Audio: Discussing Demotix

29th March, 2011

The March Branch Meeting “Discussing Demotix” looked at the rise of the Demotix Photo Agency and its impact on the industry. The speakers were LPB Vice Chair andrew Wiard, Demotix CEO Turi Munthe and NUJ Organiser Jenny Lennox.

4 Responses:

  1. Sean Harkin says:

    As a Amateur, I am one of those people in the UK with a Demotix press pass. I don’t portrait myself as professional photographer. I have sold two images through Denotix and cover minor stories in the Belfast Area, I don’t do riots, Bomb alerts (real or hoax), that is what the professional photographer is for. I would love to have a NUJ card so I could cover more import events in Northern Ireland. As only a small proportion of my income is generated from photography, how do I apply for a NUJ Press Pass?

    Regards
    Sean Harkin

  2. Howard Jones says:

    I must say here that for aspiring photographers joining the NUJ is not easy. You have a policy of only allowing membership with proof of two paid published photos in the past six months.
    What that effectively means is that photographers have to get their work published in newspapers,magazines etc that don’t recognised the NUJ. If they did recognise the NUJ then they would use NUJ photographers. So you’re saying get your work published in newspapers,magazines etc that don’t recognise the NUJ in order to join the NUJ!
    Demotix gives aspiring photographers a chance to at least get their feet on the first rung of the ladder.

    • Pete Jenkins says:

      Hi Howard,

      You are painting a picture that is actually far from the truth. The idea of an NUJ closed shop disappeared many years ago, and whilst I remember such a situation, it has not in reality existed for almost twenty years. NUJ membership is not about being published, it is about joining a union that supports you in your work, and when things become difficult. Possibly you are thinking of the UK Press card of which the NUJ is one of many ‘gatekeepers’ and issues cards as appropriate to its members. The NUJ does not control the rules of the Press card – that is what the Press card authority does. Demotix is just one of many agencies that exist. It has its supporters and some detractors Demotix is nothing special in supporting amateurs wishing to dip their toes into the profession. You must remember many of us were amateurs once. I was, and I know Andrew Wiard was. We have all been there. One thing that the NUJ will help you with is putting you in touch with other photographers who for the most part will be happy to share experiences and help you to advance your career.

      There are many things you can do to help yourself along and joining the NUJ is just one of them (a good one). You do not need to be an NUJ member in order to have work published.