Monday, March 30, 2009

World Picture Network - Shuttering Assignment Desk

With "hundreds of photographers in over 70 countries whose experience covers the spectrum of editorial and commercial photography, including conflict coverage, news, sports, entertainment, science, technology, fashion, lifestyle, portraiture and documentary photography" benefiting from assignments, The shuttering of the World Picture Network's assignment desk, this should have a bit of an impact.

The agency was founded in 2001, and grew to a point where a move to New York City in 2004 was in order.

In a letter to contributors, Brian J Miller, CEO, wrote "WpN is another victim of the severe economic downturn, along with most of our clients and many of you. Our assignment revenue has dropped dramatically in the last five months and it simply does not make financial sense to continue supporting the losses we are sustaining with no improvement in sight. "

(Full text of e-mail, after the Jump)

Dear WpN Photographers,

I am writing to alert you that WpN will stop taking on new assignments in the next few weeks. Beginning today, we are telling clients that they should contact you directly for all assignments to be shot after April 17th.

WpN is another victim of the severe economic downturn, along with most of our clients and many of you. Our assignment revenue has dropped dramatically in the last five months and it simply does not make financial sense to continue supporting the losses we are sustaining with no improvement in sight.

I should note that image sales from our archive, both direct sales and those through our Network Partners, have been less impacted by our clients’ budget constraints. I would encourage you to leave your images with us on a non-exclusive basis. I have always felt that “more eyeballs means more sales,” and many customers know to come to our website or to our Network Partners for your images. The amounts may not be life-changing, but any sales that result are found money for you.

Rest assured that you will be paid on all completed assignments as clients pay us, and you will continue to be paid on all image sales on the same basis.

I do not know what the future will bring for any of us individually or for our industry, but I wish you all the best. I hope you are able to weather the storm and continue to use your considerable talents successfully for many years to come.

If you have any questions or concerns, fee free to call or email:

Brian (646-XXX-XXXX) Xxxxx.Xxxx@worldpicturenews.com

Todd (646-XXX-XXXX) Xxxxx.Xxxx@worldpicturenews.com

Alden (646-XXX-XXXX) Xxxxx.Xxxx@worldpicturenews.com

Brian J. Miller, CEO
World Picture Network LLC
62 White Street, #3W
New York NY 10013
(P) 212-XXX-XXXX
Yes, indeed, this is one more case of a good organization suffering because of the economy. Perhaps this will change, since WpN is not closing up the entire operation, but just the assignments division. Only time will tell.

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9 comments:

AdvRdr said...

I was offered the assignment editor position but they couldn't answer a few questions I had about the new biz plan. Glad I walked away.

A.T. Roll said...

"Perhaps this will change, since WpN is not closing up the entire operation, but just the assignments division. Only time will tell...."

John, FYI, WPN closed its "wire service" over a year ago. With today's news, I wonder what's left of the agency exactly?

KBL said...

WPN has been going down the drain for a long time now. It was just a matter of time.
Many of WPN's featured photographers have left in the past few months, way before this was announced. (just look at the shrinking list on their website)
It is no longer an agency, just a stock storage server, nothing more. The credit crunch has very little to do with it, mostly bad management.
It seems that WPN is begging photographers to leave their photos online, i hope they are smart enough to leave this sunken ship.

Fotografi said...

Not easy time for WPN but they are still polite.
I believe that the market changed really faster than most of agency could realize.
It's time for photographer to find new way of profit.
I believe that being a professional photographer now is not only about taking picture but it's about being a wise businessman

Anonymous said...

"I believe that being a professional photographer now is not only about taking picture but it's about being a wise businessman."

Every goddamned decade more jackasses get into this business thinking business skills aren't critically important so long as their work is really good. And every goddamned decade those same jackasses wake up to the necessity of good business skills.

tcknight said...

John:

Please remove the anon post.

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

"I believe that being a professional photographer now is not only about taking picture but it's about being a wise businessman."

Every decade more photographers get into this business thinking business skills aren't critically important so long as their work is really good. And every decade those same photographers wake up to the necessity of good business skills.

Anonymous said...

Different anonymous here: Original anon was spot on. To make a living you need to know who's going to pay you. Pictures aren't enough. There are a lot of pressures on the market but new channels too. Gotta find em and remember that people do business, not organisations. Stock is dead and a good shot taken to spec. can make a huge difference to the outcome for any sort of piece.

Turn again, and find new ways.

Gold Rushtrail said...

if anyone is looking for a new place to either promote themselves as an assignment photographer or is looking to hire an assignment photographer, anywhere in the world, I can highly recommend Photographers Direct's new Photographer Portfolio section:

professional assignment photographers

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