Dear Business Lens Blog Readers,
I have missed you. The last 5 months have been insane. There’s so much I’ve wanted to write about, so much changing in my own business, but I’ve had zero time to sit down and formulate a coherent post. (not that time would ever help me be coherent) Rest assured, I have lots to say, and will try to be more diligent about getting these stories of success and failure out to you so that we can all learn, share, etc. And now to the event that catalyzed my return to writing:
Yesterday, I was pitching some business to a local public school when I received an email from my printer; Not the girl I normally talk to in customer service, but from someone else with the title, ‘account rep.’ The email read:
We are working on new product shots and wondered if we might be able to use the poster that you recently submitted with order xxxxxx? We would possibly like to use them for new products shots, marketing/promotional pieces, and social media. If you could let me know either way that would be great!
Thanks Sherri! I look forward to hearing back from you.
So naturally, I’m flattered, and it gave me a little boost of confidence in my meeting as I was using those very posters to pitch new work. As I thought about it, and with my passion for the “business of photography,” I replied this:
Wow, what a nice compliment. I was in a meeting using those posters to pitch business to one of the local public schools and I got your email; a nice surprise!
I’d be happy for you to use any of the posters I’ve been sending off for print. More will be coming in the next 2 weeks. Since it’s my photography and design work, what are you offering in exchange? Happy to trade services!
Thanks again! I love using a printer from my home town, and keeping the business “local” even when my business is not.
It is not set in stone that images of your items would be used, but it is a possibility. We normally do not offer “compensation”, but rather it’s the honor of having your images displayed. If any of your items are selected we could print a complimentary poster, but otherwise we are looking for those willing to have the honor of their image(s) used.
Thank you, Sherri. I look forward to hearing back from you.
Wow, thanks for the complimentary poster! A $2.04 value! Shucks! So glad that I do business with you guys, and that you appreciate me as loyal client! Idiot. And let’s come full circle back to the title of the post: Dear Account Rep, Honor doesn’t pay my bills, but thanks…good talk. I’m reminded of what a friend of mine says often in his workshops (and I’m paraphrasing), “Honor (and other non-tangibles like it) doesn’t put food on your plate…you can’t feed your family with ‘honor.’” Can you imagine if I rocked up to, pick a store, and was like, ‘yo, I want this for free – cuz you should be honored to have my sweet body wearing it!’ wtf
So needless to say, they will not be acquiring license to use, reproduce, or display my images; and furthermore, they will likely receive a very professional email (I’ve saved the sarcasm for you guys;)) expressing my disappointment in their policy. This incident has, in my eyes, tainted their spotless reputation and undermines the exceptional work they have been doing for me since 2008. They serve artists with their products, and should HONOR and respect the craft that we spend thousands of dollars AND hours to perfect.
What do you think?