Schmap - good free guide or photographer exploitation? / by Neil Alexander

Just for a change, work is chicken oriental at the moment, so its all quiet on the blog front.Still managing to shoot quite a lot, but not for public consumption just yet. Working on ideas for a new project.... Anyway, just received an email from Schmap this morning - "Exploring a Schmap Guide is a uniquely interactive experience: maps and guide content are dynamically integrated, allowing intuitive, real-time access to reviews and photo slideshows for places of interest.". Wing Fat Supermarket, China Town, ManchesterThe gist of the email is that they have seen one of my images on Flickr, and are proposing to use it on their site. The image in question, not one of my better ones, is of "Wing Fat supermarket" in China Town in Manchester "While we offer no payment for publication, many photographers are pleased to submit their photos, as Schmap Guides give their work recognition and wide exposure, and are free of charge to readers. Photos are published at a maximum width of 150 pixels, are clearly attributed, and link to high-resolution originals at Flickr." While I am flattered to have been asked if they can use this image, I believe that services such as this are taking advantage of aspiring photographers like myself who are keen to get work published, but also place a value on their work. I would be uninclined to perform work pro bono for a client in my day job, and I feel much the same way with my photography. It also quite clearly states on the Flickr page for this image, that it is protected by copyright, and as such is "All rights reserved". Lately, I have also read many articles detailing the demise of stock photography as a result of business such as this. "Every aspirant pro who gives away their work 'for exposure' undercuts their own future by demonstrating to clients that they need not pay for work they consider good enough to use. So they never will." - From interesting arrticle here Think I'll decline their offer!