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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

"US PRESSWIRE Rebrands To Become USA TODAY Sports Images"
Adam Brimer, Photographer, Assistant
Knoxville | TN | USA | Posted: 2:57 PM on 12.03.12
->> http://www.bizjournals.com/washington/prnewswire/press_releases/Virginia/20...
 This post is:  Informative (4) | Funny (2) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Chuck Liddy, Photographer, Photo Editor
PLANET | EARTH | | Posted: 12:06 AM on 12.04.12
->> Uh Oh. AP photographers better look out. They could be set up for the same thing......no offense to some of my USPW friends.....but if the AP takes the "let's get shooters who just want to get their names out there and attend sporting events then use their photos for almost free" the current staffers are screwed.
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer, Photo Editor
PLANET | EARTH | | Posted: 7:23 AM on 12.04.12
->> Before everyone goes off the deep end and starts sending me anonymous nasty emails please realize that I'm speaking with how USPW started up. I know they pay some money for assignments now. But if we're gonna speak about this stuff let's talk about an even worse problem. the getty "contributors". I am still amazed that I can be at a basketball game and there will be three "contributors" there. this has pretty much killed anybody getting called and actually paid for working a game. in fact I know it actually worries their staffers because there are so many "contributors" who just want to come to the game and shoot.....for free.
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Jamey Price, Photographer, Assistant
Charlotte | NC | USA | Posted: 9:00 AM on 12.04.12
->> Getty sends people for free? I've never done anything for Getty for free. They've been more than fair with me.
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer, Photo Editor
PLANET | EARTH | | Posted: 9:05 AM on 12.04.12
->> Jamey, you do know what a "contributor" is right? I never said, "Getty sends people for free". It's all in the verbage...Getty DOESN'T send them. they apply for credentials then flood Getty with contributed (free) photos. it is surely not that hard to understand.
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Stew Milne, Photographer
Providence | RI | USA | Posted: 10:06 AM on 12.04.12
->> Getty is not the only one with "contributors." AP has agreements with a few "wire" services that flood the AP wire with free images as well. If you look on AP images website, any photo with a little blue "c" is a contributor photo.
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Jamey Price, Photographer, Assistant
Charlotte | NC | USA | Posted: 10:14 AM on 12.04.12
->> Yes, Chuck. I do know what a "contributor" is. Thank you. I would know because I signed up as one and signed their contract which says I am a "Getty contributor." Had never heard of them not paying. Forgive my ignorance on the subject.
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Brian Blanco, Photographer
Tampa / Sarasota | FL | USA | Posted: 10:35 AM on 12.04.12
->> With the number of USPW shooters I've run into at games who have been calling themselves "USA Today" shooters since the Gannett buyout you'd have thought the name changed over a year ago.
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Perrone Ford, Photographer
Tallahassee | FL | US | Posted: 10:39 AM on 12.04.12
->> Wow,

All this makes me glad that I just shoot minor sports and shoot for schools.

People are at each others throats for their part of the pie.
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Dave Breen, Photographer
Somerset | PA | USA | Posted: 11:23 AM on 12.04.12
->> Shooting for free is almost as dangerous as commenting on a message board.
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Doug Strickland, Photographer
Texarkana | TX | USA | Posted: 12:25 PM on 12.04.12
->> Jamey, I think the difference here is the people who are actually being sent and paid directly by Getty to cover assignments and the ones who simply shoot on spec with no guarantee of payment, upload images to Getty's server, and only get paid (30-40%) if someone actually licenses one. This is the way US Presswire operated originally (and I thought they still did, though if it has changed I am thankful) and it's the model Getty is slowly moving to.
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer, Photo Editor
PLANET | EARTH | | Posted: 12:51 PM on 12.04.12
->> Thanks Doug. I just figured everyone knew what I meant since it's been discussed a million times here.....
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Brad Mangin, Photographer
Pleasanton | CA | USA | Posted: 12:24 AM on 12.10.12
->> From The Sports Business Journal:

"The US Presswire shift also is a key strategic step in USA Today Sports Media Group's eventual plans to syndicate the USA Today Sports Pulse (aggregation of Gannett-owned content) to non-Gannett media outlets.

"We intend to aggressively syndicate our content, but we really can't be in the syndication business without having images we own, being able to fully supplement the text," USA Today Sports Media President Tom Beusse said. "That was part of the thought behind acquiring US Presswire.

