Published on March 7, 2014
TABLE of CONTENTS PART I 5 Introduction PART II 7 What types of clients do photojournalists work for? 9 How can I connect with prospective clients? 13 What fees and terms should I expect to see and what questions should I ask? 15 To what extent are rates and terms negotiable and is it worth trying? 16 What are some examples of fees, terms, and contracts? PART III 17 Conclusion 18 Resources for photojournalists 20 About Bill Cramer and Wonderful Machine © 2014 PhotoShelter, Inc No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning or otherwise, without the prior written consent of PhotoShelter, Inc. The logos of the companies described are the trademarks of their respective owners. No endorsement is implied. PhotoShelter, Inc. makes no representations or warranties with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the contents of this work and specifically disclaim all warranties, including without limitation warranties of fitness for a particular purpose. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for every situation.
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Part I Introduction elcome to the third installment in our series of articles about pricing your work from PhotoShelter and myself, Bill Cramer from Wonderful Machine. The first two guides, Pricing Your Work: Magazine Photography and Pricing Your Work: Corporate and Industrial Photography share insights to help you profit from assignments in those respective fields. In this one, we’ll be taking on the turbulent world of news photography and share tips to help you connect with prospective clients, plus set your expectations for fees and contracts you’ll typically see in this area. First, what’s a photojournalist? A photojournalist is a photographer who tells contemporary stories with pictures, in an objective and unobtrusive way. They depict life as it is, not as a corporation or political party would like you to believe. Photojournalists are best known for covering breaking news stories like natural disasters or wars. But they also cover school board meetings, field hockey games, celebrities, and hot new restaurants. They work for mainstream news organizations like newspapers and magazines, but there are other types of organizations that use photojournalists to cover news events, like associations, nonprofits, and NGOs. Photojournalism is one of the easiest ways to become a professional freelance photographer, but it's also one of the hardest to sustain. The barriers to entry are low. All you need is a camera, a decent eye, a bit of news judgement, and a willingness to respond to an assignment on a moment's notice. But unlike doctors and lawyers who gain valuable experience and respect with age, the perceived value of photojournalists seems to plateau before their hair turns gray, making them vulnerable to younger, cheaper replacements. The excitement of the news business ensures that there will always be more applicants than positions. And even though most consumers spend more time looking at photos than words, there continues to be a bias against the value of professional photography, because "everyone's a photographer." Combine all that with the advent of the internet and camera phones that make citizen journalism possible, and the mentality that you could just have the reporters shoot the pictures (as seen with the Chicago Sun-Times), it's enough to wonder whether there's a future for professional photojournalists at all. But just as changes in culture and technology have shifted the playing field for photographers, they're also providing them with unprecedented opportunities. Inexpensive still cameras now have the ability to capture high-definition video, and the internet and the tablet offer photographers a platform to display their images in ways we could not have imagined a short time ago. As some clients are using less professional photography in predictable ways, others, like CNN and NPR, are using still photography in unpredictable ways, presenting full bleed images in creative storytelling formats. Some photographers are even combining still photos, sound and motion, creating a whole new genre of multimedia storytelling. A Look back at my career My own photojournalism career began in 1986, when I was sent to shoot a Rotary Club luncheon for the Montgomery County Record in suburban Philadelphia. Back then, the Record paid stringers $15 for the first picture published, and $5 for each additional. (Stringer is a term to describe newspaper freelancers.) Since I had to provide my own film, processing and prints, I figure Pricing your Work: PhotoJournalism 5
