos for various projects. More often than not, the request come with the following line “I don’t have a budget but will give you credit.”

When I read that bit, it’s a wrap. I don’t need credit, I need cash! Why are people so crazy to think that I will offer free product for them to use to get paid off of? Maybe I’m the crazy one?

Yesterday, I got the request below from architecture firm, Diller Scofidio + Renfro & I started to cuss when I read the last paragraph! See for yourself:

“Dear Tafari Stevenson-Howard,

I am contacting you from Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the architecture studio that designed the Lincoln Center Redevelopment in New York. We are currently designing a book in collaboration with Lincoln Center covering our work on the campus from 2003 through the present. The first edition will be a run of 5,000 books, with an expected publication date of December 2012.

We have found that the Revson Fountain at Lincoln Center has been a focal point for pictures posted online and we would like to feature this phenomena in our publication. We are interested in one of your images of the Revson Fountain on Flickr and would like permission to use it in our book. The image would be small, approximately 2″ x 1”, alongside images by other Flickr photographers, and we are requesting the reproduction authorization of this work. It is found here:

The book is being produced in house and due to our limited budget and the limited run of books being produced, we are unable to provide you with pay or a copy of the book. If you do allow us to use your image could you please provide me with how you would like to be credited?

We look forward to your reply, with kindest regards.

Sofia Balters”

My was response was:

“Hello Sofia,

Thanks for inquiring but I am not interested.

The time, effort, creativity energy and cost of my camera equipment that I used to create this image is worth more than photo credit.

I’m an award winning photographer, Getty Images contributor, style icon and US citizen that has bills to pay.

Should you be interested in purchasing this photo, I’d love to talk more.

And yes, this offer is insulting!



Who are these people? And did they Google my name before they sent that request?