A few weeks ago there was a lot of buzz in the Instagram LEGO toy photography community because several members were asked by the “mother ship” to use their photographs. I think it is great that LEGO is supporting their fans, but as a member of the creative class, it is prudent to ask a few questions before you say “Yes”.
A recent article published by PetaPixel, is an excellent example (and a cautionary tale) of why you shouldn’t be so quick to say “yes” when a big brand comes calling. It is prudent to ask a few questions, for example: how will they be using your photograph? What might seem like a simple request to use your image as part of a small social media campaign, could actually be a request to use your image as part of a much larger ad campaign where money should be exchanging hands.
When you are just starting out with your photography career, or see yourself as a hobbyist, it is easy to get carried away by a little flattery. But in the long run, when we give away our photographs, especially to big business, we devalue what we do. Not only our own work, but the work of the entire community.
So next time the mothership (or any big business) comes around asking to use your photograph, ask them how it will be used. “Yes” may not be the right answer.
A big thank you to BrickSailboat for bringing this article to my attention.
Have you been approached by LEGO to use your photography? If so do you know how it was used?
Good question and post Shelly!
I never encountered such a situation! Yes, more and more time, I began to meet such comments from official Lego Page on Instagram! And never seen the photos that have been approved by the Lego anywhere! So the question is where these photos accommodated?!
Good point Shelly. I was approached by the same ship twice, in earlier weeks. At first, I was really flattered! I checked if the account was fake but no, it was the official Lego account with 480+ K followers. And then I said “yes”, without question.
In a few days, it turned out that some people I followed also got the same message recently. It was the official account for sure, but still everyone were questioning how genuine this permisson request by Lego could be.
One good comment that caused me to stop and think again was the selection of the hashtag #yes for approval. I just checked and saw the 8,5 million posts under it. Why would Lego choose such a common tag for such a cause? Also I browsed through the first few hundred posts and none of them was even a Lego shot.
So I strongly agree with you on the need to stop once and think again before saying yes, Shelly..
note: Still wondering if I will see my tagged shot somewhere, someday..