I II III my profit on that first job was approximately zero. Luckily, I was soon able to secure an assignment from the Associated Press (AP) at a rate of $50.00, plus they provided me with all the film I needed and a darkroom to process it in! A year later, I thought I had attained nirvana when I started working for The New York Times for $200.00/assignment. Though it was only a couple of years before I gave up news photography for more lucrative magazine, corporate and advertising assignments, I'll never forget the thrill of having a front row seat to history and seeing my pictures on the front pages of a some of the biggest newspapers in the country. But if you can't already tell, I've always been as interested in the business of photography as the art of it. Just as assignments were a game of cajoling my subjects into doing what I wanted for my camera; in the same way, the game I played with clients was to get them to pay me as much money as possible for my pictures. When I was at the AP, I was surprised to discover that I was their only stringer who had an actual agreement specifying the assignment fees and expenses. The others simply turned in their mileage and hoped for the best. That didn't seem right to me. I figured that if I was going to grow as a photographer, I was going to have to learn how to grow a businessman too. At the same time, I recognized that there were inherent limitations to the amount of money I was going to make as a photojournalist. I knew that there was a long line of photographers who were ready to step into my position if I stepped out. And with declining revenues, newspapers were looking for ways to trim budgets, not expand coverage. And while I often drove a hard bargain, I was careful not to push clients over the edge until I had greener pastures waiting for me elsewhere. With these lessons learned, in this guide, we’ll take a good look at different types of news clients and publications (print and online) photojournalists typically work for, fees and contracts you can expect to see, negotiating tips, plus resources to help you establish yourself as a photojournalist and make money in this field. Let’s get started. Photo: Andy Colwell Pricing your Work: PhotoJournalism 6
Part II What types of clients do photojournalists work for? here are four main types of clients photojournalists work for: newspapers, magazines, wire services and online publications. As a freelance photojournalist, you’ll need to make it your business to understand all the general types of clients that might need your services, then learn about specific clients within each category. National (U.S.) Daily Newspapers The three biggest newspapers in America, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and USA Today regularly use freelance photographers all over the U.S. (and to a lesser extent, abroad), in part because they have a significant readership nationally. The other big city newspapers have more limited original reporting (and readers) outside their area, opting to use wire services (these are described more in depth below) to provide their national and international news coverage. The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times are the only other big metro papers that I know of that regularly hire freelance photographers outside of their area. And for one-off assignments, instead of maintaining relationships with individual photographers around the country, many newspapers have the Associated Press or other wire services provide "special" coverage when they need it. There's also Metro, which is a free newspaper, published Monday through Friday, in over 100 cities around the world. The Guardian in London also hires freelance photographers all over. All of these publications have online as well as print versions. Local Daily Newspapers Most newspapers hire freelance photographers to help with their local coverage of news, sports and features. They're also eager for spot news coverage (which is when a photographer or reporter covers a spontaneous news event, like a plane crash). Some newspapers have union agreements that limit the use of freelancers to ensure that the stringers don’t undermine the need for the staff photographers. For example, the collective bargaining agreement between the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News and the Newspaper Guild of Greater Philadelphia prohibits the use of stringers within the city limits (except for spot news). Weekly Newspapers Most big cities have an "alternative" weekly newspaper focusing mainly on arts and culture. You can find an extensive list on the Association of Alternative Newsmedia's website: www.altweeklies.com/aan/directories/ Newsweeklies. And of course, there are the weekly supermarket tabloids like the National Enquirer, Star, and Weekly World News. Niche Newspapers Many cities have niche newspapers that cater to readers based on their sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity or language. In Philadelphia where I live, for example, there’s the Philadelphia Gay News, the Jewish Exponent, the Philadelphia Tribune, and Al Dia. Other newspapers focus on a particular industry, like Women's Wear Daily does for fashion or The Business Journals do for business or The Chronicle of Higher Education does for education. For more examples of in-depth lists of niche publications, you can check out Jewish newspapers on Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Jewish_newspapers_in_the_United_States; or a list of African American newspapers at The Newtwork Journal and at BlackNews. Pricing your Work: PhotoJournalism 7
