working class hero
I dont know if this is the right sub forum to post this, but I didn´t find any other.
I would like to know a few photographer´s experiences in finding jobs. Im no professional but I think I have what it takes to work in the documentary area, for any kind of publication (papers, magazines, inet). What are the steps ethicly speaking, for introducing yourself in the working circle? I mean what should I do in the first place?
Hmmm. Making money at photography - what a pleasant thought.
I guess my first suggestion would be to contact the newspapers and other short-cycle publishers in your area to see what their needs are. Few magazines have actual staff photographers, and the business models of short-cycle, specialist magazines (the "Your City" types of magazines) will likely vary between geographic areas. Then, decide whether you want to or need to move to a different area based on photo-related employment possibilities.
I think you'll find, however, that the old-style documentary/photojournalism market is largely dead. There was a recent thread here about volunteer documentary photography that you might find interesting.
[COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]
Rio Rancho, NM
Originally Posted by rbarker
If you want to break into the field of photojournalism, try this Japanese magazine. Its annual photo competition is open for anyone with a body of work, and that's just an opportunity to start.
The bottom line is to come up with the reportage first and sell it later, not the other way around.
This was the recent thread started by another fellow.
I see, I see. Well thanks a lot for your comments. Im really sad about this conception of photojournalism being dead and all. Its not at all what I think, I mean, probably it was like that 10 years ago, but now its imperative to bring it to life once more.
There´s some much going on and so many people misinformed.
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When I was in university, beside taking pics for my university's two papers, I took pics for local community rags. These were usually non-profit small circulation papers and it was all voluntary. They supplied film sometimes and maybe even paid for a luch or two. I didn't care for the money so much as the experience and the practice.
I then did some freelance work for the city paper. To get that job, I had to submit pics in the hope one would get published. I submitted a pic of man pinned under a car during a water main break. The car was swept by the water and trapped this poor guy. Several people were already at the scene trying unpin the guy and the fire truck was about 200 feet away by the time I came across the incident. I had my trusty Pentax with me and snapped away, since there was absolutely nothing else I could have done. Rushed to the darkroom and then rushed to the paper with prints in hand. I think I made $25 for those pics.
A friend who works in the editing department of Conde Nast tell me today, you have to either team up with a writer or do some writing yourself and come up with a theme. Have the pics and the story for submission and hope it gets picked up.
There is more need than ever, but the social NEED does not create a market.
Originally Posted by blow
It was the 'media business' that drove the profession into extinction. What is left is a niche. How you mine that sliver of a vein is up to you.
You aren't alone. Where do you reside ?
"One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"
If you can fly to LA next month, there's a seminar coming up, featuring the members of VII photo agency. I think these photographers are a little too privileged today to be your "working-class heros", but it's still an opportunity to meet them in person anyway. Or you might have to find a simlar event in your area and attend it with your portfolio.
But the thing is, you could make good connections with people, but that might not be leading you to any employment opportunity right away. So, if you really have to do something right now, have your work ready and contact the places you want to reach. If you have to start from scratch, then grab a camera and hit the road.
you might consider getting 10-15 of your strongest photographs in a portfolio and going to the publications near where you live. i worked as a staffer for a local business newspaper for about 3 years. the money is about as pathetic as you can imagine, BUT on every job you meet a potential client.
it is a tough market to break into, so as charlotte the pig said "chin-up"
I think we are haunted by a romantic vision of the "photojournalist." The now long dead picture weeklies, Life, Look, Saturday Evening Post, Colliers, etc. are gone and they're not coming back. The thing about them was that *everyone,* from blue collar workers to society's elite, subscribed. They were a ubiquitous common currency of most of the population of the US. Also, they stayed around the house for at least a week, and most often a lot longer than that. What a venue for the photo-essay! Nothing like it exists today. The internet is too vast and it's hard to imagine that any single site will ever approaching having the number of viewers of the picture weeklies. Even if it did the website visit would be brief compared to looking at a magazine and then later picking it up and flipping through it again. The market for books is primarily an art market. So, of course, are gallery and museum walls. So what's left? I can't think of anything that even remotely qualifies as an outlet for potentially effective, socially conscious photojournalism.