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Archive 2013 · Caters News?

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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Caters News?

Hi all,
Just wanted to check and see if anyone here has any experience with Caters News Agency out of the UK. I'm a photographer out of Oklahoma City. I mainly do commercial work, but I do freelance photojournalism (what I went to school for) on the side. I was contacted by someone from Caters immediately following the tornado that came through Moore, Oklahoma, near where I live. They said they were looking for a photographer in the area and were offering a 60/40 split in my favor on any images sold regarding the tornado. I realize that that kind of commission is basically unheard of, so my initial reaction was that it was a scam. However, I did some research and found the person who contacted me (I won't mention any names at this point, since this is still kind of up in the air) does indeed work for Caters News, and they are a legit news agency, though they seem to mostly focus on puff pieces (the front page of their website includes, among others, a photo of an owl turning it's face completely upside down and a poodle that got a crazy haircut) and not hard news like the tornado story. Anyway, I agreed to cover the story for them and they sent me a fairly standard contract to sign. I maintain my copyright and they get exclusive rights to market my images for editorial purposes. We corresponded over email about different angles to cover the story and agreed to focus on the humanitarian aspect, as the bigger news agencies had the "catastrophic damage" angle pretty well covered already. I arranged to get into a church in Moore that was collecting and distributing supplies, and spent a day following volunteers around, documenting the aid effort. I sent the images, with captions, to my contact at caters (via wetransmit.com) and received confirmation that he had successfully downloaded them. This was on friday, May 24th. It's now the end of the day on Monday, the 27th and I haven't heard a word from them. I even sent an email on Friday, asking if they received the images ok and if they had any questions. I figure it's possible that they were out of the office over the weekend, but it seems unlikely that they'd be unable to respond to an email for this long.

Anyway, my questions is this. Has anyone here ever worked with Caters before? Do you know if they're legitimate. I honestly can't even figure out what the scam might be if this is a scam, but the whole thing seems fishy to me...

May 28, 2013 at 02:16 AM
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Caters News?

I would try emailing again, see if you can also find another contact there or even another photographer signed up with them and ask them what the deal is.

There are a bunch of agencies that cater to various markets. Some are better known than others. Also keep in mind that the deal you signed really only shows a profit if they actually sell your images. I'd personally have asked for expenses as well.

May 28, 2013 at 06:11 PM

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