Sometimes you have to turn a job down.

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Walter Rowe
That horse has left the barn a long long time ago. Everyone has a camera, and every photo is available for free through social media or an internet search.
The old principals don't apply in today's digital world. Complaining is a non-starter.
I'm not complaining. I'm saying we need to educate and boost the confidence of people entering the photography field as a career. There will always be "free" fan pictures. As @Mike Buckley pointed out - there is no combatting free, but if you sell a great product then those who value it will buy it. New entrants to photography as career need to be taught to value their own work and how to seek out clientele who will value and pay for it. All the weekend photographers to put pressure on that. They can produce great product and don't depend on photography for their livelihood so they often don't charge a fair market value for their product. Look at all the 'mini sessions' you find for $50 or $100. You could argue that consumers of those products would probably not pay for a "professional photographer" and so the professional hasn't really lost anything. Where the professional loses is the consumer gets a perception that this IS professional photography and that this is what they should pay for it.
 
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This is happening in a lot of industries right now. Look at Robinhood trading app. They supposedly gave free trades but had issues. Now all the online guys are free and that is fine. Those with money still seek out professional help. In the photography world it is the same but it is noting to be portraits with mini sessions but weddings and one time things. Even sports illustrated is using stringers now so this is top to bottom revaluing the value of still images
 
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For sporting events that I have covered (just high school level), I have always had informal access, so I've never had or needed proper credentials, and my paid work has always been directly negotiated with my clients. So, a couple honest questions (not attempting to be antagonistic, just wish to learn):

What are the specific issues with the Outlaws' terms? Can anyone provide examples of more reasonable requirements?
 
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For sporting events that I have covered (just high school level), I have always had informal access, so I've never had or needed proper credentials, and my paid work has always been directly negotiated with my clients. So, a couple honest questions (not attempting to be antagonistic, just wish to learn):

What are the specific issues with the Outlaws' terms? Can anyone provide examples of more reasonable requirements?
Press credentials are usually for news outlets who are there to report out on the event via still images, written synopsis, and sometimes video. Most venues grant you this right as part of freedom of press. A general press credential would not stipulate that you surrender any specific images outright as some sort of exchange for letting you be there.

There are usually 3 or so types of press at events like this: Freelance, Hired, and Staff. Freelance are people who aren't affiliate with any specific organization so they are there to capture the event for themselves. This is rare but does happen if you're an established event photographer or know someone. Hired is the most common. Think Reuters, ESPN, Fox Sports, etc. They contract with a local known photographer, they create plan for capturing the event and submit the images between the photog/org and that's it. The last is staff which is very common. An organization like the New York Yankees would have a staff photographer who would capture events, general game situations, etc.

When i was given press credentials years ago, the only stipulation was that I would follow their rules that are simple safety, security and access related. Don't go into press restricted areas, don't go onto the field unless given specific access, and so on. At no time did the organization require because they granted me permission that I had to surrender my images for them to use for free.
 
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Exactly as written above, I can also add that certain clients will provide you with SD cards that you need to return at the end of the day. No personal keepers.
 
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The challenge for photography is that there are some people out there who are perfectly willing to shoot for free. They don't view it as a job...they find it to be a fun hobby. And, some of those people are skilled photographers--they just don't wish to turn photography into a paying job. It is tough to compete with free--especially if the product (in some cases) is of similar or higher quality.

Not all industries face this challenge. When I worked in accounting for a large corporation, there wasn't a single person who was willing to come in and do my job for free. That's the case with quite a few professions. I'm not sure how photography will be able to address this challenge. Many hobbyists (even if highly skilled) would be willing to provide free photographs for great access to certain events. I know I would love to shoot a MLB, NFL or college football or basketball game.

