I received the following unsolicited email a couple of days ago from a Mr Boyd Williams,
“As a Welshman who spent over 10 years living and working for French companies in Paris, I discovered that Wales was quite unknown to most of the French so, with the aid of a ‘revolving gallery’ of your postcards …… displayed on my desk, I tried to sell Cymru Fach to the Parisians! After hearing endless ‘C’est magnifique!’ and ‘Oh – c’est beau, c’est ou ca?’ and other complimentary remarks as colleagues passed by my desk, I know for a fact that some of them have visited Wales!
So,’Visit Wales’ – or whatever it is that the Welsh Government is calling their in-house version of the Wales Tourist Board nowadays – could really do with employing someone like you! Keep snapping away, please!
My reply was as follows-
“Many thanks for your email. It arrived while I was on a rather gruelling trip around Pembrokeshire selling postcards so was very timely! It is very nice to know that one’s efforts are appreciated.
The truth is that I worked freelance for the Wales Tourist Board for a number of years but found that their attitude to photographers had become quite unacceptable. In particular they operated a “copyright grab” which meant that photographers had to sign over their copyright or they would not be employed. This manner of operation was adopted by the entire WAG when WTB were absorbed into it about ten years ago, despite the efforts of photographers to persuade them otherwise. I have not worked for them since on a matter of principle.
This has been a serious loss of potential income to me, but also a loss to the tourist industry in Wales, as you so kindly implied!”
As widely seen elsewhere in government thinking, WAG seems to believe that professional photography is one of the very few business sectors whose interests can be safely ignored.
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