Getty Cuts Pay for Editorial Contributors

Getty has announced a take-it-or-leave-it rate cut for its editorial contributors under a new contract that specifies 35 percent royalties for all sales. Under current contracts that will soon expire, Getty pays photographers 50 percent for some sales, and 35 percent for others.

Photographers who don’t sign the contract will be terminated when their current contracts expire.

The agency notified photographers of the changes on November 9, giving them 30 days to sign the new contract. The agency told photographers that the new contract terms will enable Getty “to more easily modify content use across more and new license models, products, services and selling environments, including subscriptions, high-volume customer deals and new or emerging pricing, licensing and payment models.”

In other words, customers will be paying less for images in some cases. By cutting photographers’ rates, Getty will be able to offer images at lower prices with less negative impact on its own bottom line.

Asked whether Getty has found itself unable to compete for low-priced business without asking for concessions from suppliers, agency spokesperson Jodi Einhorn said, “No….[W]e are developing new ways for customers to use more of our content and as a result, new ways to pay contributors must be created in these situations.”

One way photographers benefit from the new contract, Getty says in the November 9 memo, is that photographers will now be paid in 60 days rather than 120 days. Einhorn also told PDN that Getty is “making changes and improvements around how we share and license our content, which will benefit our photographers,” by providing more exposure and more potential for sales of their images.

Einhorn did not say how many photographers are affected, or whether they are resisting the changes. But she did say, “It is totally normal for those affected to have questions. So we are responding to questions we receive and our team are always available to discuss any changes with our photographers, to help them understand these changes.

97 Responses to “Getty Cuts Pay for Editorial Contributors”

  1. Susan Seubert Says:

    How long do you think, as contributors, anyone can support one’s self under these conditions? How long until Getty asks us to pay them for the privilege of being a contributor? By cutting the rates so low, and taking away any ability to negotiate a better situation for contributor royalties, contributors can look forward to the latter. As far as Jodi Einhorn is concerned, her comments came from Getty’s empty gesture department. Einhorn might as well say, “we’re screwing you out of your fair share of the royalties so we can make a bigger profit! Any more questions?”

  2. Chicago photographer Says:

    The race to the bottom continues. I have friends that shoot for Getty and are seeing images sold for as little as $2.50 and their take, not enough to buy a pack of gum.

  3. Jim Says:

    “One way photographers benefit from the new contract, Getty says in the November 9 memo, is that photographers will now be paid in 60 days rather than 120 days.”

    In other words; “We’ll pay you half as much but twice as often.”


  4. Michael Says:

    Basically the only way Getty can keep showing high profits AND keep giving away photos by flooding the market with millions of images is taking more rights away from the photographer. Nothing was said in this article about the fact Getty is also AUTOMATICALLY moving photographer’s libraries into Royalty Free distribution deals after 36 months if there are no sales. No choice photographers, your library will automatically become Royalty Free over time.

  5. Jack Kurtz Says:

    At some point it’s up to photographers and photo editors to stand up for themselves.

    To photographers, who admittedly have little control over this because there’s always a GWC willing to work for less or free, say no to bad contracts.

    But real change won’t come until photo buyers stand up to Getty and others for their unfair labor practices. Maybe it’s time for photo editors to pass on Getty, to tell Getty their photos won’t be used until their contract practices improve.

  6. Still Visionz Says:

    I agree Jack! Let them have the GWC’s, quality will go down, and eventually sales will follow!

  7. One more slam from Getty Says:

    […] […]

  8. Luiz Rampelotto Says:

    I’ve heard of this company Getty.. But never something Good.
    Well! as long we have desperado photographers sending photos to them they will be in business. Is not there fault is our for lowering our standards..

  9. Eros Hoagland Says:

    My father’s archive of El Salvador’s civil war are with Getty. Now they want to pay me 35% for the pictures he died for. I told Getty to go take a short walk off a high cliff above a lake full of crocodiles. This is a good excuse to get all the pics re-scanned and over to Redux

  10. CBinNJ Says:

    So, Canon pro bodies going up in price, rate at which the photographers who need these bodies going down.

  11. Michael Says:

    Seems to me this move by Getty should create opportunity for small, boutique agencies to launch or thrive. Any company that isn’t profitable by taking 50% from the sale of a product that they didn’t create is too top heavy. It’s time to go back to 50-50.

  12. James L. Says:

    If the government ever cared about the photo industry, they would have stopped Getty Images from becoming the monopoly that is has become and in the process ruining the marketplace for editorial imagery.

    This new price cut is an insult to every editorial photographer in the business. If you are a contributor for Getty Images, Wire Image and Film Magic you just got royally screwed. So, you’re working more, making less and you’re getting paid in half the time. That’s supposed to make this right? When you enable this corporate monopolistic company to dictate the market not based on your talents but rather on some spread sheet that favours ridiculously low subscription models it really begs the question why enable the enabler?

    You’re better off getting together with your friends, opening up a PhotoShelter account and starting your own agency. The price point is so low, technology that much cheaper you actually might make the same amount over time but at least you can call the shots and not have G Mart i.e. the photo Walmart do it for you.

    It used to be mean something to work for Getty Images as a photographer but now it seems like you’re just a cog in the corporate wheel that will suck the money out of every image you take from here on out. Google, when you can buy this company and end the misery please!

  13. John Brown Says:

    Good For you Eros

  14. Pat mcGlinchey Says:

    I agree with James L. Photographers these days are not considered their true worth. Camera prices and equipment keep going up, while money paid for work goes down. Competition is going to be the only way to have it be equitable for all.

