Editor vs. Photographer

- - Just Plain Dumb

thx, Tim.

There Are 34 Comments On This Article.

  1. “Walnut Creek Gazette” Are you sure it wasn’t the “Martinez News Gazette” or “Diablo Magazine” ?

  2. Somethings don’t change. This could have been 20 years ago, thank goodness there are still wonderful photo editors in the business .
    Lets not lose site of that!

  3. I luv the irony the xranormal site video dialogue..

    “To make an animated movie you needed a lot of computers and this”

    Pointing over his shoulder to a chart of a hundred or so people.

  4. How soon until some creative at one of the agencies comes up with the idea to do a National Spot using XtraNormal? 8-0

    No animators, no voice actors … how good is that. 8-]

  5. scott Rex Ely

    I believe The Kübler-Ross grief cycle explains this perfectly.

    “The initial state before the cycle is received is stable, at least in terms of the subsequent reaction on hearing the bad news. Compared with the ups and downs to come, even if there is some variation, this is indeed a stable state.
    And then, into the calm of this relative paradise, a bombshell bursts…

    Shock stage: Initial paralysis at hearing the bad news.

    Denial stage: Trying to avoid the inevitable.

    Anger stage: Frustrated outpouring of bottled-up emotion.

    Bargaining stage: Seeking in vain for a way out.

    Depression stage: Final realization of the inevitable.

    Testing stage: Seeking realistic solutions.

    Acceptance stage: Finally finding the way forward.”

    reference: http://changingminds.org/disciplines/change_management/kubler_ross/kubler_ross.htm

  6. The gist seems to be that it isn’t worth it to do this for this no name magazine. But what about the photographer that is dumb enough to waste his time cold calling and promoting to that no name magazine, then feels a sense of shock to find out that the budget isn’t there when we all know that budgets are crumbling everywhere.

    Personally, I think that the larger publications pulling this crap is the problem. They have the budget but they also have the leverage to get people to stab each other in the back.

    As a young photographer, I see nothing but opportunity in the industry, mostly because so many people are losing faith. Negativity corrupts everything it touches.

  7. This is definitely spot-on and very, very sad.

    I do have one question: In a follow up to one of my recent email promos, I spoke on the phone with one of the editors for a national music magazine. She mentioned that they do not have a budget for photography and wanted to know if I was still interested. I said to feel free to contact me when things come up and we’ll take it from there. I didn’t say yes or no.

    I took a further look into the photo credits of a few of their past issues, and there are established, talented photographers that shoot regularly for this particular publication who also shoot for larger magazines and the big-name record labels. Surely they aren’t shooting multiple features per issue for this magazine for free, are they?

    My question is this: What is going on here? Is this magazine shying away from paying capable, emerging photographers and giving that money to the more established shooters? Or is it true that no one is getting paid? I find it hard to believe that a magazine that relies so much on its visual aesthetic, places no value in its photography.

    Sub-question: Since this is a national magazine and the exposure is great, would I be an idiot if I a shot a few jobs for free and then said, “OK now that you know I can consistently produce, I’ll need to be compensated if we are to continue to work together.” OR am I without a leg to stand on at that point- the whole ‘why buy the cow’ philosophy?


    • It’s very likely that they are spending the budget on established shooters and trying to get emerging photographers for free. In my experience none of the big guys shoot for free or even for the standard rate because they can walk away from the deal if they want. If they ever do a shoot at a loss then they’re shooting for their portfolio and good luck telling them what the picture should look like.

      I think everyone agrees that shooting shitty front of book shots for free will only get you more jobs shooting shitty front of book shots for free.

      • @A Photo Editor,

        Thanks for your reply. I suppose it’s no harm following up with them, keeping my name on their radar and simply passing on the pro-bono gigs.


    • @E.S.,

      It could also be that the bigger magazines hired the established shooters first and the outtake from these shoots are being sold or given to the smaller magazines. Thus the photographer did get paid originally and might now be doing it for credit or a very small stock rate. Or the small magazine might offer the established shooter access to a celebrity/talent they could not have gotten on their own and then they sell the out takes to the bigger magazines for a stock fee.

  8. Another day, another bitching little cartoon about how foolish us photographers can be, and how this job would be great if it wasn’t for the f’ing clients.

    To all those that think this is ‘spot on’, the publication title in the movie kinda ruins it.
    If it were some hot Euro fashion quarterly with an $18 cover price and top-tier advertising throughout, we might be getting closer to the mark.

    It works like this, you see;
    1. Budding Stylist starts off as a wardrobe assistant at Condé Nast / Hearst / IPC Publishing and earns her stripes making tea and all that other crap you saw on The Devil Wears Prada.
    2. Starts styling for their top titles, and mixing with all the hot Photographers.
    3. Starts shooting no-budget, high-cachet Editorial for i-D / Dazed & Confused / Self Service / Wonderland, showcasing her favourite Designers in epic stories.
    4. Gets her first big Advertising job, some money finally begins to roll in.
    5. Repeat 3 & 4, for a few years.
    6. Stylist begins to get offers from Marc Jacobs / Gucci / Lanvin to become Creative Director. Accepts offer, becomes one of the more powerful fashon figures on earth.
    7. Starts thinking about setting up own magazine, what with her having the ultimate Fashion rolodex and all.
    8. Her new Magazine launches, all the Designers that she has spent most of her professional life trying to expose through Editorial rush to advertise in the Magazine. Naturally, she takes her favourite and most loyal Photographers with her.
    They’re happy to cover their own costs and shoot for no fee, because the creative direction of the magazine is so strong, and the connections within it are so powerful.
    The Photographers get to work with their favourite Stylists, and run riot over 16-20 pages, and the work be seen by every single Advertiser in that magazine. Fashion Photographer often consider these as partly personal projects, and it’s not uncommon for them to pour upwards of $20,000 of their own money into one story.

    So if you cold-call this Magazine as a newbie, what’s your response to finding out that they have no budget for you?

    • @Neil, you forgot step 9: She files for bankruptcy when her little bubble is shattered after she sees that advertising revenues have plummeted (see death of print) and she should have been evolving instead of repeating steps 1 through 8.

      • @P.O.P.,
        Funny, I don’t think Katie Grand would agree with you.
        Nor would Sophia Neophitou, or any of the A-list fashion photographers that contribute to 10, Pop and Love magazines.
        These guys aren’t sitting at home working out how to use Xtranormal, or whinge about low fees – they’re out there shooting the best Editorial, the top Ads, and half of them are still shooting Film.
        If pissing one’s life away in front of an Eizo is ‘evolution’, then you’re welcome to it.

        Trying to rationalise Fashion photography is foolish. It doesn’t work in the same way as other sectors, and hopefully never will.