I II III Newspaper Chains Some newspapers are independently owned, but many are owned by companies with several or many newspapers. Gannett owns not only USA Today, but according to their website, they currently own 81 other daily newspapers in the U.S. Other newspaper chains include News Corp, which owns the Wall Street Journal and The New York Post, Tribune Company, which owns the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune and MediaNews Group, which owns the San Jose Mercury and the Denver Post. Newspapers that are part of a chain sometimes act like a wire service for each other, sharing stories and photos. When negotiating with newspapers that belong to a chain, it's important to understand whether the other papers in that chain have the right to publish your pictures, and if so, you'll want to make sure that your fee is commensurate with those rights. You can find a list of newspaper chains at Journalwiki. Wire Services Wire services are companies that distribute news content to media outlets (like newspapers, magazines, radio and television stations), for a subscription fee. They're essentially a news wholesaler. Some of them are privately owned, others are a cooperative of member news organizations, and still others are government owned and operated. The traditional players include the Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse. Getty Images is a relative newcomer, but it’s become a dominant force in the industry. The major wire services will have a regular need for freelancers in the biggest cities around the world, and occasional need in smaller markets. You can find a list of the major North American wire services at the American Journalism Review and a worldwide list on MondoTimes. News Picture Agencies/Cooperatives While wire services are actual clients for photographers, there are also news picture agencies like Zuma Press, Sipa Press, Panos Pictures, and cooperatives like Magnum Photos, VII, and Luceo that work to license photos to publications, and take a percentage along the way. There are business publications like Bloomberg Businessweek and The Economist and there are literary, news commentary, and political publications that hire photojournalists occasionally, including The New Yorker, Harpers, The Atlantic, The Nation, Mother Jones, The New Republic, and food and culture magazines like Saveur. Though most of the photos you’ll find in these publications are from stock agencies or news picture agencies. Der Spiegel in Germany is one of the few overseas news magazines to hire U.S. photojournalists regularly. Online Publications There are lots of online-only publications, like Huffington Post, Slate, Salon, Buzzfeed, TMZ, Gawker, Tech Crunch, Mashable, Yahoo, and Upworthy, for example. However, as far as we can tell, they hire few freelance photographers, relying mostly or entirely on the wire services, and publicity handouts instead. Radio, Television In an interesting twist of fate for photojournalists, since all media organizations need to have an online presence, radio and television networks are now hiring still photographers to create content for their sites. CNN and NPR are two prominent examples. Associations, Non-Profits, NGOs There are other types of clients that hire photojournalists, that you might not immediately think to pursue, including associations like AARP that publish member newsletters with news items that require photography coverage, non-profits like The American Red Cross and NGOs like CARE. Magazines Time Magazine is really the only major general news magazine left in the U.S. that hires freelance photojournalists on a regular basis. U.S. News & World Report only hires photographers occasionally. Newsweek, which suspended their print edition in 2012, claims that they’ll be relaunching a print version of their magazine soon. It’s hard to say how many assignments will come with it. Pricing your Work: PhotoJournalism 8
Part II How can I connect with prospective clients? urning news media prospects into clients involves three steps: branding, research, and marketing. Let’s go through each. Branding Like any company, freelance photographers have to create a brand for themselves that expresses who they are and what they do. That brand is primarily expressed by the still photos and motion projects that you show (and don’t show), but it’s also expressed by the form and function of your website, your other promotional materials (blog, social media, tablet or print portfolio, email promotions, print mailers, stationery), and you yourself. (Are you responsive to inquiries? Are you reliable? Are you nice? Do you do a good job when given a chance?) A good portfolio is less about showing what you’ve shot in the past, but rather, it should be a selection of pictures that show what you want to shoot in the future. So for example, if you’ve shot a lot of sports in the past, but you’re not interested in shooting that in the future, there’s no point in putting sports pictures in your portfolio. And no matter how strong a picture is, if it doesn’t fit into your overall brand, your portfolio will be stronger without it. Photojournalists need to have two versions of their portfolio: a website for everyone to see, and a tablet for one-on-one