Dear Eventing Worldwide readers,
I am writing this open letter after almost two days of emails, phone conversations and much thought and discussion with members of the EWW team and our readers.
It seems there is confusion across the board as to why you cannot access images that EWW takes of you at events.
It has been made aware to us through social media, emails and messages how frustrated some readers are that they cannot access the images. I share the same frustration and sadness and I am trying very hard to find a solution to the issue.
I have been in contact with a lot of event organisers and British Eventing and it appears there is no blanket ruling regarding photography, and each event organiser decides who can or can’t sell images to competitors from their event. So this in turn makes it very confusing for both us and you.
The majority of events are very happy for us to attend to report and take photos for editorial purposes, and very much appreciate the support and publicity that EWW gains at each event. We love to be there, but when it comes down to allowing us to let you, the competitor, have the image you want the answer is “No, you must buy from the ‘official’ photographer only”.
When an EWW photographer attends an event the intention is to take photographs for editorial purposes, and to use them within our reports. We feel that if you should see a photograph within our report that you would like then you should be allowed to purchase said image.
With certain events such as Badminton, Rockingham, Houghton, BEDE events to name a few, there is a clear ruling in place as to when we are allowed to sell images from their events, and we are only allowed to put a minimal amount of images on Facebook. We totally respect this ruling; it is very clear, fair and applies to all accredited photographers and publications.
We would like organisers and BE to consider issuing a blanket ruling that applies to all events so that we the publication and you the competitor know exactly where we both stand.
EWW is not in competition with the official photographers at events, as we are not on site directly selling images. Our photos are not on the EWW website or Social Media for a couple days after the event, by which time should you wish to have purchased your image from the official photographer you would have done so. Many of you do buy images that the official photographer has for sale, but are subsequently then unable to then buy additional images from EWW.
I took over the Editor’s role at EWW in February because I adore the sport. I want to support everyone and everything associated with Eventing and to give back to you the competitor. We all spend a lot of time and money to be part of the wonderful sport that is Eventing and nothing gives me more pleasure than to report on an event with the help of my fantastic team and to provide you all with wonderful photographs from our fabulous photographers, for your enjoyment.
We are all part of the Eventing Worldwide team because we love eventing, we love seeing you all have a great day, doing what you love. In return nothing would make us more happy than to be able to let competitors purchase the images that they would like and are in the teams opinion, are entitled to purchase. These are of course the only visual memory you may have of such wonderful times.
You may ask the question ‘why don’t we just give you the images?’ well the answer to that is we are not allowed to do that either. This takes lively hoods away from Event photographers.
I have tried to be able to gain the permission from organisers to sell the images to you all and feel I am ﬁghting a losing battle and can no longer do this alone.
If you are as frustrated as I am and feel that this situation is unfair and unreasonable then I ask you please to support EWW in rectifying the ‘no selling policy,’ please email me showing your support, firstname.lastname@example.org. I will then collate these emails and take them forward to organisers and BE hopefully showing them how much you value EWWs presence and why you feel the ruling is wrong.
Nothing saddens me more than having to reply to your wonderful, happy emails and messages, with a “No” to your request for images, none of you should be denied the memory.
I feel should have access to these images at a fairly agreed, point after the event.