Category News

Kodakit shuts down

Termination email sent out by Kodakit.

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.

“A day in my shoes” project raises money for a good cause.

Woman stands on NY bridge wearing her favourite shoes
image copyright Amy Martin Friedman. From “A day in my shoes”

People often joke about women and their shoes. Some it seems love them enough to pay money to be photographed wearing them. But before any of you roll your eyes, I should mention that the money is for an extremely good cause. San Francisco based photographer, Amy Martin Friedman, started her project “A day in my shoes” six years ago and, in that time, has raised both awareness and money to support women who have suffered spousal/partner abuse – money totally $400,000 to date.

Each year Martin Friedman partners with a different city and charges participants a fee to photograph them wearing their favourite pair of shoes, with the money raised going to a local charity or organisation which supports those who have suffered spousal/partner abuse. Participating women pay a $675 fee to be photographed. Due to the high cost of participation, other people or organisations often sponsor those women who want to take part in the project but are unable to afford the fee. Prints are then displayed in a gallery show and Martin Friedman compiles a book of the photographs, with the participation fees and proceeds from the book benefit a women’s shelter in the host city.

A day in my shoes – Amy Martin Friedman

“Cang Mang” – exhibition

A photograph of the Cang Mang exhibition by artist Ma Yujiang.
A photograph of the Cang Mang exhibition by artist Ma Yujiang.

“Cang Mang” is a photo manipulation project (as opposed to a photography project) by artist Ma Yujiang. The artists has taken WWII archival photographs and removed all traces of destruction, death and carnage.

I am not normally a fan of projects that are based solely around image manipulation (photoshopping), in part because many artists don’t have the necessary skill with the tools to seamlessly execute their vision. Ma Yujiang not only has the necessary technical skills to execute his vision but the vision itself is worth the work.

Look at the giant prints that the artist has produced, a beautiful south pacific island beach, some men standing looking at a partially sunken ship, an empty haunting seascape…. now look at the original images and the same scene becomes one of death and destruction. The two versions of the image are the same moment in time, but they could just as easily be 50 years apart, and would that make them separate self contained places, different from each other or are they one place connected through the fourth dimension of time. Do the ghosts of the dead from the original image now seep back into the retouched image?

And what of the calm gallery space I am standing in now looking at these images. Are the ghosts of those who lived here previously standing next to me looking too. Not only don’t I believe in Photoshop, I also don’t believe in ghosts, so the fact that this exhibition was able to conjure some for me impressed me immensely.

The exhibition is on at the Pearl Lam Gallery, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong until 11th July

Texas bill aimed at limiting photography of the Police scrapped

Good to see that Representative Jason Villalba of Texas has withdrawn the proposed law to limit the rights of people to photograph the police. Although I must say that the death threats it is alleged he received as a result of proposing the law are wholly unacceptable.

Lazy Journalist says something controversial about art… yawn.

So Michael Jones, an art critic writing for the Guardian has said that Photography isn’t as worthy an art form as painting and doesn’t belong on a gallery wall.I was going to type up a long response but Michael Dooney has beaten me to it and said everything I wanted to say, which is just that Jones is lazy.

Yes there is lots of bad photography that isn’t art (but thinks it is) but I don’t believe that good photographers set out to emulate painting any more than good TV producers set out to emulate cinema. Does watching TV give you the same depth of experience as cinema viewing. Maybe not in the sense of scale and awe that cinema can attain but TV is every bit as powerful when focused on what it does well. Great TV drama is every bit as important as great cinema and great photographs are every bit as important as great paintings.

Picking examples of bad photography and claiming they prove that Photography isn’t worthy as an art form doesn’t prove Jonathan Jones’ argument, it just proves he is a lazy journalist.


A 3D moment in history

On February 23, 1945 Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal took what went on to become one of the most iconic war photographs of the Second World War, Raising the flag on Iwo Jima. The image, which won Rosenthal the Pulitzer prize that year, shows five Marines and one US Navy Corpsman raising the American flag atop Mount Suribachi, on the island of Iwo Jima.

It turns out that the difference between a Pulitzer prize and no prize is two paces to the right (of Joe), because that is where Marine Cinematographer Bill Genaust was standing, filming the exact same event. Unfortunately for Bill history pretty much forgot him and his film, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t offer an interesting view point of that historic event – a 3 dimensional viewpoint.

Illustrator and cartoonist Greg Williams picked up on an important issue that appears to have been overlooked for over 60 years. He realised that Bill’s film almost certainly contained a single frame taken at exactly the same moment as Joe’s still photograph, but from a slightly different position. Greg realised that when you combine two such images (as the human brain does with the images from our right and left eyes) you get a 3 dimensional image, which is exactly what he has done.

Over at his blog Greg has a number of different 3D versions of this historic moment which, for the first time, provide the viewer with a real sense of depth and spatial relationships. For more information and, of course, the 3D moment from history, head over to Greg’s blog at

Kids in focus

Not-for-profit project Kids in Focus, based in Phoenix Arizona, is using photography to inspiring at-risk young people to reach their full potential.

“The kids are given cameras and are mentored by photographers to open the kids’ eyes to the world around them, changing their perspective about themselves and their environments. The resulting images by the kids are a tribute to the restorative power of creative self-expression. With those images, Kids In Focus shares the kids’ vision and voices with the community through exhibitions and books.”

Kids in Focus was founded in 2012 by commercial photographer Karen Shell, who has been an active volunteer for at-risk young people for the past 20 years. Current programs include Children First Academy Phoenix Mentorship program, in which twenty students, aged between 12-14, are participating in a 10-week Kids In Focus project, culminating in an exhibition at the Burton Barr Central Library on N. Central Ave., Phoenix, which opens on March 19th 2014.

For more information check out the project’s website at

Photographer supports Nigerian school children

Teaneck, NJ, school teacher and photographer, Dena Florczyk, is using her photography to help raise awareness of the challenges facing school children in Nigeria. Florczyk founded The Nigerian School Project ( back in 2004. The non-profit educational organisation seeks to support communities in developing successful schools by providing support, supplies and infrastructure.

She recently staged a photography exhibit entitled, “No Longer Afraid to Dream,” at the Stable Gallery in Ridgewood, NJ with proceeds from the sale of prints going to organisation. This was just part of the on-going fund-raising the organisation has done, which has resulted in the building of a primary school, a middle school and a library as well as the provision of everything from everything from textbooks to lab stools.

You can read more about the organisations work at The Nigerian School Project website and more about this story at

The newspaper Libération prints issue without photos in support of photographers.

You could be forgiven for thinking that Newspapers and Photographers are, if not divorced, at least going through a trial separation. Reports keep cropping up of newspapers laying off their staff photographers or at least outsourcing their positions.

However one French newspaper has taken a stand in favour of Photographers. Declaring that “Libération vows an eternal gratitude to photography, whether produced by photojournalists, fashion photographers, portraitists, or conceptual artists…..”

To coincide with the opening of Paris Photo the newspaper has published an edition with empty white space where all the photographs should have been….