Unsplash 2020 Awards Continue to Make a Mockery of Photography

The Unsplash 2020 Awards add Polaroid and Ikea to the list of companies who do not value the work of photographers.

If you’re unfamiliar with Unsplash, don’t worry. You’re going to get a crash course in why this virus of a company is hated by photographers worldwide. You see, Unsplash is a community-driven stock photography website that preys on photographers who don’t know better. Unsplash disguises competitions as a way to get creators to upload images and give up all ownership rights. Companies like Nike, Ikea, Polaroid, Peak Design Squarespace, and others use those images royalty-free in their ad campaigns. We’ve reported about Unsplash in the past, and we’ll continue to lead the charge against them. If you couldn’t tell, we’re totally against the Unsplash 2020 Awards. Let’s discuss why Unsplash and the companies supporting them are nothing but cancer to photography and photographers.

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Unsplash Now Working with Brands in a Puzzling Advertising Model

Unsplash takes on a business model that claims to provide paid opportunities for contributors while supporting its operations.

For those who ever wondered how Unsplash has been making money (since they have been giving away your photos for free), the company now shares theie answer: a new advertising model that, they say, was in the works since the platform started. Called Unsplash for Brands, it involves exactly what it says on the label, wherein brands play a significant part on the platform in a bid to make “Advertising that is beautiful and valuable.” This move, they say, will not only keep the company afloat, but also offer paid opportunities for contributors who want to take part in this project.

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These Media Companies Condone Unsplash Blindsiding Photographers

Once again, it’s time to call out a rights grab when we see one.

We at the Phoblographer have already spent a lot of our energy talking about how and why Unsplash is profoundly detrimental to our industry. While they are not the only company to engage in rights grabs, or run the only contest guilty of blatant copyright obtainment, they are undeniably one of the worst, most unapologetic perpetrators. If you’re not presently aware of the danger they pose to photographers and working professionals for any reason, here are the main takeaways to know. Continue reading…

How Using Unsplash Got This Photographer Into Legal Trouble

We’ve been warning photographers about losing rights to their work when they upload photos on Unsplash. Now, a photographer and business owner tells us about the legal issue he could be facing after using one such photo from the platform. 

If you’ve been considering posting stuff on Unsplash to get traction for your work, we’ve been very vocal about what you stand to lose. This time, we want to share what it’s like when you’re on the other side of the fence, and the legal problem you could find yourself grappling with when you source a photo from Unsplash for use on your blog or website. Simon Palmer, a photographer, cameraman, and business owner, recently shared with us an unsavory experience that unfolded after using a photo from Unsplash for a blog. His marketing team has been instructed to use only copyright-cleared images for this purpose, so they thought it wouldn’t be an issue. However, sometime later, they were contacted by international copyright enforcer Copytrack with a copyright infringement notice, requesting a license fee. He double-checked the image on their blog and was sure they downloaded the photo from Unsplash and credited the photographer as was indicated on the site.

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Opinion: Unsplash’s Latest News Is a Mockery to Photographers

unsplash

Over 1,000,000 images have been shared on Unsplash now; that makes our heads and hearts hurt.

We have spoken in some depth about Unsplash and how they are unraveling the threads of photography as we know it. It seems as though the threads are being pulled apart faster and faster. The company just announced that over a million images have been shared with them by photographers and creators who may not understand exactly what they are doing to themselves or the industry as a whole. Heavy sigh Continue reading…

New Photographers: Please Stop Supporting Unsplash, Support Behance

You don’t need to keep giving your rights up photographers; you can still have self-respect.

The motivation for this piece comes not only from the message that I’ve been actively preaching about Unsplash and the companies supporting them, but also because I’ve noticed that a ton of new photographers who enjoy showcasing their work on Reddit just don’t know any better. And so it is my genuine hope that everyone shares this message with every other photographer that they know. This isn’t at all a sponsored post for Behance–we’re pretty strict about our editorial policies and transparency in a journalism world where so many aren’t. I don’t want to call this a public service announcement, but instead I want to call this my beckoning to photographers to stop giving up their work and their creativity for free.

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Dropbox Partners With Unsplash in Deal That Rips off Photographers

Image rights

Apparently Dropbox thinks Unsplash and their toxic views in regards to image rights are cool.

