sim2000 disrespecting our photography industry?

Wollaton-Hall-prospect-room sim2000 disrespecting our photography industry?

So is are sim2000 disrespecting our photography industry?

Im not really one to have a moan but I thought I would point out this experience out to my fellow photographers and wedding photographers who read my blog.

I was recently approached by sim2000 (http://simimaging.co.uk) who are one of the UK’s leading print lab and wedding album suppliers. They asked if they could use the featured wedding image for their own promotional use in return for a credit. Considering their customers are photographers, so there is no real value in their offer so I asked if they would provide a sample wedding album in return. This meant I could sell their albums to my clients, win win I thought and pretty low cost transaction for them. They refused but offered their standard 30% discount on samples. It has left me with no choice but to refuse to allow them any usage rights to my image.

I have spent literally thousands of pounds with them over the last few years but Im left with no option but to discontinue their product line and cease trading with them. For a company who relies pretty much solely on photographers for the mainstay of their business, it is totally disrespectful to our industry and I am disgusted that they would behave in this manner.

I can’t afford to work for free, my bank manager would not accept a credit for my mortgage and Im sure any other business wouldn’t either. Im sure they will continue to search for a sucker who will see the value in their credit and eventually get their free images. This behaviour really has to stop, otherwise companies like sim2000 will be out of business themselves if their customers are not compensated fairly for their work.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this matter, are sim2000 disrespecting our photography industry?


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It’s a sign of the times I’m afraid. But in Sims defense it depends on who you’re dealing with. I guess the MD and the higher ups would understand this. But 22 year old Tina from Sales from sales (I made that name up) who isn’t a photographer and uses her iphone? Not so much and you have to give them a naivety bonus.

As an aside though, all the time there are people giving stuff away for free people will expect it. Unless the stuff is urmagurd amazing is in which case they’ll always pay. A justified rant.

Dan Urben

Genuinely shocked by the shoddy attitude of sim2000 and the disrespect they’ve shown to you and the wider photographic community. I’ve used them before, but will definitely not be using them again after reading this.


Thanks for the comment Dan 🙂


Thanks for the comment Chris. I get plenty of these requests but this one came from one of my main suppliers so I felt the need to share. It was actually bounced around from the design dept to the sales dept & back so a few eyes graced it. I just feel that if they don’t value my custom why should I value their product? Like photographers, there are plenty of choices out there 🙂

I agree with you Gary. My images were used by DxO on an international ad campaign and I was happy to hand the samples over. After I agreed, they sent me free product and over the last 2 years, DxO has been one of the top referrers into my website.
I continue to recommend them. As photographers we often don’t ask for much, so a supplier that gives willingly can build a win/win relationship lasting years.
My background is sales & marketing and if I worked for SIM I would have happily granted your request.


Thanks Paula, sim200 does not value what I do, so I will reciporocate 🙂

The photo they want from you is an absolute stunner, so I give them credit for exceptional taste.

If I were you, I wouldn’t let that image go for anything less than full commercial price. Anyone can see what you put into it, including your heart, and that’s why they want it.

You’re doing the right thing by letting them go. We have to choose our clients as carefully as we choose anything in life, and they’ve proven themselves to be completely unworthy of you and your talent.


Thank you for the kind words & support Kathleen.

You were absolutely correct in your assessment and decision. It is based on sound logic. No credit is worth any placement. The fact is very few if any notice the credit, nor act upon it. The request for an album was very good, and would make sense for them as you say – win/win.

However, one learns very quick how much other people think our work is worth.

Don’t be mad, just smile and walk away. Unfortunately, the next call was to someone who did indeed give them the shot, and that is the problem. Us.


Im not mad Don, life is to short. Just like photographers, there is a massive choice of different suppliers out there 🙂

Thanks for the comment

So they think the value of photography is around £0, hope your blog makes them see the error, be it by learning something, or losing something.


Im sure it won’t make a difference, these is just my observations to help out my colleagues.

