Anyone with a mobile phone camera has the opportunity to turn their images into cash via on-line picture agencies which accept this type of work. They seek to take advantage of the huge rise in ownership of small and highly portable digital cameras and camera phones. They key factor is of course being in the right place at the right time - and someone is almost always in the vicinity when an interesting or newsworthy event takes place. The mobile phone also provides any photographer who finds themselves in such circumstances the means to transmit their images to an agency in a few seconds.
The first agency of this type, Scoopt, was set up as the significance of amateur journalism and photography was recognized. Passers-by began submitting hugely significant mobile phone images to newspapers television news services, and in many cases their images were the only ones available. The agency seeks to broker professional syndication deals between amateur photographers and appropriate outlets.
Photographers submitting images to Scoopt own the copyright of their photographs, and are typically paid 50% of each and every licensing and syndication deal. The agency generally asks photographers to agree to a three-month exclusive license of their pictures to allow them to negotiate the best possible deal. This approach contrasts with the more normal approach of signing over universal copyright in exchange for a one-off fee.
Scoopt has a strict editorial policy governing what it will and will not handle, and expects full and legally-binding disclosure from the photographer about each submitted image.