I opened my email today to see that 500px was partnering with Skyscanner for a photography contest. I thought that would be cool but then I started reading the rules and the terms. They are really screwing the photographer in the process.
According to the website, the “prize” is exposure. Are you really telling me that a major company like Skyscraper wants images for their promotions and all they can offer is “exposure.” I get they will pay the $35 for the licensing fee with 500px. However, are you serious that is the prize?
Let me be very clear: this is completely unacceptable.
Skyscanner, there is more
When you read the conditions of the contest, it gets worse. The images have to be from a list of cities, they have to be shot in a special way, no major post production, and they do not want any HDR images.
Here is the kicker: people love HDR pictures. While photographers tend to have some strong views about the subject, non-photographers love them. Scott Kelby, a respected photographer has went on record saying, ” That’s right—-regular, non photographer people love those over-the-top HDR images. Even though it’s seldom talked about, I think that’s incredibly important to know.”
They need to offer a legit prize too
The idea that they would say, “We will out it before millions of people and you will get exposure,” is nonsense. It is a complete slap in the face to photographers. To think they will pay us a mere $35 to use a image globally for six months is insanity.
They also want to have exclusive use of that image. So they are not just paying you the $35, you can’t sell prints of it or do any other licensing with it for the next six months. In the end, Skyscanner and 500px is screwing photography very good. Welcome to corporate America.