No, I'm not coming with my own magazine.
I just got called up by a Mr Tan, who says he's from a Travel magazine. I thought his number was familiar, and I thought it was a prank call from a friend to disturb me. Once he started to talk, he asked if I know about the Sepang Motor GP races, and that he can get me an exclusive slot to go there to shoot, restricted access clearance etc. It would be a 3 day event. Sounds good, yeah?
Until I asked him the rates the magazine would be paying. Then he asked, "Are you from Clubsnap?" I answered a resounding, "Yes". He stammered, and said his magazine doesn't pay. I asked, which magazine he's from, it's either Travel Singapore or Travel International, which I haven't heard of before - I don't read travel magazines, so I wouldn't know. I was thinking at least minimally, I'd go for 2000 bucks a DAY times 3 => S$6000. And that doesn't even include loaning a lens via the magazine from Canon SG (preferably a 600/4) to get some tight action shots. But wait, shoot for free? Oops, let's forget the 600/4 then. Wait, with my longest 70-200 without a TC, how am I gonna shoot motorbikes that far away? He asked again if I were from Clubsnap, and I said yes. Maybe he was at a busy and noisy place, so he couldn't hear me say it. Then I turned him down and said I will not consider shooting for FREE, and thus said bye, and hung up.
Minutes later, I thought I wanted to clarify the name of the magazine to know the reach and establishment it has - so I called this Mr Tan back. I just introduced myself, and he went "HUH?" and I repeated my name to him. He repeated my name in a variety of names that none was close to my ACTUAL name. This went on for five to six times, and each time I got a NEW name that my parents didn't give me. He must have been really sincere, since he bothered to repeat my name, but unfortunately, read wrongly each time. He must have been really busy, calling up other photographers who were willing to work for FREE. In the end I just said, "forget it. What's the name of your magazine?" and he couldn't hear me. I couldn't pick up any busy street scenes that would not allow him to hear, maybe his hearing was impacted by an accident, I don't know. He said he'd SMS me back, but none was received. Guess he isn't too happy to share with me the name of his exclusive Sepang Motor-GP accredited magazine so that I may share with other photographers. I wonder why.
Just thought that I'd be a nice guy and help him post online to get FREE photographers who are desperate, no, wait, KEEN to want to go Sepang to shoot. So the next time you get a call from 9420-3473, you know you'll be very welcome to shoot for FREE.
If you think that IMF pays peanuts, you haven't seen nothing yet. I'm not sure if the IMF event was the one where I vaguely remember Korean farmers protesting and jumping into the cold Hong Kong harbor where the convention was held. Guess how popular IMF might be?