Not totally photo related, not just a journal. A bit of both.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Reckless Behaviour

About a month ago, one of my contacts had done some shots for a local music production promotion group here in London. Part of the deal was that she would get credit on their website for the image or images she shot.

Well a month went by and that still hadn't happened. My friend indicated she had tried to contact someone at the company on more than one occasion and got no where. So out of frustration, she posted on her Facebook wall what happened.  I felt it served as a good FYI to other photographers who might be interested in doing work for these promoters at shows or for the bands they promote, whose work might  in turn go uncredited.

The wall post turned into a bit of a public pissing contest between the creator/founder/head promoter at the company - and the photographer. I have removed all names and references to everyone.

He said in part and edited for brevity:
Heres your credit.(URL Link) Thank you for your patience and professionalism (cough). Our photo department hasn't even begun to regulate. The deal was always to credit your album once it was put up as well as to offer additional promotion because we are firm believers in advocating for artists everywhere and the whole scene in general. (edit)... When last you contacted me, and quite unprofessionally I might add, I sent you to the manager of the photography departments contact. I have heard nothing since and am now being flamed on facebook for the world to see. Well for shame miss (photographer name). Bad form.
To which I quoted him and said he was the one being unprofessional for the condescending Miss (name) comment, and that if he did have content she provided on his site in any manner for a month and the agreement was that she would be credited for it, then it should have been credited at the time it was uploaded.

His response further down the wall to me was:
To mike:
That however was not the agreement and I find face book ranting to be a low form. Very insecure stuff. No deals were broken and no wrong was done. Simple miscommunications should be resolved civilly between parties involved.
For shame to you too that your so involved in something that has so little to do with you.
As I couldn't let it go:
@Promoter: I stick up for my friends. That is never anything shameful. Nor would I ever apologize for.
Simple communications does work when it goes both ways. Which didn't seem to be the case up to this point. I guess you entering into 'insecure' Facebook ranting drops you to her level from your perspective. Posting on a wall is no different than making a blog post or tweeting about something if you feel you have been slighted and have not received a response back.
And her posting this finally did garner someone's attention so in the end it worked.
There were well over 35+ comments back and forth in this thread over a few hours.

At one point he concurrently posted on his Facebook group page a status:
The founder of a "company" publicly calling someone who contributed to his page "crazy" is a touch immature. Despite his previously indicating Facebook rants were low and communicating with civility being the best course, he took a detour from his advice. His 22 year old self began to show through after I pointed out that caps locked rant on the photographer's Facebook thread. He said on her wall in reply to me:
You sir can suck an egg. this girl posts a link to my fan page blasting me. Im ensuring any one that clicks it will see my side of the story. And for not knowing me, or who i am, or what i am capable of you talk a lot of shit.
Watch your lips Mike wood. Your comments are not smart or good for your health
I can't recall ever being threatened in such a stupid and public way. Screenshots were accordingly taken. (emphasis in the quote added by myself). I emailed him asking if he had really done that and he failed to respond by the time I posted this on my blog.

It's all a shame really. Unless they are all smoke and mirrors, the group seems to have the right idea in promoting local music and talent. Quite coincidentally, I had made a contact within his group recently and would have enjoyed shooting some work for them down the road. As it is, I let the person I know that I was removing her as a contact due to her boss's stupidity. Not the delay in the crediting of the photographer's work, which honestly can happen, but rather the blatant immaturity and lack of professionalism he showed in his responses and his threatening me. The photographer for sure had her moments too in the back and forth, but he certainly crossed the line. I want nothing to do with people threatening me.

Two things to take away from this. OK. Maybe three.

First for the photographer: if you are going to work with someone, get it in writing. With specifics such as "Credit will be given in this format (specify under each photo on the page, in a specific location, etc.) when content is posted on your site, or re used in any media." If the client doesn't respond to email (use escalating wording in follow-on emails each referencing the last one and maintaining professionalism),  Or contact them on the phone. IF a sufficient amount of time has gone by, and that is really up to you to judge what that is, then follow through with a post on their wall or fan page etc. Make it anonymous if you like. They will get it.

For the person who is hiring the photographer or other talent: Don't be surprised if someone links to your site/fan page and isn't happy about some aspect about your work or your relationship. Or is happy. It works both ways. For good or ill, photographers, bands and people you hire will talk about you, it's expected.  Social media is built for that. Formally traditional resources such as the Better Business Bureau for complaints have long been superseded by the effectiveness of Twitter, Facebook fan groups, blogs and the like. They work just too well too for creating buzz when it's done right.  Not liking some heat directed towards you and (contrary to what you wrote on her wall about our seeing your side of it) making your music promotion group on Facebook all of a sudden private/invite only will only make people think you do have something to hide. And it will not drive any traffic to you.

For both parties: Don't get into a pissing contest. Flame war. Whatever. It lowers both of you. It was old school when there were just BBS's and newsgroups. Certainly don't go threatening people in public forums. Or in private.

One last thing. And this doesn't just apply to this context: unless you are an MMA fighter like George “Rush” St. Pierre, it undermines your seriousness as an individual or a business person when you mix your proper name and your company name as your Facebook name. John (company name) Doe - as the promoter calls himself, illustrates this quite well.

Dimitry Martin said it best in a skit on his show:
"Easy way to make someone sound less powerful, just put DJ in front of their name..... DJ Abraham Lincoln"



web search said...

Thank you for your wonderful efforts

Mike Wood said...

As I indicated in the post, I emailed the promoter the following:

Mike Wood 10 May at 19:41: Subject: are you actually threatening me?

Now that's mature.

"Music Promoter" replied
11 May at 09:45
Just saying for someone who doesn't know shit about me, you run your mouth pretty hard. this shit is none of your business and all you immature little fuckers can gobble balls. im sick and tired of it and im not playing mr. nice guy me its over, but if you want to persist, your up against a powerful foe man.

if i were you id just drop this shit. its not worth it homie.

Go back to your pathetic little life

To which I replied
Mike Wood 11 May at 09:50
Thanks for that response I appreciate you elaborating on your position. I had thought your group was doing good work until you personally threatened me. For your sake I really do hope that it stops at this point.

Have a good day.

And he responded:
"Music Promoter" 11 May at 09:55
you started shit man. You.

n again, to me its over, you and your little friends can go on existing. To me Your all nothing to me in the grand scheme of things and Im not concerned.

fuck you very much &

have a nice day


I am not going to reply back as he is obviously beyond reasoning with

J said...

Wow, what a frickin jerk! So sorry that he was so rude to you Mike :(