AP Photojournalism is Starting its Own NFT Marketplace

AP Photojournalism is Starting its Own NFT Marketplace

by Julian Lopez-Acosta
It wouldn't be out of place to put photography and NFTs together. It's almost like they're a perfect match for each other—both are a digital means to artistic or creative skill, and both can sell for upwards of thousands, if not millions of dollars, with copyright as a pillar of their integrity.
Associated press and Xooa logos

So it should be no surprise that photojournalism is starting its own NFT marketplace. I mean, what I’m really talking about is that The Associated Press (known as AP), one of the founding fathers of American photojournalism, is starting its own NFT marketplace to broaden its appeal to photographers, journalists, and collectors alike.

In this article, we’ll dive deep into AP’s approach to a photojournalism-centred NFT marketplace and other marketplaces with a similar design and construct.

Is there a marketplace for NFT photography?

But before we get into the nitty-gritty, is there a market for NFT photography?

The answer is yes, there are hundreds of thousands of people who want to buy NFT photography. Just look at OpenSea—an entire category is dedicated to photography.

You have prominent organizations and photographers like Jamie Johnson, The British Journal of Photography, Platon, and many more converting their digital masterpieces into NFTs. As more and more photojournalists and photographers realize the potential of photography NFTs, the market will thrive.

What are the benefits of NFT photography?

As you’re probably wondering: why would anyone want to buy photography NFTs? I used to be in the same place as you—AP photojournalism is starting its own NFT marketplace… but why?

There are several pros to NFT photography. Benefits include:

  • A certificate of authenticity for the photograph, posted on a public blockchain
  • Exposure to a growing audience of NFT and photography aficionados
  • Increased revenue for photographers through royalties
  • Photographers can set the scarcity of their works
  • Photographers can set the terms of usage of their copyrighted material
  • Increased support and infrastructure for NFTs (Instagram adding NFT verifiability, for example)

And the list goes on and on. Again, it’s a match made in heaven.

But the real pro of NFT photography is the copyright token you get for registering it on a blockchain as an NFT. In current (and older) times, once you register your photograph, you receive a token from the US copyright office. This token establishes the picture’s authenticity, including all of the details you can verify with the government.

But this is often a long and tedious process, and not everyone knows how to do it. Also, the whole purpose of blockchain is to eliminate the need for an intermediary like the government, from the verification of copyrighted material to transactions.

So let’s say you set your photograph as an NFT. Now you can quickly go on a blockchain explorer like Etherscan or go directly to the NFT marketplace it’s being sold on to check the details of the image. No need to check the US copyright office.

Associated Press photojournalism is starting its own NFT marketplace

So naturally, a behemoth like AP has been hiding in the shadows, watching other photojournalism organizations try their hand at NFTs.

And they’ve been more than content with the results. In partnership with web3 company Xooa, a blockchain leader for NFT marketplaces, projects, and brands, they’ll be building their own NFT marketplace to:

offer… tokenized pieces to a fast-growing global audience of photography NFT collectors.

Associated Press – January 10, 2022

The marketplace is set to launch on January 31, 2023, with an initial collection consisting of a realm of Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalistic pieces from war to space. Proceeds will fund journalists’ endeavours, and it will all be built on the Polygon chain, an environmentally-friendly alternative to its bigger brother Ethereum. 

Since AP photojournalism is starting its own NFT marketplace, a question arises: will it be accessible to collectors with no background in crypto? Let’s be honest; crypto can be confusing for newcomers

An organization like AP wouldn’t just release an NFT marketplace without thinking about this—you can pay through credit card or ETH. If you have a MetaMask account, the king of cryptocurrency wallets, you’ll also be able to connect to the platform and pay through there.

Where can I buy NFTs for photography?

As I said in the section above, AP has been watching the photography NFT space from a distance. Others have taken on the dubious task of photography NFT marketplaces.

If you’d like to buy NFTs for photography, take a look at these platforms:

  • OpenSea
  • Quantum Art
  • Foundation
  • SuperRare
  • Rarible
  • Nifty Gateway
  • Obscura
  • Ephimera
  • Tux Art
  • Unique One Photo
  • Known Origin

What is the best NFT platform for photographers?

This is a highly debated topic, as there are numerous photojournalistic NFT platforms, and all target different wants and needs. For example, Ephimera is a niche platform for those interested in movies or short films. On the other hand, Quantum Art is the most popular NFT photography marketplace, but creators are limited, and you have to fill out an application.

So to be honest with you, the best NFT platform for photographers is OpenSea, especially if you’re starting with photography or NFTs.

OpenSea has the most extensive user base, the most views, and it has a category dedicated to photography. So if you want to build a reputation in the NFT photography world, I highly recommend you start there.


All in all, NFT photography continues to flourish. Reputable photographers have uploaded their works as NFTs on various marketplaces, and many are finding they can make a living off this new technology. 

Here are some statistics to show you what I mean:

  • Justin Aversano’s Twin Flames #49. Alyson and Courtney Aliano sold for 871 ETH, or USD 2.4 million.
  • The landscape photographer made an average of USD 5,000 in one year by selling their photographs as NFTs.
  • The NFT photography market reached USD 200 million in 2021.

It goes without saying that you should try your hand at NFT photography if you’re a professional (or amateur) wanting to expand your income streams.

So give it a shot! With AP building an NFT marketplace specifically for its photojournalists, I guarantee there will be more eyes on this new market.