Letting Freelancers Screw Themselves: CONDÉ NAST(Y) Edition


Conde Nast has taken a page out of the Time Magazine playbook and their new contract outlines that you can pay a fee to be paid faster, according to the Fashionista blog here, who reports they have a copy of the latest contract.

In 2009, Photo Business News reported here about how Time Warner was doing the same thing.  What is not clear, is what the Conde Nast payment schedule is like.

It is a common accounting concept whereby you bill, say, $1,000 for an assignment, and offer the following terms: "2/10 Net 30", which means that the party Continue reading "Letting Freelancers Screw Themselves: CONDÉ NAST(Y) Edition"

"One Shot" – Behind The Scenes at the Olympics

In 10 minutes, you get a remarkable insight into all the hard work that goes into covering the Olympics as a professional photographer. Produced by the International Olympic Committee, this video reveals just what goes into covering the Olympics - all the advance work, multiple cameras both hand-held and remotes, and logistics. The video is very matter-of-fact, not really glamorizing the still photographers' job, but also not revealing the back-breaking efforts, long hours, access changes, and commutes to and from the venues.
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Nikon KeyMission 360 – Teardown For Door Removal

The Nikon KeyMission 360 holds great promise as a tool to create immersive visual experiences. In putting the camera through its' paces, I found that the limitation of the battery, at 1 hour and 10 minutes, created limitations when I needed to place the camera in a remote location where I could not trigger it from afar, or when I wanted to capture longer than the internal battery would allow. In order to capture a longer video, an external battery connected to the camera was needed.

The challenge occurs, when the door of the KeyMission 360 is opened, as it
Continue reading "Nikon KeyMission 360 – Teardown For Door Removal"

The Failure of Visual China Group

VCG (blue line) 11/15/16 through 12/14/16, compared to the market composite index (orange line). Source: Bloomberg: VCG
Visual China Group (SHE:VCG), has seen a significant loss in the last month losing far more market value then the general malaise of the Shenzhen overall composite index.  This is important because, as VCG goes, so goes Getty Images. The highly regarded Selling Stock report on the turnaround potential of Getty Images concludes "There is almost no chance that Getty will regain any market share in the Midstock or Premium space. I expect revenue overall will continue to decline. The only question is how much, how fast." (link here, 3/26/15.)

"How fast" is becoming more clear now. Visual China Group's opening price on the Chinese stock market at ¥9.00 ($1.30USD) on February 3rd 2013 was met with a one-third loss by the close Continue reading "The Failure of Visual China Group"

The Farce of Creative Commons

Creative Commons is a well intentioned idea gone bad, and finally their existence will be put to the test, in a lawsuit brought that challenges the notion of what is "commercial" versus "noncommercial" use of an image.

Ars Technica reports, in "Creative Commons licenses under scrutiny—what does “noncommercial” mean?" (here, 9/18/16) that an educational company, Great Minds, is suing FedEx because their company (in the form of the former Kinkos that makes photo copies) is charging money for photocopies of this material. The basics are that "print shops, like FedEx, negotiate a license and pay a royalty to Great Minds if they wish to reproduce the Materials for commercial purposes—i.e., their own profit—at the request of their customers."

Now, it would be one thing if FedEx had binders of the material in one corner of their stores and that if a customer took the Continue reading "The Farce of Creative Commons"

Getty Images v. Walter A. Kowalczuk

Getty Images today notified contributors that on June 8th, 2016 it filed a lawsuit against Walter A. Kowalczuk because they allege he "downloaded thousands of images without authorization from Getty Images and profited from those downloads.  In addition, Getty Images believes that Mr. Kowalczuk was not acting alone, and the company is actively pursuing other possible infringers."

Getty Images has been the subject of many criticisms online for their aggressive handling of copyright infringement claims, and just two days ago Geekwire published "Getty Images rights claim against Seattle startup raises ‘phishing scam’ concerns", however, the article notes that the infringer (Aaron Bird) in this case "...will end up paying the settlement fee..."because, well, he infringed. Bird's concern centered around the question of a phishing scam and not whether or not he actually infringed on the work.

It is obvious that, with a reported 80,000,000 images Continue reading "Getty Images v. Walter A. Kowalczuk"

500px, ImageBrief – The Crowdsourcing Scoundrels of The Internet

What camera slinging aspiring pro photographer wouldn't want to be a part of a "Photo Quest" these days? A "quest" conjures up Indiana Jones-esque expeditions for the perfect picture - explorers searching for just the right photo to satisfy the "photo gods of exposure." Who could be so ignorant or desperate? Apparently quite a few, like the natives worshipping a false sun god because of a solar eclipse. Some 840 clueless photographers submitted 6,000 images for the chance at winning the "great honor" of having their creative work product commercially exploited along with 50 others whose work was selected for a FOR PROFIT Lonely Planet book, according to MobileMarketingDaily - "500px Launches Photo Quests, Allows Brands To Crowdsource Original Content" (5/23/16).