meetings. Since you never know who might stumble upon your website, you’ll want that edit to cover all the different aspects of your brand. But when you get a meeting with an individual client, an iPad portfolio will allow you to tailor your edit to match their particular needs. If you're pursuing newspaper and wire service clients, hard news, sports and features are go- ing to be most valuable in your portfolio. And although few publications will have room to publish them, every photo editor loves to see in-depth picture stories. Sound and motion are now a fact of life for most photojournalists. Being able to shoot and edit video will give you a competitive edge today, and it will be essential before long. Print portfolios make sense for commercial photographers, but I think they’re unnecessarily expensive, time-consuming, and cumbersome for photojournalists. A basic portfolio is essential, but going a step further, with a proper logo/stationery, blog, social media, promo mailers (print or electronic) will say a lot about your professionalism. Use a website template (like PhotoShelter’s Beam platform!) that allows you to showcase large pictures with fast and intuitive navigation. Use a blog to share your creative process, personal projects and behind-the-scenes videos, and make sure to tailor it to clients, not other photographers. Then support those blog posts with social media. Tie everything together with consistent use of your logo or word mark and overall design sensibility. All of this combined will leave a strong impression for those you pitch work to, or those who come across your photography on their own. For photojournalists, indicating your location is also very important because of the timeliness and urgency of news in general. If you’re not in a specific place at a specific time, you often won’t be able to get the job done. For this reason, as you reach out to potential clients, make sure that your website and promo mailers say not only your name, phone number, email address and web address, but your city as well. Pricing your Work: PhotoJournalism 9
I II III Research You’ll be familiar with lots of news organizations from your own personal experience, but there are other lesser-known ones that might make good clients as well. Some simple research will allow you to build a list of prospective clients that you can reach out to. The United States Newspaper List (USNPL) has an extensive list U.S. newspapers on their website: www.usnpl.com. World Newspapers has a list of newspapers globally here: www.world-newspapers.com. Agency Access also provides contact information for photo editors at lots of major newspapers (mostly in the U.S.), but you have to pay for that service. LinkedIn can also be a good resource to track down and connect with photo editors at media outlets. There are lots of other suggestions elsewhere in this article, most of which are readily findable with a simple web search. Some companies are going to be better prospects for you than others, and it’s important to promote your photography to clients who are appropriate for your location, your experience/skill level and your specialties. Conventional wisdom says to start at the bottom and work your way up. However, I recommend the opposite approach. Start with the best clients that you realistically think you could work for, then work your way down from there. When you find a company that you think is appropriate for you, you’ll have to find the right person to contact. Big news organizations will sometimes have art directors, directors of photography, photo editors, assistant photo editors, and picture researchers. Usually, the director of photography is going to be too busy to see you, and they don’t tend to make day-to-day assignments anyway. The mid-level people are often going to be most relevant. Sometimes there are photo editors who handle different sections of a newspaper, like national news, sports, business, real estate. If you’re not sure who the right person to contact is, call the main switchboard and ask for the name of the photo editor, and then ask to be put through to them. If the receptionist doesn’t know who the photo editor is (or won’t tell), ask to be put through to the photo department. This is where research meets marketing. Marketing: Connecting with potential clients Once you get through to someone in the photo department, there are two possible conversations. Either you’d like to visit them with your portfolio, or if they’re too far away, then you’d like to know if you can send them a link to your website. Write out a script showing what you’re going to say in these situations, and practice it until it sounds natural. You need to be able to state your case quickly and clearly, before they grow impatient and hang up. Something like this: “Hi Mr. Grossfeld, this is Bill Cra- Photo: Dean Casavechia mer, I’m a photographer in Philadelphia. I’m going to be in Boston next week and I was wondering if I could stop by with my portfolio.” Or, “Hi Mr. Scull, this is Bill Cramer, I’m a photographer in Philadelphia. Can I send you a link to my website?” If the photo editor says, “sure, send me a link,” then