Website Uses Anonymous Submissions to Share How Much Photogs Get Paid


The idea behind writer Manjula Martin‘s brain child Who Pays Writers has now been expanded to the world of photography thanks to an anonymous editorial photographer and his spinoff, Who Pays Photographers. And like its predecessor, it’s a place where photographers can come and anonymously submit reports that detail the who and how much (if any) of getting paid as a photographer.

Having only gone live on March 8th, the website has already seen a wide range of reports, from fair to free. At $750 per day — plus equipment, assistants and mileage — Rodale Publications (the folks behind Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Runner’s World, etc.) stands out as one of the better publishers to work for.

On the other side of the spectrum, one user reports being offered $0 by an ESPN producer for a stock image. Although, to be fair, what seem to be ESPN’s official prices for work are outlined later by another user; prices that fall along the same lines as Rodale’s.


If you feel you have something to add to the conversation, you can submit your own experiences to the website by e-mailing them to [email protected] Just be sure to include the publication, what you were paid, what year it was, the number of pages, size of usage, type of piece, whether it was assignment work or a stock sale, whether or not expenses were paid, and context such as non-payment, rights-grabs, etc.

Of course, conflicting reports (like the two ESPN ones) are bound to arise. As the about section of the website explains, “outlets play favorites and situations vary.” But over time, Who Pays Photographers could become a valuable resource for photographers to consult before seeking or accepting work with any one particular publication (and not just a source of anxiety for photojournalists-to-be on Reddit)

(via Reddit)

  • Nathan Blaney

    The “this address” link isn’t working.

  • Samcornwell

    Getty Images & Associated Press = Eternal loss of copyright.


  • sean lancaster

    Getty troubles me. On the one hand, I am not going to sell any of my images because I enjoy taking them much more than marketing and selling them. On the other hand, Getty takes a huge percentage of the profits for any image I sell by using Getty. Is making a little better than making zero or is making nothing and fighting the power better? Hmmm.

  • bob cooley

    Sam, not really correct- You retain your copyright with Getty, they act as a licensing agent between you and the clients. If a client does a rights buyout (which is expensive) you can choose to sell full rights to the end client or not.

    You can always leave Getty and they no longer have any rights to market your images (at the end of your contract term).

    The AP has always been Work for Hire (they own all rights), but I don’t know of anyone who strings for them who sends them their A-roll material. Most stringers keep their best shots, and send their seconds to the AP. If you are staffing for the AP, it’s really no different than staffing for any newspaper or news org, its almost always (and always has been) Work for Hire.

    Not really evil, its the way its always been.

  • Samcornwell

    Hey Bob, I was simply reading what was said in the submissions on the Tumblr blog. I’d always check my rights before signing up with an agency.

  • John Kantor

    Don’t give up your day job.

  • bob cooley

    No worries – I wouldn’t really trust what someone posts to an anonymous site :) Cheers!