Thanks for the comment Mark 🙂

Just emailed them the link to this article saying that as I use them and many others do too, it might not be too late to repair their blunder. Who knows.. Hopefully they’ll see you right.

Well said, Gary!

Credit might only makes sense if it’s a company with extremely huge outreach (say, one of those world-reaching publications such as TIME, National Geographic, Vogue, etc.) that will say positive things about you (which will likely lead to tons more searches for you, increasing your rankings, etc.).

The point here that is really telling is that most of their clients are photographers. If they at least had 50%+ business from non-photographer clients, then maybe it wouldn’t be that bad of an offer (because then these people might see your work, love it, and look for you + recommend you to their family + friends).

Their loss!


Thank you Peter 🙂

Their albums are pretty damn good thou.. shame you didn’t get the deal you wanted.


Hi Iain, It wasn’t my deal, it was theirs. I currently use three album suppliers & get an amazing product & service from each (Ive had three free sample albums last year) so I won’t miss sim’s product. My offer of a sample album in return for usage rights was more of an olive branch & maybe another choice for my clients. My point is that I wouldn’t just give away my work without some kind of payment & Im sure you would be the same?

If I see you at the convention next week I will give you a nudge & say hello 🙂

I read this on another forum and have to say – some fellow photographers live on another planet!
It’s very telling when, to appear clever, they side with sim2000 with witty comments about ‘a picture being only worth what someone’s willing to pay’ liked they coined the phrase!

Of course, there are no principles involved right?

Good on you Sir for watching your back!


Hi Dillip, I have thick skin & have got used to the bitchy side of this industry. Tell them they are welcome to drop me message if they want to chat about it face to face 🙂

Sim approached me who deemed my image good enough to promote their company. It just seems they are just not happy paying for images, either because they feel that they are to almighty or because there is always someone daft enough to oblige. It just feels like a lack of respect to me, I wouldn’t dream of calling up a restaurant I wanted to eat in & begged them to give it to me for free.

Thanks for your post 🙂

I’m completely with you Gary. Your images are a commodity and like any commodity demands a fair value. Your suggested deal sounded pretty fair to me.


Thank you Jon, maybe one day we can all come together as artists & show this attitude to our livelihoods will not be tollerated 🙂

I would have done the same exact thing! I think you were very reasonable by asking for an album. Its a win-win situation for them not for you because not only you are giving away your photo but also you will end up paying for an album, at a 30% discount, but still paying $$$. So im with you Gary.


Thank you Dmitri

James Sefton

Interesting you say your post probably won’t make a difference. I registered on their site as I wanted to see their prices but then I got a missed call on my phone and a message from a sales person. I don’t like phone marketing at the best of times but the point being I searched the number and it said SIM2000. I then googled it and got this post. After reading this I am unlikely to use SIM2000. I am particularly shocked that it is obviously not just some stock photo they are asking for, this image is awesome, and if you were to charge them full price for it then a simple album would be the bargain of the century for them. That said, it would be interesting to see if the view of not paying for photography runs throughout the company or not.

Tempted to phone the sales girl back and ask for a free album to give to my client… of course I would credit them fully, as payment 🙂


Thats also sounds like a good deal James, good luck with that 🙂

You know what. I was seriously considering moving to SIM but after seeing recent reports and remembering what you wrote here earlier this year, I think I probably won’t. Some of the photos I’ve seen of the quality are scary.

I’m totally with you on this. Sim2000 continue to call me up at least once a week. I just ignore them.

There is too much of this sort of thing going on. I once had a website approach me about using one of my images for a big advertising splash on their main web page. I said, sure, and told them how much it would cost. I then received a very patronising email telling me that they don’t pay for their images but that I would receive a credit and exposure. I told them I’m a professional photographer and that I’m used to being paid and don’t need their exposure (I’d never heard of their website so I doubt there was much exposure involved anyway).

I think the myth that being given a credit and exposure is going to mean floods of work has been exploded. If the industry ever worked like that it doesn’t now. It’s exploitation pure and simple. When people who expect to sell their professional services won’t pay for yours they are simply taking mickey out of you.

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