The High Street, Cheadle Village, Stockport, Cheshire. The Pub is the George and Dragon. 

I have posted frequently about the many “there is no budget for this” requests that I get.  And like many photographers I get a lot of them.  Normally it’s quite easy to handle them: “No money, no use”.  The one I got today was a little harder than most.  Here’s the request it concerns the above image of Cheadle.  I have edited the request to keep it anonymous:

Hi Ian.
Today I filmed a funeral service for an elderly gentleman, born in Cheadle, Cheshire.

I’d really like to utilise one of your images (which I found on Google) for his funeral service DVD slick and title screen if you are OK with this?

I will only supply a couple of DVD copies for his immediate family. There’s no budget for this, just a good-will gesture … I’m sure you understand. I’ve attached the image for your reference and (hopefully) approval.

This type of request is never easy to respond to.  To say “no” is somewhat harsh given what the image is to be used for.  However the person making the request appears to be a professional videographer, who is probably getting paid to produce the video for the family.

Here my response – I post it here in the hope that other photographers faced with similar requests and dilemmas may find it helpful as a way to handle them:

Thanks for getting in touch.  Like yourself I make my living through the creative arts – in my case primarily photography rather than video.  As you will not doubt have experienced yourself I get a lot of people contacting me saying they would like to use my work “but there is no budget for this”.   As this is a funeral, I do want to be sensitive to your request, but I also need to be fair to my other customers.  I have always told my clients that I charge for my work to be used – the exception being where I choose to use my photography to help charities and organisations that I wish to support.

With this in mind;  if you are producing the video for this family for no payment but “just as a good will-gesture” as you put it, then I am happy for you to use the image for no payment.  I am happy to support a fellow creative in his endeavours to help a family at a time of bereavement.   On the other hand, if you are being paid to produce this video, then there is a budget for this work, and as such payment to use the image would not be inappropriate.  I don’t seek any money for myself.  Instead, I would ask that you make a donation of at least £5 GBP to the Alzheimer’s Society, which is a charity I support.   You can find their donation page here:

Please let me know whether you are working for no fee, or whether you have donated to the Alzheimer’s Society, and I will then email you a hi-res copy of the image for you to use in the video.


I will update this blog post when I get his reply.

UPDATE 11 June 2015

I received a couple of messages this morning from the videographer.  Here is the outcome of this:

Many thanks once again for your very kind consideration.  After some ‘playing around’ with images and discussion with the funeral directors, the decision was made to use a roadmap image of the Cheshire area.

This in no way detracts from your great image (which I would have loved to utilised) and your generous attitude towards the project.  I do intend, however, to make a donation to the [local] branch of Alzheimers Society here regardless.

I would say that counts as a positive result all round.