Sunday, 13 January 2013

Should I take Editorial photos?

For those of you that are unaware, editorial photos are photos of people who haven't signed a model release, things/properties you don't own and anything that's copyrighted; the usual culprits are candid shots in public and buildings that you don't own, though this can extend to things such as cars, boats and logos too.

The premise behind these photos is that they are newsworthy or of interest to the public, so can be used in newspaper and magazines but not in adverts - seems fair enough, really. The problem I've had with shooting editorial, therefore, is that it's very rare that I'm in a newsworthy situation and so the editorial photos I do have are lost beneath tons of others.

What's in my editorial portfolio? Well, not a a great deal really. I have a couple of photos of crowd controlling policemen from when I saw the Olympic torch and then a couple of boats and buildings that I shot on holiday. I think I've had one sale of a boat, but that's it really. Perhaps the lack of sales is all down to my small collection, though I've heard of many other photographers having similar issues, so I've assumed not.

One thing I have found, though, is that different sites have different views on what kind if photos should be considered editorial. The most notable distinction I found was stances on buildings. Shutterstock have a strong policy that modern buildings are copyrighted in the same way that modern art is, where as iStock doesn't seem to care - I have actually seen good sales of photos of financial building on iStock, where SS rejected them.

So, in answer to the question above, I'm tempted to say no, not really, though if you find yourself in a particularly newsworthy situation then by all means give it a go! Similarly, if you do go ahead with it, it may take a little while to get a feel for what will be accepted where, but you should be able to refine your workflow fairly quickly.

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