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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Patch continued part III
EJ Hersom, Photographer, Photo Editor
Sanford | ME | USA | Posted: 12:55 AM on 02.01.11
->> Eric Canta brought up a good point at the end of Patch continued part II (locked too many posts) when he said 'As an employer what I read is that you would accept an offer from me for a job and then perform up to the level that you associate with the pay grade as opposed to the best job you can do."

For Eric to think for a moment I would suggest such a thing means my post was an utter fail. I get rehired far too often for that to be the case, but without writing a novel and rehashing how to do things well, let me expound on the primary issues I was trying to get at.

If you take a lowball assignment like a $50 Patch, you should make sure the contract does not claim every click of your shutter during the time involved. There's too many contracts like that, and there's too many times on assignment you will find very marketable pictures that have nothing to do with what your assignment was. Therefore, you want to be able to contractually withhold images, that means not give them every click of your shutter by terms of the contract by which they are part of.

You can read many stories on this board (and on boards like it) how people lost thousands of dollars because of those types of contracts. But if you're shooting under those circumstances, there's nothing you can do but give up that alternate image, and maybe somebody somewhere will send you a note saying it was nice pic while you lose money.

I will stand by you get what you pay for though. That's true for every profession and not just ours. If you give any good photographer/pj a lot of money, he will give you a lot of time, and a lot of time is what it takes to create the best pictures. If you want the best pictures, you have to expect to pay for the time. You can't read the great post about getting there early and staying there late too many times. If you give me $50, I'll give you an hour of the photos you would expect, but I think I made that hour standard clear as a personal preference by somebody in the pay range so often stated previously about how and whether $50 bucks is worth it or not.
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Scott Serio, Photo Editor, Photographer
Colora | MD | USA | Posted: 1:15 AM on 02.01.11
->> So they bury it, but there is one ugly line that derailed the whole conversation for me. THEY OWN IT ALL. So, if you happened to get that silly photo that was a guaranteed double-truck somewhere and you wanted to hold it back...SORRY. The phrase "All work created" is very problematic. So, if you managed to shoot for Patch, as I did, without filling this out, my guess is that they are working under the belief that you were instructed to fill it out, so you consent to everything in there.

This is from the Patch agreement....

4. Ownership.

Patch shall own all right, title and interest in and to the Work, including the right to copyright the Work (or any portion thereof) and the perpetual and exclusive right to exploit, and allow others to exploit, the Work in any and all media and for any and all uses, to retain all revenue derived therefrom and to assign such rights to any third party. Service Provider waives any “moral rights” claims Service Provider may have with respect to the Work. To the extent that title to the Work may not, by operation of law, vest in Patch, Service Provider hereby irrevocably assigns to Patch all right, title and interest in and to the Work, including the right to copyright the Work (or any portion thereof). Service Provider agrees to give Patch and any person designated by Patch such reasonable assistance, at Patch’s request, as is required to perfect, secure and protect Patch’s intellectual property and other rights set forth in this Section. Unless otherwise requested by Patch, upon the completion of an assignment, Service Provider shall immediately turn over to Patch all Work created on such assignment.

Nothing in this Agreement shall convey to Service Provider any right, license, title, interest in or to the Work, or any other Patch intellectual property, property interest, license or right. In addition, Service Provider shall have no right to use any Patch trade name, trademark or service mark without the express written permission of Patch.
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Jesse Beals, Photographer
Tracyton | WA | USA | Posted: 2:16 AM on 02.01.11
->> If this is the case, why not send Patch your out take edits. Do they really need to get your best photo? The files that you would normally not market to high end clients is what you should send these low paying people. I mean if they are going to pay you $50.00 to own the rights and the photo for life, give them something thats not worth no more then $50.00.

Keep the remainder of the photo shoot and market it to high end clients.
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Mark Loundy, Photo Editor
San Jose | CA | USA | Posted: 3:10 AM on 02.01.11
->> This means that you can't even use the work in your portfolio without permission from AOL.

--Mark
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Clark Brooks, Photo Editor, Photographer
Urbana | IL | USA | Posted: 7:21 AM on 02.01.11
->> Jesse wrote: "...why not send Patch your out take edits...."

