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Portions of this column were originally written for the December 2002 edition of News Photographer Magazine.

Mark Loundy is a media producer and consultant based in San Jose, California. Full bio.

The opinions in this article are those of the author alone and do not necessarily represent the official views of the National Press Photographers Association.

December, 2002
By Mark Loundy

ThanksEven though this column is running in December, I'm writing it during Thanksgiving week. Sure we're up against a tough economy and increasingly demanding clients. But we still have much to be thankful for:

  • The U.N. Iraq resolution was probably written by the same person who wrote the AP contract.
  • As far as we know, Enron's accounting firm, Arthur Anderson didn't represent any photographers.
  • Although the Conyers bill didn't make it out of the last Congress, we can rest assured that it will make it in the next. Yeah, right.
  • There is no truth to the rumor that the massive Corbis image archive is located in one of Saddam Hussein's "presidential palaces."
  • The New York Times hasn't realized that they can stop paying those pesky transmission fees. (Wait, that was from last year's column.)
  • There is also no truth to the rumor that Osama bin Laden was spotted coming out of Getty's headquarters — with a job application.
  • Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge was not offered a Work-for Hire contract.

    Seriously, we can be thankful that freelance photographers are recognizing the value of common support. People like Paula Lerner, Sean Cayton and others and organizations like Editorial Photographers and ASMP are working tirelessly to educate young photographers about surviving for the long-term in the photography business. Thanks guys!

  • The Good
    BulletDiogenes wandered the streets of Athens looking for an honest man. I'm wandering through cyberspace looking for a "Good" submission. Pretty please?

    The Bad
    BulletSIRS Publishing, Inc. for offering $50-$75 for the right to include an image of a major news figure in their CD and online database — forever.

    The Ugly
    BulletTime Incorporated's year-long campaign to impose work-for-hire contracts on its contributing writers. This is particularly heinous since Time's recent announcement that it will soon require membership in corporate sibling America Online for access to much of its currently free online content.

    Please let me know of any particularly good, bad or ugly dealings that you have had with clients recently. I will use the client's name, but I won't use your name if you don't want me to. Anonymous submissions will not be considered. Please include contact information for yourself and for the client.

    If you're looking for an alternative to doing your own promotion, billing and distribution, but don't want to tie yourself to one of the "major" agencies, then photographer José Azel's Independent Photography Network might be worth a look. IPN incorporates multiple databases under a single search — something that photo editors have been pining for. Even better, IPN splits sales 70/30 in favor of the photographer instead of the traditional agency split of 50/50 (not to mention the increasingly common 40/60 split.) If a sale originates from the photographer's IPN Web site, the photographer keeps 85% of the sale. IPN even processes credit card transactions.


    No time is good to lose a loved one. But the holiday season is an ideal time to remember those who have. As I mentioned in last month's column, photographer and freelance activist George Gryzenia died recently of a heart attack at age 40. George left behind a wife and young daughter. As you lift your holiday glass in good cheer with your family, please take a moment to remember George's.

    You can make checks payable to:
    Helena Gryzenia Fund
    c/o National City Bank
    3500 Alpine NW
    Grand Rapids, MI 49504

    Let's all be thankful for our own families and friends and I hope that you will accept my sincere wishes for a happy and prosperous new year.

    Copyright © 2002 Mark Loundy
    All Rights Reserved