Just when we thought things couldn’t possibly get much worse for photographers who unknowingly give up their image rights to services like Unsplash, things take another turn for the worse. The real bad part here is that Dropbox, one of the largest cloud based services around, has now got in on the act. A service called Dropbox Paper which allows teams to collaborate in online projects will now have access to over 850,000 images that have been quite honestly snatched from talented photographers around the globe; and they won’t get a single penny for their work. Sigh.  Continue reading…

Come Work for Us! Gear Heads Need Apply to Our Latest Positions!

Have you applied yet?

Hi everyone,

The Phoblographer is doing a call for part-time positions here on staff. Two of them are for international hires, and one must be filled within the USA. We pride ourselves on diverse hiring amongst our contractors. It’s important to us and the audience. We’re continuing to evolve, and you can be part of one of the most significant changes we’ve made in many years. Check out the listing below.

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RawShotz Appallingly Asks Photographers to Give RAWs Away for Free

Photographers need to do all they can to stop RawShotz from giving their RAW files away for free.

“RawShotz was born out of a desire for designers and creatives to have access to free, untouched, raw images while giving professional and amateur photographers full creative attribution and unlimited digital storage,” is the line that caught my eye. An email came to the Editor’s inbox here at the Phoblographer the other day about this company. It’s a brand new stock image company that’s taking things further by violating the rights of photographers. While those like Unsplash try to blindside photographers with tactics and working with companies like Moment and Peak Design, RawShotz is going the next step. They want you to give your RAW files away for free. We understand that there are many new photographers out there, so we’re going to break this down in a straightforward way. Our intention is to look out for photographers since the photo world doesn’t really enjoy the same copyright protections shared by the music and video worlds.

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We’re Looking to Expand the Team and Make Some New Hires

JUST A REMINDER: WE’RE HIRING!

Hi everyone,

The Phoblographer is doing a call for part-time positions here on staff. Two of them are for international hires, and one positively must be filled within the USA. We pride ourselves on diverse hiring amongst our contractors. It’s important to us and the audience. We’re continuing to evolve, and you can be part of one of the most significant changes we’ve made in many years. Check out the listing below.

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Their Most Gorgeous Bag Yet! Billingham Hadley One Review

The Billingham Hadley One now comes in navy and brown–and it’s beautiful.

It’s hard to not be a fan of navy and brown leather. They work so well together. And the Billingham Hadley One is getting just that color scheme today. I haven’t seen it done this well in years, and this one is exceptional. The Billingham Hadley One isn’t a new bag. But it has given so many photographers high reliability, so you’ve got a winner. Billingham has long created bags for journalists and photographers. But they’ve fallen out of favor in the past few years. You can blame Kickstarters and more flash marketing tactics for that. The Billingham Hadley One is one of those classics that you don’t really need to improve on, though. In a world where mirrorless cameras and lenses are dominating the market, the Billingham Hadley One is a welcome option. Besides being very functional, it’s durable. This bag is also surprisingly comfortable when packed to the brim with cameras and lenses. If I haven’t said it enough, it’s also incredibly alluring.

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We’re Hiring: Reviews Editor, Vintage Camera Expert, and Podcast Editor

To continue pushing the needle, The Phoblographer is looking to grow and sustainably expand the staff.

Hi everyone,

The Phoblographer is doing a call for part-time positions here on staff. Two of them are for international hires, and one positively must be filled within the USA. We pride ourselves on diverse hiring amongst our contractors. It’s important to us and the audience. We’re continuing to evolve, and you can be part of one of the most significant changes we’ve made in many years. Check out the listing below.

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A Checklist for the Photographers of the Graduating Class of 2020

Congratulations, photographers, you’ve been thrust into one of the oddest economic situations the world has seen since 2008/2009.

There are two ways of thinking about situations like this: sink or swim. I founded this site in 2009 at the height of the last great economic recession. And we’re here a decade later due to transparency and consistently leading with goodwill. Oh, networking helped. And finding the right people. And a slew of other things. But you’re graduating into a different world than I did. Yet in some ways, it’s very alike. In recessions like what we’re going through now, lots of great businesses and ideas are formed. And lots unfortunately collapse. So now that you’ve got a photography degree let’s go through a checklist.

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Need a Gig? We’re Hiring a Freelance Vintage Camera and Lens Expert

The Phoblographer needs a specialized Vintage Camera and Lens Expert for our continuing growth.

Hi folks! We know that some of you are looking for a gig, and so we’re sourcing the photo world for a vintage camera and lens expert. Our ideal fit for this position will have a working knowledge of vintage cameras and lenses. We’re not talking about just one camera system, but a lot of them. It not only has to be your passion but something that you very much specialize in. The Phoblographer pays fair (arguably lenient), ethical rates, and we’re known to even attract competitors’ writers because our staff is treated just that fairly. With that said, we have a very strict non-compete policy. The ideal candidate will also have some sort of sales background. Think you’ve got what it takes? We’ve got all the details below.