follow up by asking if they have a need for freelancers in your area. Then ask if there’s anyone else in the photo department that you can add to your mailing list. What you don’t want to do when you call someone, is ask if they remember getting your email promo or post card. They probably won’t, and it will only create an awkward situation. If you do get a meeting, show up looking and smelling nice (this matters!). Do some research so you know as much about that publication as possible. Tailor your portfolio to fit their needs. Start your presentation by explaining where you live and what you’re interested in shooting. Go through your pictures one by one (some people like to flip through themselves, others will want you to show them). Talk a little bit about your different projects and individual pictures. Then ask them about their needs. What sort of assignments do they hire freelancers for? How often do they use people in your area? Then listen carefully and respond appropriately. Ask them if there’s anyone else in their photo department you should see while you’re there. Thank them for their time. Remember their name when you say goodbye. Send them a hand-written post card when you get home. Pricing your Work: PhotoJournalism 10
I address, phone number, email address and web address, but also record which promo cards you sent, when you called, and when you visited. If you’re smart, you’ll also make a note of what you talked about when you do meet with someone, which will come in handy the next time you see them. We use an application called Daylite, which you can read more about here. II III Marketing: Blog and social media A blog and social media presence can be a valuable component to a photographer’s marketing plan. Blogs are a great way to write about your professional experiences and your creative process. Those stories can help clients to get to know you a little better, which will make them more likely to call you for an assignment. And that text provides something for search engines to find, so it’s great for SEO. Then, support your blog posts by actively engaging in one or two social media platforms. Photo: Dean Casavechia Sometimes people don’t answer their phones, and you’ll need another script for what to say in those cases. Sometimes it’s better to not leave a message, then try back at a different day or time to catch them. If it’s going to be your only call, it can’t hurt to leave a brief message letting them know where you live and what your web address is and that you’re interested in working for them, or that you’re going to be in town on such-andsuch day and you’re wondering if you could stop by with your book. Interestingly, Instagram has become very popular with both photographers (particularly pj's) and publications. Lots of photographers have Instagram accounts, some have Instagram sections of their websites, and many publications (including The New Yorker) hire photographers to take over their Instagram accounts for a few days or weeks at a time. The New York Times has even published Instagram (and Hipstamatic) pictures on their front page. Marketing: SEO The trick with all of these emails and phone calls is to walk a fine line between being assertive enough to be heard without being so pushy that they don’t want to deal with you. A postcard or email promotion every couple of months and a phone call once a year is about right. Set aside a few hours each week or month to cultivate your list of prospects and connect with them. Some photographers send out mass emails or print mailings. Others just send out personalized promotions one at a time. When your list is small (under 100), it will make sense to personalize everything you send out. But once you have several hundred prospects on your list, it might make sense to automate your email promotion to go out to everyone every 2-3 months, and then also send out a personalized printed promo, one-by-one spread throughout the year. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is another component of your marketing. Every photographer needs both active and passive elements to their marketing effort. Active marketing includes sending out mailers, making phone calls and meeting with clients. You’re going to direct your active marketing efforts to clients that you know about. But there are a lot of good clients that you don’t know about, and you want to make it easy for them to find you. That’s why it’s also important to think about passive marketing. Your website, blog and social media are all places where perfect strangers can find you and call you for an assignment. SEO is about putting relevant text on your website, blogs and social media platforms so that when clients are doing organic research for your type of photographer in your place, or shooting your subject matter, you will show up in those results. When you post pictures to your website or blog, there’s a text field that you can type a description (called an alt tag) of the picture into, like “red barn Nebraska.” There are also “tags” on your blog that you can type in relevant keywords, and then there’s actual stories that you can write about your experiences. You’ll also need some sort of contact database to keep track of all those prospects and your interaction with them. Keep a record not only of a prospect’s name, company, There are whole companies devoted to trying to figure out how Google and the other search engines prioritize their search results, and everyone is trying to beat the system Pricing your Work: PhotoJournalism 11
