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Author Topic: Getty Images at Every Tragedy  (Read 2078 times)

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« on: August 06, 2012, 07:23 »
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   Within minutes, at every tragedy in the news, we are presented with images from Getty. Ninety five percent of the time, the images are in focus, and exposed correctly. Sometimes they are images taken before emergency responders arrive. Sometimes they are images taken within police barricades that the rest of the public don't have access to. So, how does this work?
   Does Getty really have staff photographers all over the world, in every remote region, ready to snap away and upload immediately?  It's logistically impossible. Are they imbedded with emergency crews? Even if Getty is buying from professional photographers who scan emergency channels, how are they negotiated and uploaded so fast?


ShadySue

« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2012, 07:32 »
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   Within minutes, at every tragedy in the news, we are presented with images from Getty. Ninety five percent of the time, the images are in focus, and exposed correctly.
And, remarkably often, in beautiful light.

« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2012, 07:36 »
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Crowdsourcing?  I don't think they have many staff left.

« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2012, 08:16 »
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It's not usually 'within minutes' but more like several hours. That's more than enough time to get staff or freelance photographers to the scene.

A story (a coastal landslip in which someone was killed) broke recently about an hours drive from where I live and about 3 hours from London. The tragedy occurred at about noon. It was over 3 hours before it was actually reported as 'breaking news' on TV and radio and a further 2-3 hours before we could go to 'our correspondent at the scene' on both the BBC and Sky News(because the crews had had to drive down from London). By that time the emergency services had cordoned off the area because an active search was underway and the TV images were filmed from a considerable distance with no views of the landslip itself. A number of images of the scene appeared in the newspapers the next day but were all clearly captured with massive telephoto lenses and/or from helicopters or boats in the sea. The images were credited to a wide variety of agencies (including Getty) and freelance photographers.

Essentially when something newsworthy happens lots of photographers will flock to the scene as quickly as they can. It's nothing unique to Getty although they are obviously one of the biggest players.

« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2012, 10:39 »
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A friend in Colorado I met through the micros was awakened in the middle of the night by one of his agencies in the UK after the mass shooting in Aurora.  He's not staff, but is available to shoot breaking news in his area on an as needed basis.  I don't know the name of the agency.

Ed

« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2012, 00:13 »
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A friend in Colorado I met through the micros was awakened in the middle of the night by one of his agencies in the UK after the mass shooting in Aurora.  He's not staff, but is available to shoot breaking news in his area on an as needed basis.  I don't know the name of the agency.

Karin - that might be me you're speaking of.  I was a member of the forum, but left, and am now back.  I decided in July to no longer shoot for the micros and am only shooting for RM agencies going forward.

This is how it works.  REAL news agencies (non micros) have much more interaction with their photographers.  When the Aurora, Colorado shooting occurred, I received a call from an agency in the UK that woke me up at 3am local time.  It had been a couple of hours since the shooting occurred.  They relayed the information they were receiving over the international news wire to me.  Since I know the areas involved well, I was able to gather my gear quickly and go.

My first stop was to a local hospital where it was reported 20 people were seriously injured and transported.  I got there, got out of my vehicle, saw one news van and one other still photographer.  I got a couple of images of the emergency department.  I was denied access to the hospital on hospital property so I got home as quickly as I could and I uploaded images.  Within 45 minutes of uploading, that image appeared on the Daily Mail.  After finishing uploading, I went out to the movie theater to see what I could get.  The police inadvertently left an opening near the theater so I drove in, got what I needed, and left.  I came home and uploaded those images.  As I was driving back out, I received a second call from a second agent that I work with - I am non-exclusive and the second agent also wanted images.  In the meantime, I was dispatched to the high school where the victims and witnesses to the shooting were being dispatched to.  I spent the rest of the morning there and around noon local time, I decided I needed to upload more footage.  I went to the local McDonald's and found that their wifi access is pitiful so I went to my Mother's house which isn't too far away.  I uploaded what I had and watched the news.  As I was watching, I learned where the gunman purchased the weapons used.  Being familiar with the area, I went to both stores and got images of the retail locations.  I went home and uploaded those images.  The images of the retail stores were also picked up by the Daily Mail as well as various other news outlets from Argentina to the Dominican Republic.  I received another email from my agent telling me there would be a vigil planned for that evening.  I went to the location and it was not true, but I talked to other reporters and found an impromptu vigil forming elsewhere.  I went there and many of the images I got are similar to those of AP, AFP, Reuters, and Getty.

I have since been dispatched via email to other locations as a follow up.  Tomorrow is another court date for the shooter and I'm sure I will be receiving an email around 6am tomorrow from the agent asking me to be there at 9:30am to cover the events.  This is what REAL news agencies do with their photographers.

Here's the thing...Getty, AP, AFP, etc. pay a day rate to their photographers for being there.  I was offered a buy out of my images from the agency (to which I reluctantly declined).  I am still shooting on speculation, but being non-exclusive, there are opportunities for further editorial licensing.

I am credentialed through this agency (I have a press pass) and I have applied for press access (successfully and unsuccessfully) at other events going forward through the agency.  One upcoming event has potential for licensing editorial images through a nationally based (U.S.) magazine for images.

This is very different than the micros.  Images do not have to be perfect and they don't need to following the silly captioning rules at places like Shutterstock to get accepted - in fact, both agents that I submitted images to corrected the captions for me so the images would be available via the news wire as quickly as possible.

I have worked along side quite a few photographers (not just in this situation but prior) and yes, there are many freelance photo journalists and print journalists working on a freelance basis with news agencies around the world.  A friend worked the same events from a print journalist perspective - she worked for 3 different news agencies (that I know of) during the heat of the event.  Essentially, you are on call.  Agencies that do this include Getty, AP, AFP, Zuma Press, etc., etc.  I even got a call from an agency in France that wanted me to send images without a contract to a "guest" ftp site.  I declined when they failed to send me a contract.

« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2012, 03:35 »
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Very informative. Thanks for posting.

StockBottom

    This user is banned.
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2012, 09:36 »
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as far as i know they're told to shoot in JPG, edit in PhotoMechanic, fix the exposure with PS, add a short caption, and FTP to the agency.

they don't care about using high ISO, noise, grain, whatever, the only thing that matters is getting the images on sale before the other agencies.

as for the price, it's usually a flat fee subscription, the photographer get a standard salary + eventual bonuses + stock fees.

« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2012, 09:52 »
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Yep...I was thinking of you, Ed.  :)


 

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