Why I Didn’t Photograph Carol King

Tonight I was supposed to be photographing Carol King, which I had been looking forward to doing. It’s not every day you get to photograph one of the 20th century’s most renowned songwriters.

But I ended up turning it down when they sent me the contract to sign. The contract said that the photos could only be used once, for the publication I was doing them for. So I couldn’t include them on my website, show them here, upload them to flickr etc. I have ended up signing similar contracts before, even though I probably shouldn’t as I don’t agree with them, and as I’m not getting paid to do the photos there’s nothing in it for me, other than bragging rights; to be able to say to people that I photographed a certain band/singer.

However, the clincher was this:

Her album ‘Tapestry’ is estimated to have sold 22m copies.

Her songwriting credits (with Gerry Goffin) include:
Will You Love Me Tomorrow;
Up On The Roof;
The Locomotion;
(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman; and
He Hit Me (and It Felt Like a Kiss).

So you’d think that if Carol King wanted to use a photographer’s photos that she wouldn’t be short of a few bob to pay them for using them…

A shame, but I know I did the right thing.

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