Detroit Agency Solicits Car Shoots on Spec

A Detroit area ad agency has put out a call for photographers to shoot car beauty shots on spec. Latcha + Associates of Farmington Hills, Michigan has distributed an electronic brochure called "Shoot a Sample" that tells photographers they can "assist in collaborating and evolving the style of a major automotive brand!"

That brand happens to be Lincoln, and the fine print informs photographers that "by participating in this exploratory project, you are agreeing to do so without reimbursement from Latcha or Lincoln."

If Latcha likes your sample, you might become eligible to bid for actual jobs. "We will create a talent pool of those who hit the mark," the brochure says.

It's a new and brazen approach. Normally agencies invite photographers to bid for jobs on the basis of what creative directors and art buyers see in the photographers' portfolios. It's a time-honored method that's fair and efficient. What Latcha offers is a test of desperation. And when the bidding starts, they know they'll be negotiating with a pool of photographers who are willing to work for free.

9 Responses to “Detroit Agency Solicits Car Shoots on Spec”

  1. Jay Says:

    A Photo Editor has more on this including a snotty email from the owner:

  2. Brian Carey Says:

    This is very discouraging! If this works out for them times will get even tougher for those trying to make a living as a photographer!

  3. DavidH Says:

    I wonder how many car-themed goatse pics will be submitted…

  4. Ricky Salsberry Says:

    HA. Go read it now. David has commented again, this time in the comments.
    David Latcha wrote:
    Fuck you all, I don’t give a fuck what you all think. At the end of the day you need me, there will always be desperate photographers wanting the work.
    – Dave

  5. maybe funky Says:

    Maybe PDN should devote an entire issue to exploitation and start an active campaign to try and openly shame those who participate in such sleaze…

  6. Guess the Lighting Says:

    This happens way too often. Kudos to Rob for exposing it.

  7. David Barbour Says:

    Simple solution-don’t buy Latcha or Lincoln>put him out of work

  8. Paul Guba Says:

    Why is everyone outraged by this. We all know some photographers right now are working for nothing on this project. Would you pay for something you can get for free? Would you do the hard work being creative when someone will do it for you? Basically we have devalued ourselves and our looking to blame an Agency for it. No one is an asshole for asking for something free.

  9. Rosh - New Media Photographer Says:

    As someone who worked in the Detroit auto photography studios (and still shoots in Detroit) I recall the exciting, *respectable and profitable business it once was, I’m very sad.
    As much as I want to say mean and awful things to Paul, he is right. It’s not the agencies fault. It’s not photographers fault either. It’s technologies fault.
    *we can always debate that.