  15. mike Says:

    It sickens me to see what’s happening to photographers. Equipment cost continues to go up and pay continues to go down. I myself have decided I can’t keep up anymore. I’m tired of getting screwed, so I’ve made a decision to shoot for myself, for the love of what I do. I just can’t stomach the industry anymore. I see people working for nothing, their equipment breaks, they can’t afford new, they put it all on credit cards that they can’t pay off. It time for me to stop the madness……..I will miss it so much.

  16. P'd Off Says:

    Hey guys,

    it’s your product, your work.

    If Getty wont pay for the privilege of using it, then tell them where to go. If you all did this then the only product available to Getty will be done by those who will shoot for free, and as you all know … you get what you paid for.

    Do what Eros has done … Stand up for your product and work.


  17. John Gatpan Says:

    Getty can’t survive if they do not take care of photographers. A customer is not licensing an image because they want to work with Getty. They are licensing it because a PHOTOGRAPHER captured a great image that they can use. It’s amazing that they wouldn’t even care about losing great photographers due to this decision. “Photographers who don’t sign the contract will be terminated when their current contracts expire.” If there was a mass exodus of photographers, would they change their royalty split. Probably not. There are alternative agencies out there that care. I heard Alamy gives 60% of sales to the photographer. That’s a big difference from Getty! At the end of the day, photo editors are savvy enough to use a slew of agencies, so we have the ability to get our work out there without being taken advantage of.

  18. P'd Off Says:

    Forgot to say …

    You don’t need Getty … THEY NEED YOU!

    No photographs, no sales and no profits.

    Let the go and take a running jump!

  19. David Hobby Says:

    The irony is, if photogs banded together and pulled their images (and all future contributions,) they could all make at least a 10x-their-money killing on put contracts, which are a leveraged bet that a company’s stock will go down.

    (June 2012 $12.50 puts are $0.75 right now.)

  20. Karin Says:

    Yes…Alamy does pay photographers 60%. And out of the 40% profits Alamy keeps, they donate half to a cancer research foundation. Does Getty do that?

  21. Josh Cogan Says:

    David is totally right. It really is a model that is akin to the big banks. If you pull your images, they will have no quality content and be irrelevant in 6 months. They will keep pushing their content providers to pay for the huge overhead of their company by taking the hits on pricing models. All this says to me is that Getty is sucking wind, and on their way out. Any corporation that has to change their “model” every six months isn’t sustainable

  22. John McDermott Says:

    Eros Hoagland’s post says it all. Getty can sponsor all the industry awards and grants it wants, but does anyone seriously think that Getty actually cares about photographers and profession of photography? Their actions and business practices say otherwise…loudly. They only carry on, and prosper, because photographers provide them with a steady flow of ever cheaper material to sell. Until those “content providers” wise up Getty will continue to do business in this way. Why wouldn’t they?

  23. John McDermott Says:

    You would think a company whose business is licensing and producing high-quallty photography would use some high-quality images of its own officers on its website:

  24. Jools Says:

    If photographers sign this they they are doing themselves and other photographers an injustice and it will be detrimental to our industry.This kind of treatment is inherent to big business screwing the individual. Where have I heard that before???? Oh, and Getty thank you SO much for reducing payment time from 4 months to 2 . How about 1 month as should be expected?????? I’m out!

  25. jonathan Says:

    Absolutely DISGUSTING.

    Times are bad enough for everyone. Leave it to GETTY to once again screw over the industry and the working photographer. Just like some companies, some of their stringer rates are $150, half day and $225 for a full day– and now 35% royalty? No photos on Getty mean NO company. At one point working for Getty meant something, but at this point it means making more money by panhandling on the street.

    I guarantee their corporate fat cats would never DARE work for these rates. And where are all these photographer associations to help when they’re really needed?

  26. Borna Cavrag Says:

    I suppose people reading this article are not enthusiasts, but professionals who know a lot of people in the industry (editors, sales reps, buyers…). well, did you ever hear of one example of someone from the publishing side coming over to an agency and saying that content was too expensive? Me neither…

    This whole clusterfuck that started a couple years ago was always just agencies screwing each other over for the sake of making better looking pie charts. market share and shit. those are the same people who were losing money left and right with a business model where you participated in 1% of the costs and took 50% of the revenue. how bloody hard can it be?

    Publishers just saw it and took advantage, a completely rational move. If I can get a 5% lower quality image for 20% of the price, of course I’m going to pocket the difference. but they never even asked for it, they just got it.

    and no, getty doesn’t care about photographers, for anyone who might still be wondering. it’s a business (not a very good one at that, but still), so it doesn’t care by definition. anyone who ever thought differently is simply an idiot. just as much as my business doesn’t care about the fate of camera manufacturers, card makers, apple or any other people I buy from. I don’t give a flying f*** if they are breaking even or not. I’m just buying the one that gets me the most value for price. that’s the way it works and it should work.

    now if contributors started thinking along the same lines 5 years ago, we wouldn’t have been in this mess in the first place. being represented by getty or having your picture on the cover of SI isn’t a business goal. making money is a business goal. if you’re not making money, you should change something. newsflash: staying in an unprofitable business and bitching about it on forums isn’t the wisest executive decision you ever made.

    But the fact remains that publishers never asked for this, which means that they would still be buying content for the old prices if we (as in ‘us in the industry collectively’) didn’t decide to go out of our way to make sure they don’t have to. So if you want to make this right, just don’t submit to getty, it’s as simple as that. use an agency with higher prices and a better revenue split. If they want to go the way of microstock or presswire, let them, nobody cares. it’s about you and your bottom line.

    getty didn’t invest in your gear, they didn’t participate in the risks of coming back from a news assignment empty, they didn’t educate you and quite frankly, didn’t do 65% of the job. so they shouldn’t take 65% of the revenue. return the contract with some chocolate for the people you personally worked with and move on. it’s just not that complicated

  27. Borna Cavrag Says:

    and for anyone with a gotcha question, I was never represented by getty images or any of their affiliates.

