Photographer Criticized by Mayor Responds

Paul Couvrette has responded to Mayor Watson via an OpEd piece in today’s Ottawa Citizen. He also wrote the following letter to me with regard to the EP thread that I am posting here, as EP is a members only forum.

Hello Debra,

I wanted to thank you for your interest in the Photogate scandal here in Ottawa. Attached below is the text of the OpEd piece that will be published in tomorrow’s Ottawa Citizen, our main newspaper.

When we spoke a couple of days ago, there was discussion about some threads on EP concerning “Value” vs “Overhead” as a rationale for a photographer’s fees. My take is that both are correct.

While it seems that some question the value of your letter to the Mayor which I quoted in the OpEd, I would like to let them in on a little secret. While many people in many countries of the world dislike Americans….there is also an unstated admiration for the success of your country and your words did carry a lot of weight with the local media.

Let me be clear. This was never a battle about whether my invoice was correct or would not be paid. That alone would not have made headlines and caused thousands of social media messages and emails. What was, and is at stake here was a popular elected official stating on the front page of a newspaper that a contract for services which had been properly carried out was a “frivolous expense”. The Mayor undoubtedly was caught off guard and misspoke, but I believe it expressed an underlying theme that we all experience as pros every day…that somehow our work has less value because of a range of modern day tools and an avalanche of images that visually bombard us daily.

Frankly, the issue is not about myself or my images. It is about a profession under siege not just from our clientele, but from the general public as well.

I would ask that you post the OpEd piece and would also ask that you, or anyone reading this who wants to speak their mind drop a simple line or two to…letters@thecitizen.canwest.com