Because the contract specifically states and is the deal breaker: "Unless otherwise requested by Patch, upon the completion of an assignment, Service Provider shall immediately turn over to Patch all Work created on such assignment."
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Clark Brooks, Photo Editor, Photographer
Urbana | IL | USA | Posted: 7:28 AM on 02.01.11
->> Scott wrote: "...if you managed to shoot for Patch, as I did, without filling this out, my guess is that they are working under the belief that you were instructed to fill it out, so you consent to everything in there."

They may be under that impression. But in fact you still retain all the rights to the shoots you performed since you did not sign their contract. Question is, on your invoice or within the file(s) info or delivery memo did you state the rights you granted when you sent the file or invoiced them?
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EJ Hersom, Photographer, Photo Editor
Sanford | ME | USA | Posted: 8:55 AM on 02.01.11
->> Maybe an example will help. I got a nice small scene photo of a decorated doorway once while shooting a bike race for a dear departed friend who contracted me for the race. That print of the doorway allowed me to make a couple hundred dollars because my contract didn't require every image in the time frame allowed to be handed to him. The door photo is much is much different than something related to what I was contracted to produce. If you get a shot related to what you are assigned you can't sell it elsewhere because it would still fall under your contract. For instance, if you are assigned to photograph a political event and you get a funny shot of a politician knuckle deep in their nose, you can't sell it to a parody site on the side unless you retain all your rights.
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Mark Peters, Photographer
Highland | IL | USA | Posted: 9:05 AM on 02.01.11
->> Scott -

Can you provide the definition of "Work" from the contract? That is critical to this discussion.

Does it define "Work" as every image taken at an event, or simply those submitted.

I've been involved in an agreement using the latter definition (they don't claim ownership, just a boycott period). This leaves the photographer free to do what they want with the remainder of the take.
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Scott Serio, Photo Editor, Photographer
Colora | MD | USA | Posted: 9:20 AM on 02.01.11
->> Actually, they never define "Work" in the contract, which some would argue makes the document a faulty document and immediately disqualifies it as valid. The problem is, you are dealing with a pretty big outfit with $50 million of investments behind them. I think they would end up winning just based on that one element.

The sad part is that I have been around this long enough to know that the way things are "sold" to you are not necessarily the way they are. The idea of delivering pix to two, maybe three, Patches and pulling $150 out of a small event and maybe $250 out of a bigger one seems decent. In my corner of the world, that is more than a stringer rate for any local newspaper. Plus, there is the potential for back-end sales and the like. This contract nullifies that.

I actually have no problem with the rate. For editorial in my area, it is decent if worked properly. But to give up all, I mean all, not even most, for that rate is silly. Could I go ahead and sell to parent and Patch would be none the wiser? Yes, but why I am going to violate my own ethics (i.e. a signed contract) to make a few extra bucks.

I mean you can't even make them part of something else you are already shooting. Say I am at a track meet shooting it and I see a competitor from a Patch I shoot for. I mean it isn't clear, but Patch is saying by giving them one photo, they are entitled to the whole take. You know what, there have to be lawyers on here...my next post, I will cut and paste the whole agreement....
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Scott Serio, Photo Editor, Photographer
Colora | MD | USA | Posted: 9:27 AM on 02.01.11
->> It actually does, sort of define it...rather ambiguously. Here it is...

Acceptance of Services: All Services, and all work product produced by Service Provider for Patch (“Work”), including without limitation, any and all deliverables delivered by the Service Provider pursuant to this Agreement, shall be subject to acceptance by Patch.
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Eric Canha, Photographer
Brockton | MA | United States | Posted: 10:08 AM on 02.01.11
->> Okay this is going to take a bit to craft correctly so as not to sound like I'm on a high horse.

I'm honestly befuddled by the notion of submitting 'outtakes' or some other 'lessor' quality work because of the pay scale associated with a job. I'm finding that to be one of the most self defeating concepts I've read on this board in years. If you don't want a job DON'T TAKE IT.

Just consider for a minute that most editors at the local papers are looking at the Patch to see what the competition is doing. Do you really want the editor from your local paper seeing your credit under something that you cast off as an outtake? At that point is it worth the $50 or $100 to have an image that would normally end up in your crap-can plastered instead on the internet with your name attached, SEO optimized, perpetually screaming look at what XXXXXXX puts out for work? Just pass on the gig but don't ever dumb down your work because they aren't paying for higher quality. Who are you really hurting in the end? AOL?............ LOL.