  28. Dennis Farragut Says:

    sounds like the private equity group that bought Getty is posturing to flip the company again. anyone with stock should hold on tight and try to grab some more. in the same breath Getty is de-valuing the photographer as they have been doing for as long as i can remember. Photographers are just button pushers these days to them. And the ones that have relationships with large clients are the only ones that really matter to them. Its unfortunate that such a large multi-national corporation with the personality of cardboard and the business practice of selling clients a bunch of crap they aren’t asking for or need is the only real game in town that pays on time.

  29. James L. Says:

    @Jools I agree completely with you. Any contributor who signs this agreement ( and the desperate ones will who are afraid of change or trying to ever go against the grain i.e the idiots who still think working for Getty is a privilege) should be called out on the line and screamed at! Thanks to them they just lowered the bar for everyone else and they have the nerve to stand there and insult you with every photo they take.

    BTW, it’s worse enough that at EVERY entertainment event G Mart loads up with 4, 5, 6 ,7. 8 idiotic contributors and then adds insult to injury by sending a team of staff photographers and editors to drive prices down even further! Let alone the bone head staff that walk around and celebrity stalk you know who you are. Talk about followers and never ones to be leaders.

    Let’s do the math here. G Mart just screwed all the contributors and added another

  30. James L. Says:

    (sorry hit submit button by accident)….%15 to their bottom line. Times that amount to the thousands of images they sell at this new rate and who knows the Private Equity folks are thinking, WHY NEED STAFF Photographers when I can have these poor saps do it for less? We’ll pay no benefits, reap more profit and just pay the staff photographers with contracts a higher percentage pay them in a month and just make them better paid contributors? They’ll then turn around and tell their subscription customers we’ll save you even more money! please sign on the dotted line!

    I say Getty is looking to sell and the Private Equity 1% want their $2Billion dollars back and them some on the backs of all you desperate contributors. Don’t forget to give the shirt off your back when you sign this contract that’s how sad it all is.

  31. matt Says:

    The important issue is that Getty is like the illuminati.

    Its got nothing to do with presenting great, fantastic work to picture editors in the hope that work will be published. The Getty men simply go straight to the top, bypassing the accountants even and state their believed facts questioning publishers and the like on their business practices and suggest that that they can supply all of their content and thus need no one else.

    They are now trying to squeeze maximum profit by putting a gun to their head of the contributor and wanting to reduce rates with the knowledge that the poor photographer is faced with very little other outlets to syndicate work to.

    I know MANY picture editors who without boasting love my work but have been told from the top NOT to use it.

  32. Ambrose Pierce Says:

    There is a very simple solution to this problem, stop contributing to Getty. First of all, to all the complainers who are currently with Getty, you should have gotten out a long time ago. You are the source of all the problems that plague the industry today–the petty low-balling bs, the dollar licenses, the discounts, the freebies, etc. You are the reason Getty is foisting the 35% business model in the first place. They are thinking you accepted their terms before, and you’ll accept them again. You have no one to blame but yourselves. If you want to do something productive, call Jonathan Klein and give him a piece of your mind. Then call your local paper and cancel your subscription and tell them you’ll resubscribe when they drop Getty. Post the letter to your facebook page and pass it along to your trade association. Encourage everyone in your social network to drop their newspaper and magazine subscriptions too. Talk to editors at all the newspapers and magazines with whom you work directly or with whom you have a relationship, and implore them to stop using Getty. Talk to Getty staffers and ask them to advocate for you–whether they are photographers or editors. No matter how much we might love them, they are complicit in all this and should feel some responsibility and a willingness to help. Grow a spine and say something rather than laying down and taking it in the arse, which is why we’re in this mess in the first place. Stop saying yes to everything and learn to feel comfortable with saying no. Stop thinking about yourself, and start thinking about the industry that feeds you. If this is all too much to handle, at the very least, do one thing–STOP FILING YOUR PICTURES TO GETTY!!!!!!!!

  33. Steve Mack Says:

    I am absolutely speechless about this whole state of affairs. I’m waiting for my official email detailing this new deal with Getty. I’m not happy with what I’m reading and hearing and will comment more after I’ve officially heard from the company about what is going on.

    One thing is for sure. If I like what I hear, I will deal with it. If I don’t like what I hear, I will make it my life mission to rise, lead and shake up the industry by starting something that will endeavor to put the industry back on it’s feet with integrity and value. I have he influence and resources to do that and will if I’m so provoked to do so.

  34. former Getty Staffer Says:

    Steve, if you’re contributing your imagery to GYI it doesn’t get any clearer than the above article. Stop blowing smoke up your own arse. sounds to me like you’ll no doubt continue to contribute. Pity

  35. Steve Mack Says:

    I’m not the type to make hasty decisions. But, at the same time I’m not the type to lie down and play dead either. You know me better than that. Having said that, I have a game plan and most wars are won before they’re ever fought. I’ll say more later. Even the Godfather keeps his friends close and his @#$#$%#$ closer.

  36. Mike Says:

    With no union or some sort of voice it becomes very hard to be heard. What really needs to happen is for a photography group (nppa perhaps) to start contacting the NFL, NBA, MLB, etc and request that no credentials be issued to Getty. That will be the ONLY message that Getty will get loud and clear.

