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November 14, 2013

Be a news photographer with Scoopshot

Have you captured an amazing picture with your Lumia smartphone that you’d like to share with the world and then get paid for it? With Scoopshot you can!

Scoopshot is an app that connects everyday photojournalists with media and companies who are looking for great authentic images taken by anyone.

Here’s how it works. You download the app and register for the service.  Then you take an image with the Scoopshot app, set the price and then watch (and hope) it’ll get purchased and published by one of the companies who’ve signed up to use the service. You can also take part in specific photojournalistic tasks and challenges created by those companies.

Yesterday at Slush, we sat down with Petri Rahja, the CEO of Scoopshot, to find out more.


What’s a typical user of the Scoopshot app?

We currently have more than 350,000 registered users in more than 170 countries across different platforms, including Windows Phone. A typical user is probably 15-35 years old, interested in photography and who want to influence through great photography.

We also have more than 60 media companies in 19 different countries, who use the service daily. For example Metro International and Newscorp Australia are already using it and more media companies are signing up all the time.

What makes the app appealing for photographers and companies who use it?

For those who upload pictures to Scoopshot, the opportunity to earn money is of course an important factor. There is also a gamification element in there, and it’s exciting for the user to see if an image gets bought and for what price. But for many users, the motivation to use the service is to actually improve as a photographer.

We’ve noticed that brands have an ever-growing need for more authentic pictures. They want pictures of real people in real situations, and Scoopshot can provide that.

Also, some of the media companies who use the service have found that Scoopshot enables better engagement with their readers, compared to Facebook and Twitter for example. Scoopshot gives them the ability to tap into people’s everyday lives, invite them to contribute to news production and it’s a good way to get the youth to get interested in traditional media.

Is it possible to make money with Scoopshot?

Yes it is! We have a couple of guys here in Finland who have already earned thousands of euros with the service. One of them is Arto Mäkelä, who has earned more than 20,000 euros.

The price of an image varies from 2.5 to 25 euros. But if a company wants exclusive rights to your image, you have a chance to earn even more.

What tends to happen is that when you successfully sell one or two images to a company, they come back for more. It’s easy to create these type of connections in Scoopshot. It’s great for the company and the photographer.


What makes a good Scoopshot image?

This is a very good questions and it’s actually difficult to nail down exactly what makes a good image. It can be anything from a bird in a subway to an image of a big event happening somewhere in the world.  Also images about special ”brand moments” do very well.

Picture quality is also very important and the photos submitted to Scoopshot are generally of very good quality. I have to say though that images taken with the Nokia Lumia 1020, have moved up the image quality to a completely new level.

What we’re seeing is that images taken with a Nokia Lumia have a lot better chances to get sold. The “submit-sold” ratio for images taken with a Lumia device is 20% higher compared to other platforms. The quality is just so good!

Who owns the rights for the images that are submitted to the service?

The rights stay with the user until the image has been sold. And depending on the licensing terms for the image, the user can re-sell the image over and over again. Only exception is when a company buys exclusive rights for the image, then the rights transfer to that company as part of the deal.

Can you share a couple of practical tips for Scoopshot users?

Stay still when you take the image to ensure your object is in focus. Also pay attention to the framing of the image and the positioning of your object – it doesn’t always have to be in the center. And keeping the horizon straight makes your photo look more professional.

Yesterday at Slush it was announced that you have raised $3.9 million funding – what are you planning to do with that money?

We will use the funding to realize our potential and expand to new markets. US is a hugely important market for us where we see a great opportunity both in terms of user generated photography and the companies who need authentic imagery. This funding will help us drive our growth there, and later on in other markets too.