House, Arnarstapi, Iceland
Phase One XF, IQ4 150MP, 55mm Schneider lens, f11 @ 1/100 second, ISO 64, exposure averaging 2 minutes.
Here’s my new year soapbox: photo credits! If a journalist is acknowledged for their words in a magazine or website, why is it that photographers are not?
Now, up front, there are some publications and websites which are extremely good about crediting photographers – thank you! On the other hand, publications you’d hope knew a little better are not.
In a recent Qantas inflight magazine, a journalist wrote a series of captions about some 'amazing' photographs. We knew she was writing the captions, but in most cases, we had no idea who took the photographs she was talking about.
As both a writer and a photographer, I can't understand why there is such a bias against photographers. We know how cheap and easy it is for publications to grab photos from a stock library. We also know that sometimes the stock library may only require the publication to credit the library, not necessarily the photographer. Even so, given the paltry payments made for usage these days, the very least a publisher can do is give the photographer a credit!
Under Australian law, moral rights means (in simple terms) that anyone publishing a photograph must credit the photographer. Of course, there are situations where you don’t have to provide a credit, but I can’t think of a good excuse not to credit a photographer when the photograph is a key component of an article or blog.
So, let’s ignore the legalities. Let’s just look at this ethically. If a publication credits its writers and journalists, why not credit photographers as well? And if we see publishers forgetting to do it, let's call them out.
So, Qantas, how about a quiet word in your editor's ear? You'd make a bunch of photographers very happy!