Apple promotes photography with 'Shot on iPhone' contest, but is ripping off photographers...

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 25
Huge numbers of professional photographers use Apple gear, but even when they don't, why would they let Apple or any company use their images for free? Apple's new ad campaign will rob the very creatives Apple claims to champion.

A previous Shot on iPhone campaign, as seen at Alexanderplatz, Berlin
A previous Shot on iPhone campaign, as seen at Alexanderplatz, Berlin. We have no idea who shot them.


There's one reason why Apple is calling its new Shot on iPhone Challenge a contest, and that's because it has no intention of actually buying any of the photographs it uses. Your best iPhone photography could end up at the heart of a nationwide billboard campaign that will cost Apple millions to deliver from concept to physical execution, and you will get nothing for it.

Apple, the company about to post $84 billion earnings in a quarter, will get yet more sales. Apple's ad team will be paid, Apple's website developers will get their salary, and even the billboard company will get money.

You are the only person who gets nothing, and you're the one who took this great photo that's worth advertising across the USA. You're even the only one who paid Apple so that you could have this $1000-plus phone.

There is an argument that you get exposure. Please tell that to the billboard company, to the staff up put up the posters, to the print company that produces them, to the marketing team, to the drivers who transport the posters, to the gas stations they stop at. Tell it to the caterers at Apple Park who provided lunch for the meeting where this great idea was thought up.

None of those people get a credit for the photo but they get paid. See if they envy you getting exposure. See if they envy you getting your name known -- and then tell us how, exactly, your name is going to get you all this exposure.

Not for you, it doesn't. It has a lot of cash value for Apple.
Not for you, it doesn't. It has a lot of cash value for Apple.


We do mean you should tell us how being on a national ad campaign for free gets you a paying gig but also, specifically, tell us about how your name does this for you. Sometimes when Apple has done this before, your credit has been a byline in small print on the bottom of the poster.

And to rub your face in how you're being exploited here, in previous campaigns that credit has been your first name and the initial of your surname. So if you win this contest -- or if you even enter it at all -- you are giving the richest company in the world free use of your work.

Apple champions photography with this campaign but it insults photographers at the same time. Apple tells us that we can all be creative, but apparently it believes that only Apple can make actual money off our work.

No company will spend any more money than they have to, but they have to. This kind of utter fleecing of creatives will not happen with Apple's streaming video, for instance, because the Writers' Guild of America got them to sign payment terms.

This is Apple, the company whose entire history is intertwined with the creative industries. There's barely a photographer, an illustrator or an artist who isn't using Macs or iOS, and now Apple is telling us our work is worthless even when it's responsible for the company selling more devices.

If you're a professional photographer, look at joining the Professional Photographers of America. And, if you're any kind of photographer at all, even a bad one, do not consider giving Apple free use of your time, talent, and images.

And if you're Apple, pay for the photos.

Update January 24, 10:00 p.m.: Apple has responded to criticisms including ours and now says that it will pay the ten winners of the competition for use of their photography in the campaign. It is specifically the ten winners who will be compensated and the contest's rules still allow Apple to freely use any other image entered but it is a significant and welcome reversal.



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raulcristian
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 103
    irelandireland Posts: 17,547member
    The reason why the photographer’s name is practically hidden is because Apple wants to get the credit for the photo taken. The prize should be six figures. This is similar to Apple telling us they care about their customers and then ripping us off for their wares. ‘Of course we’ll sell you an all-too-fragile lightning cable for €25, without a plug. Of course our XR clear plastic case costs €45. Of course.’
    edited January 23 dysamoria
  • Reply 2 of 103
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,452member
    That's quite a bit more rant than necessary to make the point, and frankly, the notoriety of being one of the winner's is worth more than the cash.

    Either way, there won't be a lack of participants.
    cornchipjason leavittairnerdAppleExposedmagman1979muadibeaplnubStrangeDaystbornotwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 103
    Apple announced from the outset that photo winners won’t get prize money or other compensation beyond the personal satisfaction of winning the contest and the publicity that comes with it. All of that makes it an amateur competition.

    The editorial suggests that professional photographers have nothing at all to gain from the contest; the publicity associated with winning an Apple photography prize would mean nothing to them. Because the reasons pointed out in the editorial are so persuasive, perhaps no professional photographers will even enter the event. /s

    On a related matter, people who write comments below online articles are providing expertise and insights to publishers without compensation. So perhaps it is time for Appleinsider, the Washington Post and other publishers to start paying for those heretofore free contributions.
    edited January 23 racerhomie3tmaycornchipeideardrogifan_newjason leavittzompradarthekatnouserAppleExposed
  • Reply 4 of 103
    So don’t enter the contest. This is too much about nothing. You are, perhaps unaware that EVERY photo you store on Google is usable by them without your consent and no remuneration. You seem to have failed the one thing necessary for any editorial comment: knowledge about your subject. 
    stanthemanGeorgeBMacjason leavittzompyoyo2222nousermagman1979muadibeAppleExposeddkhaley
  • Reply 5 of 103
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,184administrator
    Apple announced from the outset that photo winners won’t get prize money or other compensation beyond the personal satisfaction of winning the contest and the publicity that comes with it. All of that makes it an amateur competition. Professional photographers are not coerced into joining this crazy, uncompensated competition.

