Why Did The Policeman Cross the Road?

By Stevyn Colgan

Not so much police intelligence as intelligent policing

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Photographic Competition?

Now then. I've had an idea.

In the world of problem solving (and, for that matter, crowdfunding) you quickly learn the skills you need to make the most of what you have. You also learn how to get the things you need for the minimum outlay but, hopefully, in a way that's beneficial for all concerned. One technique I've often used in the past is what I call The Free Swap.

If I needed something - let's say, a venue to run a training day - but couldn't afford it, I'd consider swapping something for it. The trick is to find someone who has what you want (but it doesn't cost them anything) and swap it for something you have that would cost them a lot to buy e.g. I run a training day for them in return for use of a venue on another date. Then the swap is mutally beneficial but it hasn't actually cost anyone anything. Everyone wins.

Why do I mention this? Well, the book is now 65% funded and about 95% written and I'm starting to look at illustrating it. I'm planning on black and white photos and diagrams throughout, most of which will be provided by me. However, there are some images I'd like for the book that I don't have and I have three choices open to me:

(1) I can go out and take them myself, or

(2) I can trawl the internet for free-to-use images under a creative commons licence and credit the photographer, or

(3) I can ask people to submit photos which, if they're used in the book, will be appropriately credited to them.

Option (1) would be the most sensible as it would cost me nothing and I'd have complete control over the images. Option (2) would also be free and there are plenty of sites that offer such images; however, they are pretty generic and may not provide quite the image(s) I want.

My preference is for Option (3). Getting other people's artistic input would add a freshness to the book (I can work a camera but I am not what I'd call a photographer) and I could request specific images e.g. a pedestrian underpass, people drinking outside a pub etc.

The problem is money; this is a crowdfunded book so there is no budget. But I don't want people to work entirely for free as that's exploitative. I don't work for free (much) so I wouldn't ask anyone else to either. There needs to be a Free Swap.

So I've had an idea. What if I get together some nice prizes and do this:

  • I tell you what photograph I need and you submit it. If your image gets used in the book, you get a prize, a photo credit in the book and you retain 100% copyright and creative control over your image(s).
  • Not every photo would end up being used, however, so how about I enter everyone who submits a photo into a lottery and then get an impartial person to pick a random prizewinner from the submissions?

How does that sound?

I'd be interested to hear your thoughts. You can leave a comment here in the shed, or tweet me @stevyncolgan or email me at stevyn@qi.com.

If there's sufficient interest in the idea, I'll start posting up requests.

I'm quite excited by the idea!

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Craig Lewis
 Craig Lewis says:

Yep, absolutely up for it and glad to help if I can :)

posted 4th April 2015

Barbara Wilkie
 Barbara Wilkie says:

This is a great opportunity! I'd love to help, if I can

posted 4th April 2015

Stevyn Colgan
 Stevyn Colgan says:

Great! Seems to be a lot of interest on Twitter too. Looks like I need to get together some prizes!

posted 4th April 2015

Liz Wooldridge
 Liz Wooldridge says:

A great idea, very in keeping with the whole crowd funding premise ☺

posted 4th April 2015

David Catherall
 David Catherall says:

Wonderful idea. I'll help if possible.

posted 4th April 2015

Al Dunn
 Al Dunn says:

Definitely up for it. I'd relish the challenge! Very in tune with the crowd funding idea too

posted 4th April 2015

Choc Istherapy
 Choc Istherapy says:

Brilliant. Would love to...

posted 4th April 2015

Simon Smith
 Simon Smith says:

Already pledged on the book, would love to help & possibly contribute.

posted 4th April 2015

Stevyn Colgan
 Stevyn Colgan says:

Thank you all so much for the support! :D

posted 4th April 2015

Colin Barber
 Colin Barber says:

Great idea and as keen photographer I am always looking for ideas for my photographs so I would be happy to try and get a shot for your book

posted 4th April 2015

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