  37. Steve Mack Says:

    the above is spam LOL

  38. Steve Mack Says:

    Manuela Pleil is known spam

  39. Tamar Says:

    Well, we can see that in 30 years, this stock photography has destroyed the photography industry for many photographers who used to be hired for the jobs now stock agency sell for law, very law, I think all professional photographer need to stop working with any stock agency, they need to get hired for these jobs or provide their costumer their own stock, photographers need to take action, change the industry back. as now we know the outcome from such a competition such as stock agency, I know it sounds crazy, But many impossible ideas came to be part of a healthy and fare reality.

  40. Carlos Rodriguez Says:

    I used to work for Getty after they acquired the great photo stock company FPG International, after that it was all hell for every one, the Image bank, tony stone and so many other companies the bought out just to destroy all their people and content. i know people that have lost their job up to 3 times because it does not matter where you go to work, getty will end up buying your small new company and there goes your job again for the the third time, I wonder how many photographers will be surprised if they decide to pull their collections from getty to find out that facilities has thrown out entire files of imagery to the dumpster because they do not know what they are doing, and their costumer service is terrible, I really hope getty crumbles on itself sooner than later. I used to work for Getty after they acquired the great photo stock company FPG International, after that it was all hell for every one, the Image bank, tony stone and so many other companies the bought out just to destroy all their people and content. i know people that have lost their job up to 3 times because it does not matter where you go to work, getty will end up buying your small new company and there goes your job again for the the third time, I wonder how many photographers will be surprised if they decide to pull their collections from getty to find out that facilities has thrown out entire files of imagery to the dumpster because they do not know what they are doing, and their costumer service is terrible, I really hope getty crumbles on itself sooner than later.

  41. Steve Mack Says:

    I’ve met people who lost their advertising jobs because clients stopped using them to produce premium targeted images and opted to use stock images instead.

    Now, it seems as though we live in a stock news environment. Images and stories are now farmed out so a newspaper is a shell waiting to be filled by stories and images from stock agencies.

  42. Mishell Says:

    Getty is only a licenser. The business model is based off of subscription services and customers buy in volume. Getty licenses images, music, and footage and have created a packaged product for large companies which require a lot of imagery. As far as the customer – it is all corporation to corporation handshakes- Global handshakes. Most clients don’t have the time to shop around trying to find a photo or photographer and they don’t have a budget for a shoot and they are not going to pay a high price for web use. It’s not that type of world unless you are highly specialized in what you do. As far as boutiques- Getty usually buys them (photolibrary?). If you are highly Specialized I would go with an art house or high end rep that is small and strategic. If you are an owner of an archive of imagery you should make a decision on how you would represent your collection on your own and see if it is worth the time and money. I have people who rep themselves and get undercut by agencies and then you are missing out on any type of revenue- It’s hard. The people working at these magazines, books, documentaries, media companies- A lot of them are freelance and some are interns with no experience or direction. The chances of them knowing who you are or where to find you to license your work is slim. The whole industry whether you are an agency, art buyer, art director, and or media corporation is very OUT OF TOUCH with photographers. It’s very sad! I hope niche markets pick back up again.

  43. Mishell Says:

    Also photo editors are going the way of the Dodo bird. I have seen so many talented art directors and photo editors lose their jobs and their positions get absorbed. sad times.

  44. agencyphotog Says:

    you dumbasses…it’s NOT just Getty selling for pennies. Ask anyone from INF, WENN, Startraks, Splash, PR Photos, ACE, PictureGroup (does anyone get paid?) Retna (does anyone get paid?)
    they all sell for pennies

  45. Steve Mack Says:

    For the sake of the dumbasses, what you stated is old news. What do you suggest going forward? Or is that top secret!

  46. agencyphotog Says:

    the more photographers that take a stand with every agency the better. But most will just sit back and compalin because they are fans and not really photographers. they just want to be a part of a premiere or a concert or anything where there is a celebrity
    i bet most of these photographers are against everything that the ows protestors are fighting about

  47. Glenn Levy Says:

    I was a photo researcher for Getty Images from 2004-09. I once thought that it was a great company to work for. That all changed when I was fired by an incompetent, personality void so called manager, this after having three previous managers where all was fine. When my clients would request that I send them ‘high end” fashion or beauty imagery I knew they would not get any. The quality is more like”rear end”.

  48. Buzz Says:

    going forward? Stop taking photographs of celebrities and learn how to become a real photographer

  49. LA Shooter Says:

    At some point I wouldn’t be surprised if someone who’s livelihood depends on a royalty check from GY commits suicide because of this raw deal. It sounds like the kind of flim flam we see more often on Wall Street.

  50. not35% Says:

    I was at a Lady Gaga thing yesterday and only one photographer got the email, and this person is a lousy photographer. So maybe they are picking and choosing who they want to give 35% to?

  51. Steve Mack Says:

    Well, I guess that’s good news. GWC doesn’t count. Getting an email like that is like being told you have an incurable condition.

  52. Former Getty staffer Says:

    All contribs get the same deal unless you’re a ‘special’ shooter like Mazur who has both a staff and contrib contract. He will no doubt not be affected by the new contrib deal because of all his amazing contacts…all others will. Getty has hundreds if not thousands of contribs..don’t worry the emails are coming!

  53. Steve Mack Says:

    I guess time will tell.

  54. not35% Says:

    formerGettyStaffer-NOT ALL. NO ONE other than one at this event and others. They have heard about it, but no one got it. So, if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there, does it make noise?

  55. JustJealousJustJealous Says:

    many responses are one person using various names

  56. former Getty Staffer Says:

    Ha, whether one receives the letter or not it is the new protocol. I suspect most will find out when they’re hired for their next assignment. Remember we’re not talking about a company who has shown compassion or consideration in the past.