Glenn
 
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The challenge for photography is that there are some people out there who are perfectly willing to shoot for free...Not all industries face this challenge.
That's true. However, all cottage industries face the problem that services are provided free or nearly free. To some extent, part of the photography industry has become a cottage industry. The segments that have become a cottage industry exist along side the segments that haven't and won't become a cottage industry. I can't see any reason that will ever change, so the photographer today needs to decide how to compete and who to compete with. If the photographer decides to compete in a segment that is fundamentally a cottage industry, he or she better have fun doing it because it won't provide a living wage.
 

NCV

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The problem with photography and perhaps music making and some other activities, is that whilst for some it is a profession and a means of making a living, for many more others it is a pleasant pastime.

At a certain point in my life in my late twenties, I decided I did not want to be an Engineer anymore and the world of photography was perhaps a more agreeable way of making a living. This coincided with my move to Italy. I worked for one of Italy's leading Opera houses and its leading Ballet Company, with good results.

Even back then certain "clients" like the local newspaper wanted pictures that were paid for with a by-line under the picture. So nothing much has changed. Prints sold to performing artists got used as posters without my permission and enlarged contact prints got used to illustrate catalogues. On the other hand serious national newspapers and magazines would pay a standard copyright fee when they reproduced my press handouts without being asked.

In the end I decided that Engineering was perhaps a better way to make money and I slowly transitioned. Nobody expects an Engineer to work for free, nobody will design your house for fun.

I have a blog, and I know people steal images from it. In fact a local guide book was richly illustrated with my pictures. It was quite a shock when I thumbed through the book in a local bookshop and I realised why some of the pictures seemed so familiar. I complained to the publisher, who without any shame told me that "they did not pay for photographs" , but expected photographers to "donate" their pictures. A photograph has no value today I believe, there are just too many floating around the web.

My old colleagues tell me the world of performing arts photography has become impossible as all sorts of restrictions and exploitative conditions have become the norm, as paradoxically in a world where a photo is worth near to nothing; the power of photography is now better understood, and companies/ artists want total control over what is published.

Quite frankly I have given up worrying about getting paid for my pictures, the trend seems to be that people will ask me to use a picture for some purpose but nobody wants to pay, not even local government. Sometimes I say yes just because they asked me and it seems a good cause. Nobody is losing any income. Students who sometimes ask for my Italian monuments stuff to use in a Thesis get permission and I always thank them for being honest.

Sorry for this rambling reply.
 
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Obviously, we're in the driver's seat when an individual client comes to us to commission work such as a portrait session, product photography, or wedding coverage. But when we want sideline access to a big game, credentials are needed. Is there a new "sweet spot" where a photographer can be granted access to a headliner event while retaining some rights to the images captured?

@F15Todd - it sounds like you have experience with events that have less draconian terms?
 
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I get access to top level rugby here, the highest level below the internationals. I don't have any requirements whatsoever put on me, plus they provide tea/coffee and savouries! :)
 
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Obviously, we're in the driver's seat when an individual client comes to us to commission work such as a portrait session, product photography, or wedding coverage. But when we want sideline access to a big game, credentials are needed. Is there a new "sweet spot" where a photographer can be granted access to a headliner event while retaining some rights to the images captured?

@F15Todd - it sounds like you have experience with events that have less draconian terms?
This is how it works in 99% of venues...this one is very strange and why the original poster turned it down. It's a slap in the face.
 
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Of our three reginal newspapers, one one has a staff photographer. The other two (the ones I shoot for) hire out per even from a pool of local photographers. At the larger events such as NASCAR running at Bristol Motor Speedway we get the same access as AP & Getty. There is no craziness from the NASCAR about providing them images as a stipulation for working media credentials, but I have heard from and old AP shooter that NASCAR tried that years ago and the AP shut them down quickly saying they would stop covering them.
 
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AP shut them down quickly saying they would stop covering them.
That’s probably the kind of clout it takes. Sadly, our individual refusals to accept such terms is probably not enough to change the ways of an event organizer that knows there are plenty of others who will. This has been a very educational thread to follow. Thanks for starting it.
 

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