Why Newspapers Should Never Do a Metered Paywall

- - Blog News

Virtually every letter to readers justifying a paywall and industry quote from publishers talk about The New York Times metered model.  When you have 33 million unique monthly visitors and high value content that model almost works.  The Times has been very vocal about saying that it is a holistic digital strategy that focuses on all their digital platforms.  Even at 390,000 digital subscribers they understand that they have a way to go to close the revenue gap and create a sustainable business model.  I’ve been in meetings where NYT executives caution that what works for The Times rarely works anywhere else.

via Paid Content StrategiesPaid Content Strategies.

The Daily Edit – Friday

- - The Daily Edit

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Creative Director, Print and Digital Media: John Korpics
Senior Director, Photography: Karen Frank
Art Directors: ­ Mike Leister, Marne Mayer, John Yun
Senior Deputy Photo Editor: ­ Nancy Weisman
Deputy Photo Editor: ­ Jim Surber
Senior Photo Editor: ­ Kristine LaManna

Photographer: John Huet

Note: Content for The Daily Edit is found on the newsstands. Submissions are not accepted


Still Images In Great Advertising- Cade Martin

Still Images In Great Advertising, is a column where Suzanne Sease discovers great advertising images and then speaks with the photographers about it.

Cade Martin has been a long time client of mine (full disclosure) and I have seen incredible growth in his work.  When we first worked together, I asked him to include an amazing series on Mexican farm workers as his personal work.  This body of work got the attention of Pum Lefebure of Design Army.  She is the inspiration behind the Washington Ballet campaign, which resulted in this work for Neenah Paper. Cade’s work was recently on the call for entries to The One Show which was sent to every creative person in the industry. How is that for free advertising?

Suzanne:  These images have a great style to them, how did you create them?  What was the concept behind these images and how were you a part of the creative process?

Cade: The project was for Neenah Paper and it was basically a redesign and relaunch of their Classic Papers Brands.  We were asked to create imagery for a series of paper swatch books that would each showcase a different product. As far as approach, we pretty much had creative freedom. The only thing we knew we wanted was to find locations that had textures that would marry well with the surfaces of each of books. As all of our projects, it was a collaborative process where we had meetings, conference calls & mood boards.  I scouted locations and sketches were created off places we liked.  We had a great team of stylists & crew but I  was pretty much left alone as far as the overall look & feel of the images.

Suzanne:  The beauty of a campaign like this for a paper company is they are sending your images out as a direct mailer.  What kind of increase in attention to work have you seen?

Cade: One of the great things about this campaign is that it’s targeting creatives – art directors and creative directors – who are the people who use Neenah Paper for the most part.  The swatch books don’t ever seem to be thrown out and are held onto as reference material so the visibility seems to be large as well as long term.


Note: Content for Still Images In Great Advertising is found. Submissions are not accepted.

Cade Martin is an award-winning photographer for advertising, corporate, and fashion clients worldwide who specializes in people and location photography. He is represented by Greenhouse Reps in the US.

APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s, after founding the art buying department at The Martin Agency then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies.


The Daily Edit – Thursday

- - The Daily Edit

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Design Director: Fred Woodward
Creative Director: Jim Moore
Photography Director: Dora Somosi
Art Director: Thomas Alberty
Senior Photo Editor: Krista Prestek

Photographer: Christian Anwander

Note: Content for The Daily Edit is found on the newsstands. Submissions are not accepted

Skechers Sketchy Defense For Ignoring License Terms

- - copyright

A case in which photographer Richard Reinsdorf files a federal lawsuit against Skechers to the tune of 250 millon dollars seems to be flying under radar as it crawls through the courts. A reader alerted me to it months ago and I recently went back to see whats developed.

The suit started when Reinsdorf discovered that images he took for Skechers from 2006-2009 and licensed to them for very specific terms–six months use in North America for point of sale, magazines and certain outdoor advertisements–were being used for several years and included in ads overseas and on packaging and other unauthorized media. The suit states that Skechers “completely and utterly ignored the terms of the license.” (source)

First reported by TMZ back in September of 2009 it took an unusual turn in 2010 when Skechers filed a motion to dismiss claiming ownership of copyright because of “alterations they performed on the images from slight modifications in models’ skin tone to the substitution of models’ body parts and the addition of substantial graphic effects.” They asked the judge to dismiss because they couldn’t possibly have infringed on their own copyright.

If you want to read the motion to dismiss you can download it (here). It certainly would set a disturbing precedent in the photography world if something like this were to be allowed. In the discussion the judge states that “Skechers is correct that a co-author in a joint work cannot be liable to another co-owner for infringement of the copyright” but that’s not what’s at issue here because “Contrary to Skechers’ assertions, the evidence in the record does not indisputably establish that Reinsdorf intended that his photographsbe incorporated into a joint work.” He simply gave them a limited license to their use. The motion to dismiss was denied.

