This blog posting “Variety Leaves ~ A Photo Shoot at K-J’s Demonstration Vineyard” involved a really interesting Email to me from a New York City based marketing firm.

Hi

I was wondering if you would be able to send me hi-res versions of (some or all of) the wine variety leaf pictures on your blog…

The pictures are great!

I told Jose about the Email, because I was a bit shocked by the naivete. He just chuckled and said, “Aren’t we all just one big Web sharing family? Isn’t everything on the Internet still for free?”

Well, not really. When I want an image that I haven’t yet taken, I go to others and purchase them. I suggest to anyone wanting an image from someone else, be kind enough to offer to pay for it. Perhaps the person will be willing to share for free, but don’t be naive enough to presume that a compliment is the price of admission.

My response to the query from this graphic designer from a professional marketing group, mind you, was this:

Sorry, these leaves are part of my livelihood/intellectual property, and aren’t free.

It was simply proven that this person wanted my work for free, because she didn’t respond to this Email. If she was really serious about wanting these leaves, she would have responded with something like, “I was actually intending to purchase your work. Please tell me more about what it would cost to have one or all of your high res images.”

Not surprisingly, this Email never came. Even if I had been kinder with something like, “I’m delighted that you appreciate my work, and each high res image is $100/each or $1000 for all 22 of them,” I wouldn’t have heard back from her.

This entire Email thread got me to thinking about the days of free clip art, which began our journey into enhancing our promotional materials in the late 1980s. We’ve come a long way from those days, when all things used to be free, and we used simplistic clip art to enhance our work.  Over time we’ve evolved to realize that clip art is unprofessional, and photographs are the way to go.

Also, there is a way to make money on the internet through image sales, if someone else finds our work desirable. There are now plenty of Web sites where we can purchase and post photographs for sale.

After coming up with the idea for this grape leaf library, it took a couple days of my life for travel, work, processing, etc. They’re on my blog in low resolution, as all images on the Web should be. (High res images will slow down your Website from loading. I only write this, because I’m still finding occasional high res images still on some sites.)

This person asked for my images in high res. This is what a marketing company needs in order to design print materials for a client’s promotional designs. It’s not only for the marketing company’s financial gain, but it’s also for the client’s financial gain. And yet, this person assumed that my images are just public property, and I’d be ever so magnanimous as to simply hand them over?

Totally amusing!

This request continued to remind me of how funny we all really are.

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