1. Matt Murtagh

    The 48 Sheet Project is great (as are Brum Loves Togs) so I feel a bit curmugeonly for saying this but competitions where the “prize” is to have your work used as official publicity materials is getting photographers to work for nothing and devaluing the profession as a whole.

    ‘Great opportuntity to get your work out there’ is one of those phrases that are really, really annoying.

    How hard would it be to actually pay the winner the going rate for their work?

  2. In the vast majority of cases I’d agree but bearing in mind BLT and BV usually organise this kind of stuff just for the hell of it (and I suspect they might have been the ones to approach 48 Sheet, whose own budget was probably committed a while back) I’m minded to give this a pass.

    But yes, you’re right. If you’re spending your time working then do it for pay, not promotion.

  3. Hi Matt

    I do understand your view on this prize. I too work as a photographer and get often asked to work for free and for great exposure.
    I came up with this project in talking to 48 Sheet and then connecting with Birmingham Viewpoint. I did this in my own time and have no financial interest in the competition, 48 Sheets, Birmingham Viewpoint or Birmingham Loves Photographers – quite the opposite for myself in the case of BLP.
    I do this all for the passion and love of photography, as do everyone who contributes as part of BLP and Birmingham Viewpoint. Most of our members have no interest in being a professional photographer and just like the idea of their work being appreciated and recognised.
    People are encouraged to take part and document the work and if a picture is selected they don’t have to allow 48 Sheet to use it. They retain full copyright of the image and if they wish to negotiate a fee for their work, as 48 Sheet may wish to use the image on further distribution than on their original limited press, then that will be up to their discretion to speak with 48 Sheets.
    I thought it was something interesting happening in the city and a great excuse for people to get out their cameras and take photos. I wish to take no work from anyone in the extremely tough career of photography nor exploit anybody’s passion for it. If anything I would like the opposite to happen; that someone recognises that their work is up to standard and look into possibly making their enthusiasm into a vocation.
    I have a huge amount of respect for your work Matt and always read with keen interest your debates on Twitter about photographers being paid for their work. I hope you take this project as neither devaluing of your work nor any other photographers, and just a fun opportunity.


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