  57. kim Says:

    As a former employee of an image bank, something else plays into this – the layoffs of non-photographer staff – hundreds a year… no exageration – you look at Corbis, Getty and the likes, and you begin to realise the industry is ill. How does the company please its board of directors? Off the backs of the ones doing all the work – that’s how. Shame on them all. Photographers – set up a website – $200 a year and you can sell all you want and keep your profits. YOU ARE WORTH IT!

  58. Mishell Says:

    Clients need to be educated as well. Like I said before they don’t have time or headcount to chase people all over the place for images which is why they go to Corbis and Getty- One stop shop.
    Also does a photographer have the time to push their images and rep themselves worldwide. This is a turning point in the industry and with technology everything is running faster and faster. I think photographers need to invent something beyond this stock image agency world.

  59. Former Getty staffer Says:

    Folks it’s all about distribution! No worldwide distribution feed cranking out to 100s of publications and you’ll never stand a chance gaining access at any notable events. Get the feed client issue solve first then talk about photogs banning together. Without it you’ll end up like every other socalled boutique agency startup…dead in the water.

  60. Michael W. Says:

    The fact of the matter is that Getty has the leverage to insist on these rates to their benefit, because Getty has bought and/or cultivated and nurtured their relationships with the publicists who are the gatekeepers to entertainment events.

    The Getty/Wire/FilmMagic triumvirate is often shooting as the official HOUSE photographer, hired by event publicists/sponsors, and even when they do not have exclusive inside access, they are ALWAYS on the A-list and given the best spots on the red carpet, while smaller boutique agencies are excluded, and therefore have no chance to compete.

    For this to change, the photo editors who determine what events get coverage in their print and online editions would have to communicate directly with publicists, to inform them that they will boycott Getty Images in favor of other outlets that treat their photographers fairly, and encourage those publicists to extend privileged access to more competing agencies, so that Getty does not have a monopoly on inside coverage, and therefore the power to dictate pricing for the market industry-wide.

    But I’ve heard from photo editors and art directors at publications that are now trying to keep up with digital technology and offer not just their print edition’s content, but exponentially MORE content/images, in their iPad and online versions, but often with the same (or even down-sized) editorial staffs.

    Their publishers have yet to actually monetize this additional content and make money (though the advertising rates for the print editions have certainly skyrocketed compared to the stagnant assignment rates paid to photographers). So publishers are asking editors to do MUCH MORE with MUCH LESS, and it’s ultimately in the best interest of their bottom line to go with the Getty flow if it means lower pricing for more images, photographers be damned.

    Now with outlets like offering royalty-free celebrity images from participating agencies like Globe, on top of monopolies like Getty low-balling the editorial space rates, I do not see the light at the end of this downward-spiraling tunnel.

  61. Chuck Says:

    Getty knows they can get away with what they are doing because there are too many pigs at the teat. They will just get more image contributors. The digital age has made image makers out of everyone and Getty and Editors know this. This also know that after the photographer’s initial investment for their equipment, they no longer have to purchase film, paper, or, chemicals. This justifies their lowering payments. Publications are cutting costs by using less images, and as more publications go online, images will be cheaper yet.

    There you have it – too many digital image makers vying for their places in an ever shrinking economy and industry. How long before Getty will be handing out 10% to contributors?

  62. Former Getty staffer Says:

    Amen Michael.

  63. Steve Mack Says:

    Yes Michael. This is true. This is a similar phenomenon to the reality show genre which has killed the TV and acting industry. Personally, I don’t see things getting better, just more diluted. Quantity over quality and house photography vs journalism, inside vs outside. If there was a way for the individual to channel their images with the same support that exists at an agency, that could be a game changer.

    Let me sleep on that. I think I have an idea!!!!

  64. Former Getty staffer Says:

    Steve, remember to keep distribution in mind. Distribution is partly why GYI are king.

  65. Steve Mack Says:

    This is true. Distribution is the key. In the web age, that is a matter of marketing and design. Apple Computing is a good example. They created a culture and when the record industry was balking about Napster, Apple came up with iTunes.

  66. LA Shooter Says:

    Contributors are saying that clients are paying Getty thousands to send a photographer to shoot an event that is on spec. So Getty is making money on the front end and not telling the shooter. The poor shooter is making nothing unless something sells. Meanwhile, Getty already got an appearance fee. That is why some of these publicists are getting so pushy asking us to shoot this and that. They’re paying thousands for it and the shooter has no idea why they are expecting so much.

  67. Meg Moss Says:

    ImageBrief is paying 70% comms and you get to decide whether the price is right before you submit images. This is a no-spec platform where you get the briefs directly from the buyers.

  68. fleshed out Says:

    Interesting analysis.

  69. Jon Says:

    Susan Seubert is right, you’ll be paying to submit to PC collection, then see those images eventually moved to royalty-free.
    The ONLY response is as per Mr. Hoagland’s comment.
    In an ideal world, and best thing for photography generally.. a great proportion of contributors walk.

  70. Steve Mack Says:

    For every contributor who walks, there’ll be 10 to replace them. Prople who’ve retired, got laid off, on disability, right out of journalism school, etc will be there to fill the void and some of them are already contributing from flicker and buzz photo. It’s open season and everyone’s invited to take our place. So it takes them 20-30 games to get one acceptable image. They’ll go through shutters faster. The initial investment in photographic equipment is small compared to other fields. I’ve seen amateurs go from an slr with a pop up flash to major upgrades over time with lenses and speedlites.

    Digital cameras has turned everyone into a shooter. Even tourists are carrying pro cameras because they can.