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OP Ed: National Geographic Is in the Wrong for This Rights Grab

National Geographic is offering up to $8,000, but at what expense for the photographers?

Making a sustainable income as a photojournalist isn’t easy even at the best of times. Doing it during a global crisis where everyone is feeling the strain is pretty much impossible. To help keep the flow of quality photojournalism running, National Geographic is offering applicants between $1,000 to $8,000 so that they can keep working on stories. That sounds like an incredible opportunity on the surface. However, after doing a little reading into the Terms and Conditions, some photographers believe National Geographic is overstepping the mark when it comes to a photographer’s ownership of their photos.

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Catch and Release Is a Stock Image Site with a Unique Twist

Catch and Release Harbor

Catch and Release’s new content contributor network is the anti-Unsplash and this is a very good thing for photographers and creatives everywhere.

Stock photography used to be an incredibly lucrative way for photographers and creatives to make good money. The rise of smartphones and everyone having a camera turned the industry sour. As the market became flooded with images, organizations like Unsplash not only stuck the knife in, they twisted it too. Now, a new company called Catch and Release is hoping to change all of that with a new way for creatives to share their work and get paid fairly with their take on a content contributor network. Find out more details after the break.

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Scopio Is Like Netflix for Stock Images, But We’re Not Entirely Sold on It

stock images

Stock image services are a dime a dozen these days, and they promise the world, but you need to be careful out there.

Before everyone had a phone in their pocket, stock imagery was a lucrative platform for photographers to sink their claws into. Now that stock images have completely flooded the numerous services out there, the money that can be made has dwindled to a pittance. In the case of Unsplash, you make nothing. We recently came across another site that specializes in stock images, and it doesn’t seem too bad. With that said, we urge caution out there in the wild world of copyrights. Let’s talk about this after the break. Continue reading…

Behance’s Moodboard Feature Is an Ethical Alternative to Pinterest

With Behance having recently reintroduced their Moodboard feature, we now have a better alternative to Pinterest. 

Whether it’s for a personal project or a client shoot, a lot of photographers rely on moodboards to draw inspiration from the work of other creatives. Pinterest became a hugely popular “capturing” tool for this purpose, as well as for personal creative curation. However, it turns out that the social network is among the companies supporting Unsplash as a partner, and that could be a source of internal conflict for the ethical photographer. Behance offers a solution, as the creative platform has reintroduced its Collections feature as Moodboards.

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After That Adobe Price Increase, I’m So Happy I Switched to Capture One

photography software guides

Photographers are clamoring and complaining about the Adobe price increase test, and Capture One has never looked sweeter.

Before I go on, I should mention that this isn’t a sponsored post. So, any accusations of that can go out the window with both our 10 year long policy and the fact that we clearly label everything that is sponsored. This isn’t my rubbing “I told you so” into your face either. This is my call to remind everyone that there is another option arguably better in every single way than Adobe. The way that I like to describe an Adobe relationship is to make it synonymous to an abusive relationship or a drug. You keep coming back for more and more. You know it’s bad. You know you can do better. But yet for some odd reason you decide you’re happier being comfortable. That comfort means sometimes you sustain but more of the time you just don’t grow.

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Photographers: We Should Start Calling Photo Theft as “Piracy of Images”

We’re so used to our images being stolen and us saying that the images are stolen, but are they really?

I genuinely believe that as a photography community, we need to redefine the idea of photo theft. The inference from this comes from a nearly 10 year blog post about copying and piracy. Both the music and video industries have far more money than us as photographers and have been able to figure out a way to stand up for their rights in order to get more money and have the issues they want policed thoroughly. And so the post, along with a lot of what’s been happening with copyrights in the photography world have been really making me think about the idea of photo theft.

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The EU’s New Copyright Laws Should Come to the USA ASAP to Protect Photographers

The new copyright laws that have swept across the European Union will help protect photographers and content makers, but not without controversy.

News coming out of the European Union today is that 19 of the partnering nations have agreed to enact new copyright laws that will bring copyright issues into the 21st century. While the bill had been heavily opposed by many across the pond and beyond, the new laws will hopefully help protect those of us who create images and content from greedy corporations who feel like they can just take as they please. As controversial as this topic has been, there is no doubt that these new copyright laws should become norm in the States as well–especially for the protection of photographers.

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