Bingo. The big corporations continue to get fat as photographers give them all rights to become a bigger corporation. Photographers who shoot assignments do not make any cash on syndication.

There is no free lunch. Ever.
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Darren Carroll, Photographer
Cedar Creek (Austin) | TX | USA | Posted: 12:56 AM on 12.10.12
->> Folks, read the quote from Brad's post above. Did the President of USA Today Sports Media just say that USA Today Sports Media, nee US Presswire, OWNS the photographs that their photographers take on a $125 day rate?

I'm pretty sure he did.

Not, "We can do what we want with it, but you keep the copyright." Not, "You get a cut of what we syndicate."

He specifically used the word OWN.

Was that part of what you USPW guys signed up for?

Just curious.
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Doug Pizac, Photographer
Sandy | UT | USA | Posted: 11:05 AM on 12.10.12
->> Brad...

Can you please provide the URL link to the story. Thx.
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Dennis Wierzbicki, Photographer
Plainfield | IL | USA | Posted: 11:13 AM on 12.10.12
->> Doug, this might be it, but it appears to require registering for, at the minimum, a free trial membership:

https://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Journal/Issues/2012/12/03/Media/USA-Tod...
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Brad Mangin, Photographer
Pleasanton | CA | USA | Posted: 1:30 PM on 12.10.12
->> Doug- I subscribe to the print edition. Best 300 bucks I spend each year.
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Sid Hastings, Photographer, Photo Editor
St. Louis | MO | United States | Posted: 3:05 PM on 12.10.12
->> NOW that part of the picture makes sense. Thanks for sharing, Brad. Very interesting....
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Brian Blanco, Photographer
Tampa / Sarasota | FL | USA | Posted: 9:46 PM on 12.10.12
->> I guess I'll be the one to say it out loud so, here goes:

USPW shooters- If a "client" the size of USA Today Sports Media Group sits down to evaluate your contribution to their company and decides that $125.00 day rate INCLUSIVE of expenses is what you're worth (despite the fact that every other news wire pays AT LEAST double that) then, I'll take the mystery out of it for you, they do not respect you.

They cannot come to the $125.00 flat rate by seeing you as an asset to their business. They likely see you as a mark. They see you as someone they can take advantage of and, unfortunately, they're right.

By accepting a rate well below the daily cost of a USA Today staffer and WELL below the cost of a traditional USA Today freelancer, you're causing tangible damage to both staffers and freelancers alike.

You really do not have to accept their rate. You can demand more or walk away. I know the argument is that if you say "no" that someone else will simply take your place. Ok, yeah, that's true. Let someone else get taken advantage of for a while.

Here's why I say that: Some of you USPW shooters, in fact MOST of you, are really good shooters who have, for whatever reason, accepted a bad deal. You're giving them steak at hamburger prices. Let them get what they pay for for a while. They'll either raise their rates and come back to you or they will peddle an inferior product to their members... either way you won't be losing money working for a "client" that doesn't respect you enough to pay you what you're worth.

I respect you. I work next to USPW shooters every week whose work product impress the hell out of me but whose business decisions make me cringe. Now, during this transition, is the time to stand up, collectively, and respectfully and firmly request to be compensated at a level that sends a message to the industry that USPW shooters (or whatever you're called now) are 'for real' and that their shooters respect themselves and the industry as a whole.

THIS is the time to get it done guys. This is the ONLY time you're going to be able to get it done. They can afford to pay you at least the industry standard (though that's too low too but that's another thread) because you're working just as hard as the guys and gals standing on your left and on your right on Sunday.

What do you have to lose? Right now on Sundays you're LITERALLY getting paid less than the cable puller... and he only had to buy a pair of $6.99 gloves.
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Jeff Stanton, Photographer
Atlanta | Ga | USA | Posted: 10:04 PM on 12.10.12
->> Thank you, Brian.
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G.J. McCarthy, Photographer
Dallas | TX | US | Posted: 10:15 PM on 12.10.12
->> Wow. Whole time I read Brian's post I had this in my head:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NEKzLiXfuc

If you replace all the stuff about the unscrupulous developers with greedy newspaper and wire service bean counters, it almost works.

Remember, USPS folks -- Goonies never say die.
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Brian Blanco, Photographer
Tampa / Sarasota | FL | USA | Posted: 10:25 PM on 12.10.12
->> See McCarthy, all you had to do was say "thank you" like Jeff... but you HAD to go and compare me to the kid in Goonies. Alright, I see how it's going to be...
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Kent Nishimura, Student/Intern, Photographer
Honolulu | HI | USA | Posted: 10:40 PM on 12.10.12
->> Just as long as blanco doesn't do the truffle shuffle...

