Snap to it!

MORE THAN 20 photographers attended the special meeting on 20 May. It was constructive and busy, so we'll summarise the decisions:

1To produce a standard NUJ letter in response to clients who offer low rates. It will point out why photographers charge what they do and remind them of the Freelance Fees Guide.

2A publicity campaign targeted at commissioning editors will highlight the need to pay photographers NUJ rates, and remind them that copyright belongs to the photographer. It will also point out that members will charge double for unauthorised usage.

3The NUJ will either produce a version of the guide book Beyond The Lens for photographer members, or purchase them from the Association of Photographers in bulk to sell at a discount.

4To look into issuing a standard mark for photographers as a guide as to who is good to work for and who isn't.

5To look into a dedicated seminar for NUJ photographers as part of NUJ training for photographers and consider further new training courses.

6To publicise nationally NUJ courses for photographers.

7To target students who have just come into the profession, to recruit them into the union.

8To launch with photographers a campaign to target the Independent to increase pay rates and to end copyright grabs.

General Secretary Jeremy Dear also noted in his opening remarks that he had been asked to produce a legal briefing for photographers on the Public Order Act, the Criminal Justice Act and the Terrorism Act. This is now being written by barrister Louis Charalambous and NUJ legal officer Claire Kirby.

He also agreed to produce a model contract for photographers to use in negotiations with clients, and to negotiate higher rates for freelance photographers in NUJ House Agreements. He will consider the feasibility of a Photographers' Organiser; and he will re-start talks with the police over the issue of press/police relations.

Jeremy reiterated that the NUJ consider the merits of each legal case brought by photographers - for example over "public order" matters - and to use specialist lawyers to pursue some such cases.

Freelance Organiser John Toner said he was contacting organisations that may set up systems to monitor use of photographers' work in newspapers and magazines, so that we can be notified when work is used. I stressed the importance to uniting photographers, in a campaign on pay rates and copyright, of getting all to join the union.

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