Catherine Yass, photographer

Exploring an ethereal world that combines photography, film and performance, contemporary artist Catherine Yass’ distinctive medium is often presented on illuminated light boxes. She has been claiming Payback royalties through DACS since 2014.

“I’ve been claiming Payback for a few years now – it can help to cover pre-production tests and experiments that don’t necessarily get budgeted into production costs… Just as I might pay someone for hiring a camera or a meal cooked in a cafĂ©, DACS provides a way of being paid for the use of my work.”

Julie Umerle, painter

A contemporary abstract painter, Julie is influenced by American abstract expressionism and minimalism, as well as artists such as Gerhard Richter and Sigmar Polke. She's been claiming Payback royalties for over five years and first came across DACS while at a friend’s open studios event.

"When I started to collate the information for my claim, I was surprised by the number of places where my work had been published. Each year, I put the royalties I receive towards studio rent, my biggest overhead expense. Essential and appreciated, they help me continue with my practice."

Benji Davies, children’s book illustrator and author

A fan of illustrated books, cartoons and animations from a young age, Benji started drawing almost as soon as he could pick up a pencil. He now juggles illustrating picture books with directing animated commercials, music promos and short films. Benji found out about Payback on Twitter in 2012 and has been claiming royalties ever since.

"In the past Payback has enabled me to buy new equipment or contributed to studio costs. When the royalties come through it’s a friendly slap on the back - a similar feeling to receiving a Christmas bonus (I imagine!). It always feels like an unexpected and very welcome reward when the statement pops up in my inbox."

Kevin Cummins, photographer

After studying photography in Manchester in the 1970s, Kevin cut his teeth photographing bands and rock stars for the NME, initially as a way to get into gigs for free. As well as musicians, he has also photographed Manchester City Football Club and undertaken commissions for major theatre companies across the UK.

"Knowing that DACS is prepared to work on your behalf and to get money from sources that you didn’t even know exist is reassuring. Payback is a nice bonus. The royalty comes as a lump sum just before Christmas – the right time for a lot of people.”

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Brian Griffin, photographer

Brian initially turned his attention to photography to escape working in a factory in the Black Country. He is known for his pictures of workers and tradesmen in 1980s London and he is a prolific portrait photographer, having photographed anyone from Helen Mirren to Vivienne Westwood, Sebastian Coe to Jonathan Ross. Brian found out about Payback in 2009 after being recommended by a friend.

"Where previously I would have to work on yet another advertising campaign, Payback royalties help me purchase new equipment and materials and help me focus on the type of work I find truly interesting.”

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From top: Julie Umerle, Benji Davies, Kevin Cummins and Brian Griffin. Photography © Brian Benson, 2016.