;)

that being said. Thank you for your post Brian. Much mahalo from this side of the country.
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G.J. McCarthy, Photographer
Dallas | TX | US | Posted: 11:02 PM on 12.10.12
->> You know I love you, Bri-Guy.

Cariņos, amigito.
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Sam Morris, Photographer
Henderson (Las Vegas) | NV | USA | Posted: 1:17 AM on 12.11.12
->> Brian, that could not have been said more succinctly or respectfully. And it is the truth.

The most important thing that Brian said is that NOW is the time to stand up for yourselves and act. It has worked in the past (I can fill you in on what happened with the AP in the late 90's if you want an example).
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Mark Perlstein, Photographer, Photo Editor
Plano | TX | USA | Posted: 7:16 AM on 12.11.12
->> As long as so many freelance photographers make their primary income from other professions, there will be no reality check from them. IMHO.
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Joseph Rogate, Photographer
Seaford | NY | USA | Posted: 7:35 AM on 12.11.12
->> Don't bite my head off, but I have been thru this. With all these Freelance USA Today Sports shooters working ( I have seen several at one game) working for $125.00 per day, why would Gannet need full time staff?????
there are plenty of shooters willing to work for that day rate just to have a chance.
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Brian Blanco, Photographer
Tampa / Sarasota | FL | USA | Posted: 8:30 AM on 12.11.12
->> Joseph Rogate,

Why would they need full-time staff?
Accountability
Quality
Unique Content
A sense of responsibility to their employees
A business model that isn't built on taking advantage of people

The above list is just a small sample of reason why they should continue to employ staff and appropriately compensated freelancers; there are countless other benefits.

But here's where I find the rub in your post: Nowhere in your post or on your profile do you identify yourself as "Joe Rogate
AiWire Administrative Staff" as you did recently in an email wherein you attempted to recruit me to shoot on spec for your spec agency.

If a member of "administrative staff" of a spec agency is posting on here saying things like "Why would Gennet (sic) need full time staff" and "There are plenty of shooters willing to work for that day rate just to have a chance" then you should be proud enough of your affiliation with that spec wire, and the practice of shooting on spec, that you identify yourself as such.

To me, the answer to your question lies in the very-telling fact that you managed to omit your affiliation with a spec wire both in this post and on your member page.
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Tim Cowie, Photographer, Photo Editor
Davidson | NC | USA | Posted: 8:55 AM on 12.11.12
->> http://www.sportsshooter.com/message_display.html?tid=40273
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer, Photo Editor
PLANET | EARTH | | Posted: 9:19 AM on 12.11.12
->> Blanco, you're my hero. I can't believe your post has been up 12 hours and you haven't got the "inappropriate" police on your ass.
Mark, you too are correct. This problem will last forever since the largest amount of these photographers do photography as a hobby and consider the tiny amount of money and a thumbnail size photo on a website to be credit or payment.
Rogate, I too have the same question. You sir are part of the problem. A BIG part of the problem. It's kind of sad and pathetic to see several of these new "wire services" "spec agencies" popping up all over the place in hopes of replicating the business model of USPW. That horse done left the corral buddy and isn't going to happen again.
And to be clear. The USA Today staffers (Gannett) don't just shoot sports which is a fact a HUGE amount of members of the SS community just don't get. They are PHOTOJOURNALISTS. They shoot news, high end portraiture, features, stories, get sent to war zones, disasters, major events. It's laughable anyone would attempt to compare going out and motor driving all afternoon at a sporting event with being a full time photojournalist. Sure, most of us don't get paid much being staffers but we don't go shoot a football game for six or seven hours for $125 or on spec.
There is a huge difference in what we do day to day and what somebody willing to work for free does just to get access to a sporting event.
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Doug Pizac, Photographer
Sandy | UT | USA | Posted: 12:45 PM on 12.11.12
->> As to Mr. Blanco's claim that Mr. Rogate is an AiWire Administrative Staff member, that may be true or not. If Blanco got a solicitation naming him as such, so be the case. The only Google link between Rogate and AiWire other than this posting is a SS thread he started in June where he says "I heard that an already existing sports and entertainment wire service is considering making a run at the leaders of the wire industry. They are beginning to assemble a photo and administrative staff. It would be nice if this is presents an opportunity to those who have had negative experiences with other companies. Has anybody heard any similar rumblings?" Upon my query he identified that wire service as AiWire. And it now appears that he has since joined the company. It's called a job.

