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Chicago Sun-Times Freelance Photography Pay

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by RT_Panther, Jun 26, 2013.

  1. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    SoCal
    Guess I'm keeping my day job.
     
  2. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Texas
    Yes, those were really some "interesting" rates...
     
  3. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Chris
    I guess thats what happens when every one with a camera is a photographer and everyone with photoshop in its computer is a designer. and if it has a camera and photoshop could be an art director....oh wait!. :eek:

    I guess ill keep my day job as well. :tongue:
     
  4. mister_roboto

    mister_roboto Mu-43 Top Veteran

    637
    Jun 14, 2011
    Seattle, WA, USA
    Dennis
    Well that's depressing.

    Although- they are a newspaper, so it's more indicative of their business than the business of photographers.
     
  5. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    Well then. Ouch.

    I guess when your main qualifier on video is that it be horizontal (you know, with the lens in the top left corner while filming), you're probably not courting pro quality.
     
  6. Crdome

    Crdome Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 11, 2011
    West Central Indiana
    Chrome
    I wish my iPhone had an arrow pointing up in the video mode. Then I could shoot for the big bucks too
     
  7. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    It appears that not only is the media industry attempting to take economic advantage of photographers to their maximum ability, but it looks like some photographers are getting in on the act as well. Read the comments on this blog post, and if they are correct, it seems like everybody wants something for nothing these days, even photographers who run, or are involved with, contests: Vogue/Condé Nast Contest Attempts To Secure Free Images For Unlimited Use . As one person stated in their comment, it's "the economy of fame". My friend used to say that the way to make money in real estate was to put on seminars about how to make money in real estate. This seems like a variation on that philosophy. It may be legal, but that does not mean that it is the right thing to do.

    --Ken
     
  8. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    SoCal
    To be fair, those were little community papers, probably weekly's with little circulation or controlled circulation (throw-aways). I took a quick look at "About Us" on one of the papers and there was no mention of circulation or how often they published. This may seem like a disregard for news "art" (photographs), and yes it is, but most community newspapers never had a budget for serious photography.

    These papers are not the big metro Chicago Sun-Times who were union and paid their photogs ... mmmmhhh ... taking a stab here ... somewhere between $60,000 and $90,000, depending on time on job.

    Those are payments to 'stringers', kids in school and wannabees. Gives them a chance to work on their 'stringbook', get some experience and the paper gets free images. Back in the golden era of newspapers most/many community papers would have at least one full-time photog on staff and a handful of 'stringers' and/or a part-timer or two.

    Gary
     
  9. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
  10. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    SoCal
    Dunno what's-up at the Sun-Times but it looks as if it was a bit of a protest by the Editor(s). Looking at a comparison of the 'covers' between the Tribune and the Sun-Times and it is a night and day difference, one paper put together by professionals following journalistic "rules" and the other by a bunch of high schoolers being instructed by the accounting department on how to lay-out a paper.

    Sadly, if one is to successfully evolve, it must be to evolve to a better niche/environment ... the Sun-Times is evolving but remains in the same mature market.

    Gary
     
  11. battleaxe

    battleaxe Mu-43 Top Veteran

  12. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Chris
    that is just sad :help: . I just admire the ego a company CEO, Editor can have that even KNOWING their mistake, they go indifferent.

    To say "im sorry, this was a mistake let's fix it" is one of those things that could really save the world. But it wont. 'cause everyone is too busy trying to save a couple of bucks.

    but then...what do i know...right?. :grouphug:
     
  13. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    SoCal
    The fix isn't easy. It is all economic/revenue driven. Times, they are a changin', the old model for newspapers ain't workin' no more ... so instead of adapting and finding a path to make money in a different way ... with the resources and talent they have ... they're slashing ... nobody makes money long-term by slashing.

    Unless, (the flip-side), slashing will keep the ship afloat long enough for real evolution to occur at the Sun-Times. Slashing could be the beginning of union-busting ... or this slashing and arming reporters with iPhones IS the wave of the future, (ala Instagram/facebook), where the written word is King, (ala Twitter/Texting/bloggers) ... maybe all of us who appreciate good photography, all of us with our fancy mirrorless cameras and gigabit devouring photosites ... maybe it is all of us that aren't seeing tomorrow as clearly as the Sun-Times ...

    Gary
     
  14. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Chris
    You might be right Gary, we may be the ones not seeing the future. I believe that every person in this planet might have a camera or access to one, but there is less "photo stories" as we know them.

    Ask any "instagram-facebook" photographer if they even remember any photo they "liked" a day or two ago. But at the same time they might well remember some Steve Mccurry's work from the 90s. - Im going to the extremes here, i know, but bare with me till i get to my point - Im not a professional photographer, Im an amateur because i dont get paid to take photos, i didnt went to school to study photography, but i did for advertising and for me, design and photography go by hand, i rather call myself an "image maker" than a designer or photographer. I make images to tell stories, or that is what i aspire to.

    In nowadays society, instagram-facebook, the only thing is doing, is cultivating the "culture of immediate". "I need that!, now!, not tomorrow, not later, now!. Then is gone" or "that is so last week man, get over it", and so on.
    A photo of your lunch, even if its on a good angle, and with good light, doesn't make you a photographer. So lets not confuse that thin line in between the act of pressing the shutter, than pressing the shutter to "say something". And that is what i believe is happening here. They (media) are confusing photography, with "people passing by an accident with a phone and could get a snap that i could immediately upload to the newspaper" But, this is where it gets interesting to me, is it more news to say "John Doe sent us this image of a riot starting in downtown...will expand later" or get a photographer and journalist couple of hours later and do a cover news like the one posted here. Who gets more impact?. Whats the revenue? There's a saying in spanish not sure in english, but it says "Pan para hoy, hambre para mañana" which its literate translation would be "bread for today, hunger for tomorrow". Yes you slashed some cost, but you're not making more money.

