Best Practices for the Business of Independent Photojournalism

In the following pages, you will find two lists of Best Practices to consider when contracting for freelance photojournalism. These lists are guidelines and goals similar to those endorsed by other industries, such as medicine, agriculture and manufacturing.

One set of five points is for those who hire independent photojournalists. The other is to guide photojournalists in their efforts to deliver maximum value and accurate portrayals of reality to their clients, readers and viewers.

These lists grew from discussion, writing and rewriting by the Business Practices Committee of the National Press Photographers Association. We intend for this to be a living document, to be updated with new ideas. We welcome input. Our targets are fairness and practicality, two concepts we believe are intertwined in the business of the Fourth Estate. We endorse these practices because we believe professional relationships based on fair exchange, respect and the truth are essential for collecting and disseminating visual reports that are fair, honest and insightful. And we believe our audiences deserve nothing less.