Saturday, April 5, 2008

And death shall have no dominion

To make pictures is one thing.
To market them is a complete different story.
And this story, over the years, has become more and more ugly.

Taking pictures and selling them is being in heaven and being in hell.
Sugar and chilli.
Honey and shit.
Lean and fat.
Warm and cold.
Clean and dirty.

These days the focus is on the marketing.
Because from the market requests come to publish pictures.
The response is by the head of the marketing Ms. Marjolein van Veen.
However, of course she is assisted by the keen photographer himself.

The way it goes in the market these days is pretty amazing.
Sincerity and honesty have become as flexible as the own advantage goes.

When talking about market in connection to photography, mostly this concerns magazines.
Where editors work, art-directors and journalists.
They negotiate with the photographer about the terms and conditions of the publication.
Eventually this results in a contract.

But in fact this contract is made often a piece of toilet paper by the magazine.

In December 2007 a contract was signed with a major magazine in China who did an 8 page publication of the project “The most beautiful people in the world”.
All the terms and conditions the photographer was responsible for were furfilled 100 %.
One term in the contract, that the magazine would pay in December 2007, was not furfilled.
The major Chinese magazine has not paid one penny until now.

Of course many times the Chinese magazine was approached for breaching the contract.
But no transfer was the result.

Amazing is that obviously people are working there who know they are wrong, who know that they did not pay and who have no problem with that.
Morally it is not affecting them.
They get a monthly salary, they sit in a comfortable office and operating as a crook in this case is OK.

Another example is a major magazine in the Netherlands.
After negotiations a detailed agreement was made about a 6 page publication of the project “The most beautiful people in the world”.
The people of that magazine had all the time in the world to think and reflect and plan after which they agreed.
But now suddenly they take the liberty to publish the project not on 6 pages but on 4.
This is a total breach of the agreement.
It is not by coincidence that the agreement speaks of 6 pages.
The project can only be convincing if it is on a minimum of 6 pages.
On 4 pages the whole concept and message of the project, showing people from 10 countries, gets lost.
As an extra disadvantage comes the fact that the amount the magazine pays would go down with 33 %.

Of course the magazine was confronted with the breach.
But they simply do not care one thing.
They have no problem with first to sign a contract and after to change their minds about the terms and conditions.

It looks now that the only thing that can be done in this case is that the magazine will be informed that the material is not available anymore for publication.
A heavy financial loss but it has the advantage to keep the own self-respect on the proper level.

Heaven and hell.
Peace and war.
Honesty and dishonesty.
Sincerity and insincerity.
Like life or like death.
Every one of us chooses in what dominion one likes to operate.

And death shall have no dominion.
Dead men naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
Under the windings of the sea
They lying long shall not die windily;
Twisting on racks when sinews give way,
Strapped to a wheel, yet they shall not break;
Faith in their hands shall snap in two,
And the unicorn evils run them through;
Split all ends up they shan't crack;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
No more may gulls cry at their ears
Or waves break loud on the seashores;
Where blew a flower may a flower no more
Lift its head to the blows of the rain;
Though they be mad and dead as nails,
Heads of the characters hammer through daisies;
Break in the sun till the sun breaks down,
And death shall have no dominion.

Poem by Dylan Thomas, 1937.


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