    Photojournalists had a mission, to inform the people, to show what was happening, to write stories. You know that better than any of us here. You needed "that" shot. Which not only would give you the privilege of get published by your editor, it gave you the chance to go into private exhibitions, world press photo, awards, make books, etc. Same thing applies to a bunch of creative industries in crisis. i.e. Music. but thats another story.

    hope i made sense.
     
  15. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    SoCal
    Complete sense ... unless the paper is union-busting ... it doesn't make any journalistic sense. You need a ton of years in the biz and/or a college degree to work for a metro newspaper as a photog because metro newspapers place a higher regard on your journalistic skills than your photographic skills. There is nobody out there at a fire, or a shootout, a press conference, et cetera, telling you where the story is or what the story is about ... the photog has to figure that out. For features you're handed a finished story and then told to provide art. The photog has to read the story, figure out a good angle on the story, make the phone calls to set up the photos ... it isn't just about pressing the button.

    Again, just trying to figure out the Sun-Times ... maybe they have decided that it would make economic sense to just give the masses what they want ... and to hell with journalism, accuracy, double/triple checking sources, research, making sure the image hasn't been "photoshopped", pride of doing a good job ...

    Welcome to Insta-Times where the news isn't accurate or interesting, but it's Now!, no waiting for the facts and it makes up a lot of money by letting you write the headlines and take the photos.

    Gary
     
  16. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    You both bring up some good points - here's what I think about the "immediacy/forgettability" aspect Chris was describing:

    Images are more forgettable now for three reasons:

    1) They're so ubiquitous. Digital delivery and the Internet put millions of stunning photographs at our fingertips. Before, you had to at *least* go find a photo collection book or visit an exhibit whereas now you can google up world class images of anything.

    2) Without quality photographers behind the shutter, they're not memorable images to begin with. Think of the most iconic news photos in the last several decades. It's both being in the right place at the right time, and knowing what to do with it. I think Chris is right that they're confusing the "anyone can be there to get a picture on the spot" with getting a compelling picture of a newsworthy event.

    3) They're not associated with stories. Again, any of the photographs that I think of as memorable enough to stick in my mind days/months/years later, I can also tell you the story behind them. Whether it's the Selma protestors, a child running from napalm in Vietnam, or a couple kissing in the midst of the Toronto riots, I remember them because it's not merely a powerful image, but a powerful image with a powerful story. Combining those two together is what uniquely separates photojournalism from both straight journalism and from photography, in my opinion.

    How to monetize any of this when people are so used to the culture of "now" is a much harder question, and I don't know the answer. I do know that discarding traditional photojournalism because it's cheaper to give everyone an iPhone is throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
     
  17. robbie36

    robbie36 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2010
    Bangkok
    rob collins
    You raise a good point. Actually the real question is not so much 'do people prefer decent photography?' and 'do people prefer decent journalism' but 'Are people actually prepared to pay for it?' when there are 'blogs' all over the internet for free. Maybe they are not.

    The problem for the Chicago Sun is that the 'only' chance they have for survival as a newspaper is to offer a 'quality product' and hope people pay for it. If all they offer is a 'glorified blog' we all know that we can get that for free.

    I am not sure there is much hope for newspapers though. Readership is very high in London but that is because there is no internet on the Tube. Once there is internet everywhere and everybody has an ipad equivalent, I think that will be the end.
     
  18. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Chris
    well that is why, "people with iphones"-graphers CANT and WONT be photojournalists. because like you said "it isnt just about pressing the button."

    Why would you mind to check out facts, even with delicate news such as Nelson Mandelas delicate health status currently going.

    Dutch City Council Erroneously Pronounces Nelson Mandela Dead

    oh well... after all this, I hardly think we are the wrong ones. Maybe we are not right either, but we are definitely not as wrong as them.

    on the same but different subject, this could also apply at why camera manufacturers deliver new camera model every 3 months. Its about now, not tomorrow. Remember in the 80's Olympus or even Canikon would advertise their cameras like "built to last a lifetime" nowadays hopefully they will last a year. In fact, im camera-less, 6 days before my warranty expired my OMD started acting up. its been a week since is back at the repair service.

    [​IMG]

    5851279263_00634ccbb6_z.jpg
    Olympus OM-1 35mm camera ad by tartlime, on Flickr
     
  19. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Chris
    You brought up something key here Rob. you said

    When was people not "prepared" to pay for journalism. Mom and Dad wouldn't even question about reading the newspaper, specially during saturday and sunday mornings. It was a must. When did we the new "young" not prepared for journalism. Yes media its been quite politicized lately about "controlling" information. And its true, but that doesn't mean that John or Jane Doe.blogspot.com its the "real" news either. sure it brings a new perspective in the game but that doesn't mean quality. Sure internet brought "free" to the masses. But people is confusing "free" with "quality". Sure theres a lot of free quality as any exception to any rule in this planet, but that doesn't mean that a man with white apron is a doctor. and hopefully is not.

    Thats good though, cause at the same time is making people "read" not because we are all staring our cellphones 25/7 means were are actually "taking the time to read". Even if there's internet everywhere, as it will be in the next few years, that doesnt mean that the newspaper needs to slash their team of professionals. The problem with internet for this huge companies, is that they still cant figure it out how to "sell" a product. They knew with the physical newspaper, they cant with an ipad. but thats because they overcomplicate things. but thats a personal opinion. anyway. nice discussion. :drinks: