Attention wannabe photographers — BOHICA*

Maybe you’re an amateur whose mother/father/sister/wife/brother/girlfriend has told you that you take great photos and you should try to sell them.

So you’re looking online for someone to buy them and you run across this ad recently placed on eLance — a formerly decent site for people looking for freelance work in many fields.

NOTE: Depending on when you read this, the ad may or may not still be up.  Don’t worry, I’ve posted a screenshot of the ad that has the important details.

I see two problems with the profession of photography these days.

Problem #1: Too many places are interested in buying cheap, second rate photographs for pennies.

Problem #2: Everyone with a camera thinks they’re a photographer and they jump at the chance to sell their cheap, second rate photographs for pennies.

A formerly respected service for freelance writers, photographers and other professions, eLance, has helped fuel the downward spiral of photography.

Here’s an ad that someone ran this morning (July 21, 2013):


Add posted on eLance, July 21, 2013

Add posted on eLance, July 21, 2013

Now, your first thought might be that it’s a good deal. Go through all of those images on your computer and turn them into a few bucks without any real hassle. And there will probably be several dozen folks that think like you.

But read the ad again.

  • They will only accept photos within the narrow themes that they dictate.
  • They will pay $1 – $1.50 for each photo.
  • They claim to be a stock agency, but they want you to use DropBox to deliver the photos, and

…the list of problems with this ad go on.  But you get the idea.
So this company is setting up a stock photo agency and they want you to hand over your best work — which may or may not meet their ‘standards’. They also want you to assign THEM the copyright, which means they own your work, allowing them to make money off of the image you created for years and years to come. Sound fair?

Like I said, BOHICA which is short for Bend Over, Here It Comes Again.

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