EJ you're right I may have taken your post incorrectly. As far as getting what you pay for..... I think that it's a dangerous assertion. I get a lot of free pork fried rice over the course of a year. Never any indication that it is made to a lessor standard. I would never want one of my clients to think that their portrait session was cut a minute short, or that I skimped on the gear I brought out, or did anything else differently because they used a promo to get a discounted (or free) sitting. It's just a seed of doubt that blooms into one hell of a weed.

Again based on your email and your followup post here, probably not what your were meaning to imply but all anyone reading these posts ever has to go on is the words on their screen.

The contract on the other hand is bullshit Nirvana. For me personally, there isn't a gig on earth that would make signing that worthwhile. I would be curious whether all the Patch editors are requiring acceptance of the contract. Clearly in Scott's case the contract wasn't brought up before the job. Around here I have had papers ask for such an agreement while others didn't and when asked, told me that it wasn't necessary. These were papers owned by the same company.

E
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Butch Miller, Photographer
Lock Haven | PA | USA | Posted: 10:19 AM on 02.01.11
->> "my next post, I will cut and paste the whole agreement...."

Scott ... please do ... there is just too much ambiguity here on this matter ... we really need to see the WHOLE enchilada to make an informed proposal ... the excerpts just leave out too much detail ...
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Mark Peters, Photographer
Highland | IL | USA | Posted: 10:36 AM on 02.01.11
->> I agree with Butch. With just the excerpts you've posted, a reasonable interpretation is that "Work" is only those images you delivered to them. The entire agreement would provide more context for how they are using the term throughout.

The other clause I would be curious to see if they included is one that expressly addresses your liability for their legal fees in the event that they sue you and win.

Where's Korduner?
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Debra L Rothenberg, Photographer
New York | NY | USA | Posted: 10:38 AM on 02.01.11
->> the emails I received from people said the only thing they had to sign was that they wanted to get paid via paypal.
Wasn't this photo shot by an AP Freelancer who didn't own the photo? What does/did AP pay? I met with them almost 12 years ago when I first moved into NYC and they were only offering $150 and they would have owned all the rights (they never called me back saying "don't call us, we will never call you-we never heard of you.")

http://blogs.babble.com/strollerderby/2010/07/01/elian-gonzalez-speaks-out-.../
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Louis Lopez, Photographer
Fontana | CA | USA | Posted: 4:28 PM on 02.01.11
->> Look, you as a photographer have what they want.(photo coverage.)
I don't know how others work as far as prep coverage but in my specific case I am already covering the game, they (patch) want images of mine from that game. They will either agree to my terms or go elsewhere. I would never sign this patch contract as it has been described if it were ever presented to me.
It really doesn't have to be this hard. Run your life, don't let anyone run you.

Gotta go now, headed out the door to cover several prep games this afternoon.
By the way I have never worked for patch. I was only approached by one of their editors at a game. been too busy to get back to them.(also waiting to see how this discussion turned out.)
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Scott Serio, Photo Editor, Photographer
Colora | MD | USA | Posted: 5:14 PM on 02.01.11
->> THe reason I didn't cut and paste the whole contract is that there are whole swaths of confidentiality wording in that agreement. As I look at this, anything that requires this much dissection can't be a good thing. I mean, when is the last three-part SS thread?

I have a Patch editor who wants me to shoot tons of stuff, but I just really can't see this working. Like Louis, if I were to shoot something for Patch, I am most likely already there. A prime example of this is a little league tournament near me. I have done quite well shooting this for local papers who can't send a photog. Under this agreement, I couldn't do that.

Sorry, but I recognize the importance of copyright. Anyone who shoot for me retains their copyright. The only thing they ever agree to do is not to submit images to a competing photo service, thats it. Any other ancillary income they can make, have at it. As it should be.

