An Olympic challenge
For many of us, the handy camera phone is our photographic weapon of choice. Not only is it the fastest way to share what we see with our own eyes, it also offers a first-person perspective free from manipulation, or extreme editing.
It’s no surprise to see that the first images coming from the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi last week were straight out of journalists’ camera phones. First at the scene, they’ve been documenting some of the more unfortunate quirks of Sochi’s hotel offerings at the expense of the host city’s blushes. The beautiful thing about this type of user-generated content is that it genuinely is at everyone’s fingertips – we are all capable of this simple point-and-shot style of reportage.
Publish content that you own
User-generated content is far from a new concept, but new technology has allowed us to embrace its full potential and explore how it can be used. Mainstream media organizations led the way in implementing this crowdsourced approach to reporting – UGC, citizen journalism, or whatever you want to call it – but it’s clear to see that this isn’t where its power ends. Creating entertaining, informative and engaging content means involving your audience, or customers, whether you’re a mega brand with an established user base, or a media house with a hunger for an exclusive.
The trend has not evolved without problems. Copyrights and good practice in using content created by others have caused much debate. Recycling content from social media, be it tweets of pictures uploaded on Facebook, is an especially hot topic. Luckily, apart from enabling the use of crowdsourced images, new technology now also offers easy solutions for providing fair compensation to those who have taken them.
Even with a global event the size and scale of the Olympics, it’s hard to cover all your bases if you’re after very specific photography. Imagine what you could achieve if you had a team of thousands of photographers at your disposal to get you the perfect image. Imagine if you could give photo briefs, or tasks to the photographers who were in the location of the event at the same time you want the image taken.
Perhaps you’re a smaller brand who wants to see how your latest skiing gear is being used in Sochi and who’s using it. Or maybe you want to get photos of the uglier side of the Olympics that they don’t want you to see – homophobic acts of violence, human rights violations, or horrific hotel suites. Setting up a task for photographers in the area is simple, and predefining a reward for the images used makes it a fair deal for everyone.
To start things off, we’ve created our own Olympic task to connect Sochi-visitors with brands and press. We want to get real life pictures of the magic of the Olympics from the people who are actually experiencing it, and then enable the rest of the world to see them – so get shooting!
We hope you enjoy the games,
The Scoopshot team