One Degree

Posted on 8/13/2014 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

One Degree, ( (that's .co not .com) a new app designed to help those who need images find a photographer was launched recently. There are some interesting ideas behind this app, but in its current form it is probably something professional photographers will want to avoid.

The basic idea is that if a photographer has this app on his cell phone; happens to be walking by the White House, or any location in the world, and someone needs a picture of that location they can immediately contact that photographer. If at any time the photographer is busy with something else and doesn’t want to be contacted he can with a single click toggle the “Availability” feature off and no one using the search option will know where he is.

In theory, this could be a very useful option for the news media enabling them to find photographers who are available to cover breaking news.

However, the way the app is set up, I’m not sure how practical it will be. Here are a few areas of concern.
1 – The people using the app will be either an “Agent” or a “Fixer.” Agents are defined as anyone wanting an image and Fixers are image creators. Very confusing. They started out with “Searcher” and “Shooter,” but ditched those terms.

2 – The app finds the photographers in the vicinity of the location requested. It can identify who is closest within 100 meters. Very little information about the qualifications of the photographer is supplied to the person making a request. It is assumed the nearest person to the location is best for the job. In addition, it is hoped that eventually thousands of amateurs, as well as professionals, will be using the app and chosen simply because they are “there.”

3 – CEO David Giles says that in the future he will introduce a button to toggle Pro or Amateur that will help the buyer. But he is unsure how to qualify who the Pros are. He says, “the onus will be on the Agent, not One Degree, to decide who is a Pro.”

4 – In theory the “Agent” could send separate request to several photographers in a particular area. Giles assumes that the Agent would them be responsible to pay every photographer that submitted photos. However, is seems likely that if some photos were less satisfactory than others the Agent would refuse to pay for those they chose not to use and just pay for the ones they used.

I would assume that once the Agent is contacted by an Available photographer the Agent would say, “I have contacted several photographers regarding this request and will use and pay for the best image submitted.” Then the photographer would have to decide whether to go ahead and shoot on speculation.

5 – Giles says, “user privacy is very important to me.” He appears to recommend that both photographers and buyers use an anonymous email and a Googlevoice number to protect their identity. For his account he uses a gmail account and a number so no one can identify who he really is. This would seem to raise some big issues for the photographer who hopes to be paid for his work if he has no idea who the buyer is, and no way to contact the buyer except through an anonymous email address.

6 - Right now Giles asks photographers to supply the following information: About me, Twitter, Facebook, My Services and My Rates. One would think that supplying Twitter and Facebook accounts would kill a lot of the “privacy” thing, but maybe they can set up anonymous accounts.

7 – As with most things on the Internet the Terms and Conditions explanation that users must agree to is very long and very difficult to examine carefully on a cell phone. The T&C, the Privacy Policy and the Acceptable Use Policy are only available on the app and not anywhere on Giles feels it would be “redundant” to put them on the web site well. I guess he feels users will be happy to agree to the T&C without reading or understanding them.

8 – This site will be of no use for requesting generic images like a family barbecue that could be shot anywhere.

– One Degree “suggest that if you are a Fixer sending photos or videos to an Agent, that you send LOW QUALITY proxies for approval and then after you have received payment, send the ORIGINALS.” The problem with this is that for many Internet and cell phone uses will be all the customer needs.

10 – The photographer gets 100% of any payment agreed to by the Agent, provided the photographer can collect from an anonymous buyers. One Degree takes no responsibility for collecting payment and “suggests only using well-known mobile payment systems that have provisions for dispute resolution.”

11– Finally, in a future build there will be a Social Snaps button for those who want to make themselves available to take pictures for anyone who asks, for FREE, in the spirit of goodwill.


For customers who want to find an experienced photographer I recommend the Professional Photographers of American (PPA) Find A Photographer website at Users can enter a city, state or country (there are some photographers working outside the U.S.) and get a listing of all photographers in the area. In most cases there will be a link to the photographer’s website where detailed information and a portfolio are provided about his or her experience.

This does not tell the customer whether the photographer is available to take a job immediately and the photographer may not have an Instant Message contact.

Another option that is being used increasingly by the media is Scoopshot. The difficulty for the photographer here is that in most cases he shoots on speculation and is paid only if the image is accepted for publication. In addition, the fees are usually low.

Copyright © 2014 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to:  


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