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Demotix - Does it work? (sales/exposure?)

Demotix is an online website which is supposed to help photojournalists get their freelance work out there and sold.

I’ve been submitting some stories of late. I have over 13,000 views of my stores,,, yet no sales.

I was wondering if anybody has used Demotix with any success before? If so, tell us about it (and link to the story and images). Did it give you exposure or further opportunities? Was it a reasonable payout?

by Gene Tewksbury at 2012-08-14 22:01:20 UTC | Bookmark | | Report spam→

Payment i got earlier.These days plenty of photographers at demotix. And sales method is not clear too. You ask them straight.

by Subhamoy | 15 Aug 2012 08:08 | Guwahati, India | | Report spam→
Gene, I collaborated with Demotix from the very beginning up until a couple of months ago, when I decided to quit and ask to have all my stuff removed from the site. From my experience, it may work if you cover newsworthy issues from major cities, else it doesn’t make too much sense, or at least it didn’t for me from Argentina.
There was some arguing in Demotix’s forums about payments, you may want to check them out, their forums are open. Demotix started, and still is, as a citizen journlists site, so they are sort of associated with several social news services, which use stuff, mainly for the web, and pay next to nothing (I mean, in the u$s1/2 neighbourhood), then you may get some publications that pay a lot more, and then Demotix itself may use one of your images in their widget, and that will pay some u$s18 or so. So, from what I collect from my experience and others that I chatted with, you usually get little money, and every now and then you get some real bucks out of a sale. Again, that little money may be more if you’re in a location that has more newsworhty issues going on, it’s not the same Buenos Aires than Athens, like it was last year, where if you happened to be in Egypt at the start of the year you would sell more images in a day than me in a year from Buenos Aires, where things doesn’t get that much play on international media.
On the plus side, you may get your work distributed by Corbis if their editors choose it and you don’t have another deal that offers that kind of exposure.
If you have any questions mail me at patriciomurphy [at] outlook.com and I’ll be glad to help if possible.

by Patricio Murphy | 15 Aug 2012 18:08 (ed. Aug 17 2012) | Buenos Aires, Argentina | | Report spam→
Hi- I have been submitting material, from the start also, to Demotix. I first met them in Perpignan. My experience may be’ different, because I live in a Major city, Paris. And they have managed to sign up a good local account, Le Figaro, to stream images to from the Wire service. I belong to their Wire service,, and is distributed by Corbis WIre. They promise to give us shared revenue from their contract clients, who pay a monthly subscription, for unlimited use of what ever comes down the tunnel. To date, I have yet to see any of this promise come to fruition, hence the heated discussion on their forums. I have been selling, not very much, some of my work as stock. And our first payout, from the wire service, is due next week. That’s all I can say for now. THis is all new and I am willing to give it a try, because all the work I do is non-exclusive, and that I can distribute it elsewhere, as stock. You can see my work on Directphoto.
With regards,
Tom Craig

by tom craig | 16 Aug 2012 18:08 | paris, France | | Report spam→
Hmmm…, looks interesting, and while I’ve never used Demotix, it sounds like it might work for some of my work. The payment thing seems a bit worrying, so I am curious to know how your payment is when you get it, Tom. Can you let us know what happens?

by John Louis Lassen Perry | 19 Aug 2012 18:08 | Liberty Corner, New Jersey, United States | | Report spam→
I started using Demotix last year when national protests broke out in Malawi – and didn’t sell anything . Last month I made a few sales but I’m going to echo Pat’s comments here in saying that the profit was minimal. However, they’ve made some big changes over the past year and I do feel like it’s still worth using, even if it’s just to house your stories on a website with a sleek interface! I, myself, am curious to see how Demotix grows.