I II III so that they come up first. There are some simple rules of thumb, like posting content regularly, or having other relevant websites linking to yours. But since Google is constantly changing their search algorithms to prevent people from gaming the system, the single best thing you can do is actively communicate who you are and what you do, and leave it up to Google to figure out how to find you. Over time, you will evolve as a photographer, clients will come and go and change, and the ways in which you display your pictures, and research and connect with clients will change. As a freelance photographer, you simply have to get comfortable with the idea that you will need to continue to adapt to these changes, and you will need to actively engage in a never-ending cycle of branding, research, and marketing, so you can grow your business in a direction that’s right for you. Photo: Dean Casavechia Pricing your Work: PhotoJournalism 12
Part II What fees and terms should I expect to see and what questions should I ask? ou’ve met with a photo editor and they love your pictures. The next thing you know, they’re calling you with an assignment. Great! But along with that assignment will come a contract. Every client will have their own expectations about what they’ll want to pay and what rights they expect to get for that payment. So it’s a good idea to learn a bit about this process in advance, so you can handle yourself appropriately when that time comes. Here are a few questions you’ll want to ask yourself (or the client). What is the fee for an assignment? Is it the same whether it's 10 minutes or 10 hours? It's customary for the assignment fee to cover up to a certain number of hours (sometimes 4, sometimes 8 hours), then pay extra if the assignment runs longer than that. We see assignment fees ranging from $75.00 flat to $600.00 plus expenses. Many publications pay what’s called a “day rate.” How long a day is, is sometimes vague. And it’s up to you to decide how clear you need to be with your client. What expenses is the client covering? Some clients pay a flat fee which includes any expenses. Others pay a fee plus incidental expenses like mileage, tolls, parking. Still others pay those incidental expenses, plus fees for digital delivery (which might be 100.00 - 500.00 for a web gallery and reproduction file processing). Some portrait or conceptual assignments may require assistants (150.00 - 300.000/day) and lighting equipment rental (300.00 - 500.00/day). What rights does the client get (licensing)? The assignment fee should be commensurate with the usage. The more rights they have to your pictures, the more valuable they are to the client, and the more you should be paid. One-time editorial print use and concurrent web use is what every publication will want, at a minimum. At this point, every publication publishes on some combination of platforms (whether it’s print, online, or tablet), so there’s no point in trying to negotiate separately for them. Other publications will also want to re-use your pictures without additional payment, so that’s worth a bit more. Some publications will want to license your pictures to unknown third parties, which I do not recommend for any price that they would be willing to pay. Worst of all, some clients will insist on Work Made For Hire, which means that the client owns all the rights to your photos (including the right to license them to third parties), and you have no rights (except possibly to use the pictures in your portfolio). At Wonderful Machine, our rule of thumb is that we don't consider WFH agreements for fees under $10,000. What rights does the photographer retain (exclusivity)? It's important to understand the difference between licensing and exclusivity, as they can be independent of each other. Licensing refers to how a client can use your photos (the license that you are conveying to them in exchange for a fee), and exclusivity refers to how the photographer can use the photos. It's not uncommon for a client to place an embargo on the pictures for a certain period of time after they are first shot or first published. That's reasonable for a period of a few weeks, but a photographer needs to be able to license the pic- Pricing your Work: PhotoJournalism 13
