An apology

gazacho soup recipe tartine gourmande

Yesterday, I opened a story using this photo.

Today, I open another story with this same photo. But with another story.

I had come to tell you about a Food Styling Book Project I had been asked to work on, not seeing one side that was obviously wrong: asking photographers to submit pictures for a book without being compensated for it–I was only going to receive a small fee to pay for my time to make the project happen. Not sure why I was naive in overseeing a big part of this (I need to thank a few of you for sending me notes to bring some light).

I made a mistake and I want to apologize for it.

The lesson this taught me is that it’s always best to listen to one’s inner guts because they are telling us something. I had doubts and I made a bad decision because I didn’t see the big picture.


I needed to let you know that I decided to withdraw from this project.

I hope I didn’t hurt too many feelings.

Thank you.

Posted in Food Photography, Food Styling, Life and Us


  1. Bravo Bea !
    J’étais intéressée et j’avoue que j’aurais envoyé quelques photos bien que je trouvais celà un peu “fort en chocolat” de ne pas rétribuer tous ces photographes.
    Mais l’idée est bonne et peut-être réapparaîtra-t-elle sous une autre forme.
    Bonne continuation.

  2. Bea, I’m so glad to see this post from you today.
    I was really surprised to read yesterday’s post. This company (and others like it) operate a business model that plays on peoples’ vanity. They do books full of poems, photographs and so on, offering a 50% discount on the price to contributors. My feeling is that the discounted price is their true price, the price they need to retail in order to achieve profit and that they don’t really market or sell to non contributors. I’d be willing to bet that the vast majority of their sales are to those who want a copy of a book with their content inside.
    It’s really good to know that, with some added insight from your friends, you decided to withdraw rather than support this kind of project.
    Huge kudos to you.
    With love

  3. Thank you for addressing this so quickly, openly and honestly. Enjoy the rest of your weekend 🙂

  4. Don’t worry Bea, sometimes something looks like something great until you see all sides of it. How brave of you to write this. Have a wonderful weekend!

  5. Hi Bea,
    Those sorts of projects are out there and I don’t necessicarily think they are bad–so long as the submitters realize that they are being taken advantage of a bit in return for the opportunity to be published.

    For some people, it’s worth it to be able to say they were included in a book.

    However I do think you are right not to encourage people to participate or endorse the project. It cheapens you to be the one encouraging the freebie.

  6. Bravo to you for rethinking, finding your truth and being so open. I applaud you taking a stand for the worth of photography through your decline of the project. If we as writers and photographers don’t set the standard for what our work is worth I’m afraid we’ll be walked over.

  7. Good decision Bea,
    There are times when we all make mistakes but you took care of yours immediately. Congrats on seeing the light. Enjoy the rest of your weekend ,do not worry ,we all think you area amazing.

  8. Good for you, Béa! I like your honest approach and forthright admission. You did the right thing.

  9. J’avoue n’avoir pas eu le temps de rentrer dans les détails du mail que tu avais envoyé… et n’avais pas réalisé que les photos ne seraient pas rémunérées. Mais dans tous les cas, toi, tu n’a rien à te reprocher… et ce billet en est bien la preuve ! Bravo pour ta décision ! (et bonnes vacances encore !!)

  10. You know, Bea, you might single-handedly turn the tide of bloggers being “used” for free with this mature and honest apology post. Your voice is so powerful in the food blogging community that many companies might just stand up and take notice whereas 100’s smaller blogs would have said the same thing with little to no impact. I applaud you and am mightily impressed with your depth of understanding and compassion for the food blogging community.

  11. Thanks.
    I was really excited seeing your post about the project, but did wonder at the lack of compensation. Photography professionals always seem to say you should never give away photos for free (no matter how much you want that big break!)
    It was very good of you to back out; it preserves the value of your work and that of other photographers.
    Encore, merci beaucoup et je salue votre intégrité!

  12. I missed yesterdays post – and can’t find it now. You must have deleted it. However, this kind of reminds me of Oprah’s “apology” after she interviewed and supported the author of A Million Pieces and found out his book wasn’t an authentic story of his life, but some of it was fabricated. He still wrote it and a similar story still happened. And, whatever the project was that you were spearheading and have decided not to now participate in, I have mixed feelings because I know you rarely choose to get behind anything, so the project must have had its merits! It is clear that you were not being compensated much, either – so I am guessing that you were really motivated by the project itself. That happens a lot with me. I do so much work without compensation because I believe in it. It is a fine line, isn’t it.
    I trust your judgment completely, Bea. You have proven yourself daily on this site.

  13. Your integrity is inspiring. To go back and correct an error in judgement is… extremely good judgement. It’s important to me that I maintain integrity in my work, and sometimes one can get excited & lost site of that in the whirlwind. I will remember this any time I’m tempted. Thanks for reminding me that it’s never worth it to compromise when it comes to one’s scruples.

  14. I respect your apology Bea. Yet I am wondering how somebody so involved in publishing and foodblogging could ever consider supporting a project like this, where hard working folks won’t earn a penny for their creativity.

  15. You live you learn…

    My mother always tells me “Only if you do nothing, you make no mistakes”

  16. It’s so tempting to give away our creations – our writing, our photos, our art – in the hopes of gaining recognition or some future payoff, but it’s always a better idea to value your work and help the world see that value. Your “exposure” of this project will probably help many who may not have as much experience as you!

  17. Cela arrive à tout le monde de prendre des mauvaises décisions. C’est vrai, il faut toujours suivre son intuition, mais parfois on est poussé par autre chose

  18. I wonder if they (the publishers) ask their lawyers to work for free too. This idea that creative professionals should work for exposure instead of funds is absurd. No one asks doctors to work for no renumeration. Kudos to you for seeing the light. Bien fait.

  19. I was sort of looking forward to the competition (I’m a newbie food photography) but I understand the concerns. The crazy thing is that this sort of thing has been going on a long time in the publishing industry, I know photographers that have worked for free just to get into a magazine, as well as unpaid interns and such. Huffingtonpost gets a lot of free blog writers, so it’s not that uncommon but this did seem a bit off I guess. You have been warm and gracious about the whole thing, much appreciated.

  20. Bea, when I tried to open this second part of yesterday’s post I was confused by the errror message I received….your apology explains that something happened between your posting and my reading. I’m sorry for your disappointment. Your posts are always such a joy and you deserve to be treated with kindness and respect- obviously not what you’ve recently received. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself with us all! You are an inspiration…

  21. In the spirit of confession… I almost decided to make a submission since you were involved but now my suspicions (also clarified by you) made my final decision well founded. Thank you for your integrity, though there’s no need to remove it altogether.