As to AiWire being a spec agency, it's About page says it has a large staff of professional sports photographers with no mention of freelancers.

Yes there may be so-called hobbyists on the field shooting for AiWire, USATSI/USPW and others (both AP and Getty have contributor statuses), but there are also a lot of pros shooting too. And for transparency, I do occassional games for USATSI/USPW.

There's been chatter about how these spec shooters have other jobs. What freelancer doesn't? Every client is another job. Between jobs is called unemployed. For a somewhat steady income I teach college level photography courses. How many staff photographers do outside work for extra income? If you're driving along and a beautiful rainbow appears you're probably going to stop and make a picture whereupon you'll figure out a use for it later; that's called spec. People like Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Picasso, etc. were spec painters on occassion.

Other chatter has been about how $125 is a pitiful day rate. For clarity, USATSI/USPW does not pay a day rate. The $125 is a flat fee subscription royalty to compensate for their subscribers on top of the 50-50 split in a la carte sales. The contract is very specific in that the photographers are not employees nor are they Work For Hire; they are the copyright holders of the images.

As to the $125 subscription royalty, let's do the math. If you're a staff photographer working five days a week that's equal to $625 or $32,500 per year -- far better than the $20-25k salaries being offered by newspapers on the journalismjobs.com site whereupon some part-time positions offer no benefits. For those working in heavy markets like Los Angeles where there are sports 7 days a week, that is over $45,000 per year in just subscription royalty money, PLUS the 50-50 split fees. So if you're going to dump on spec workers making that type money potential, then heaven help what you will say against those at small papers who make far less.

And if you're going to dump on the $125 rate, then let's hear some blasting against medium to large papers who pay even less. The Ogden Standard-Examiner pays $75 per job whereupon it owns ALL rights to ALL the images. The Deseret News pays nothing and relies on the generosity of contributors. And the Orange County Register -- a major metropolitan paper in Southern California -- pays $90 per event.

And then there are papers who are arch rivals on the surface whose publishers have side-agreements to exchange content. The Dallas and Ft. Worth papers share images -- or they did two years ago when I did a job for one and wouldn't allow the other to use my images for free.

This nation's economy is in the dumper with the newspaper industry being hit even harder. While some "spec" shooters are weekend warriors with a camera, many more are probably pros simply looking for a means to survive.

Do I wish that rates would be higher? Absolutely! Would you as a staffer like a 10% raise versus 2% or less? Absolutely! But let's stick with reality. This is the way things are right now. If you're going to chastise spec companies, then where's the outcry against the likes of Nikon and Canon who created dSLR technology so good that even 11-year-olds can come up with images as good as pros? It used to be if you wanted tilt-shift capability you had to use a view camera. Then the 35mm camera companies came out with PC lenses negating the need for view cameras, sheet film and processing, high-end scanners, etc. Then Photoshop added PC to its software negating the need for PC lenses. Now the Nikon D600 has a PC feature built into its camera software so now you don't even need Photoshop.

Am I defending the spec companies? No. Nor am I promoting them. Just as private stores have to deal with WalMart and its low prices, we as photographers have to do the same in our industry. It's called adapt or die.
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Jacob Langston, Photographer
Orlando | FL | | Posted: 12:59 PM on 12.11.12
->> So are you saying that while you are out driving along, the games you shoot for USPW appear out of nowhere like a beautiful rainbow? I'm really bad with analogies.

Man, the photo gods love you!
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer, Photo Editor
PLANET | EARTH | | Posted: 1:00 PM on 12.11.12
->> Doug, with all due respect. I think your math is more than somewhat skewed. I admit I'm terrible at math but I'm still scratching my head at the conclusions you came up with. You are assuming a USPW photographer will be shooting assignments five days a week for 52 weeks? please let me know who on the planet has that gig. and that would be a good deal? the wear and tear on YOUR equipment shooting sports five days a week, no expenses, no benefits, no insurance, no retirement benefits. seriously? you'd be better off working at mcdonald's. We are in agreement on one thing. I find the rates newspapers pay their stringers horrible in most cases. But I think that is a very minor part of the equation. The fact of the matter is most newspapers don't hire stringers that much anymore...there is just no money in the budget....hence also the low rates.
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Doug Strickland, Photographer
Texarkana | TX | USA | Posted: 1:15 PM on 12.11.12
->> "As to the $125 subscription royalty, let's do the math. If you're a staff photographer working five days a week that's equal to $625 or $32,500 per year -- far better than the $20-25k salaries being offered by newspapers on the journalismjobs.com site whereupon some part-time positions offer no benefits. For those working in heavy markets like Los Angeles where there are sports 7 days a week, that is over $45,000 per year in just subscription royalty money, PLUS the 50-50 split fees. So if you're going to dump on spec workers making that type money potential, then heaven help what you will say against those at small papers who make far less."