I II III tures to other publications if he/she is going to make a decent living. All photojournalists need to have a plan to relicense important pictures (whether it means marketing them themselves or working with a picture agency). It’s common courtesy to allow the publication to publish the photos before you show them to anyone else (especially the subject). But most clients won’t mind you using the photos in your portfolio, after they’ve been published, even if it’s within the embargo period. I also recommend that you have health insurance and disability insurance. If you're married or have kids, you will need life insurance. If you're over 50, you'll need longterm care insurance. What if the client wants to re-use a picture that you shot for them, or if they want to use a picture that you shot for someone else? Re-use is generally something that every contract will cover. Some clients pay for onetime use and then pay an additional fee if they use the pictures again. Other clients want to be able to use the pictures again without additional payment (which is fine if the original payment is enough). And some clients even want to be able to license your photo to third parties without additional payment (which I would not accept without negotiating a separate payment). If a client wants to re-use of a picture you shot for them in their own publication, that’s one thing. But if they want to use a picture of yours that was not originally shot for them, then that should be negotiated on a case-by-case basis. Stock use of an ordinary picture is generally worth about the same as a typical assignment fee or a little less. So if a publication pays $200 for an assignment, then I’d want to get about $150 for a stock picture. Just be clear with the client that it’s for one-time use and that the terms of their assignment contract don’t apply to that picture. If it’s an extraordinary picture that they can’t get anywhere else, it could be worth $1k, $10k, or $100k depending on how special it is. What types of insurance will you need? Photo: Andy Colwell As a freelance photojournalist (or independent contractor) who doesn’t receive benefits from an employer, you’ll need to get your own equipment insurance and liability insurance. Liability insurance covers you in the event that you drop a lens on someone's head or they trip over your light stand or you put your boom arm through their Picasso. There are some buildings that you won’t be able to shoot in unless you can provide proof of insurance (called a certificate of insurance). Many contracts say that you will "indemnify and hold harmless" your client if they get sued because of something you did. Make sure your liability insurance covers that, too (which is sometimes called an “errors and omissions” clause). Pricing your Work: PhotoJournalism 14
Part II To what extent are rates and terms negotiable and is it worth trying? ince it’s mostly a buyer’s market, most news media clients tend not to be very flexible on rates or terms. (This is less true of magazines and even less true of commercial clients.) But that shouldn’t stop you from trying to negotiate a better deal when you feel the client is being unreasonable, or when you know you’re more valuable than the average photographer. If you find that you’re uncomfortable with the rate that they're offering or the terms that they want, I suggest you very diplomatically express your concern about it, even if you end up agreeing to work under those terms. As you become busier, your negotiating leverage will grow, and once you establish your value, some clients will be willing to accommodate you (others won't). Compared to corporate and advertising assignments, news photography tends not to pay very well. Some photographers take the approach that they'll get in and out of those jobs as quickly as possible in order to make them worthwhile. Other photographers have the philosophy that they don't want to deliver any more quality than the client is actually paying for. Still others figure that if they're going to take an assignment, that no matter what it pays, they're going to make it as good as it can be.That said, you never know when another news editor may come across your work, and for that reason, you always want to put your best foot forward. Photo: Andy Colwell Pricing your Work: PhotoJournalism 15
Part II What are some examples of fees, terms, and contracts? hen you’re getting started as a freelance photographer, it’s impossible to know what fees, expenses, and licensing are “fair,” without understanding what other publications offer and what other photographers accept. As you gain experience, what other people do will become less and less important as you begin to understand your own value more and more. Thanks to the generosity of a few photographer and photo editor friends, we’ve compiled a number of contracts and pricing information from several mainstream news organizations that will help give you the lay of the land. Check out the full breakdown up on our blog at Wonderful Machine: blog.wonderfulmachine.com/2014/02/ pricing-negotiating-newspaper-contracts Photo: Andy Colwell Pricing your Work: PhotoJournalism 16
Part III Conclusion ll this talk of branding, marketing, pricing and negotiating can be enough to make your head spin. While it’s valuable for photographers to understand and actively engage in the business of freelance photography, you also can’t let it consume you or distract you from actually being a photographer. But you can’t just throw your hands up, either. It’s your ability to run a business that will sustain your photography. I'd like to thank the many photojournalists and photo editors who contributed to this article. Wonderful Machine is available to help all photographers with marketing, estimates, shoot production, or any other advice. Call Craig Oppenheimer at (610) 260-0200 for more information. Photo: Michelle McLoughlin Photo: Michelle McLoughlin Pricing your Work: PhotoJournalism 17
