November got off to a rough start for stock requests. Early on, we discovered that our stock requests form had not been functioning for over a week. After that, we received three different requests, only two of which we were able to share with our member photographers.
The one we chose not to share was a request by a prominent publishing company who needed very specific images for a book cover. However, they weren’t willing to commit to a budget. We politely explained that our photographers would not be able to judge whether it was worth spending the time looking for those pictures without knowing the budget. Also, without establishing the budget upfront, the client’s subsequent negotiating leverage increases and each individual photographer’s leverage decreases. This is not a situation that we want to enable.
There are times when we share “unmanaged” Stock Requests without a specific budget because we know we’ll be doing the negotiating for the photographers collectively. But even that situation will be rare.
Here were the other two:
Travel + Leisure requested images of Big Sky, Montana during ski season for one-time editorial print use and concurrent web.
Following Jack Dorsey’s resignation as CEO of Twitter, The New York Times requested portraits of him. The images would be used both for the web and print, and the rate was negotiable depending on usage (yes, we let this one slide by without a budget, but we’re going to be tightening up our process on this).