Monday, July 14, 2008

Photographers

An interesting e-mail overnight from Louis Flood (senior) on the issue of staff people taking pictures and allegedly doing freelance photographers out of fee.
Louis, a long standing Perth-based freelance, has very definitive views on this in that reporters should stick to writing and photographers to taking pictures.
I would, however, venture the stance while acceptable at one time no longer cuts ice as employers want ever more out of employees as they attempt to cut freelance budgets and ensure ever higher returns from their publications. Some agri hacks are these days doing pod casts and taking moving pictures. Even the dear old BBC has staff in some of its remoter outposts doing their own pictures.
Louis has e-mailed his views in response to the Guild survey which shows a desire among photographers for the photographic award to be reinstigated.
His views are distinct so here is the edited version. Responses most welcome, click on the comment button


Thanks Joe, I have to ask what sort of person is concerned with awards? Tha fact that staff men are the usual winners is probably because they have a helluva lot more time to set up and produce pretty pictures than the run of the mill working freelance who has to try to find pics to satisfy a market that's completely unpredictable ... 'know what I mean'?
Rather than trying to encourage competitions, you'd be helping Guild photographers much more by encouraging editors to employ photographers to take photos and having reporters to stick to their stories... it doesn't work the other way round.... look at the pages of reporters offering pics in OUR year book. You may say 'why don't you try writing ? But if editors won't use our pictures, it's most unlikely they're going to use our stories!
It would be interesting to float this to the membership and see the response.

Well Louis, said view is now floated.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well, if you can stories to your pictures and give an editor a complete article without them having to do additional research etc, you are MORE likely to get articles / pictures published, from my experiance. If you can come up with the idea yourself in the first place, even better! As for competitions...it could also be argued that Freelances HAVE to take better photos than staffers to remain competitive and ahead of the competition, as at least staffers have a wage packet whereas us poor freelances have to be published to put bread on the table. I'm freelance and have won the guild competition (when they had one before everyone became a photographer with thier digi cam!). You can only get prizes if you enter. No point complaining and not entering!

tim relf said...

Journalism is changing. Irrespective of what individual journalists/photographers might think, it's inevitable that people are going to respond to (in the case of freelancers) their market, or (in the case of staffers) their company policy.
Magazines and papers want "packages" of content now - words, pictures, videos... That's where we're at and that's what, like it or not, will increasingly happen...

Wendy Short said...

I would like to respond to Louis Flood's comment to the Guild that:
"Rather than trying to encourage competitions, you'd be helping Guild photographers much more by encouraging editors to employ photographers to take photos and having reporters to stick to their stories."
I would be interested to know exactly how Mr Flood thinks that the Guild, or any other organisation or person for that matter, can encourage editors to employ more photographers.
As someone who started off writing and added photography to my services due my need to pay household bills, I would be happy to return to the old days, and be accompanied by a photographer on every job. Sadly, that is never going to happen and in my opinion, it is unrealistic to suggest otherwise.