Have you ever actually worked as a freelancer? You do realize you have to pay self-employment taxes on that $45,000 as well as your own healthcare, business insurance, costs to maintain equipment, etc. That $45,000 doesn't go straight into your pocket the way a $25,000 salary as a staffer does, and you can expect to pay hefty percentages of that into income taxes, medicare, and social security-far more than that staffer will. Also: do you have any idea how insanely expensive it is to live in L.A., NYC, or Chicago? Oh, and do you want to work 7 days a week 365 days a year to barely scrape by? It sounds like you expect these guys to do that in order to make that $45k.
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Brian Blanco, Photographer
Tampa / Sarasota | FL | USA | Posted: 1:22 PM on 12.11.12
->> Doug,

I don't want to get too far off topic here as my intent of my post was not an indictment of Mr. Rogate but rather to point out that if the practice of shooting on spec was so legitimate than why are so many people not above board about their associations with those agencies.

That was my point. BUT, since you brought it up and appeared to be concerned about the validity of my information, I didn't pull the title of "Joe Rogate
AiWire Administrative Staff" title out of thin air (or anywhere else). I went back to the email (the one sitting here on my desktop as I'm typing this) and cut-and-pasted the title from the signature lone of his own email. I also confirmed that his email said, "If your willing to work on spec (for now) we want you." and those quote marks are there because that's an exact quote also.

So yes, AiWire is a spec agency. They can say anything they want in their "About" page. They can call their shooters "staff" or anything else that makes them feel good or their 'agency' feel legit. I went to Subway a few days ago and the guy that made my lunch had the title of "Sandwich Artist".
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Adam Vogler, Photographer, Photo Editor
Kansas City | Mo. | USA | Posted: 1:24 PM on 12.11.12
->> I'm a full time staffer and I don't make $32,500 a year, but I have company gear, vacation, mileage, expenses, medical, dental, 401k, etc. Pretty sure that that makes up for the difference and then some. Oh, and I don't know a single freelancer who bills jobs 5 days a week, 50 weeks a year. Not a one.

You can't equate freelance pay with being a staffer, there just isn't any comparison.
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Brian Blanco, Photographer
Tampa / Sarasota | FL | USA | Posted: 2:22 PM on 12.11.12
->> Doug Pizac,

I'd like to also address your math a little here.

Let's take that $125.00 "flat fee subscription royalty"

So let's say a USPW shooter shoots an NFL game for that ever-so-generous "flat fee subscription royalty" and let's say the stadium is an hour away from your home (I'm using the term "you" in this example generically). So you leave at 9am to get the stadium 3 hours early (as most professional sports photographers do) for a 1pm kickoff.

That hour drive cost you, let's say $8.00 in gas to get to the stadium. Then you arrive at the stadium and reach, again, into your own pocket and pull out $20.00 for parking. Then you unload your $35k worth of camera equipment (just camera equipment is all we're talking about here) and cart it into the stadium. Mechanics charge a "shop supplies fee" to cover this kind of cost so let's follow their lead and be VERY conservative and just charge $15.00 to cover for the costs of the purchase and upkeep of that $35k in personally-owned equipment.

Before you even walk up to the credential pickup table, your "flat fee subscription royalty" of the generous $125.00 is now down to $82.00

Stay with me.

Now you go into the stadium and set up your $1,500 MacBook Pro to fill out your IPTC on Photo Mechanic, which you paid $150.00 for, set up your Jason O' Watson code replacement, which you pay $55.00 for annually, and open up your image editing program which you paid, let's be conservative and say $150.00 for. Can we call that a daily usage fee of $5.00? Let's.

So your "flat fee subscription royalty" is now $77.00.