    On a related matter, people who write comments below online articles are providing expertise and insights to publishers without compensation. So perhaps it is time for Appleinsider, the Washington Post and other publishers to start paying for those heretofore free contributions.
    If the forums made us money, then we'd consider it. They do not, and they take money and time away from the publication as a whole. Also, we aren't using them for promotional purposes, so your metaphor falls flat.
    edited January 23 king editor the gratemuthuk_vanalingamgatorguydysamorialarz2112raulcristian
  • Reply 6 of 103
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,184administrator

    launfall said:
    So don’t enter the contest. This is too much about nothing. You are, perhaps unaware that EVERY photo you store on Google is usable by them without your consent and no remuneration. You seem to have failed the one thing necessary for any editorial comment: knowledge about your subject. 
    Your whataboutism is noted. We're aware that every photo that you store on Google is usable without renumeration, and it is one reason, amongst many others, that we don't use the service. It isn't relevant to the point, at all.
    edited January 23 muthuk_vanalingamdysamoria
  • Reply 7 of 103
    Apple announced from the outset that photo winners won’t get prize money or other compensation beyond the personal satisfaction of winning the contest and the publicity that comes with it. All of that makes it an amateur competition. Professional photographers are not coerced into joining this crazy, uncompensated competition.

    On a related matter, people who write comments below online articles are providing expertise and insights to publishers without compensation. So perhaps it is time for Appleinsider, the Washington Post and other publishers to start paying for those heretofore free contributions.
    If the forums made us money, then we'd consider it. They do not, and they take money and time away from the publication as a whole. Also, we aren't using them for promotional purposes, so your metaphor falls flat.
    Maybe you could have a panel of judges determine which comments are the best and then highlight those comments as the winners to help you drive traffic. 

     ;) 

    Edit: (not a job I would want, by the way.)
    edited January 23
  • Reply 8 of 103
    Years ago(1996), I/we won Apple's best website design using a Mac, and the prize was a QuickTake 150 (one of early digital camera) with a leather case. The winner should at least get some Apple merchandise based on how the photos will be used.
    dysamoriabageljoeyfoljsapplesnoranges
  • Reply 9 of 103
    National Geographic's photography competitions do have cash prizes for winners, but they also require an entry fee...which ultimately means that a significant % of the prizes are being subsidized by the entrants. Also, there are a lot of professional art/design publications that have competitions that require entry fees and award no prize beyond publication of your work. You're basically paying for your submission to be shown in a 'Best of' issue that is sold to the general public and that often has advertising sold against it etc. However, there is some value to having your work appear in those publications, just as there is some value to having your photo chosen by Apple for an advertising campaign. Apple can be criticized for their approach, but I'm not sure it's really THAT different from a lot of creative competitions.
    nouserAppleExposedmagman1979
  • Reply 10 of 103
    I agree.  If the photos are used in ads pay the photographers.

    I don’t know why a photographer would submit their work.

    Why isn’t Apple giving the winners something to generate excitement? Mac Pro, iMac, IPad, iPhone, AirPods, etc.  It doesn’t need to be cash...

    No an exciting contest at all...


    dysamoriaxTenderchasmSnickersMagoo
  • Reply 11 of 103
    eideardeideard Posts: 371member
    Apple announced from the outset that photo winners won’t get prize money or other compensation beyond the personal satisfaction of winning the contest and the publicity that comes with it. All of that makes it an amateur competition.

    The editorial suggests that professional photographers have nothing at all to gain from the contest; the publicity associated with winning an Apple photography prize would mean nothing to them. Because the reasons pointed out in the editorial are so persuasive, perhaps no professional photographers will even enter the event. /s

    On a related matter, people who write comments below online articles are providing expertise and insights to publishers without compensation. So perhaps it is time for Appleinsider, the Washington Post and other publishers to start paying for those heretofore free contributions.
    Of course.  Methinks thou doth protest too much - Apple speaks equally to amateur and professional photographers.  The latter by definition benefit financially in their career..
  • Reply 12 of 103
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 3,832member
    Apple didn't lose its way, but the author of this op-ed piece sure did.
    Like many these days, he seems to assume that Apple is all about professional photographers and such.   And yes, that demographic favors Apple because Apple meets their needs.  But, the reverse is not true:  If Apple had to rely on professional photographers and the like, they would have been out of business long ago.

    But, Apple is and always has been, about people.   Real people.  Regular people.

    And, those regular people would be most proud and pleased if Apple recognized and honored their work.

    Like many false narratives, this one starts with and is based on a false assumption.
    tmayjason leavittradarthekatnouserAppleExposedmuadibeStrangeDaysroundaboutnowNotsofastwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 103
    I agree.  If the photos are used in ads pay the photographers.

    I don’t know why a photographer would submit their work.

