If you’ve always wanted to have your photos marketed by Getty Images but haven’t been able to break in yet, here’s a great way to start: Submit your images to the citizen journalism site Scoopt.
In a recent interview with Black Star Rising, Hugh Pinney, Getty’s managing editor for news in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa, acknowledged that “shrewd” freelance photographers have figured out that — in the wake of Getty’s acquisition of Scoopt earlier this year — Scoopt has provided an effective shortcut to Getty’s editorial site.
Pinney warned, though, that this backdoor eventually will be much more difficult to enter.
“We’re taking a thicker cut to encourage [Scoopt] members to contribute,” Pinney said. “We’re taking about 40 percent of the Scoopt cut; [in the future] we might be taking five percent.”
Of all images submitted to Scoopt, about half make the “Scoopt cut” — getting onto the Scoopt site. With 40 percent of these photos making it onto the Getty site, this means that Scoopt submissions have about a one-in-five chance of making it onto Getty’s editorial site.
Pinney said that Scoopt photos, while not producing much in the way of sales to this point, are beginning to find a niche with photo buyers.
“At the one end, you’ve got the slightly high-brow customers who enjoy the concept of consumers as generators of content. In the U.K., The Guardian has been very active.
“On the other end, you’ve got the lads’ mags, which are looking for daft moments — a celebrity making an odd face, a misspelled sign by the side of the road. What you hope for is an exclusive news photograph, but you can’t predict that.”
Pinney, a former picture editor for Reuters and before that a freelance photojournalist, said he was initially a citizen journalism skeptic. He’s still not sure if Scoopt will ever become a broad-based service.
“One possibility is that it would be a very niche player, actively targeting [spot news] events where amateur photos are likely to come to the fore,” he said. “The other possibility is that it becomes a much bigger brand, with a lot of images from a lot of sources. If that occurs, the obstacle would be having the editing resources to manage that.”
Whatever its future as a business, Pinney said that from a newsgathering perspective, Scoopt for the first time has given Getty a consumer-facing brand for collecting amateur images.
“It gives us the public face that I’ve always thought we lacked. We were exposed when events occurred, because you’d watch CNN and the scroll at the bottom would ask the public to submit their pictures. We didn’t have that before.”
[tags]Getty Images, photojournalism, citizen journalism, Scoopt[/tags]