There Is Rules to this Shit

Been taking these frames for years, from roads to the stadium.
It’s rules to these clicks, this here’s a compendium.

Photos from a series title Post COVID, documenting life post COVID based in Amiskwaciy-Wâskahikan.

Rule Numero Uno — No crop / No filter

This is my craft.

Composition for me starts in-camera, but 99% of frames you see posted have been rotated and cropped. And 100% of frames have had an overwhelmingly complex myriad of colour adjustments made to them.

By me. By hand.

At 3:00AM after race day while you sleep comfortably in your bed or hotel room, with your muscles already on the road to recovery, my aching feet, legs, shoulders, wrists, and hands are clickity clacking away at a trackpad and keyboard jammed into seat 39F.  Some manspreading, 3 carry on all in the overhead, business prick of an entitled asshole who thinks half of my seat space is for his elbows — sitting next to me. While I process photos to meticulously tell the story I document out on course some 20 hours earlier. Still up from 3:00AM race day morning. A lifetime ago at this point.

You cropping or filtering an image, is undoing all of my craft. My years upon years of trying to find and build a voice that speaks to how I perceive the world around me. My desire to tell a story that manifests — in an instant — in your mind when you see an image. The thousands of variables that go into making an image “beautiful”.

Gone, broken, removed…the second you crop or filter my work.

Please don’t.

Two — Photo Credit & Tagging

Honestly, just don’t break the first rule and we cool.

If you want, however, I appreciate photo credit in your insta posts or on the tweetsauce.

  • Use of the camera emoji gets kudos on Strava workouts
  • Consistently proper use of the emoji with and without flash gets kudos on Strava long runs
  • Nothing will get you kudos on easy runs — we all have to do them so get over yourself

Thank you for enjoying my work, and yes, photo credit is thought to provide me with recognition for my work, that leads to me getting paid work. It’s a beautiful theory. Like capitalism. Like religion. Like all nuanced concepts. They are beautiful in theory, but the reality is, quality paid work doesn’t come directly from photo credits. It comes from a complex web of hustling and grinding consistently at this thing, being a good person, and genuinely being honest about why I do this. Like running and retirement savings, it’s about the compound interest, not the one off or elaborate workouts.

Think meteor shower, not fireworks.

Thank you very much for the photo credit. It helps build a coherent stream of my work in the world, and it does help other runners find my work, and perhaps see themselves in my work, and connects me with more runners to enjoy my work. So yes, please please please give me a photo credit, and better yet, tag me as well so I see all the lovely comments and congrats that come pouring in after your races. I love it all.

But if you feel you should be paying for my work, please pay me for my work, the photo credit doesn’t. Reach out, let’s talk, and figure out how we can do quality paid work together. Ultimately, that quality paid work will be the most satisfying for both of us.

Third — Commercial Use

The last and worst rule that I sadly have to post.

If you want to use ANY IMAGE for commercial use, we had better talk first. This is no joke. IP lawyers who only get paid when I get paid are highly motivated, and specific. They know what they are doing, and LOVE LOVE LOVE getting more money after the fact instead of arranging use and terms beforehand.

Let’s not give lawyers anymore money than they already take. I don’t like them.

Send me an email. My usage rates are reasonable. You are a business or brand or publication or media outlet selling or advertising to runners that love seeing themselves in my work. Don’t make me tell them that you steal my work.

YES, even social media use without consent or payment is theft. GASP! It’s shocking how many brands and publications pretend it isn’t. Anything that comes from a business, brand, publication, or media outlet — including social media channels — is advertising for said organization…that shit needs to be paid for.

I’m lookin at you Canadian Running, CBC, et al.

Photos for the Take The Bridge team from The Speed Project racing from LA to Las Vegas.

My sentiments exactly Francisco.

From the bottom of my heart, and from anyone that works with me, I am here to promote athletes, people, and just human beings. Doing what they are passionate about. No different than I. Nothing more, nothing less.

But it costs a lot to travel around the country with camera gear documenting, and I do need to make a living. This community is tiny, and my work is recognizable. It gets back to me with no effort on my part if you are using it without permission. Just ask first. Don’t make it a thing.

The Rice Howard Howler

A regular — absolutely not regular — update on what I've been up to, some thoughts I've had, and content I've consumed.

You can unsubscribe anytime. My address is Rice Howard Way, Edmonton, AB T5J. Sometimes on a bench with Bruce.

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