You shoot the game for 3.5 hours and then spend another 1.5 hours editing and waiting for traffic to clear out then drive another hour, and $8.00 in gas, home where you spend another 30 minutes archiving all of this stuff and storing it on hard drive space that costs, let's say $1.00.

Your "flat fee subscription royalty" is now down to $68.00 and you've worked 10 hours for $68.00 which means you've made $6.80 per hour.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention state and Federal income tax and heaven forbid the venue charge for the media meal.

If making $6.80 per hour (before taxes) is anyone's idea of a good time then well, ok, but let's not use creative math to pretend it's a profitable or professional endeavor.

Respectfully,

-Blanco
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Dan Routh, Photographer
Greensboro | NC | USA | Posted: 2:30 PM on 12.11.12
->> But Brian. "It's called adapt or die." Yea...sure.
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Brian Blanco, Photographer
Tampa / Sarasota | FL | USA | Posted: 2:33 PM on 12.11.12
->> Yeah Dan, maybe they should change that mantra to: "Don't willingly be part of the mob that robs you and your friends."
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Carl Auer, Photographer
Arvada | CO | USA | Posted: 2:56 PM on 12.11.12
->> I do not think a day rate of $125 is the best. I have had day rates in the past between $200 and $500, but that was for one time specific shoots. Brian makes an even more sobering realization of the $125 day rate.

Yes, I shoot for other wires, but I need to shoot and make what money I can. As someone who has dedicated their current life to the caregiving of my ailing mother, which is a unpaid, full time position, and shooting what I can, when I can, whether it be spec (high school, college or pro), seniors and portraits, and actually anything I can shoot to pay my bills right now, I would kill for a $125 day rate. $200 would be better, and $500 would be ideal, but honestly, $125 day rate would take so much stress off of me right now.
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Doug Pizac, Photographer
Sandy | UT | USA | Posted: 3:18 PM on 12.11.12
->> Some of you are assuming that working for USATSI/USPW is the only work there is. If that's the case, then you are going to starve. Are some of you saying that if you have a BKC game at night you're not going to work during the day? Freelancers work morning, afternoon and night. That's the nature of the business.

Look at all the families there are where the bread winner works 3-4 jobs a week to get by.

The math was simply an example of what could be achieved on a part-time basis. I know a photographer in L.A. who is okay with the rate because it allows her to do other things during the day. Would it be better if the rate was better? Of course.

As to lack of mileage, how many of you who shoot for AP get mileage? And how many papers supply all the gear? Very few. Some will pay only for repairs if they're job related.

Times have changed and are changing. In the meantime, one has to do what one has to do. It's that simple.

I never meant to justify the business model that has affected our beloved industry. I just want to show there's another way to look at it.
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Adam Vogler, Photographer, Photo Editor
Kansas City | Mo. | USA | Posted: 4:18 PM on 12.11.12
->> You are either part of the solution or you are part of the problem. Period. There is no middle ground. Personally, I'll flip burgers before I take deal that drives down rates for all of us.
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Chris Parent, Photographer, Student/Intern
Baton Rouge | LA | United States | Posted: 4:42 PM on 12.11.12
->> To diverge from the spec argument for a second, I'm surprised that no one has brought in that the Orange County Register put an ad in the classifieds here for "5 Sports Photographer Trainees".

Even as we argue over spec, it seems that newspapers have found a new way to utilize this movement, and they are called "trainees" and "apprentices" now.
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Craig Mitchelldyer, Photographer, Assistant
Portland | OR | USA | Posted: 5:03 PM on 12.11.12
->> Chris - they also supply a regular paycheck a chance at a full time job and pay for housing. A little bit different. Plus, providing valuable skills and training. It's basically a glorified internship and may have its own problems, but you can't compare one to the other.
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Matthew Putney, Photo Editor, Photographer
Waterloo | IA | USA | Posted: 5:13 PM on 12.11.12
->> "Don't willingly be part of the mob that robs you and your friends."
-Brian

