Photographers Are Their Own Worst Enemy

Photographers Are Their Own Worst Enemy

If you want to ensure that your efforts to renegotiate a bad contract handed to you by a large publishing group are unsuccessful, do any of the following:

  • Sign the bad contract
  • Have your trade group send a letter of protest with no follow-up
  • Organize a group of photographers to protest but don’t publicly disclose which photographers are protesting
  • Fail to formally coordinate protesting groups
  • Fail to create a dialog between photographers who signed, those on the fence, and those who won’t
  • Ensure that there is no regular news coverage of the efforts
  • Blame a straw man

There will be no movement, there will be no public support, there will be no unified front if nobody knows what you’re doing in the first place. The Time, Inc. contract isn’t the first nor the last to screw photographers. But what could be a watershed moment for photographers to form a unified front and create leverage for a negotiation is withering on the vine.

Photographers are their own worst enemy.

Next Post:
Previous Post:
This article was written by

Allen Murabayashi is the Chairman and co-founder of PhotoShelter.

There are 2 comments for this article
  1. Pam Kelso at 3:07 pm

    I’ve never submitted to TIME. I did have a contract from hell with AGE Fotostock that took several years to cancel but finally did.

    You would think that a magazine that earned a nickname of SLIME for it’s photo-re-editing would do better.

  2. Aaron K at 11:07 pm

    How do you form a “unified front” when so many pro photographers (particularly in the editorial sector) won’t communicate with one another or even join a trade association?

    The trade associations work extremely hard to try and keep photographers informed and organize resistance, but their efforts are inevitably undermined by the large number of selfish and short-sighted photographers who simply refuse to be part of a united group.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *