Press and Documentary thread
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14-09-09, 01:29 PM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Okay... You could go the OldBoy route and although I sense a tongue-in-cheek response it's legitimate for you to pursue payment IF you stated that they were offered on-spec and would require payment for publication. It really does depend on how you word the letter... All papers are group owned so if you submit words and pix in one paper, the rights will usually include titles in the group (all legal fine print stuff I'm afraid!).
A picture editor will assume that images sent in and offered for publication are free unless otherwise stated.
I'll respond to a few points from the other side of the fence so you can get a better picture of how this industry works....
Picture credits - It stings, but don't get crushed when you don't get a credit. I bet most of the staff photographers don't get one! Pic ed's hate this, but it's decided by the newspaper editor and chief sub-editor and all down to the in-house style. Some papers do, some don't. However most local rags don't. Why? Usually time constraints by the sub-editors working the page, sometimes forgetfulness and sometimes it's a space issue.
Picture desk contacting a photographer - Believe me, they have one million tiny tasks to do from minute to minute on daily papers. Calling every person who submits pictures or articles to say thanks-but-no-thanks would be crazy. Pic ed's only call you when they want something. If you send it in accept that it's in the hands of the Gods. All press photographers work under this premiss, even staff photographers. If the editor wants to run it, he/she will without dwelling on it.
Payment - Like all business, you have to invoice picture desks to get paid. They don't have time to log and work all the accounts out. You send it, they file it and once a month the accounts dept comes round to collect them. Maybe a month or two later you'll get paid. That is if you've registered with the accounts dept and quite possibly signed a contract for image submission.
Shame you may not submit again. If I was you (and I was!) I'd chalk this up as experience and for future submissions state that a mandatory credit is required for free use of the images. Pictures published without the following credit 'Joe Bloggs' will be charged at £XX per picture. If money is your motive then before the next time you submit call the picture desk and ask them their picture rates for freelance. Some pay per pic, some by size, but most don't have a budget at all. Include the pic rate in your email with the pix and state that they are submitted at those rates upon publication. That way when the pic ed goes into conference with the editor he/she can offer the pictures and the editor (who controls the overall editorial budget) will know exactly how much that story will cost the paper. Simples.
I don't agree with sending low res images to picture desks. You're not dealing with back street criminals. Word your on-spec submission in plain English stating that publication will require payment and they will pay. Low res pics are annoying for desks as you can't see if they're publishable quality and having the original file means they can get on with putting the story and pages together as the deadlines loom. Contact sheets! lol. They go straight into the 'waste of time' folder!!
Don't get too upset by what's happened. It's happened to every single professional too!!!
It's hard to explain how the industry operates to outsiders, but I hope that makes things a bit more clear.
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