I would have to agree

I was called a few months ago about a job and the company explained what they wanted. I figured my rate (it was way out of town) and was told they didn't have the money in the budget. It was not worth the time so I moved on. I was called 3 days later by the art director and told me they had a very hard time finding a photographer and that they "found" the money in the budget. People will pay for quality and professional work and if they don't, MOVE ON.
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer, Photo Editor
PLANET | EARTH | | Posted: 5:20 PM on 12.11.12
->> What I truly love about these threads and one of the negatives of this forum is opposing views are not really opposing views. Every time one of these threads starts there are people who will use skewed mathematics, illogical arguments and misdirection to justify something that is killing the industry. As Adam said above, "You are either part of the solution or you are part of the problem. Period."
That's as cut and dried as it gets. There are no excuses. Every single time someone posts erroneous statements about working for a huge corporation for $125 and how it's good empowers every single person who owns a camera to think they can go out and be a sports photographer. And guess what? They will try. And they'll use the "well I got into the game AND will get paid if they sell any of my photos." these aren't portraits where you might run out for 15 minutes and shoot a head shot of some guy for a newsletter. these are sporting events ON DEADLINE. this takes a specific skill set, it takes EXPENSIVE equipment. ask some of the AP stringers across the country who didn't own a good enough camera to work under stadium or arena lights what happened to them. it was either "invest $5000 in a new camera (for the $200/event rate we pay) or don't work. and where did it get a lot of them? they went out and bought new cameras only to have the AP make deals with member papers to supply more photos to the wire for a reduction in their membership fees. that in turn meant the AP didn't need stringers anymore. I know at least three former USPW shooters who bailed out when they came to the hard cold truth that there are very few sales from the games they covered to make any money. note I didn't say profit, I said MONEY. one guy told me he was actually ashamed after football season. when he finally did the math at the end of the season, added up the residual "sales" ($0) plus his $125/game he realized he was getting paid less than $5/hour. but then he realized he had an added "bonus". he had lost all his saturdays with his family for three months. that my friends has no justification whatsoever. there is no way to "spin" that.
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Patrick Fallon, Photographer, Assistant
Torrance | California | USA | Posted: 5:53 PM on 12.11.12
->> People have referred to the $125 rate as something "On top of the 50-50 split in a la carte sales"

Under the contract and $100/125 payment that includes all subscription sales, it is in the best interest of USPW to move ALL "a la carte" sales to subscription type packages.

In other words - be prepared to see your a la carte sales drop off.
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TD Paulius, Photographer
Orland Park | IL | USA | Posted: 8:17 PM on 12.11.12
->> Sorry, but I am little confused at all this. I have been to selected sporting events where there have been 2, 3 USPW shooters on the sidelines. I havent noticed those times if there were working as a team, i.e., near side, far side, elevated, stands. If they are not working as a team on a normal, i.e., non-super bowl, BCS, Bowl event, then does Gannet/USPW pay all three the $125? Or better yet when I see them at NCAA low income sports such as lacrosse and soccer for an entire season, do they get paid for the shot in the dark sales type events? It seems to me that Gannet/USPW has a vested interest in keeping costs down as all print papers do these days. I just dont understand why they would pay multiple shooters to attend and shoot rather sundry events, instea dof the whole enchilada type events.
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Jim Colburn, Photographer
Omaha | NE | USA | Posted: 8:22 PM on 12.11.12
->> "I guess I'll be the one to say it out loud so, here goes..."

Well said Mr. Blanco.
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Rick Rickman, Photographer
Capistrano Beach | CA | USA | Posted: 8:23 PM on 12.11.12
->> Sometimes as businesses grow, business models change. Sometimes for the better and sometimes not. All we can do is try to encourage aspects of the industry to see the value in doing business fairly and appropriately.

It is simply amazing to me to see how here on Sportsshooter, the people who are always the loudest and, many times the least knowledgeable voices, do the least to better the industry.

Maybe, if more of the loud voices on this site actually spent some time educating themselves and taking part in organizations that are actively trying to make a real difference in educating photographers about appropriate ways to do business we'd be a lot better off.

Simply spouting off continually here on SportsShooter does little to change the spiral of our business. For a change, do something constructive besides quacking! Find constructive ways to make a difference or shut the hell up. The constant negativity and demeaning behavior is truly tiresome and an enormous waste of time and energy. Do something for a change besides flap your gums. Try that on asa new years resolution.
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David G. McIntyre, Photographer, Photo Editor
Hong Kong | . | CHINA | Posted: 8:30 PM on 12.11.12
->> Brian,

Your points are very good, and I like the tone and depth that you have analyzed it.

In a way of saying this is not a very good deal, just change the name of the agency that is paying the fee (to another one or an individual or school or team), and would the photographer accept the same deal?

Also, the 50-50 split, is that for non-subscribers only? So if ESPN magazine pays a subscription, and a USATSI image graces the cover, I guess there is no additional income for the photographer?
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