Art and Photography

Is freelance photography dead?

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  • Apr 10th, 2008 10:32 am
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Sr. Member
Dec 1, 2005
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Is freelance photography dead?

I was having a conversation with a friend of mine a few weeks ago. He used to be a freelance photojournalist, and regularly sold his photos to newspapers.

I recently captured some newsworthy photographs and decided, what they hey, why not try and sell them? After all, to be considered a "pro" you need to get paid. It was worth a shot i figured.

So i sent some of the photos to various news editors and photo desks, and instructed them to contact me if they wanted to use my photographs. I figured if they felt the photos newsworthy, they would offer me a fair price.

Nobody ever contacted me, but they did indeed use my photos. Full credit was given to me, and to be honest, i'm just happy my photos got published.

It seems every news agency has a gimmick to get people to send in free images ("iReport" from CNN, "Its Your story" from CityNews and so on).

It makes me wonder, in this day and age when everybody has at least one camera on them (cell phones, pocket digicams etc) is there any place for a professional freelance photographer?
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nfs2 wrote:
Apr 8th, 2008 8:14 pm
I was having a conversation with a friend of mine a few weeks ago. He used to be a freelance photojournalist, and regularly sold his photos to newspapers.

I recently captured some newsworthy photographs and decided, what they hey, why not try and sell them? After all, to be considered a "pro" you need to get paid. It was worth a shot i figured.

So i sent some of the photos to various news editors and photo desks, and instructed them to contact me if they wanted to use my photographs. I figured if they felt the photos newsworthy, they would offer me a fair price.

Nobody ever contacted me, but they did indeed use my photos. Full credit was given to me, and to be honest, i'm just happy my photos got published.

It seems every news agency has a gimmick to get people to send in free images ("iReport" from CNN, "Its Your story" from CityNews and so on).

It makes me wonder, in this day and age when everybody has at least one camera on them (cell phones, pocket digicams etc) is there any place for a professional freelance photographer?
Sucks that your photos were used with you getting paid. :(

I guess it depends on your term of "freelance photography". Just because you freelance doesn't mean you HAVE to only submit photos for a newspaper, what about event/portrait/glamour/product photography that you do on the side? Does that not constitute as freelance stuff as well?
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[OP]
Sr. Member
Dec 1, 2005
510 posts
sfu_engineer wrote:
Apr 8th, 2008 8:24 pm
I guess it depends on your term of "freelance photography". Just because you freelance doesn't mean you HAVE to only submit photos for a newspaper, what about event/portrait/glamour/product photography that you do on the side? Does that not constitute as freelance stuff as well?
Very good point. For the sake of this post, lets focus on freelance photojournalism.
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nfs2 wrote:
Apr 8th, 2008 8:14 pm
Nobody ever contacted me, but they did indeed use my photos. Full credit was given to me, and to be honest, i'm just happy my photos got published.
Did you give them full-sized photos the first time?
Deal with it.
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Oct 19, 2005
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I was under the impression that freelance just meant you made your own deals and worked for whoever you wanted to. Nothing long term, just jumping around.

Lately, I've shot random stuff like friends and family as I always do, but also have been given several opportunities to shoot large events, engagement photos as well as real estate.
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KorruptioN wrote:
Apr 8th, 2008 8:54 pm
Did you give them full-sized photos the first time?
I sent 640x480

I figured it was small enough
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nfs2 wrote:
Apr 8th, 2008 9:09 pm
I sent 640x480

I figured it was small enough
I probably would've gone even smaller :lol:
Deal with it.
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Aug 19, 2004
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Is it just me? From what I know of copyright law, if you did not give them permission to use them, they have stolen them.
Mark Higgins
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Learn you watermark your images
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SUE EM! Just curios op, what kind of pictures were they?
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ali123 wrote:
Apr 8th, 2008 11:45 pm
SUE EM! Just curios op, what kind of pictures were they?
They were of the crash in downtown toronto on monday

I emailed them asking what is the policy for purchasing photos, and they emailed back saying they do not pay for photos.

I guess that clears that up
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nfs2 wrote:
Apr 9th, 2008 10:25 pm
They were of the crash in downtown toronto on monday

I emailed them asking what is the policy for purchasing photos, and they emailed back saying they do not pay for photos.

I guess that clears that up
Wow thats pretty crappy of them. Sure makes you want to take more photos for them :rolleyes:
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nfs2 wrote:
Apr 9th, 2008 10:25 pm
I emailed them asking what is the policy for purchasing photos, and they emailed back saying they do not pay for photos.
It may be their policy not to pay for photos, but can they go ahead and use unsolicited photos without explicit permission ?
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from my exp... theres descent money to be made with night club photography. Its a fun p/t job. Thats about the most free lance i've ever experienced!

But yah... as for newspaper stuff... so many people have digital cameras that there doesnt seem to be room for the dedicated pro-photographer, unless your photographing something like war or some event with dignitaries.
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My girlfriend had the Toronto Star come interview, photograph, and videograph her for an article and I think the Star's staff photographers have it pretty sweet. She said they all use .. Nikon D3's...MMmmmMM.
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