Sad part is, if they ran this properly, they have something that could be powerful. I wonder if they even know?
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer
Durham | NC | USA | Posted: 5:21 PM on 02.01.11
->> I just have to say. I'm never going to turn in crappy "outakes" that will have my name on them. I try not to turn in ANY crap to begin with. I think this is a bad way to do business.
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Patrick Fallon, Student/Intern, Photographer
Columbia | MO | USA | Posted: 6:58 PM on 02.01.11
->> http://www.businessinsider.com/the-aol-way
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Sam Morris, Photographer
Henderson (Las Vegas) | NV | USA | Posted: 7:47 PM on 02.01.11
->> Debra, the AP hired Alan Diaz after he shot the photo.
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Lou Rocco, Photographer
River Edge | NJ | USA | Posted: 5:25 PM on 02.02.11
->> Patch is easy, I cover stuff 10 minutes from my house, put in a few hours of work, and get paid the following week. This is the freelance world, one day your rate is lets say $700, the next you work for a lot less money, but you are working...the solution if you don't like the rate is...you don't work for them. End of story....
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Shirley Pefley, Photographer
Los Altos Hills | CA | USA | Posted: 12:03 PM on 02.07.11
->> As of today Patch cut their sports freelance budget to zero. They offered assignments with no pay - I politely declined. Another editor offered low $$ and is having trouble finding photographers due to the rights clause and suggested keeping the good stuff for myself and submitting the second best - I politely declined. I learned a lot shooting for patch and I continue to learn from this forum.
Thanks all for your passionate discussions.
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Butch Miller, Photographer
Lock Haven | PA | USA | Posted: 12:51 PM on 02.07.11
->> Ironic how the freelance sports photography budget dropped to zero (at least for some) for Patch on the same day that AOL announces the bought the Huffington Post for $350M ...

http://preview.tinyurl.com/4tr94q5
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John Green, Photographer, Photo Editor
BAY AREA | CA | | Posted: 2:52 PM on 02.07.11
->> Patch is a passing fancy in a midnight dream
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Michael Fischer, Photographer
Spencer | Ia | USA | Posted: 3:07 PM on 02.07.11
->> From a NYT story on the purchase of Huffington Post; the directions given AOL editors:

"In the memo, which was first reported in The Business Insider, AOL editors were told to use four criteria in selecting stories: traffic potential, revenue potential, edit quality and turn-around time. Overall content production was expected to double, from 33,000 articles a month to 55,000, and video stories were mandated to grow from 4 percent of all stories to a whopping 70 percent. As a result, AOL just put the finishing touches on a huge broadcast facility."

If you're doing business with Patch, I'd ask for more money based on delivering images that drive the criteria.

MF
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Joshua Prezant, Photographer
North Miami Beach | FL | USA | Posted: 3:14 PM on 02.07.11
->> FYI......
Poor AOL just purchased The Huffington Post for $315 million, mostly in cash!!!

http://kara.allthingsd.com/20110206/youve-got-arianna-aol-buys-huffington-p.../

@ Debra.... Diaz was working that story for AP almost every day ( if not every day) for months. They were taking care of him and did right by him in the end. For what it is worth......Alan Diaz is is a heck of a nice guy and a pleasure to work side by side with.
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Joshua Prezant, Photographer
North Miami Beach | FL | USA | Posted: 3:15 PM on 02.07.11
->> Whoops did not see Butch's post. Sorry.
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Clark Brooks, Photo Editor, Photographer
Urbana | IL | USA | Posted: 5:47 PM on 02.07.11
->> "Patch is a passing fancy in a midnight dream"

Someone once said the same about USA Today.
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Michael Fischer, Photographer
Spencer | Ia | USA | Posted: 8:36 AM on 02.08.11
->> Actually Butch the purchase was funded with 40% of AOL's cash reserves.

Translation: I doubt what they pay photographers comes to 1% of what they spent on the Huffington Post.
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Butch Miller, Photographer
Lock Haven | PA | USA | Posted: 9:56 AM on 02.08.11
->> Yes, Michael ... really it matters little what percentages of the AOL/Patch local photography budget are ... zero, is still zero ... brings us back to the point ... if AOL had $300M+ to buy HuffPo ... and little or no money for photos for Patch? ...

