If you’ve ever secretly yearned to become a photo journalist, (or even if you haven’t) now’s your chance. Using a site called Scoopt.com, you can sell your photos to magazines and newspapers without having any experience or connections. You just need to be in the right place at the right time… and have your camera handy.
Even if all you have with you is your camera phone, if you’re the first person to catch something newsworthy, you can still shoot it and sell it on Scoopt.com. It doesn’t have to be an amazing photo — they just want to get the shot.
Scoopt.com is free to join. Once you have what you think are newsworthy photos, you simply upload them and wait. If Scoopt.com decides to take them, they’ll be seen by international publications looking for editorial photos to compliment their stories.
Once your shot sells, Scoopt.com takes 60% of the price… but at least you don’t have to be out there pitching your photos to newspapers. Scoopt.com does that work for you.
They claim to fight for good prices for you, too, as newspapers and magazines pay differently according to the kinds of photos they’re looking for. If you’re the one and only photographer to capture a big event — or you’re the first — your photo could sell for thousands.
While your chances of selling a photo for thousands are slim, finding a photo that will sell should be pretty easy. Scoopt.com is a British company. But it offers photos of news events in 28 countries, spanning different categories from global warming, war, and terrorism, to fashion, art, and transport. You can check out the gallery on the site to see what kinds of photos they accept.
You don’t need a model release to sell your shots on Scoopt.com, but there are a few guidelines to follow. Considering that they deal with Newsworthy shots, some photo subjects can be controversial or sensitive and should be handled carefully, such as defamation or crime. They don’t accept any photos of anyone under 16, and they choose carefully when it comes to sensitive subjects.
The site stresses that photographers should never put themselves at risk, invade anyone’s privacy, or break any laws to get their shots.
You don’t need to go to extremes to get photos that will sell for editorial use. Here are a few examples of things you could photograph for a site like Scoopt.com:
** Workers’ strikes (ever travel in France?) — grab a few shots of people holding signs.
** Grand openings — exhibits at national museums, expos, or shows in large theaters, anything that could be considered newsworthy.
** Bad weather — from snow storms to wind storms to floods, if you can shoot it without putting yourself at risk — and be one of the first to get a good view of it — you may have a selling shot.
** Public demonstrations — from anti-war to Freedom Fries, if you can be one of the first to shoot photos of a large or meaningful demonstration, you could sell your photos on Scoopt.com.
** Big festivals — music, food, religious festivals, anything with thousands of people celebrating could be newsworthy.
** Major sporting events — especially shots of the winning goal or the star player, shocking plays or injuries and disputes.
** Anything you know will make the news.
Again, be sure to read all of the terms and conditions on the site (find them here.) before you get out your camera and start cruising around town looking for breaking news.
[Editor’s Note: Learn more about opportunities to profit from your travels (and even from your own home) in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.]