Part III Resources for Photojournalists Workshops »» Eddie Adams Workshop »» NPPA Northern Short Course »» NPPA Multimedia Immersion »» Missouri Photo Workshop »» Summit Series of Photography Workshops »» MediaStorm Multimedia Workshop »» Mountain Workshops »» Main Media Workshops »» Digital Video Storytelling Platypus Workshop »» Santa Fe Workshops »» Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar »» Foundry Photojournalism Workshops Universities »» Missouri School of Journalism »» Ohio University »» Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications »» Boston University »» Rochester Institute of Technology »» Corcoran College of Art and Design Photo Agencies & Cooperatives »» Aurora Photos »» Luceo »» Magnum Photos »» NAR Photos »» Picture Society »» Polaris Images »» Prime Collective »» Reportage by Getty Images »» VII Photo »» Zuma Press Associations »» National Press Photographers Association »» Editorial Photographers (now part of APA): »» »» »» »» American Photographic Association Overseas Press Club of America White House News Photographers Association Women Photojournalists of Washington Newspaper Association of America Festivals »» International Festival of Photojournalism »» Lumix Festival for Young Photojournalism Contests, Grants, Awards »» World Press Photo »» Tim Hetherington Grant »» Pulitzer Prize »» Dorthea Lange-Paul Taylor Prize »» EP Education Grants Photo Competition »» Leica Oskar Barnack Award »» W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund Grant Pricing your Work: PhotoJournalism 18
I II III Iconic news photos to know: 1936 | Robert Capa's picture of Loyalist fighter being killed in Spanish Civil War 1936 | Dorthea Lange's Migrant Mother (Florence Owens Thompson) 1936 | Arthur Rothstein's picture of a farmer and his sons in Oklahoma's Dust Bowl 1937 | Gus Pasquerella's picture of the Hindenburg disaster 1944 | Robert Capa's picture of the D-Day invasion 1945 | Joe Rosenthal's picture of Marines raising an American flag on Iwo Jima 1945 | Alfred Eisenstadt's picture of a sailor kissing a nurse in Times Square on V-J Day 1948 | W. Eugene Smith's Country Doctor story 1948 | Nat Fein's picture of Babe Ruth 1963 | Stan Stearn's picture of John F. Kennedy Jr. saluting at his father's funeral 1966 | Larry Burrows' picture of wounded marines in Viet Nam 1968 | Bill Eppridge's picture of Robert F. Kennedy's assassination 1968 | Eddie Adams' picture of the execution of a Viet Cong prisoner 1970 | John Filo's picture of a slain demonstrator on the campus of Kent State University 1972 | Nick Ut's picture of Phan Thi Kim Phuc fleeing the scene of a napalm bomb 1975 | Stanley Forman's picture of mother and child falling from collapsed fire escape 1976 | Stanley Forman's picture "The Soiling of Old Glory" 1989 | Stuart Franklin and Jeff Widener's picture of a protester standing in front of a tank in Tiananmen Square in Beijing 2001 | Richard Drew's picture of a man falling out of the north tower of the World Trade Center 2003 | Abu Ghraib detainee abuse Pricing your Work: PhotoJournalism 19
Part III About Bill Cramer and Wonderful Machine ill Cramer is founder and CEO of Wonderful Machine, a curated directory of high-quality photographers, serving commercial and editorial clients worldwide. He is also a photographer in his own right, specializing in environmental portraiture for a wide range of corporate, editorial and advertising clients including Forbes, BBDO, Comcast and Accenture. Graduating from Penn State in 1985, Bill began his career as a photojournalist, stringing for the Associated Press and The New York Times. He assisted many prominent photographers, including a year with fashion photographer Steven Meisel. Over time, his interests grew to include portraiture, where he now concentrates his efforts. He has received a number of industry awards and has been included in Communication Arts Photography Annual three times. In 2007, seeing an opportunity to build a better mousetrap, Bill created Wonderful Machine as a "source book on steroids." In addition to providing creatives with an eclectic selection of photographers from around the world, Wonderful Machine aggressively promotes those photographers using email campaigns, print mailers, web ads, social media, publicity, phone calls and portfolio events. Website: billcramer.com wonderfulmachine.com Wonderful Machine also offers member and non-member photographers a host of consulting services including help with estimates, production, web design, photo editing and more. Their staff members frequently participate in industry events and contribute a popular monthly column on pricing and negotiating to aphotoeditor.com. Wonderful Machine currently works with more than 600 photographers in 50 countries around the world. Pricing your Work: PhotoJournalism 20
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