... but it appears that Arianna has built a business model of profiting from free content ... at least "free" for the contributors ... $100M in cold hard cash for Huffington ...

http://bit.ly/eLsgbd

... funny how a big pile of greenbacks can change the outlook of at least a few contributors once they discover how their efforts allowed someone else to profit substantially and they were overlooked ...
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Ben Laing, Photographer
Newburyport | MA | USA | Posted: 5:13 PM on 02.08.11
->> hopefully patch with realize that if you can't get varsity work for JV prices...
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TD Paulius, Photographer
Orland Park | IL | USA | Posted: 8:15 AM on 02.09.11
->> Ben, I seriously doubt AOL/Patch will realize anything. The comments that hit the blog boards when Huffy was bought by AOL really got me thinking. In my neck of the woods, Patch is holding on very slimly. The ediors are mostly 1 or 2 year out J school grads, that merely turn a blind eye to complaints about the grab agreement and go about their business of maintaining their budgets. Their concern is twittering this and that. What happens in the next three quarters when the concept is faltering and businesses go elsewhere for posting their advertising? Pay cuts to the editors? Firings of one local Patch editor and forcing another editor to cover two areas? Unlike USA Today, I do think the life of Patch is limited.
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Robert Hanashiro, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | | Posted: 6:32 PM on 02.09.11
->> http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-rutten-column-huffington-aol-2011...,0,2992862.column

Op-Ed
AOL ♥ HuffPo. The loser? Journalism
To grasp the Huffington Post's business model, picture a galley rowed by slaves and commanded by pirates.
By Tim Rutten
February 9, 2011
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Robert Seale, Photographer
Houston | TX | USA | Posted: 7:08 PM on 02.09.11
->> How many times do we have to have this discussion?

If you are a staffer, you get certain things in return for all the rights you grant to your employer: security, salary, retirement plan, health insurance, gear, car, vacation, etc.

If you are a freelancer, a basic tenet of doing business should be to always KEEP your copyright, get PAID for the assignment in the first place, and then RE-LICENSE the photos that YOU OWN down the line.....all the while, building your own archive. This is really the ONLY way to have a profitable and sustainable photo business.

If someone presents you with a contract that looks they want the benefits (to them) of an employer-employee relationship, but they are paying you like a freelancer (or worse), then you need to walk away. They are counting on us to be uneducated, bottom-feeding idiots.

No more whining about bad deals - if you don't sign them, they don't exist.

Let's move along now.
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David A. Cantor, Photographer, Photo Editor
Toledo | OH | USA | Posted: 7:17 PM on 02.09.11
->> "you get certain things in return for all the rights you grant to your employer: security, salary, retirement plan, health insurance, gear, car, vacation, etc. "

security...eh, not so much
salary...frozen or cut, combined with unpaid furloughs
retirement plan...no more pension or 401k contributions from employers
health insurance...that you pay a lot more of the premium and get less care
gear...maybe yes but not like it used to be
car...nope, just mileage
vacation...that has been shortened considerably

I'm good with the rest...
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Brian Blanco, Photographer
Tampa / Sarasota | FL | USA | Posted: 7:42 PM on 02.09.11
->> Thanks for the link Robert. It was an interesting read and a spot on Op-Ed.

I exhausted myself in the last couple of Patch-related threads attempting to illustrate the absurdity in shooting ANY assignment for $50.00... let alone a $50.00 buy-out, rights grab, overall abusive contract. So I won't 'go there' again, but if the pay rate and the contract weren't enough to convince shooters that Patch.com is the Wal-Mart of journalism then the Op-Ed by Rutten that you linked to should, hopefully, do the trick.

For those still on the fence: You have to ask yourself if you want your name associated with an outfit that asks their editors to evaluate all future stories on the basis of "traffic potential, revenue potential, edit quality and turnaround time."-AOL Chief Executive Officer Tim Armstrong.

Patch.com is clearly a sweatshop that takes advantage of out-of-work journalists and mines them for "five to 10 stories per day" in search of the almighty click-count... forsaking real journalism in the process.
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Louis Lopez, Photographer
Fontana | CA | USA | Posted: 7:57 PM on 02.09.11
->> David, ditto...
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Brian Blanco, Photographer
Tampa / Sarasota | FL | USA | Posted: 8:18 PM on 02.09.11
->> Oh and Lou Rocco, you work for Patch and you said (several posts up): "This is the freelance world, one day your rate is lets say $700, the next you work for a lot less money, but you are working..."

