A new way to sell photos

FREELANCE Organiser John Toner has, with NUJ photographers, achieved a major success in keeping the market for independent, freelance photography alive. Adobe, the dominant producer of software for handling photographs, has agreed to list NUJ photographers on its new www.photographersdirectory.adobe.com

Adobe Photographers' Directory screen-shot

Adobe produces Photoshop, the program that picture desks and photographers themselves use for tidying up, cropping and resizing images. Last year it launched Adobe Bridge, a program for managing and viewing collections of photos that works within Photoshop and the InDesign page-layout program. And Bridge included a button - "Get a photo from the Getty agency".

Photographer Pete Jenkins says: "as can be imagined, we were incensed at this." Why? Because "in effect Adobe were endorsing Getty. Making images accessible directly gave Getty a huge advantage over all other image providers." And Getty - owned by the oil heir - is in competition with Corbis - privately owned by Bill Gates - to corner the market in stock photography.

There was, as you might expect, intense discussion of this on NUJphoto, the email network for photographers in the union whether they work for quality papers or PR. The same went for EPUK, the non-union-specific network.

Pressure from competing image suppliers - and Photoshop users - led to the Adobe Stock Photo Service being expanded to include sixteen image collections, and now the "Adobe Photographers Directory". John Toner has negotiated with Adobe to ensure that the National Union of Journalists is a participating photography association, alongside the Association of Photographers and Pro Imaging UK. He is finalising details with Adobe UK.

"The potential of this for member photographers is excellent," says Pete, "and our thanks go to John Toner for his hard work on our behalf." Members wanting an entry in the Photographers Directory should contact the Freelance Office now.

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