Wednesday, April 14, 2010

AP Hires out Staff Photographers

The good folks over at PDNPulse (here) wrote about the AP hiring out their staff photographers for freelance work.

From one point of view, it sounds like a good idea. From another, a bad one.

(Continued after the Jump)

On the good side - the AP invests a great deal of money, time, and infrastructure to have their cadre of staff photographers. However, in some instances, those photographers are idle, and/or not used to their fullest potential. Why not allow another news organization to book them for an assignment? It is a smart way to maximize their assets (yes, a photographer is an asset of an organization) to maximize revenue and yield.

On the bad side - once this program goes well (and it likely will), there is no reason that the AP cannot task a freelancer who earns $200 a day, and grants all rights to the AP, to an assignment that would be done for a corporate/commercial client for $2,000 or more. Heck, WireImage charges $5,000+ and hires a photographer for a few hundred dollars for the same deal and then post the images on their site, why not the AP? But, where's your piece of that higher dollar? Nowhere, if you signed their contract!

So, it's good, and it's bad, but in an era where every outlet is trying to stay profitable, I can't say it wasn't expected.

Please post your comments by clicking the link below. If you've got questions, please pose them in our Photo Business Forum Flickr Group Discussion Threads.


gene x hwang / orange photography said...

Hey John, as usual, good insights. I think what you have stated seems to make a lot of sense. I guess we'll see how this all plays out but I hope the AP photogs don't get burned out and/or overused and not compensated accordingly...

Anonymous said...

hm... getting paid $200 a day as a freelancer (not permanent employee with benefits) then hired out to another agency at $1000 or more a day without additional compensation?

Sounds like someone is getting screwed. If that's not corporate greed I don't know what is.

In essence this sounds like AP would be acting as an agent with a multiple 100% agent fee. Sounds like modern slavery. It's like $150 dollar sneakers being made by $2.5 a day labour in Asia.

mikepenney said...

No problem... it's just the return to slavery we have all been expecting.

AP is no virgin... They are an evil empire big ass corporation just like the rest of the Walmarts out there... looking for something for nothing.

AdvRdr said...

AP is seeking 'assignment work' for their STAFF photographers. Therefore a staff photographer will work their normal Guild contract schedule. The staff photographer will get a percentage of the assignment fee. At least that is how I understand it to be.

Anonymous said...

Looks like work as a photographer to me. "A bad day of fishing is better than a good day at the office."

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