  71. dummies Says:

    everyone who shoots on spec is a dumbass. Getty sends 3 photographers to every event-sometimes 2 staffers and one on spec. Why is the spec person time? He is wasting his time
    But then again, every agency is selling photos for cents so if Getty sells for cents too but lots of time, they are making more (maybe $3 a photo?)

    WHY do these photographers keep doing this? They are either rich, fans, or….

  72. Steve Mack Says:

    It’s pretty simple. If you shoot on spec, you have the possibility to make great money when the pics sell for great money. At the end of the day, you OWN the photos. If I walk away from Getty or any other agency, I OWN my photos. Since I’m a half way decent photographer, those photos have VALUE. Years ago, I was going to sell around 50K worth of photos to Jupiter images. Unfortunately, Getty purchased Jupiter and the deal didn’t go through.

    There is a balance. I shoot on spec and I also shoot paid/stringer and paid assignment gigs. I don’t care how many photographers Getty sends to each event. I have enough confidence in my shooting to publishing ratio that it doesn’t matter. Most of the events I shoot are more low key where there are few photographers there. I make more money that way. If I show up for a premiere where there are over 100 shooters, the competition in the short term is is more. However, in the long term, I do well when the photos are purchased for a text book, PR release or non magazine/newspaper use. There is no one answer for this stuff.

    Distribution is the key and shooting and uploading quickly makes a difference. If I shot everything for hire, sure I’d make decent cash. But, I could also walk away with nothing to show for it. Suppose I get that “iconic” shot. I’d rather own it and not just be able to say I shot it and got a one time fee for shooting it. I want to OWN it. That’s not so dumb.

    I may have that iconic shot that becomes viral years from now. My good friend Bill Ray shot a few iconic shots when he worked for LIFE magazine. He had no idea the shot of Marilyn Monroe or President Kennedy or Elvis would be iconic. You have to see the “big picture” in this business. If you’re just a hired gun, taking the money and run, what do you have to show for it at the end of the day? NOTHING!

    I own the copyright to the images I shoot on spec and some of the paid gigs as well. The images you own become part of your net worth.

    I don’t think I’m wasting my time. My royalties pay my rent. That’s why I shoot a lot. My images are also an investment. Are YOURS?

  73. Steve Mack Says:

    There are three kinds of people… the kind who make things happen, the kind who let things happen and the kind who wonder what the hell is happening. I’m in favor of being the kind who make things happen.

    Having said that, you have to start somewhere before you can make things happen.

  74. Current Getty Represented Photographer Says:

    Wow… Lot of hot air and angry people in this chat room. I risk some angry replies. I am currently represented by Getty for both assignments, their resale and feature sales so am effected by this but:

    35% of something is better than 100% of nothing in markets you can’t reach (or have even heard of) whilst concentrating on being behind the lens. The value and the support and trust a big agency can offer you and your clients is also big value. Letting an agent drive the price beyond the limit an editor would pretend he had direct to a freelancer more than compensates for the loss in my humble opinion.

    What the article does not state is that this model has been rolled out to new photographers for 1.5 yrs and us current contributors are being migrated to it. It actually represents a 5% increase in the current “out of home” territory which for many photographers probably doesn’t mean a loss of bottom end it sees an increase. This of course is only true for those travelling – shooting and selling a majority outside of our home territory. I feel sorry for those too scared to leave the US and shoot global stories.

    I’ve seen an expansion in the roster of top names migrating to Getty over the last 5 years as their own agencies fall flat on their face or disappoint. I’ve also seen some great names leave as they reach the point they are prolific, creative, determined and business minded to go solo after fostering their career and folios in the agency.

    I look forwards to having that option to consider but currently:

    As an agency “we” are scooping more awards, getting more page space and bent on becoming stronger in a photography sector that is now VERY competitive. I’ve met too many photographers who run the risk of spending too long moaning and whinging to evolve, create work and profit (meaning reinvestment in new work and survival) in a changing austere marketplace. There’s no work in the bottom a rose glass outside cafe de poste.

    Getty is a business, not always one driven to our own values or commitment to what is potentially a dying romantic artform. That would worry me and I wouldn’t invest my image rights there. I do trust their concept, hard-nose decisions and can see as an entity they are working to support photography AND profit. Therefore if I can remaining one of their top shooters I can reap a higher % (Excuse the pun) of longterm benefits rather than be ground into the dust by iphones, twitter, demotix, istock, 1/4 day rates, shoot first sell later, Murdoch, privacy laws, students………………….

  75. Steve Mack Says:

    I agree that 35% of something is much better than 50% or 100% of nothing. It takes a “big machine” to be competitive in the global market place. distribution of Imaging is fast becoming similar in some ways to the recording industry. Shooting on spec is almost like songwriting where you get the royalties. Stringer shooters are almost like session players where you get a fee for the original work and nothing for royalties.

    There’s no sense in worrying about things we have no control over. I didn’t consider the slight increase in royalties for foreign sales. Our industry has become more immediate (with the net) and more cut throat on all levels.

    This is a wake up call to concentrate on personal development and not put all your eggs in one basket. This is not a simple issue and there are no simple answers. Wherever you are, whoever you shoot for, you have to make the opportunities work for you! When that changes, it’s time to re adjust and do something different and better.

  76. Getty Cuts Pay for Editorial Contributors Says:

    […] contributors and when PDN asked them if that was because they needed to lower their prices (here): Asked whether Getty has found itself unable to compete for low-priced business without asking for […]

  77. Rip Off Central Says:

    Ask Einhorn how much SHE makes as well as some of the bigger cheeses at Getty. Going around gobbling up other collections and then threatening the end user with the possibility of a lawsuit unless you use their clearances services (at an outrageous cost) is downright blackmail.

