Scoopshot Introduces Pro Option

Posted on 9/19/2012 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Last month we wrote about Scoopshot a site where any photographer can submit cell phone pictures for editorial use. The company has been in business for about 18 months and has over 130,000 contributors from 165 different countries. Now Scoopshot has added an option that allows editors to identify and give assignments to a select group of photographers that produce professional quality work.

Pro Service

On professional section of the site photographers can post a 9 images portfolio, a brief bio, information about the professional equipment they use and their areas of expertise. There is no cost to the photographer to have his/her work presented in this way. Photographer can update their portfolios at any time.

So far more than 400 professionals (full-time photographers) and 545 part-timers or amateurs have portfolios in this section of the site. While any of the 130,000 contributors may submit 9 images for consideration, this section of the site is curated. Only those with professional quality work are accepted.

Editors must sign up and agree to terms and conditions in order to get access to the site. The average Internet user can not review the pictures in the collection.

An editor who needs a photographer can go to the site, search for photographers anywhere in the world and see their portfolios. The portfolios of the professionals closest to the shoot location are delivered first, and then the portfolios of the part-timers. Editors can narrow their search to anyone within 3 miles of the desired GPS location and widen it as much as they want until they find a photographer who can handle the job.

Editors can also search for photographers that specialize in the following categories: Newsphotos, Advertising, Crisis, Culture, Events, Documentary, Photojournalism, Fashion, Nature, Politics, Portraits, Public Relations, Sports, Travel, Weather.

Once the editor has chosen a photographer a message describing the assignment is sent to the photographer’s phone and email address. The photographer responds and the two negotiate the specifics of the assignment – time to complete the project, delivery date, price, etc. The editor may choose to contact several photographers simultaneously and give the job to the first to respond.

Images are delivered by uploading them to Scoopshot. Scoopshot handles the billing, retains 30% or the fee and submits 70% to the photographer.

Editors may also post general Tasks like “storm damage” or “first day of school” to all photographers in a particular area. Everyone in the area with the app will be notified. In such cases the name of the requesting publication, the deadline and the price they will pay are indicated. All pictures submitted will be considered, but with these general tasks there is no guarantee that any of the images submitted will be purchased.  

At any time a photographer may post any image that he thinks may be of interest to the editors monitoring the site. Images posted in this manner remain on the site for 48 hours. Editors can search this collection at any time narrowing the search by location or work specialty. Today there are 547 images in this section of the site. There are two weather images from New York and one image from Washington, DC. Images are taken down 48 hours after they are uploaded so the editors are constantly shown new material.

Which Comes First? Photographers or Editors

While this seems like a great, inexpensive way to keep in touch with editors and the kind of imagery they need, so far very few U.S. editors are using this site to source imagery.
On the other hand, given the convenient, beneficial and risk free nature of the site it would seem that in the not too distant future most newspaper, online news site and magazine editors will make some use of this service.

Scoopshot is aggressively marketing to editors in the hopes that many will integrate this resource into their daily search for images. They point to the following advantages:
    1 – Editors can throw out general requests for weather, traffic, first day of school, unclear traffic signs or high school sports images. They will probably get lots of submissions and only pay for those they actually use. This could provide the editor with much more diverse user generated coverage at lower cost than having to hire staffers.

    2 – Editors have a larger pool of professionals to consider and can hire them on a job-by-job basis when needed.

    3 – Editors can be reminded of a particular photographer’s work (9 image portfolio) before committing to an assignment.

    4 – They can quickly review recent work from a broad group of creators and possibly spot emerging talent.

    5 – The contact information of every participating photographer (Pro or otherwise) is easily available so the editor can follow up, or call in a portfolio (from someone whose portfolio is not on the site) if he needs more information.

    6 - If the image is shot using the Scoopshot app the editor knows the exact GPS location and that the photo has not be manipulated.

    7 – Using the system costs the editor nothing unless he actually purchases a photo.

    8 – Currently there is relatively little video available, but that is likely to increase.
To download the app go to the app store and search for “scoopshot.” To submit a pro portfolio go to Photographers who get the app can begin to monitor the requests in their area. There may be nothing of interest in their area for some time, but it takes almost no effort to monitor the demand. If and when the demand grows then the photographer can more actively participate.

More To Come

Soon Scoopshot expects to make available to photographers a list of publications in their area that use the service. This will enable photographers to monitor the kind of imagery the publication uses and target their shooting to supply those needs.
Scoopshot also intends to show photographers a gallery of images that have been purchased.

Hopefully, they will also provide a sample site of what the editor sees to give contributors a better idea of how the site works.

Copyright © 2012 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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