The National Union of Journalists has launched a month long campaign to encourage amateur photographers to charge “properly” for their work.
The #useitpayforit campaign, which started on 5 February, aims to make amateur photographers aware of the value of their content when providing photos and video to news organisations.
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The union has said it will provide “hobby” camera users with information on how to obtain proper rates for their work.
It has said it is becoming “harder and harder” to make a living as an editorial photographer due to the scope of sharing images online and the wide use of free images used by publications.
Many publishers assume that publications and websites can be illustrated for free, the NUJ has said.
Dominic Bascombe, NUJ organiser and serving officer of the union’s Photographers’ Council, said: “If amateur photographers realised the value of their work and charged appropriately, it would stop their work crowding out that of professionals.
“For the vast bulk of editorial work only a professional’s efforts will do – where publishers require the legal and ethical certainty of using someone with proper experience, for example.
“Where someone gets lucky with a wildlife picture, or finds themselves witnessing a newsworthy event, then it is better for all of us if they charge for their photographs.”
NUJ branches and chapels have been encouraged to contact local camera clubs to discuss how they can be paid proper rates if their images are published.
Members are also asked to contact the Photographers’ Council at email@example.com if news organisations are offering low fees or not paying at all.