Picfair CEO: Free image Websites Exploit Photographers

Posted on 10/17/2017 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Benji Lanyado, CEO & Founder of Picfair, the London-based fair trade photography platform, has used a blog post and a tweet to call on the photographer community to turn away from free images websites that offer "exposure" in return for free images.

Picfair was founded three years ago with a goal of reversing the prevalent industry trend that sees the vast majority of royalties funneled away from photographers and has added Picfair’s voice to a growing number of photographers writing about their experiences

“Over recent years,” writes Lanyado, “websites that encourage photographers to upload hundreds of thousands of images in return for “exposure” have grown rapidly. These images are then given away for free, with infinitely-scoped licenses, to anyone who wants them. In the process, valuable customer leads and/or advertising clicks are being harvested. The photographer sees none of this.”

“And, as documented by dozens of photographers over the last few months, the “exposure” they’re promised simply doesn’t materialize.”  (See photographer comments from:
Ryan Winterbotham, Lydia Harper, Allen Murabayshi and Ruth Vitale.

Lanyado continues, “sadly, many of these images are now being piped into applications across the web (including Facebook, Apple, Trello, and other huge businesses) through open-access APIs.”

Lanyado also responds to blogs in which the free image websites’ founders have argued against such criticisms: “We’ve read gymnastic defenses of these websites’ practices, but, just like their users, we don’t buy it. They are exploiting photographers.”

“It isn’t worth it,” Lanyado concludes, “your images are valuable”.

Picfair is an image marketplace that allows contributors to upload images and choose their own license prices. Picfair then adds 20% on top when licensing the images to publications, agencies, large corporations and small businesses. The company was founded was founded to re-set the unfair royalty splits within the industry that see an average of 74% go to middlemen, rather than the photographers.

Currently, the Picfair library contains over 5 million images, curated by its in-house “Picked” image curation algorithm. Over 28,000 photographers from 132 countries contribute to Picfair, ranging from talented amateurs to award-winning professionals.

Picfair customers include Rough Guides, The Guardian, and Time Inc.

Copyright © 2017 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 www.selling-stock.com, 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: http://www.jimpickerell.com/Curriculum-Vitae.aspx.  


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