by Katie Lin | 20 Aug 2012 09:08 | Vancouver, Canada | | Report spam→
I’ve been using them for 2 years or so. When I lived in New York I sold a few at something like $9 each and got one sold to a magazine for $150. Now that I live in Thailand I am not selling anything. Ironically, their press pass hardly ever worked in NY but it does in Thailand(to be fair, I had a friend who used his state driver’s licence here and got in).
Another annoying thing is you don’t always know what the photos are being used in. Sometimes you do but sometimes you have to play detective and you may never know where it went. Apparently Harmen Newsweek LLC and The Week Publications had felt the need to pay me $6 each but I have no idea what they used the photos for (which I would really like to know!).
They also sometime edit your captions and write something presumptive and untrue which is beyond irritating.
Don’t expect to actually make any legit money but if you are in a major city and want to try it out, go for it. They also send you emails telling you interesting news worthy things to take pictures of in your area which is pretty cool.
If you are curious, my Demotix page is here: http://www.demotix.com/users/allyse-pulliam/profile and if you have any questions you can totally email me (allysepulliam@gmail.com)
Good luck!

by Allyse Pulliam | 20 Aug 2012 12:08 | Brooklyn, United States | | Report spam→
Hmmm, well sounds like there is some possibilities with them. My main goal at the moment is mostly exposure not so much profit. I just want to get a few things published to boost my portfolio credentials. I guess I’ll keep trying.

Are there any other websites like Demotix out there? I’ve looked and found several but they all seem to have no real standing. By that I mean their traffic rankings would indicate that nobody views the site and as such I would expect even fewer “people who matter” view the site.

Has anyone noticed that Demotix website is intolerably slow? Or is that just happening to me?

by Gene Tewksbury | 20 Aug 2012 14:08 | Denver, United States | | Report spam→
Gene, Demotix being slow has been Nº1 complaint (close tie with upload problems) since the very beginning. They supposedly upgraded servers, but I quit at about the same time so I have no inside experience. yet, from a user point of view(still check every now and then both the site for stories by people I know and the forums) yes, it’s still annoyingly slow.
As I said, it may be a good bet for those in major cities. As of the press pass, from what I see, it works pretty well in third world countries, but in all fairness, so would work any press pass you print on a similar plastic card stating “So & So Images” with a big PRESS sign, so I wouldn’t pay for it.
If you’re after exposure more than profit, it’s quite good, some of your work will get play by Corbis, so it’s worth it. And you may actually make some profit out of it in the end. And if you ever get in touch or speak to them, you’ll find them to be, for the most, nice and cool people.
Tom, I’m also curious about how that first payout worked in the end. While working with them I followed al the discussions in the forums (one of the reasons I left was I didn’t really get answer to some questions that were important to me), so I would like to see how things developed in the end.

by Patricio Murphy | 20 Aug 2012 15:08 | Buenos Aires, Argentina | | Report spam→
I echo the above concerns. I have posted several hundred photos on Demotix and never made a ‘sale.’ I am now with their ‘Wire’ and will be observing results carefully. More active friends of mine have posted many more, but Demotix is 6-12 months overdue in payments to them. Their press pass may have some utility— for a few bucks it is worth it. Their upload used to be a complete nightmare, but in all fairness, this seems to have been fixed. It is correct that, when/if they answer you, they are pleasant and polite. I agree that it would be nice to be notified where/when/whether an image is used. They do not to my knowledge do this, though. Their business model is good, but their execution seems to be a work in slow progress. It will be interesting to see whether they are a serious business or a hobby or website looking to get bought out…. I am watching with interest.

by John Rudoff | 20 Aug 2012 17:08 | Portland Oregon, United States | | Report spam→
Gene, don’t expect miracles, but as i am concerned I ve sold some pics. Uploading problems have been fixed now and as the others say they are ok when u send them a mail. The Corbis deal is what really counts, as most of my sales are through Corbis. To my experience, although they are a small business they are respected and this is basically thanks to the good work of the contributors. It is vague though how much clients pay for pics and what the photographers earn by it. I don’t mean that Demotix is cheating on us, but I would suppose the longer the reseller chain, the less the earnings.
[Hi Patricio & Tom nice to see u here :)]

by Nikolas Georgiou | 20 Aug 2012 19:08 | Athens, Greece | | Report spam→
Well, all I can say is that the promised date (today) of the first payment for the Demotix/corbis Wire, has come and gone. And still,, no payment. Instead, we got another email apologizing for this or that. What does this prove? Time will tell.

