How I undersell my photographs - Chandni Chowk to Conde Nast Magazine

Many times when a good magazine approach us (you can read 'us' as 'me' as well :) ) to publish the photograph we clicked, we feel happy. And that happiness makes us do things which we don't want. Recently Conde Nast approached me to publish one of the tea photograph for their magazine. They asked me to send low-res photographs of tea, tea vendors etc. I compiled this list and sent.  Thanks to Lightroom and proper tagging, which helped me compiling the list of photographs in 15 minutes. After sharing these photographs, I awaited for the response and then I got a response that one of the image is selected to be printed and Conde Nast would pay 500 Rs for the photograph. This sounded a bad deal. My heart said yes and mind said no. Heart won over mind and I sent the photographs.   Here is what I sold for 500 Rs -  1. 4 hours for visiting Chandni Chowk from Noida 2. Apart from time, it costed 250 rs to travel via metro and have a meal at Chandni Chowk 3. After coming back home, spent 2 hrs on post-processing 4. 1 Hr spent again when Conde Nast approached 5. Then created an invoice and spent 70 rs to send that invoice to Conde Nast office in Mumbai :)  btw, I am also expecting a bonus of magazine where this photograph will be published :).  It's a good reminder for me to listen to my mind and be careful about time & money I spend on creating these photographs.   Here intension is not to criticize any publication but to remind myself that I need to value my work before anyone else does.

Many times when a good magazine approach us (you can read 'us' as 'me' as well :) ) to publish the photograph we clicked, we feel happy. And that happiness makes us do things which we don't want. Recently Conde Nast approached me to publish one of the tea photograph for their magazine. They asked me to send low-res photographs of tea, tea vendors etc. I compiled this list and sent.

Thanks to Lightroom and proper tagging, which helped me compiling the list of photographs in 15 minutes. After sharing these photographs, I awaited for the response and then I got a response that one of the image is selected to be printed and Conde Nast would pay 500 Rs for the photograph. This sounded a bad deal. My heart said yes and mind said no. Heart won over mind and I sent the photographs. 

Here is what I sold for 500 Rs -

1. 4 hours for visiting Chandni Chowk from Noida
2. Apart from time, it costed 250 rs to travel via metro and have a meal at Chandni Chowk
3. After coming back home, spent 2 hrs on post-processing
4. 1 Hr spent again when Conde Nast approached
5. Then created an invoice and spent 70 rs to send that invoice to Conde Nast office in Mumbai :)

It's a good reminder for me to listen to my mind and be careful about time & money I spend on creating these photographs. 

Here intension is not to criticize any publication but to remind myself that I need to value my work before anyone else does. 

9 comments:

Treat and Trick said...

This happens to me too, must avoid rash act for anything we wish to reap..

R Niranjan Das said...

Happens often. Let the mind rule in the future.

Archana Kapoor said...

wow... that's some learning VJ :-) Thanks for sharing...

Pendown M Talks Here said...

Such an honest confession and one that tells how we must stand for our work. I am sure you must listen to your mind next time.

VJ Sharma said...

Manjulika - And there is another interesting fact which I missed to write in post that our heart wins when we hear from Globally acclaimed brands. I have spent lot of photographs through my Flickr account and lesser money is usually paid by bigger brands :) ... Now I am able to connect all the dots from old experiences.

VJ Sharma said...

T&T - Agree.

NIranjan - Yes ! Hope so...

Archana - I have lot of such learnings but I take time to digest them and take action :( ... There is enough to concentrate on my fulltime job :)

Indrani said...

That is the max I too have got. :(

Prasad Np said...

The best part is the amount of time to get the money, ( though I have no experience of working with CNT may be they pay promptly so I could be wrong, but with some of the other brands u need to follow up ) and remember it to add in your annual income under appropriate head minus the expenses :)

VJ Sharma said...

Prasad - You are right. Almost every brand delays this payment and you need to follow up. I have had brilliant experience with TOI on this front, although they pay very less.

Once Rail Bandhu got my photograph for magazine cover. They paid after 8 months and amount was quite good :)

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