What type of message does a shooter send to their $700.00 client when that client sees that that shooter is clearly willing to shoot for Patch.com for $50.00 and give up all of their rights in the process?


---------

Also, we should also look at that $50.00. Is it *really* $50.00?

(Let's use $50.00 as the rate since it appears to be the mean average for Patch)

Let's not forget that you're going to get a W-9 at the end of the year from Patch so that $50.00 just became $43.00.

Now let's say the shooter spends $6.00 in gas getting to the assignment and back home again. Now that shooter is looking at $37.00.

Hey, it's hot out there at that assignment so they buy a $2.00 bottle of water bringing their $37.00 day rate to $35.00.

Wear and tear on the gear brings that rate down another $1.00 and let's not forget the cell phone calls to the editor and the use of an aircard so let's call that another $2.00 bringing the rate to $32.00.

If the shooter archives the images (which they cannot sell, license and may not even be able to use in their portfolio) then let's factor in another $1.00 for HD space, bringing the assignment rate to $31.00

So now the shooter is carting somewhere in the neighborhood of $20,000.00 in camera equipment to "make" somewhere in the neighborhood of $31.00 to shoot an assignment for Patch.

The guy with the reflective vest parking cars is making $80.00 and the vest was provided for free by the company.

Meaning that the shooter would have to cover 645 Patch.com assignments before turing a "profit" whereas the car parker guy (even after taxes and gas money) is already turning a profit.
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Brian Blanco, Photographer
Tampa / Sarasota | FL | USA | Posted: 8:30 PM on 02.09.11
->> Oh, and for the record... clearly my example above is a gross exaggeration but I was trying to illustrate a point.
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Louis Lopez, Photographer
Fontana | CA | USA | Posted: 2:30 PM on 02.10.11
->> where did you get that $50 rate from again?
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Brian Blanco, Photographer
Tampa / Sarasota | FL | USA | Posted: 2:45 PM on 02.10.11
->> Directly from the mouths of two different Patch editors during a face-to-face conversation and from emails from (I just checked) 4 different people who shoot for Patch.
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Patrick Fallon, Student/Intern, Photographer
Columbia | MO | USA | Posted: 3:02 PM on 02.10.11
->> Louis,
The $50 rate I have heard directly and from a plethora of other photogs. I have also heard of that rate being cut to even less.
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Brian Blanco, Photographer
Tampa / Sarasota | FL | USA | Posted: 3:06 PM on 02.10.11
->> Sounds like Poynter is going to have a live, on-line discussion about these images. The time has apparently yet to be decided but I'll post it when I hear it from the unofficial photojournalism news wire... also known as Melissa Lyttle.
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Brian Blanco, Photographer
Tampa / Sarasota | FL | USA | Posted: 3:07 PM on 02.10.11
->> OOPS. WRONG THREAD!
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Caleb Raney, Photographer, Assistant
Shawnee | OK | USA | Posted: 3:19 PM on 02.10.11
->> Brian,
I don't understand how your post was any kind of an exaggeration. Coming to the conclusion that it's even possible to turn any profit at all on a $50 assignment seems out of line with any reasonable CODB or your previous posts on the subject. Or am I missing the sarcasm?
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Brian Blanco, Photographer
Tampa / Sarasota | FL | USA | Posted: 3:42 PM on 02.10.11
->> Thanks Caleb. When I said it was "an exaggeration" I actually just meant that clearly most people who shoot for Patch would likely have other clients and revenue streams too (meaning they might break even before their 645th Patch assignment). But I agree with you 100%. Anybody who thinks they're making money shooting for $50.00 either hasn't done the math or doesn't want to do the math.

In the end, getting labeled (by both clients and by fellow shooters) as someone who is willing to shoot $50.00 assignments will hurt a career far faster than it could ever help. It's important for shooters to think *marketing*. What message does shooting for Patch, and having one's name associated with Patch, send about one's business?

If a shooter already has clients that pay reasonable rates and those clients find out (which they will) that that same shooter is covering assignments for Patch for $50.00 it gives those clients ZERO incentive to raise or maintain those livable rates. In fact, it gives those clients every reason in the world to lower their rates and draw up a rights grab contract because that shooter has already announced to the world that they're desperate enough to take it.