  78. CRivera Says:

    All this smells like Ocuppy Getty! Talk about a 99%… Make your bed, now lay on it…

  79. Steve Mack Says:

    Is it my imagination or are things getting a little more desperate? I’m sure a company as large as Getty is going to do what they think they need to do to keep afloat. They have a “failure is not an option” approach. With all the complaining about Getty Images domination of the market, I don’t hear any practical solutions. Also, nobody complained when they shot for Getty with unprecedented access and support with editors pushing their images out.

    If it wasn’t Getty, it would be some other company that dominates the market. They must be doing something right. If not, their shareholders would never put up with it. You still have AP, UPI and several other agencies that pay well for images and get them out there. TMZ, Splash, Everett Collection. What ever happened to “meet the famous”? They started out well and all of a sudden stopped.

    Maybe we need another rich oil man to start a project and shake up the industry as Mark Getty and J. Klein did. I have to mention the ground breaking WireImage with innovative delivery of images across the “wire”, “internet”. You can complain all you want. It won’t change anything. If you can’t beat them, join them or go out and be a pioneer and compete. Think out of the box and make it happen. It’s not true that there’s nothing new under the sun. There’s a lot new. Sometimes we don’t embrace the “new” right away.

    If you have a better mouse trap, go ahead and build it!

  80. Steve Mack Says:

    Since Getty is involved in so many types and categories of imaging, efforts are being made to offer more products to clients across the board globally. Contributors are also from different platforms and produce a wide variety of different products.

    I think Getty is doing the best they can to communicate those changes to each shooter, despite the assumptions. If you have yet to hear from Getty, you will and can decide what to do once you understand the reality of the changes. Things have to be updated and as I see it, Getty has no choice on some is these updates to be in compliance.

  81. dummies Says:

    Steve Mack-there are no iconic images any more when you have dozens (or hundreds) of photographers getting the same image. If you want to have iconic images, start shooting real stuff other than celebrities (unless you are able to shoot one on one portraits)

  82. Steve Mack Says:

    I agree.

  83. Steve Mack Says:

    However, historically some of the most iconic pics were not posed and were candid or one of a kind.

  84. clueless Says:

    Steve Mack-you are seemingly clueless, probably young. Shooting celebrities on spec, where there are a bunch of other photographers is not going to keep you able to pay your rent, feed yourself, etc. Do you honestly think your archives are worth anything these days, with so many photographers getting the same thing? All these agencies are hooked up and get “exclusives” of these celebrities anyway but have you ever been to an event with less than 10 others? Archives from decades ago may be worth something-nothing you are shooting now is worth crap

  85. Steve Mack Says:

    Now that you mention it, most of the events have less than 10 shooters. A few exclusives that I get and others with 3-5 shooters. I actually pay my rent withy checks. Without getting into specifics, my access is not bad, with or without Getty. I’ve been around entertainment since the early 80s. I’ve been actively shooting for 40 years. I agree the movie premieres have way too many shooters. I go for the more low key events with very few shooters.

    My royalties have gone up as a result. This stuff is not rocket science and not everyone always gets the same shot the same way.

  86. Steve Mack Says:

    By the way, I started shooting (getting paid) at the early age of 10. I shot crime scene photos for my father who was a criminal defense attorney. I’m a very young 52 year old. If you call that young, I’ll take it as a compliment.

  87. Steve Mack Says:

    A good part of my income is from photography. If that is clueless, I’ll take clueless anyday… all the way to the bank! I’m done. I expect to sign a new Getty contract and continue making a living doing what I love to do. My photography is not limited to celebrities. However, my other clients are impressed with the celebrity stuff. I often get more creative and corporate work as a result of my exposure in the mags and papers.

    I make the situation work for me and I will keep on doing that or die trying. LOL

  88. Another stupid Getty contributor Says:

    As contributor with Getty from 4 years ago i only got 3 assignments and they never call me back again. I wonder the reason why i’m in Getty if they never call the photographers. I want to be out.

  89. Steve Mack Says:

    When you shoot for an agency, your relationship with that agency depends on how well you work with your assignment editor. You don’t wait for them to send you to events. Go out and get some shots and ask them if they are interested in what you shot. I do it all the time. I shoot events I think are of value. I ask if they’re interested and 95% of the time they say yes and I upload. It’s simple. You don’t wait for anyone to send you anywhere.

    You’ll starve if you wait for people to call you, Once you show interest, they’ll send you out so much, you’ll start asking them for days off. What kind of photographer wants everything handed to them? Wake up, get some coffee and go out and shoot! Or, go back to school. This is amazing. Are you in a major city? LA, New York? I’ll tell you what. For anyone who (all joking aside) really wants to shoot and doesn’t know where to start, go to (pros ignore this)

    I created this site for people interested in shooting red carpet and actually making a living at it. It is possible to make a living doing this if you apply yourself. And many pro shooters will discourage you because they don’t want more competition.

    “they never call the photographers, I wan to be out.” HEY, ARE YOU SURE YOU WERE EVER IN?

    Grab your camera, go out and SHOOT! Getty has stock, News division, sports division, entertainment, portraiture. What other agency has that and can actually sell pictures. Almost anything you shoot for them sells somewhere, sometime. This is really interesting. So far, I’ve heard every excuse for why we shouldn’t shoot for Getty. Meanwhile, when you mention the Getty name, doors open wherever you go.

    You can’t be antisocial and expect to stay by the phone waiting for Getty or any other agency to call or email you. If you really want to know how to do this, look at my site. Seasoned pro photographers who are interested in shooting red carpet subscribe to the site and are currently shooting for several major agencies and newspapers. I see their photo credits everywhere.

