If you’ve seen a photo in the pages of The Taber Times that caught your eye, interested readers may not be aware those photos are always available to the public for private purchase.
“You see it all the time, with parents at their sporting events, their kids’ plays, just little slices of life with their cameras, and sometimes they just don’t have good enough camera equipment, or it’s pixilated, far away,” said Times editor Greg Price.
Single digital images are available for $10, or three for $20, with multiple images subject to a graduated pricing scale. Prices may be subject to change without notice.
Occasionally individuals may be seeking multiple photos from a shooting sequence which may have remained unpublished, such as a sporting event. We can usually accommodate this request within a certain time period (we keep unpublished photos on our cameras for roughly a month) but outside of this window most photos are eventually deleted.
Published photos, on the other hand, are usually retained in our system for several months, and are later stored digitally. Submitted photos are not available for purchase. High-quality Times photography has been recognized nationally and provincially over the years through the Canadian Community Newspaper Awards and the Alberta Weekly Newspaper Association.
“That’s one thing I pride this paper on, is comparing our photography,” said Price. “We get papers from across Western Canada and I would put our photography up to any of them.”
The process to acquire your selected photo is simple. Interested customers can stop by the Times offices to fill out a digital photo order form, where the date and page of the photo or photos selected will need to be specified, as well as the photographer.
Once you have completed filling out your name and contact information (including email address), Times editorial staff will locate the photo in question and transfer the digital image (either onto a flash drive or other data storage device, or via email). Depending on variables, the process isn’t always instantaneous and customers are asked to be patient in receiving their images, which in exceptional cases can sometimes take up to 10 days.
“Comparatively, I think these are very good quality value for your money,” said Price. “People have no qualms about buying a $20 toy for their kid that they either get bored of in a week, or it breaks in a couple of months. These are images that last forever of your child’s childhood. They’re memories that are forever that you can put in a scrapbook, or notebook. It’s a keepsake that can last forever if it’s a good enough photo that’s close to your heart.”
The images will normally be provided in a standard unaltered JPEG format to allow for individuals to alter images to suit individual needs.
While photos are available for purchase, for some events Times photographers may by willing to provide them for free to interested non-profit groups and individuals upon request, but the decision will be made on a case-by-case basis.
“We’ve done that in the past as community-minded people, where we’ve given images to non-profit organizations to help with fundraisers and things like that,” said Price.
Times photos were once available to the public for free, but this was an initiative that eventually failed.
“We found that people weren’t really taking ownership over the images when they were free,” said Price. “When we used to develop them, we’d have (requested) images sitting here for months and months that nobody picked up.”
As the photos are subject to copyright, using them for a business or promotional purpose requires acknowledgement of their origin with a photo credit, such as “Photo courtesy of The Taber Times” or a variation on this theme. The Times has discontinued printing actual photos available for purchase due to a lack of demand, and photos are now only available digitally. For those unable to access the Internet or email, a digital copy of a requested photo can be shipped to local photo developers for printing at the customer’s expense (printing cost).
Photo inquiries are usually best made to the photographers themselves, and we can help you track down the requested photo with information provided by the customer, but if the photographer isn’t available, other staff is usually able to assist customers. Current photographers at the Times include reporters Nikki Jamieson and Trevor Busch, as well as editor Greg Price.
Price reminded readers, who sometimes suggest images should be free, that there is much more involved in bringing an image from an event to the eyes of the public — including time, labour, equipment, photographic experience and expertise, and post-production — that factor into the actual finished product.
“What people don’t realize often is we have our normal 9-to-5 work day that everyone else has, but we’re also going out and shooting these numerous events long past our official closing time of the office,” said Price. “We are, you could say, working overtime to get these images to readers.”
The Times’ offices are located at 4822 53rd Street, and can be reached by phone at 403-223-2266.