 We've written extensively here at Photo Business News about the seriously flawed "SPEC" business model, yet, these models continue to proliferate,  counting on photographers (pro and Continue reading "500px, ImageBrief – The Crowdsourcing Scoundrels of The Internet"

Corbis Details VCG Migration Plans to Getty Images


Corbis wasted no time detailing to photographers how the transition from being a Corbis photographer to a Getty Images photographer will take place, in an email sent out with a FAQ. While the FAQ went into great detail. What was abundantly clear was that Corbis will no longer exist in short order.

Yesterday, Photo Business News detailed the sale of Corbis to Visual China Group (SHENZEN: 000681) subsidiary Unity Glory as well as the same-day announcement of what clearly looks like an end-run around anti-trust laws by Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG) when they announced the worldwide exclusive arrangement with Getty Images.

A message yesterday was sent from Jeff Enlow (LinkedIn: Jeff Enlow) to contributors which makes it clear  that Getty is getting all (or, to be more specific, everything they want and think is of value) from Corbis. In it, Enlow wrote:

Hey All,

I wanted to send Continue reading "Corbis Details VCG Migration Plans to Getty Images"

Why You Should Not Be A Freelance Photographer

As a professional photographer, one of the worst things you can do is be a freelancer.  That is, just as you should banish the phrase "day rate" from your lexicon, so too should you banish the word "freelance" from the word set you use to describe yourself.

Words not only have meanings, they insinuate something about whomever they describe. An entire chapter on language was included in the book MORE Best Business Practices for Photographers, titled "A Linguistically Accurate Lexicon", for that very reason.

Consider the characterization of a person of the female gender. The word "girl", "woman", "lady", "chick, "madam", and "doll", all carry similar sentiments to "boy", "man", "gentleman", "dude", "sir", and "guy" for a person of the male gender. The disparity between saying "that boy over there" versus "that young man over there" is not lost on the recipient of that characterization, nor is "please Continue reading "Why You Should Not Be A Freelance Photographer"

ASMP Issues An Alert regarding Their Position on Time Inc. Contract

ASMP issued the following alert to exercise "extreme caution", which we are posting here, in it's entirety on the Time Inc (NYSE: TWX) contract:

Open letter to Time Inc. regarding one-sided independent photographer contract


ASMP has joined with the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA), the Digital Media Licensing Association (DMLA)American Photographic Artists (APA), and the Professional Photographers of America (PPA) in a letter to Time Inc. regarding our collective objections to the terms and conditions under which professional photographers are being required to operate come January 1st, 2016. Under the terms of the new contract, first detailed by Photo Business News ( here ), many of the fees and rights demands are unfair to professional photographers and will severely limit the ability of ASMP members to earn a sustainable living. The letter which ASMP co-authored with theNPPA and others can be viewed here.

Equality for None, Time Inc Lowers the Hammer on Creatives

On November 6, Photo Business News reported and provided commentary on the new Time Inc (NYSE: TWXcontract which they unceremoniously presented to their contributors (Times' Failed Attempt At Fairness and Equity, 11/6/15). On November 10, Time Inc contacted Photo Business News and provided the following statement in response to the article:
"We have equalized our photography rights and rates across our 23+ brands. This is an industry standard. Our new contract is fair and equitable. A huge number of photographers have already signed the new agreement."

Let's break down the statement:


"equalized our photography rights and rates across our 23+ brands"

Times’ Failed Attempt At Fairness and Equity

On November 2nd, Norm Pearlstine (LinkedIn) penned a missive to "Photographers Who Work with Time Inc." where he harkened back to the roaring 20's and the origins of Time and Life magazines (NYSE: TWX), and mentioned the "power of iconic photography" and suggested that "our commitment to original photography is as true today as ever", yet what Norm fails to recognize, in the new Time contract he's proffering, detailed and analyzed below, is that  Time has NOT factored in any kind of cost-of-living into what Time is paying their photographers, and is trampling on the rights of photographers like a 20's flapper stomping on the dance floor.

Perhaps they should remember that it's the talents of these photographers to create striking visuals that boost single-copy sales, and the talents of writers, reporters, and photographers, to create compelling content that readers will want to consume. This contract
Continue reading "Times’ Failed Attempt At Fairness and Equity"

Mary Ellen Mark, Influential Photographer, Passes away at 75

During the 2008 Festival of the Photograph, we interviewed Mary Ellen Mark as a part of a broader package on the artists presenting at the Festival. In honor of her death, below is the brief segment as a standalone video of a highly regarded photographer called by some inpirational, a humanist photographer, a photojournalist and a documentarian: Mary Ellen Mark interview segment from the 2008 Look3 Festival of the Photograph from John Harrington on Vimeo. During the 2008 Look3 Festival of the Photograph, we interviewed Mary Ellen Mark about her work. Here is the segment, which ran within a larger package during our festival coverage.
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VIDEO: Getty Images Losing Ground in Mid-Stock Business as CEO Steps Down

With the news of Getty CEO Jonathan Klein stepping down to take on the role of Chairman (as reported here) Klein will have little to celebrate as the storied company itself celebrates 20 years in business this week.
Neither do the photographers whose work is in the Getty Images archives, and who see this announcement - where Klein is Chairman without CEO authority, effectively not much to do - as a last ditch effort to survive, so they are not celebrating either.
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