My contact page is a little scary. The message is basically, "Don't email me if you haven't done your own research, and don't ask for free pictures if you don't ask the right way." Many photographers get really angry when they are asked for free pictures, but I do not. Instead, I evaluate each request, and decide based on the information the requestor gives me. I received an email from Todd S. the other day for a request to use a sperm whale picture on a new website for the Cape Lookout Studies Program in North Carolina. It's the PERFECT request—it gave me enough information to be able to quickly decide whether or not I was interested in donating a picture (I was, and I did). Thank you, Todd!
I may use Todd's email as a template for a new "free image license request form" of some kind.
> Thanks for your willingness to offer usage of photography for free to non-profits (under the right circumstances). I'm hoping my request qualifies! I am a designer building a new website for the Cape Lookout Studies Program in North Carolina (
> 2. image:
> 3. The image will be used on a page dedicated to a recent project of the program. They have rearticulated a sperm whale skeleton (now hanging in the NC Maritime Museum in Beaufort, NC). I want to use the photo in a slideshow/animation to be featured on the page. The animation will fade from your image, to the image of the skeleton shot at the same angle as your whale image.
> 4. Size of the image will be roughly 900x500 pixels.
> 5. The image will not be used in any print materials!
> 6. There's not quite enough funding in the program to cover all the website work that's needed. They haven't updated the site in over 10 years! They do great work to encourage conservation, educate the public, help whales as part of the NC marine mammal stranding network, and they work to prevent injury to marine animals by creating and sustaining North Carolina's Fishing Line Recycling Program. All good stuff!
> I work with photographers on many commercial projects and understand the work, dedication, and artistry that goes in to a great shot. Photography has real value and I appreciate your willingness to entertain my request.
> Todd S., designer