I am always amazed by the number of free art museums in Ohio. I am also awed by the massive building wrapping murals that pepper downtown Cincinnati. Arts festivals abound with lots of free music and booths filled with art. It is all free for the viewing. But, we all know that somebody has to pay for it. Time, materials, space…they all cost money. The artist is trying to make a living. The people putting up the tent and the lighting or the power all need to be paid. Museums still need to pay employees and their utilities. It’s never free.
Sometimes the museum is endowed or sponsored by a large corporation or other benefactor. Sometimes the city foots the bill for a festival. My point is that everyone is getting paid, even if it doesn’t come out of your pocket.
So, why am I regularly approached by websites for the right to use my images for free? My time, my years of experience, and my expensive equipment all have value. Why are you not willing to pay for them? “We will give you free exposure.” That is a load of crap. Your free exposure is free because it is worthless. I don’t know you from Adam. So, don’t expect to get the fruits of my investment in time, energy, and hard work for free.
And while I am on the subject. Make that suggested donation when you visit a free museum. Work to have your community support the Arts because your life will be all the more rich. It is an investment in the quality and value of your life and your community.
Friends and family? You still get free photos from me. Because you support me in many ways that provide me with the encouragement and motivation to keep shooting. And, I really like you guys.