How Do I Hire Photographers?
February 14, 2005 7:48 AM   Subscribe

How can I hire, sight-unseen, photographers in at least 12 countries? I have a photo-essay project I'm working on, and I need specific photos from a large number of countries. Semipro or "prosumer" photographers would suffice, I believe. Stock photo houses don't have what I need, and I'm completely at a loss as to how to proceed [MI].

I'm (obviously) happy to pay these people, but I also have no idea what's an acceptable going rate in all of my target countries, to say nothing of the various legal entanglements (regarding copyright, duplication rights, etc.). The photography would be slightly more complex than portraiture, and would be outdoors. I considered trying to find wedding photographers, but their rates seem astronomical, as I only need one photo per site. My comparatively low budget also complicates matters, as I can't afford the various agency stringers I've managed to stumble across.

Should I just give up? Spend the next few years travelling around to take the photos myself?
posted by aramaic to Work & Money (21 answers total)
If you need someone in the UK I can help
posted by gravelshoes at 8:04 AM on February 14, 2005

Search for photoblogs in those countries and make your plea as you have here to the authors. Ask them if they can just charge the minimum photo fee intsead of the fee for a photo session. If you need something in my area, email is in the profile.
posted by planetkyoto at 8:16 AM on February 14, 2005

There's gotta be a World Photo Forum or somthing that should be able to help...?
posted by Doohickie at 8:21 AM on February 14, 2005

I'll bet you could round up some folks on Flickr who would help.
posted by Tubes at 8:33 AM on February 14, 2005

Fotolog is classified by country, and many people post work there outside the U.S. You could flip through collections from people by country and simply email them and ask for their participation.
posted by zadcat at 8:34 AM on February 14, 2005

I'm a UK photographer, and may be interested in taking a photo cheaply... my portfolio is at
However, I'm a member of the community, which is full of many wonderful talented and helpful photographers, why don't you create a free account and post a question in the forums? I'm sure loads of people would help you out.
posted by BobsterLobster at 8:34 AM on February 14, 2005

Do you need artistic photos, or just competent ones?
posted by smackfu at 8:50 AM on February 14, 2005

I second the idea of using Flickr to find good amateur photographers. Use Bloglines or some other RSS reader to subscribe to a flickr feed of photos containing the keyword "INSERT COUNTRYNAME HERE". You will very quickly get a host of a good photographers working there.

One tip: you might want to monitor city keywords as well. EG, some people will include "London" as a keyword but not "England."
posted by yankeefog at 9:11 AM on February 14, 2005

Creative Commons would be worth a look, too.
posted by rfordh at 9:49 AM on February 14, 2005

Try the forums on
posted by kickingtheground at 9:55 AM on February 14, 2005

1. Photoblogs listed by country.
2. TrekEarth - photos from around the world (also: TrekLens and TrekNature).
3. PBase Galleries by country.

And if you happen to need photos from the southeast USA, feel free to shoot me an email (website & email listed in my profile).
posted by Hankins at 10:16 AM on February 14, 2005

Head to a couple of photo forums like this one or this one and ask nicely. Those two in particular have thousands of members from all around the globe. I'm sure you'll find some people willing to help.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:56 AM on February 14, 2005

I'll bet you could round up some folks on Flickr who would help.

Yeah, the people over there are ever hungry for new projects. You could post for help in either the group FlickrCentral or in a group like Picture Requests whose mission reads:
"This group is for people to request pictures of partular photographic subjects (locations, objects and so on) that other Flickr users will try to fulfill with photos uploaded to the group pool."
posted by vacapinta at 11:07 AM on February 14, 2005

I've got plenty of rejects that I shot for stock and never sold from Thailand, Czech Republic, and some from Cambodia, Laos, etc. And a little bit from Yucatan, although quality of those isn't so great as I was shooting print and not the usual Ektachrome pro I usually use. Email me if you want me to send you a URL. Also you might want to investigate Lonely Planet's new stock service, I can hook you up with a photo editor there if you are interested - their prices are excellent and they pay great royalties if you are concerned with the artist's cut.
posted by luriete at 12:56 PM on February 14, 2005

I'm in British Columbia. Email and url are in my profile (click on the "I, the Beholder" link in my blog).
posted by deborah at 1:50 PM on February 14, 2005

Awesome. Thanks everyone!
posted by aramaic at 7:07 PM on February 14, 2005

late to the party, but you might want to try:

posted by jba at 10:07 PM on February 14, 2005

Vast photo collections available from myself and my partner, including the following countries:
UK, Germany, France, Denmark, Sweden, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg, Lichtenstein, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, Greece, Spain, Portugal, and now, South Africa (limited in scope to Eastern Cape, so far). Relatively few shots from New Jersey , Washington, DC, Wisconsin, Michigan, New York, Massachusettes.

Mainly outdoor photos. Some taken with 35mm film, more recently digital SLR. Some were taken with cheaper digital cameras. Buildings, landscapes, amusement parks, city streets make up the bulk of our collection.

Email in my profile, we're happy to provide any work you like for your project free of charge. A lot of our stuff is really top quality.
posted by Goofyy at 11:19 PM on February 14, 2005

I'd offer shots from Korea, but I'm complete crap with a camera. If you're desperate, maybe...
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:40 AM on February 15, 2005

I'm in China and will be glad to help.
posted by geekyguy at 5:04 AM on February 15, 2005

I'm based in Vienna, Austria, and would not mind travelling a some within Europe to photograph other countries you need.
posted by syzygy at 5:08 AM on February 17, 2005

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