Apple Says It Will Pay ‘Shot on iPhone’ Photo Contest Winners After Backlash

By Victoria Song on at

Three days after announcing its “Shot on iPhone Challenge,” Apple has updated its official rules page for the photography contest following a burst of outrage from artists on social media.

While the “shot on iPhone” marketing campaigns aren’t new, Apple has previously reached out to photographers through its ad agency instead of putting out a call to the public. This time around, however, Apple solicited submissions, promising the following fabulous prizes to ten winning photographers:

Notably, there was no explicit mention that Apple had any plans of actually paying a licensing fee to artists in that section of the original document, which has been dutifully preserved by the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine. As the Verge noted, that last line in the quote above (emphasis ours) was a big sticking point for some frustrated artists, who took to social media to ding Apple for the terms, critiquing its vast wealth and, more broadly, the industry-wide practice of requesting free work in exchange for exposure.

And then that paragraph changed. The updated document reads:

Likewise, Apple has updated the end of its press release for the contest with a rather important line:

Apple believes strongly that artists should be compensated for their work. Photographers who shoot the final 10 winning photos will receive a licensing fee for use of such photos on billboards and other Apple marketing channels.

It still remains unclear just how much winners will receive from these licensing fees. One artist, who criticised the terms on Twitter, suggested that a $10,000 (£7,589) prize would be a good place to start.

Gizmodo reached out to Apple today for comment on whether it originally intended to compensate the winners. The company declined to comment publicly on the matter. [MacRumors, Verge]

Featured image: Alex Cranz (Gizmodo)