Cake
  • Log In
  • Sign Up
    • tomstar3000

      I don't meet too many photographers where I live. It's a small town, and the ones that are here are a tight clique.

      However, I met a local J-School student at the University of Oregon. We talked about the work we do, we discussed the finer points of photojournalism, editorial, and commercial photography, and the general state-of-the-photo-industry stuff.

      I felt a certain amount of know-it-all-ism coming from him.

      This guy actually said to me, "so, basically you sellout to the highest bidder." So matter-of-factly. I didn't know how to respond.

      I've known a few AP photographers over the years, they never seemed that arrogant.

      I'm wondering if this is a new skill they're teaching students these days. How do you respond to that?

    • Chris
      Chris MacAskill

      It's funny, I cofounded SmugMug (which bought Flickr) and was there >13 years without getting to know photojournalists. They fascinated me and I admired them, but I just didn't get to meet them.

      I've been talking a little to Carol Guzy, who has won 4 Pulitzer Prizes as a photojournalist and she seems like one of the most wonderful people you could ever meet.

      On the other hand, I watched Shot In The Dark, the Netflix series on independent video journalists in LA. They were all about selling to the highest bidder.

    • tomstar3000

      Yes that is a good point. I was talking to George Neare a freelance photojournalist, he would often fund his own trips to northern Africa, and then try to sell his images... Thanks.

    • wx

      I'm not getting something, @tomstar3000. What was the student referring to? Freelance news photography/video? Running a studio?

      If it's freelance, what alternative did he believe was superior? And what moral obligation did he think a photog/videographer has in terms of making his or her work available?

      I feel like I'm missing the point, here.

      (For reference, I worked in TV news/documentary production and hired freelancers shooters.)

    • tomstar3000

      He was claiming that journalism was pure. If you weren't chasing truth and honesty with your imagery, still or moving then you are a sell out.

    • wx

      Hmm. My first reaction is that he's naive. What is truth? We think we know. But any kind of editorial decision -- and news coverage is born of editorial decisions -- involves judgment and viewpoint.

      I have a sense that whatever he himself is feeling at the time will become truth in his mind. If he executes his vision with passion, it might produce fine work. But it will be his truth. Not objective truth (which is a highly elusive and sometimes unavailable thing.)

      My second reaction is that he's going to want somebody to pay him for pursuing truth and honesty. And that person is likely to have commercial reasons for some of the things he or she demands of him.

      I wonder if he'll enjoy his work and prosper, or become disillusioned and bitter, as he pursues a career in photo journalism.

    • tomstar3000

      exactly! The worst part is he has a very "up front" personality. I don't see him lasting long.
      He showed me some of his work that received high praise. Meh.

      He looked at me like I was crazy when I told him that t-stops and f-stops were different too.
      We chatted for about an hour and it was a long hour, but I figured if wanted to ask me questions, I'd answer them. I've left a lot out about my hour with this kid. He spent most of the hour finding ways to belittle the commercial profession.

      I've met so many young photographers with huge egos, but I've never come across someone that was willing to insult me to my face because I choose to shoot commercial work.

      I hope I never see him again, but he hangs out at my favorite pub. ugh.

    • wx

      Today I learned about T-stops. lol I wonder if he went back and educated himself?

      I think young people in general can be prone to know-it-allism. I'm sure I was. I see it in other forums. Real life -- which is humbling -- beats it out of most of us eventually.

    • tomstar3000

      I will never forget the moment when I realized everybody I knew was lying about how talented I was. I was devastated. I put the camera down for years..
      When i went back in 97 I embraced my ignorance and learned how to know that I didn't know something.
      I have found a lot of young photographers shun technical knowledge because they think that it stiffels creativity. Not understanding technical technique is actually what's holding them back.

    You've been invited!