I helped a writer who was doing a history book on our fire department by photographing several old firefighting tools and designing and creating the cover. I was "paid" the sum of $1.00, was given credit in the book, and received a complementary copy. He was self-publishing the book, and so did not have the money to pay a "professional," so I did (and do not) feel that I robbed anyone of work. I was, and am, pleased to be able to say that my work is in a published book.
As far as the reply, that was not snarky, it was just Vinny.