    Why isn’t Apple giving the winners something to generate excitement? Mac Pro, iMac, IPad, iPhone, AirPods, etc.  It doesn’t need to be cash...

    No an exciting contest at all...


    And yet Apple still seems to get thousands of submissions. Maybe some people just think it’s cool to have their photo featured and don’t care about being compensated for it.
    jason leavitttmaynouserStrangeDaysGeorgeBMacAppleExposed
  • Reply 14 of 103
    kestralkestral Posts: 218member
    tmay said:
    That's quite a bit more rant than necessary to make the point, and frankly, the notoriety of being one of the winner's is worth more than the cash.
    Bullshit. Name one situation without Googling where a winner benefitted more than a six figure cash value.
    dysamoria
  • Reply 15 of 103
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,452member
    kestral said:
    tmay said:
    That's quite a bit more rant than necessary to make the point, and frankly, the notoriety of being one of the winner's is worth more than the cash.
    Bullshit. Name one situation without Googling where a winner benefitted more than a six figure cash value.
    The mythical six figure cash value...

    Name one situation, without Googling, where a winner in an open photograph competition, without entry fees, received six figures.

    I'll wait.
    jason leavittking editor the grateStrangeDaysGeorgeBMacNotsofastwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 103
    Apple announced from the outset that photo winners won’t get prize money or other compensation beyond the personal satisfaction of winning the contest and the publicity that comes with it. All of that makes it an amateur competition. Professional photographers are not coerced into joining this crazy, uncompensated competition.

    On a related matter, people who write comments below online articles are providing expertise and insights to publishers without compensation. So perhaps it is time for Appleinsider, the Washington Post and other publishers to start paying for those heretofore free contributions.
    If the forums made us money, then we'd consider it. They do not, and they take money and time away from the publication as a whole. Also, we aren't using them for promotional purposes, so your metaphor falls flat.
    In reality, the forums do make you money. The comments are why many show up. You also send out notifications concerning subjects the user has posted on returning them to the article, which equals more ad views. If you disabled comments on all articles your site would lose many loyal members. So your comment is not completely true. 
    radarthekatdysamoriabonobobStrangeDaysroundaboutnowbageljoeyflyingdpwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 103
    aplnubaplnub Posts: 2,584member
    tmay said:
    That's quite a bit more rant than necessary to make the point, and frankly, the notoriety of being one of the winner's is worth more than the cash.

    Either way, there won't be a lack of participants.
    +1 
    nousermuadibeGeorgeBMacIreneWwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 103
    I agree.  If the photos are used in ads pay the photographers.

    I don’t know why a photographer would submit their work.

    Why isn’t Apple giving the winners something to generate excitement? Mac Pro, iMac, IPad, iPhone, AirPods, etc.  It doesn’t need to be cash...

    No an exciting contest at all...


    Hopefully they will do the same for musical artist. We would definitely love the exposure. 
    AppleExposed
  • Reply 19 of 103
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,184administrator
    genovelle said:
    Apple announced from the outset that photo winners won’t get prize money or other compensation beyond the personal satisfaction of winning the contest and the publicity that comes with it. All of that makes it an amateur competition. Professional photographers are not coerced into joining this crazy, uncompensated competition.

    On a related matter, people who write comments below online articles are providing expertise and insights to publishers without compensation. So perhaps it is time for Appleinsider, the Washington Post and other publishers to start paying for those heretofore free contributions.
    If the forums made us money, then we'd consider it. They do not, and they take money and time away from the publication as a whole. Also, we aren't using them for promotional purposes, so your metaphor falls flat.
    In reality, the forums do make you money. The comments are why many show up. You also send out notifications concerning subjects the user has posted on returning them to the article, which equals more ad views. If you disabled comments on all articles your site would lose many loyal members. So your comment is not completely true. 
    99.4 percent of our traffic on a hit basis, not a number of users basis, has no forum presence, nor hit the forums at all. Comments attached to the stories on the homepage don't load unless the user scrolls down enough to see them, or gets close to, which, charitably 99.1 percent of our users don't do. Also, our best estimates suggest that 80% of the forum-goers have ad-blockers on, and it is likely far more than that.

    You're welcome to draw your own conclusions from those numbers. But, the only one that can really be logically drawn is that my comment is completely true. Generating money is not the same as turning a profit on the investment, or even breaking even.
    edited January 23 muthuk_vanalingamdysamoriaGeorgeBMacroundaboutnow
  • Reply 20 of 103
    kestralkestral Posts: 218member
    tmay said:
    kestral said:
    tmay said:
    That's quite a bit more rant than necessary to make the point, and frankly, the notoriety of being one of the winner's is worth more than the cash.
    Bullshit. Name one situation without Googling where a winner benefitted more than a six figure cash value.
    The mythical six figure cash value...

    Name one situation, without Googling, where a winner in an open photograph competition, without entry fees, received six figures.

    I'll wait.
    Would be glad to, once you answer my question. Apple is one of the largest companies by market cap, revenue and profits. And they can't even pay a photographer. This is exploitation pure and simple and is an insult to the very artists they purport to support.
    muthuk_vanalingam
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