Patch is a bad deal any way you slice it and I'm surprised, 3 threads later, that we're still having this conversation.
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David Harpe, Photographer
Denver | CO | USA | Posted: 11:58 PM on 02.11.11
->> http://www.adbusters.org/blogs/adbusters-blog/huff-puff-it-down.html

"Socialite Arianna Huffington built a blog-empire on the backs of thousands of citizen journalists. She exploited our idealism and let us labor under the illusion that the Huffington Post was different, independent and leftist. Now she’s cashed in and three thousand indie bloggers find themselves working for a megacorp.

But the Huffington Post is not Arianna’s to sell. It is ours: the lefty writers and readers, environmentalism activists and anti-corporate organizers who flooded the site with 25 million visits a month. So we’re going to take it back."
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Scott Serio, Photo Editor, Photographer
Colora | MD | USA | Posted: 2:42 PM on 02.12.11
->> @Blanco...

Forgetting we are talking about Patch, consider your statement...

"In the end, getting labeled (by both clients and by fellow shooters) as someone who is willing to shoot $50.00 assignments will hurt a career far faster than it could ever help."

Well, I can guarantee you there are TONS of stringers for newspapers making money on the "Patch-scale" of $50-75 an assignment - TONS OF THEM. They probably aren't that experienced. Some may be be doing it while in college for the experience. Most probably are just starting. Some may be laid off from a newspaper job and just need to feed their families.

My sticking point has been the rights agreement more than anything. It is truly absurd and kills any monetary upside that could have existed. But what about stringing elsewhere?

What is sad is the core of your statement...GETTING LABELED BY FELLOW SHOOTERS....WILL HURT A CAREER.

Go where you want with that. Really? If someone who loves photojournalism, has talent and is hungry strings for a small newspaper in Ames, Iowa for $50, this photographer has to worry about being labeled by their fellow shooters?

That idea might be as absurd as the Patch agreement. I can remember being in college (1988 or so) and stringing for the Carroll County Times for $25 a photo. I doubt they are paying more than $75 right now. I don't even remember another shooter looking down on me. I remember people like Gene Sweeney and Jed Kirschbaum from the Baltimore Sun actually mentoring me and helping me become a better shooter. They never labeled me "The $25 Guy." Why is that?

Food for thought...
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Brian Blanco, Photographer
Tampa / Sarasota | FL | USA | Posted: 3:38 PM on 02.12.11
->> Scott,

"Why is that?" Well, honestly, it could be because I'm just a big jerk (very possible). But what I meant by that statement is not that anyone looks down their nose at these shooters, but that, in this market anyway, they're not as likely to get work thrown their way from other shooters if they're seen as "the $25 guy".

Nobody wants to send their trusted clients to a fellow shooter who's charging, or accepting, absurdly low rates. That's just a fact, at least around here anyway, and we can choose to ignore it or we can choose to help young/new shooters understand that it.

I know in this market we all get a very good percentage of our work by referrals from and to fellow shooters. I just don't want some new shooter not realizing this fact and thinking for only the short-term "gain" of the $50.00 assignment, and not of the long term damage when the shooters that live and work in that market send work elsewhere and when clients get sent the wrong message by their low rates.

Was I being mean? No, not intentionally (and I'm sincerely sorry you took it that way)... just trying to be honest. I don't mind getting beat up a little bit over this Patch issue. Too many people are falling for the "quick easy $50.00 fallacy" and they're not thinking long-term. Long term, in my opinion, it'll hurt far more than it'll help... but hey, maybe I'm wrong, that's why you're here to offer the other side of things. In my market, it'd be a mistake, and I'd rather new/young shooters had un understanding of that before they make a decision. That's all.
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Daniel Berman, Student/Intern, Photographer
Seattle | WA | US | Posted: 5:21 PM on 02.12.11
->> I turned down work for Patch in the Seattle area. Really one of the least favorable contracts I have ever been presented with.
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John Green, Photographer, Photo Editor
BAY AREA | CA | | Posted: 7:14 PM on 02.12.11
->> Patch will not become the next USA today...it is a passing fancy
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