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Photographers always gripe (and understandably so) about sites that publish photographs without suitably paying the photographer. I too have complained about it, especially if it’s a site that makes money from the use of those images.
A site I have helped start up and continue to work to evolve is doing something a little different. And I can assure you we are not making any money at this point!
We ask “citizen photojournalists” (or anyone who shoots photos while not officially affiliated with any organization) to upload images of news and current events around the world. The photographer is only guaranteed one thing: he or she retains ALL rights to the photographs.
However, we select the best photographs and feature them on the site’s homepage with credit and links pointing back to that’s photographer’s profile page. Each photographer can post a link to their personal Web sites on their profile page as well.
Anyway, each month, we select 30 “photo sets” as we call them and pay the photographs cash prizes ranging from $500 to $25. EACH AND EVERY MONTH! If you win, you fill out the tax forms that correspond with your country and a check is mailed to you. That’s it.
You may still scoff at this and say we should pay photographers up front, but this is the best we can do as a start up. To date, we have paid thousands of dollars to photographers from countries all around the globe. Many of these photographers just happened on a news event, snapped the photos and didn’t have anywhere else to publish them.
If you’re interested, you can learn more about this here: http://www.wesay.com/Pay_For_Photos/
Here’s a link to our site as well: http://www.wesay.com
As always, I’m open to opinions and takes on this. I’m a professional photojournalist who has already been laid off once so I do understand some of the negative opinions. I’m just trying to make a site fly and this is one of the ways we’re trying to get it up off the ground.
Hope to read some comments here.
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