Apple decides it will cough up for ‘Shot on iPhone’ photos

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Shot on iPhone photo
Winners will receive 'licensing fees.'
Photo: Brendan Ò Sé

Apple has decided that it will pay winners of its “Shot on iPhone Challenge” following backlash from artists and creators.

The company plans to use 10 images, which will be showcased on its Instagram channel, on billboards around the world, and in other areas, as part of its newest marketing campaign. Apple originally stated there would be no payment, but it has since changed its mind.

Apple has highlighted photos from iPhone users in previous “Shot on iPhone” campaigns, but its latest has caused a stir among fans and creators. When the competition was announced earlier this week, Apple made it clear that it would not pay competition winners.

Unsurprisingly, this didn’t go down well. One of the world’s richest companies planned to use other people’s images in iPhone ads, but didn’t want to pay for them. But Apple obviously recognized the backlash and has since reversed that decision.

Apple will pay licensing fees for ‘Shot on iPhone’ photos

“Apple believes strongly that artists should be compensated for their work,” the company told The Verge. “Photographers who shoot the final 10 winning photos will receive a licensing fee for use of such photos on billboards and other Apple marketing channels.”

Apple has also updated the competition rules. Where it originally read, “Prize has no cash value,” it now mirrors the statement above with, “Winners will receive a licensing fee for use on billboards and other Apple marketing channels.”

Of course, Apple does not mention exactly how much those licensing fees will be.

The right move

Having one of your photos featured in an Apple marketing campaign for the iPhone — its most successful product — is a real honor. But most agree it isn’t enough to compensate you for the time and effort it takes to shoot a masterpiece.

This certainly isn’t the first time creatives have been expected to work for free in exchange for “exposure.” It happens all the time in many industries. However, it definitely shouldn’t happen when you’re working with a company like Apple, which is more than capable of paying up.