Just lately, I’ve been using a site called ‘Snapwire’, which claims to ‘streamline the art buying process’.
Basically, companies commission Snapwire to find photographers who can fulfil their visions for editorial and commercial photos. There are several levels photographers can reach using the site;
- Explorer – Basically a newbie, you can only respond to ‘challenges’, and only submit a maximum of 2 photos per Challenge. You can, however, still sell photos from your personal portfolio. Having your profile approved by Snapwire also automatically bumps you up to the next level.
- Shooter – This is where the fun starts. Become a Shooter, and you can now submit up to 5 photos per Challenge and can now submit 2 photos to a ‘Request’. A Request is opened by a singular person or company, and are usually a very specific set of requirements. No points are needed, but you must be nominated or have your profile approved by Snapwire to reach this level.
- Advanced – Becoming an Advanced Snapwire user requires 1,000 points. It also opens up a whole new world of possibilities, allowing you to submit 7 photos to a Challenge, and 5 photos to a Request. You can also be invited to Requests by other users and the companies/people in charge of obtaining the appropriate photos.
- Expert – This status means that you’ve had some of your photos nominated, sold a couple of photos, and gained a good understanding of how the site works, and what you need to do to get your photos out there. 5,000 points are needed to attain Expert status, but this allows you to submit up to 15 photos to a Challenge, and up to 10 to a Request. You also gain a Featured Photographer profile – as a homage to your growing skills.
- Elite – This, this is the B-List celebrity status of Snapwire. You’ve been noticed, you’ve sold photos regularly, for good prices, and people want you. They want your work, and they’ll pay well to get it. You also gain the ability to post up to 20 photos to both Challenges and Requests at your choosing. To go alongside this, you’ll also have your name featured in a ‘Spotlight Email’ sent out to prospective buyers and regular site users. 15,000 points are needed to get this far.
- Pro – You’ve made it. Your name is widely known, both on the site and by buyers and companies. Your work sells regularly, for high prices, and buyers can now commission photos and work from you directly. You can be paid in advance for your work, and there are no limits on how many photos you can submit to Challenges and Requests. You’ll need 50,000 points to attain this level of enlightenment, but you’re worth it. You. Are. Worth. It.
- Master – You’re a star. You’re the Oprah of Snapwire. The Master program is an Invite-Only affair, with all the glitz and glamour that goes with it. Buyers will contact you directly, work with you one-to-one, and you’re GUARANTEED payment in advance. Hell, you could even write a book on your experiences with the site and it would sell well. You don’t need any points for this level, as you have to be invited into the secret underworld of the Master photographer, and the digital world is your oyster.
This is my Snapwire profile: Bomber County Snapwire
Currently, I reside on the lowest level as an Explorer, but this could change at any time. I could have my profile approved tomorrow, or I could be an Explorer for the next 5 years. That’s the thing about Photography, you never quite know what’s around the corner.