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Dough for citizen photojournalism

David Kilpatrick

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Our daughter happened to snap this when walking to work. Tweeted the photo. Within hours (having turned down my suggestion she send me the file and let me get in on Alamy newsfeed - she's been so disappointed with the tedious nature of stock that she's given up on a one-time enthusiasm for this) it was all over the national press websites, Huff Post, worldwide.


And not unrewarded, the first paper to run it (Scottish Daily Record) pays £100 for such uses off Twitter apparently - and bylined by all the media in accordance with Twitter terms. She's not sure how many of the other media will pay a fee.



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Congratulations to your daughter! I think she has the right strategy in mind and I think it's how images will get licensed in the future.


For what it's worth, my process is I upload to Alamy Live News Feed as well as another non-exclusive news agent, and I upload to my website in its own gallery.  I then tweet that I've filed a new story and link to the website gallery with proper hashtags.  Images are priced for editorial use.


1) I've not made a sale (yet) doing this.

2) Google analytics has proven time and again that this strategy drives traffic to my website - at least 70 fold compared to normal daily traffic

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Good news ('scuse the pun).


For a while, I have been of the opinion that crowd-sourced media will not last overly long in it's current form.  I don't believe that the stock industry will ever get back to where it once was, and I'm sure that there will always be those quite happy to supply work for free to commercial interests, (more fool them) but...


...as word gets around (and social media will ensure that it will, albeit slowly) that there is money to be made from pass-by photos, folk will tire of knowing that Jack gets paid for his picture while Jill does not.  The novelty of seeing one's image in the local (or national) rag will wane when the penny finally drops that others (publishers) are making money off the work, while getting their annual bonus increased for doing the same and increasing said publisher's profits.


Well done, Ailsa!

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I really hope you right but judging by Huff Post it is not going to happen any time soon. The owners of HP made 100s of $millions when they sold it but the writers, who had built and worked unpaid, still got nothing. The outcry soon died down.


There have always been people (I see it as well with writers) who will work for "exposure", a byline. Even in the days of film when it cost actual money: film, processing, print, postage to give away one's work. While people have egos there will be those giving their work away.


But I will live in hope; I will try and find a niche where there is not an easy option so there is less competition.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Daily Record would do well to pay for the images they have used already rather than pay out £100 for twitter images. Still waiting for payment for mine since July last year. 


Cracking shot right enough lol. Quite funny too. I'm sure I saw that on twitter over the weekend. 

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