Earlier this summer, I was contacted by someone at Redbook who wanted to use one of my photos for an online article they were doing on cake smash sessions titled “The Seven Cutest Cake-Smashing Photos We’re Ever Seen”. I have no idea how they found me, or the cake smash photo I had taken of my daughter’s first birthday, but I was pretty excited! When I asked what the compensation would be for letting them use my photo in their article, I got pretty much what I expected. The response was that, unfortunately, this type of article doesn’t have any sort of compensation to the photographer. Now, Redbook isn’t some small, local magazine. I mean, my mom used to read Redbook back in the day! But, this is what seems to be pretty common these days. Companies expect that photographers will let them use their photos for free and be happy to do so. I mean, how cool is it to say that one of your photos was featured by Redbook!?! It is cool, but at the same time, I was torn. I talked to a lot of photographer friends in the business, and most advised to skip it because, in more or less words, “photo credit doesn’t pay the bills”. True. But I knew that if I passed on this, they’d just go on to the next photographer that they could find that would do it for free.
I thought about it for a few days, and decided to do it anyways. You know, to make my mom proud and all. It was a photo I had taken of my own daughter, before I was even in business, so I took it that way and it made me feel like not as big of a sell out. Please don’t think any less of me. :) If you’d like to see the online article, it can be found here: http://www.redbookmag.com/kids-family/blogs/mom-blog/cutest-birthday-cake-smashes?click=main_sr. My photo is the very first one, and I do have to say, it is still one of my all time favorites.