Can I send you pictures or videos taken by other photographers?

We take other people’s copyright very seriously. Please only send us pictures, video or stories for which you are the copyright holder. Being the copyright holder in almost all cases means being the person who took the picture or video.

Who owns copyright of my picture or video now I have sent it to SWNS?

Unless there is a contract to say otherwise your picture or video remains your copyright – by sending it to us you are giving us a licence to include the picture or video on our news service and license it on your behalf.

Will I get a byline if the picture is published?

We always keep your name with your picture or video and request that it is used where ever it is printed, we use the format ‘Photographer /’. For technical and style reasons some publishers do not use a byline but this is out of our control.

I’ve seen my picture bylined to a different agency, have they stolen it?

SWNS runs a number of different agencies in different parts of the UK, we also work with agents in different countries. The UK agencies we run include Masons News Service, Ross Parry Agency, News Team International, Centre Press, Northscot and Capital Press. Our foreign agents include Abaca press, Scanpix, Bulls Press, Splash News and Northfoto.

When will SWNS know if my picture is going to be printed?

Often our pictures and video are used online within minutes of them being sent out, we never know about use in print until the paper is actually published.

Will I get paid for my photograph?

We’ll pay you your share of any sales as soon as possible, the timescale varies but the average time is about 7 days after publication. Sometimes there are reasons why we can’t offer any payment, for example if it would be in breach of the Bribery Act or if it would against IPSO guidelines. If you are not sure please speak to your contact at SWNS.

I’ve been contacted by a journalist from another agency what should I do?

We would ask that you direct any queries to ourselves, partly to limit the number of enquiries you have to deal with, partly so we can help protect your best interests. If your pictures or video are being represented by more than one agency it may result in a delayed payment. In the worst case it may mean we are unable to make a payment at all.

I’ve seen my picture on dozens of websites – did they all get the picture from SWNS?

We work with all the major news websites and often have negotiated agreed fees so we can guarantee payment from them. However it is fair to say that the internet is a bit like the wild west when it comes to copyright. There are many websites which lift pictures or video from the major news publishers with no regard to copyright. We have previously worked to stop this abuse of IP but this is not possible in all cases. Please be assured we will seek payment for your pictures or video wherever we can.

Can you send me a breakdown of all the sales and a copy of the invoices?

You’ll be able to see all the sales we have logged in your account. In order to protect the confidentiality of others we make a firm rule that we don’t send out copies of our invoices.

I’d like to contribute more pictures to SWNS, is that possible?

Yes, we are very grateful for the hard work of all the contributors to SWNS. We are always looking for interesting stories, pictures and video and will give an honest opinion on anything you send in. Our primary market is the main UK news publishers – the Sun, Daily Mail, Telegraph etc so we are after the type of pictures that they print. We have more information on becoming a regular contributor, if you are interested just let us know.

I’ve seen my photo published but I didn’t get paid, what happened?

There are a number of reasons why you didn’t see a publication in your account. Where publishers use SWNS owned or licensed images without permission we’ve partnered with Visual Rights Group who provide a way for unauthorised image users to license our images correctly and to ensure creators are fairly rewarded.

Can I end my dealings with SWNS?

Yes. Please write to us or email to confirm, you will still get paid for any sales that we have secured.

Many thanks for working with SWNS.