In excellent news for professional photographers, the “Uber of Photography”, Kodakit is to close down. Founded by Kodak in 2017, Kodakit was an attempt to build a gig market place to connect photographers with businesses looking for photography services.
Unfortunately it quickly became apparent that the service was not something that would benefit professional photographers in any meaningful way. In addition to low rates of pay for gigs the company had wholly unreasonable contractual terms that required that Photographers give up all rights to their images. By all, I mean all. In most countries photographers own the copyright to their images by default and can exploit images beyond the initial contract to generate additional revenue or can sell the copyright for an additional fee. Almost as importantly they can be identified as the creator of the work and can display it in their portfolio to generate future work. Kodakit’s terms and condition sought to up-end this practice.
Any time spent on a Kodakit gig would be an empty void on your CV. The more work you got from them, the less successful your business would appear to be.
Not only did they required the photographer to give them the copyright for no additional fee but the photographer was further prohibited from using the images in their portfolio or even identifying themselves as the creator of the image. Think about that for a moment…. Any time spent on a Kodakit gig would be an empty void on your CV. The more work you get from them, the less successful your business would appear to be.
Other reasons why a system like Kodakit are bad include the devaluing of creative work, a focus on competing based on price (instead of on quality) and, more importantly, a loss of control of your business/client relationships. A third party gig market place like Kodakit or a stock agency website is basically a filter between you and your potential clients. Unlike contacts that come through your own website, while a client who actively chooses to contact you through the service will be connected, you will have no knowledge of any potential clients that might check out your offerings and no opportunity to convert them into a client. Also you have no control over the platform itself. Much like Instagram and Facebook changing their algorithm, if a market place like Kodakit changes the way that it assigned gigs in a manner that was detrimental to your business you would be unable to do anything (other than stop using the system).
Lastly any accumulated brand loyalty that you do manage to build up through a stock agency or a gig market place disappears if the service closes, which is something you have zero control over.