by tom craig | 22 Aug 2012 18:08 | paris, France | | Report spam→
I have also been with Demotix from the beginning and so far, I sold one image. I am not sure what their wire service is about but I would be interested in hearing about it. They are good folks to deal with but I agree with the others here, they do not seem to be great about notifications. I was in a small town when I started so not sure if that played into it. We will have to see what transpires in the future with them.

by Christopher Kimball | 23 Aug 2012 20:08 | Charlotte, NC, United States | | Report spam→
Still waiting, Tom? Curious about the outcome. Up in the thread I mentioned the open forums. Well, no longer. I used to follow a couple of threads I participated in the past, but have no longer access, so I guess those forums aren’t public anymore.

by Patricio Murphy | 03 Sep 2012 19:09 | Buenos Aires, Argentina | | Report spam→
Look, demotix has been a plan B from the start. Its been a dumping place for all kind of photographers, news, weekend shots, some crappy others good…

For me? I dont wanna have my photos up there. But there might be sales to get. Its a gamble with these kind of agencies. i think most people are better off not to be connected with ‘average’ agencies that are like “wallmarts”.

Well, the way things go can be mysterious and there might very well be a start of a successfull career coming out of starting out with Demotix. But I wouldn’t rely on it.

I would say do your own style photography, have your own website, say no to anybody that want to take you under their wings without much of a guarantee you will be able to earn a living…and eventually people that like your images will pay you personally for your images and your special way of getting them.

Thats all!

by Tom Van Cakenberghe | 03 Sep 2012 20:09 (ed. Sep 4 2012) | Kathmandu, Nepal | | Report spam→
I thought I’d add this follow up.
After the initial post, I became sort of concerned about something I didn’t give to much thought: I had my account taken down, left Demotix, everything fine, they wouldn’t sell any of my stuff anymore, OK.
Now, I had a couple of prior sales, and my stuff still shows in Corbis. So, in short, I wrote them, Turi answered quickly and told me he would pass the issue to the proper area, and then I heard nothing, but since this was no more than two weeks ago, I didn’t write them again, I can understand it will not be top priority, and didn’t expect so.
Today I got a mail telling me they transferred to my PayPal account some 50 bucks, so the answer is there, they’re honouring the deal as I expected from them. Yes, it’s not that much money, but with the exchange rate it still adds up, and it means things are working as they should.
Just thought it would add something to the thread.

by Patricio Murphy | 20 Sep 2012 21:09 | Buenos Aires, Argentina | | Report spam→

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Gene Tewksbury, Photo Travel/Tour Guide Gene Tewksbury
Photo Travel/Tour Guide
Denver , United States
Subhamoy, PHOTOJOURNALIST Subhamoy
Guwahati , India
Patricio Murphy, Musician, photographer Patricio Murphy
Musician, photographer
Buenos Aires , Argentina
tom craig, Photographer tom craig
Paris , France
John Louis Lassen Perry, Photoanthropologist John Louis Lassen Perry
Califon, New Jersey , United States
Katie Lin, Multimedia Journalist Katie Lin
Multimedia Journalist
Vancouver , Canada
Allyse Pulliam, Photojournalist Allyse Pulliam
Mae Sot , Thailand
John  Rudoff, Still Photography John Rudoff
Still Photography
Portland Oregon , United States
Nikolas Georgiou, photojournalist Nikolas Georgiou
Athens , Greece
Christopher Kimball, Freelance Photojournalist Christopher Kimball
Freelance Photojournalist
Charlotte, Nc , United States ( CLT )
Tom Van Cakenberghe, Tom Van Cakenberghe
Kathmandu , Nepal


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