John Harrington’s blog is a must read for anyone in the freelance world of photography. Gannett purchased US Presswire in September and plans to add the sports photo wire to its’ worldwide media empire. Sounds great, except for the fact that the contract offered to those who want to shoot for US Presswire/Gannett is abysmal. Actually, abysmal is far to generous. It’s apocalyptic in it’s approach to working with photographers. Of course, this comes as no surprise given that the business model for US Presswire to begin with was to convince photographers that covering a sporting event was a privilege that didn’t necessarily warrant financial compensation. In other words, US Presswire loved to ask freelance photographers to work on “spec,” a dirty four letter word that essentially means “free.” The crazy thing is, many photographers jumped at the chance.

The new contract, as John Harrington so aptly breaks down on his blog, Photo Business News & Forum, will offer a flat fee of $100 to photographer’s covering most games. No expenses, no reimbursement for mileage or meals, accommodations or equipment. Alone, that should be enough to drive away 99.9% of all upright walking photographers, but I’m sure there are a few neanderthals who still might thing, “whoa, cool, I can photograph a Charger’s game? Who cares about money!” But it gets WAY worse than even that in my opinion. Harrington did all the work on this, so your best bet is simply to go to his site and read the analysis.

If you still think it’s worth working for US Presswire/Gannett, well, there’s this bridge I have that I’d like to sell………….

Todd Bigelow Photography

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