Harlan Ellison is a writer’s writer. He died on June 28, 2018. He was 84. So. Why is a writer, and a recently late one at that, the subject of a post on Photofocus which is dedicated to photography? Read on and watch.

Harlan’s rant on getting paid

It’s only three minutes and twenty-five seconds long including titles. Sure. There’s some coarse and vulgar language. Even so. The message that Harlan Ellison brings is worthy of taking to heart by writers and photographers alike.

Harlan’s message

“They always want writers (photographers) to work for nothing. And the problem is there are so many g*d d**n many writers (photographers) who have no idea that they are supposed to be paid every time they do something, they do it for nothing! Ga, Guh, Look at me. I’m gonna be noticed huh, ha. You tell me. Are they any less the media whore than I? I think not. They just haven’t–nobody’s offered to buy their soul. Uhhh. I’ll sell my soul but at the highest rates. Highest rates. I don’t take a p*ss without getting paid for it.”

All the amateurs…

“I get so angry about this because you’re undercut by all the amateurs. It’s the amateurs who make it tough for the professionals. ‘Cause when you act professional… These people are so used to getting it for nothing and for mooching …”

That’s Harlan’s message. Photographers, you deserve to be paid. Stop doing favors and freebies for others. Do a big favor for yourself. Get a deposit to schedule a job. Send an invoice for the balance immediately after it’s finished. Then, ask for your money if the invoice is not paid promptly.

Oh. Harlan wrote some really great stuff. Short stories and scripts. You’ve probably seen some of his work on television. Twilight Zone, Other Limits, Star Trek’s best episode “The City on the Edge of Forever,” Babylon 5, and A Boy and His Dog. Here’s more on his work and his life in Variety’s remembrance.