Your disability photos can make you $Feb 04 06:33
Why let your photos sit on your hard drive when they can make you money? A new photo site is aiming to do just that. PhotoAbility is a stock imagery site searching for the best in disability images, and there's no other site like it out there. It's founded by Deborah Davis (a really nice gal), an incomplete C7 quad from Florida.
The concept behind how the site works is simple: Submit a photo (they're looking for all kinds of disability images), if it's approved, they'll add it to their archive. Once a reputable business or advertiser is interested in using your image (for advertising or marketing materials; online too), they'll buy the rights from PhotoAbility, and you receive a 30% cut. Not too shabby for something that would otherwise not be sitting there collecting dust, right?
I really think this concept is cool. I have a handful of images from my 19+ years of being paralyzed that could definitely have a higher purpose, and I love the site's goal, which is to put positive imagery into the world (vs the negative stuff we see so often). How many times have you seen a sad picture of a so-called disabled person used in some mainstream ad? This definitely needs to change.
Their photo categories include Travel, Creative Images, Equipment, Illustrations, Editorial, Accessible Infrastructure, Leisure, Lifestyle and their Special Interest category, which includes photos of weddings/romance (some really cute ones here), golf, accessible sailing, snow sports, fishing and wheelchair skating. And there's a video section.
And if you've thought about modeling, this site is one of the few US-based modeling agencies that represents models with disabilities. If you check out their site, they're currently representing 17 models (including faces like Rachelle Chapman). If you're interested, you can submit a photo to their "Win a photoshoot" contest or you can submit it to their Photo Library.
Any photographers out there interested in helping them out or being involved, they'd love to hear from you too. They'll pay you to take photos (Deborah would love to have photogs in cities all over the country involved) if there are models in your city they're interested in.
In the meantime, try adding some images to the site (and how old your photos are don't matter). I can't think of a better way to make money by not lifting a finger (if you don't mind putting yourself out there of course). And if you can help mainstream ads become more representative of us in the process, even better.
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Tiffiny Carlson is freelance writer and writes the “SCI Life” column for New Mobility. She's also a C6 quad from a diving accident that occurred when she was 14 years old. A lifelong resident of Minneapolis, Tiffiny has been a writer in the disability community for over 10 years and writes for several publications and blogs, as well as her personal blog BeautyAbility. Her work has also appeared in mainstream publications such as Nerve.com and Playgirl.