  90. Getty Cuts Pay For Photojournalists - MediaJobsDaily Says:

    […] Photo agency Getty has sent a new contract to its editorial contributors that specifies a flat 35 percent royalty for all sales, reports PDN. […]

  91. Steve Mack Says:

    Photo agency Getty has sent a new contract to its editorial contributors that specifies new ways to sell pictures and new rates. New contributors and inactive contributors will get a flat 35 percent royalty on sales. This is up 5% for foreign sales. Long time, steady shooters will get a new contract with their current, unchanged rate on a case by case basis. If you’re new to the game, 35% is still better than 50% of nothing. I’ve shot for other agencies and some I still get checks from, others I never saw a penny of my 60%.

    Current, active shooters get 50% on a case by case basis at Getty Images with a NEW and improved contract. You can copy and paste that line all you want. I was already informed I will be offered a new contract and I will sign it as soon as I get it. I’d be crazy not to. This is not TOP SECRET. 50% – 60% of sales is standard in our industry. If Getty decides to change the way they do business with new contributors, who were previously standing outside and are now shooting INSIDE in the red carpet, that’s still better than 50% from another agency that doesn’t even send you a monthly statement or royalty check for published images. Steady checks, statements, invoices paid within a week.

    Please… copy and paste that headline again and again. It’s like kicking rocks. Survivors will always survive at 50%, 60% or 35%. I don’t see any new contributors complaining. I do see them shooting and selling pictures and upgrading equipment. Some are still learning how to fine tune that equipment, but that’s another story. Until things change, anyone who shoots for Getty, AP, UPI, Everett, Sipa and a few others will do well if they shoot a lot and upload great images in a timely fashion. Do what you do well and do more of it. Complaining will not solve anything.

    Getty has not sent a new contract to all of its editorial contributors that specifies a flat 35% royalty for all sales. That simply is not true. They announced they will require contributors to enter into a new contract and that going forward the rate will be 35% across the board for global, domestic sales. This is up 5% from the 30% previously earned for foreign sales. Most red carpet 50% shooters who are ACTIVE will retain their 50% royalty for domestic sales and may benefit from the new 35% for foreign sales.

  92. who Says:

    I wonder who did get the 35%. No one at my event last night did, unless they were all lying. So if they aren’t lying, who is the one who even “leaked” out the above contract information? Seems people like to talk and make problems. Maybe just new people from now on get the 35%
    I don’t know, do you?

  93. Steve Mack Says:

    This is on a case by case basis. I spoke with photographer relations for contributors at Getty and new shooters are getting 35%. I still maintain that 35% with a company that has the distribution of Getty is better than 50% from a company you have to chase for a check or statement. This is not a leak. This is general information and anyone who wishes to share personal information will be mindful that some of that contractual information is protected by confidentiality as specified in their contract. The issue being discussed has been based on some misinformation.

    What I stated is based on general information that company has shared with me. The contracts will be on a case by case basis for those who have been shooting for a long time and have committed to being active. You will find out once you’ve been contacted by photographer relations. They have a daunting task getting in touch with everyone across the board. Remember, we’re not employees, we’re freelance contractors who don’t share company emails linked to groups, etc. They have to reach out to everyone as they can get to them. You can get in touch with your assignment editor or your contact at Getty for more information. I’m just an active contributor for editorial entertainment as are so many who wonder what is going on. What I’ve shared is accurate and not a secret or confidential.

  94. Tired of Steve Mack Says:

    Hey buddy, stop being a pawn and water boy for Getty it’s really annoying and the fact that you’re using this platform to promote yourself ( who the hell cares when you started shooting dead people) is even worse. ( i’m wasting my own time i’m so annoyed with you and you will STILL respond to this)

    So, have fun with your lower percentage and you should be proud that you’re working for a company that just lowered the price for everyone shooting around you. The sad thing is the other 9 photographers showing up to your B list events ( you will never be placed on A List events) 6 of them and yourself contribute to Getty, Film , Wire, AFP, Flickr, blah blah blah..

    Getty corporate must love that you’re kissing their ass and doing the job for them! So, way to go and have fun freezing your butt of this winter paying your rent!

    You’re a joke

  95. Steve Mack Says:

    At least I use my real name when responding and let’s face it why so much hostility. We’re just TAKING PICTURES. We’re not saving lives or fighting for our country or teaching children (unless you’re a parent). If you’re so tired of me, why do you even take the time to write. I don’t always need be placed on A list events with 150 other photographers. The fact is, if I take a picture of an empty paper bag, it will sell somewhere, timetime to someone if its on Getty Images. Getty corporate doesn’t love that I’m kissing anyone’s ass. If I was that much of a company man, they would have hired me a long time ago. I’m a shooter who doesn’t turn down assignments. I’m no better or worse than anyone else. I have my good days and bad just like anyone else. The more I shoot, the more I sell. It’s that simple.

    And, I can use any platform I want to promote myself. If the moderator doesn’t like it, they can take me off. I’m powerless… just a shooter like YOU! Next time you see me, you can tell me in person just how annoyed you really are. LOL

    They spend more time selling pictures. The only one who reached out to me from getty is the person who deals with photographers directly. I don’t corporate could care less about this nonsense on this thread.

  96. Steve Mack Says:

    In reality, you’re giving Getty more attention than YOU even think they deserve. That’s FUNNY!

  97. Steve Mack Says:

    I forgot to mention, my percentage has not been lowered. But, I guess you didn’t read that part. Just skip along and believe what you want to believe. It doesn’t really matter what you believe anyway. And, what’s wrong with shots of dead people? I don’t discriminate. LOL