Mr. Barry is no friend of mine...

February 03, 2014  •  2 Comments

This is a story about Human nature. Story about bad business. An episode from life of professional photographer.

Last summer I was contacted by Mr. Barry to do a few shoots "in Detroit" (me being just "few hours away") for his (US, West Coast) magazine featuring my favorite car brand. My first thought was: great! The man writes about this car, he drives this same car (I saw it in the mag.), he mingles with the people who love this car, he must be a stand up dude... Cause I never ever met a person in the community of people who enjoy this particular 4wheeler that is not proper...

Boy, was I wrong!

Communication with Mr. Barry was like pulling teeth. No managing from his side at all. I ended up setting up everything spending far more time then anticipated,  for one of those shoots I even had to find the location last minute (in "different" country after all: we shot at the farm in Ontario, Canada I scouted last minute). But, that was the fun part. I did not mind doing all extra stuff and of course doing actual photography. 

Problem was (still is) I did not get payed by Mr. Barry.
I have no idea where he found the formula to pay contributors "one day at the later date" when stuff gets published?? I have been working editorial assignments for last 20+ years in this country and never encountered that kind of system. Even then, I agreed to that as I had no choice at that point. The man had my work, and all I had was "his word"...

Maybe he's thinking: "well this car nut should be grateful to shoot for my Magazine, and his photos featured in only publication of this kind in North America... He really does not need to get payed on the top".

Beside the fact that Mr. Barry pays on the level of Chinese sweat shops (considering what he is getting in return), I agreed on the fee (and To get it once the stuff is published):

So, stuff got published! A month ago. No word from Mr.Barry. Not a single line. Thank you note at least. What thank you note? I sent him a courtesy email 10 days ago reminding him about due invoice: not a word back. He must be a busy guy! 

What a disappointment! 
And it's not that I don't care for minuscule fee I did not receive. I do! 
Just because I am fed up with notion that professionals like me should work for free in exchange for exposure. Dentist don't do it. Bankers definitely don't do it. Why photographers?

Mr. Barry is no friend of mine.

Take what ever you wish from this, and maybe next time when you open his Magazine think about if he payed all photographers and writers who made the stuff you enjoy to read...



Former contributer(non-registered)
Not just limited to photography... wrote multiple articles for him. Was fun at first getting my name out there and having something of mine get published for others to enjoy. I didn't care about getting paid at the time. Just good fun; but that enjoyment was taken advantage of; I was pressed for articles and given a tight deadlines. That became an assignment and I don't "work" for free. Unlike your experience as a prifessional photographer who makes a living off your art (and rightly so!), writing isn't my main source of income but a hobby. Nonetheless, I made sacrifices writing the articles while hard at work in my own profession - I most definitely don't work for free doing that. So, after being pushed for an article, knowing he profited from it, and he didn't have the courtesy to even offer some form of payment or trade, well, that's the last straw. And if the magazine truly isn't profiting from sales off of our work, well, then that's just bad business - especially when issues are never on time. I still enjoy writing and will continue to do so. I simply do it now for other magazines that actually appreciate the contributions. Beautiful photo shoot, by the way!
Ever since the launch of the magazine in question Barry's business management style sucked... The launch of the magazine was a disaster, the first year many paid subscribers didn't get their magazines (or their Charter subscriber gifts) and Barry's response was "tough." I got my magazine and promised gift only after I slagged them on an enthusiast site... The owner of the site called me and tried to talk me down, and ended up putting me directly in contact with Barry who finally apologized and provided me with the items I never received... So it doesn't surprise me that nearly 8 years later Barry is still screwing people over...

Despite being and owner and enthusiast since the MINI launched in the US, I didn't renew my subscription to what was and probably still is the only MINI magazine published in the US... The magazine was BORING, the stories felt like the same stuff over and over...
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