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BILL STETTNER
[1938 - 1994] Photographer
When a 20 year old advertising art director doesn't know the difference between a good picture and a bad picture, and keeps insisting it's 'good enough', it's hard for me to keep working as a photographer. - Bill Stettner

“Hubba! Hubba!” said Bill, “As a young man the glamour of the world of photography appealed to me – it was definitely the job for me! I started work, as a photographer’s assistant for $27.50 week - and all the girls I could wrap and carry! - Bill Stettner

Before the change to the copyright act, some souless bean-counter in an advertising agency could take my pictures - which had been paid for with someone else's money - and say 'Let's open a stock photography library'. They could then sell my pictures, for more than they had paid me for them to someone totally unrelated. Well, that's unfair. I refused to surrender my copyright. - Bill Stettner

I have never regretted taking the high ground on the copyright issue - even though now there's not a single advertising agency who would employ me. My stand put me out of business! - Bill Stettner

Over the years I have taken many stands on behalf of the industry, starting with insisting agencies paid for film and processing - after all a plumber gets paid for his pipes and fittings! I invented devices that fitted inside cameras which placed a copyright disclaimer onto every frame I exposed - most photographers didn't understand it and just gave their stuff away. - Bill Stettner

I won't do cigarette shots anymore even though I once made $500,000 a year from Reynolds tobacco. I won't sell my soul. I can't put up with the deceit and ignorance from advertising agencies. I just can't do it. - Bill Stettner

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