The latest I could find was an order granting Reinsdorf an extended discovery cutoff of May 15, 2012 (here). This will certainly be a case worth watching. I’ll be interested to see what the judge thinks of the $250,000,000 price tag, the limited license terms and Skechers sketchy defense that advertisements are a joint work and can be used where ever and how ever they want.

Small Paper Prioritizes Photography, Wins Awards

- - Blog News

The paper, a tabloid instead of a broadsheet, has created a following mostly because of its now-famous Saturday photo stories, which combine thoughtful reporting and powerful photography. They’re run ad-free and take up the entire front page plus five additional pages inside, sometimes more.

The paper has felt the financial crunch effecting the rest of the journalism industry and revenues are down. But a strong local readership and the family structure of the paper have prevented a precipitous decline. Rumbach says the paper has had no layoffs and has given the staff a raise each year.

via Raw File | Wired.com.

The Daily Edit – Wednesday

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Creative Director: Alex Gonzales
Design Director: Anton Ioukhnovets
Photography Director: Caroline Wolfe
Art Director: Anna E. Davidson-Evans
Photo Editor: Jaqueline Bates

Photographer: Craig McDean

Note: Content for The Daily Edit is found on the newsstands. Submissions are not accepted

Pricing & Negotiating: Custom Publication

by Jess Dudley Wonderful Machine Producer

One of our Midwestern photographers recently asked me to prepare a cost estimate for one of his custom publication clients. Custom pubs look very similar to regular magazines, but they’re commissioned by a single sponsor and they’re designed to reach a targeted audience of customers, users, members or employees. Custom publications can be produced in-house, by custom content firms or by traditional ad agencies and design firms. It’s big business. They even have their own association, the Custom Content Council.

Custom publication estimates can be structured in the same way as a regular magazine contract but the rates tend to vary more widely. If the publication is focused on a commercial brand or product, you can expect to charge more than your typical magazine rate. If the custom publication is for an association or charity, you might get less. And if it’s a magazine for an airline or hotel, which tend to have content that’s comparable to regular editorial (and often contain third-party advertising), the fees will be about the same as regular editorial.

The publication in this quote was produced by a small ad agency. Though they aren’t a custom pub specialist, they are definitely experienced with custom pubs and their client is a Fortune 500 company. The assignment was to shoot an environmental portrait of a worker at a manufacturing facility in New York City that uses the client’s services, plus to provide documentary coverage of other aspects of the factory.

To get started, I called the art director at the agency to learn more about the project:

  • Who is the audience? Company employees.
  • How often does the publication come out? Quarterly.
  • How many copies do you distribute? 500,000.
  • How many images do you plan to use? 2-4.
  • How many pages have you allocated for the images? 2-3.
  • Would you like to see pricing on any other licensing options? 6 Months Intranet.
  • We’d like to scout the location the day before the shoot. Will we be able to get access to the facility? Yes. The art director will attend the scout as well.
  • Do you have an opinion about the style of the pictures – available light? Strobe? Existing light for the manufacturing shots. Strobe for the environmental portrait.
  • Will we need to handle any wardrobe, propping or styling of any kind? Subject will arrive camera ready. No additional styling, props or wardrobe needed.
  • Will anyone from the Agency or Client be present at the shoot? Just one art director from the agency.
  • Will your AD want to review images on a monitor the day of the shoot? No. No need for a digital tech or display.
  • Should we include catering on the shoot day? No. You can just order in lunch on the day of the shoot. The AD will pay for his own meal.
  • How many other photographers are you considering? 2.
  • Are any of them local to the shoot or would all of them have to travel? All three would have to travel.
  • Do you have a budget in mind? Nothing set in stone, but generally we don’t spend more than about 10-12k per assignment.

With all that in mind, I assembled the estimate and terms & conditions:

-For the fee I looked at a comparable editorial space rate as a starting point. If the space at a publication with a comparable circulation (like DetailsLatina or Town and Country) was in the 500-750.00/page range including concurrent web use (check out our day v. space rate post for more on how to structure that type of contract). Three pages would be worth 1500.00-2250.00. I looked at previous projects I had quoted for this agency and other similar custom pubs. I considered the prominence of the client and the fact that the assignment was coming through an agency that liked the photographer enough to pay for travel to a market saturated with photographers. I decided that the fee was worth 3500.00.

-We budgeted 350.00 for a local assistant (assistants in New York City tend to be a bit more expensive than in other parts of the country).

-The Digital Capture Fee covers the time, equipment, software, internet access and expertise necessary to create the web gallery for the agency to edit from. For most editorial clients, we charge 150.00-300.00 for a simple shoot (for bigger productions, we’ll charge for a digital tech instead). But 500.00 is more reflective of the actual value of this part of the job.

-We budgeted for 2 tech/travel days. The day before the shoot, the photographer would travel and scout the location. And the actual shoot day looked pretty long, so I planned on a third day to travel home.

-The photographer used his own photographic equipment (in this case, two camera bodies, four lenses and a lighting kit), but we tend to charge a separate line item for that instead of bundling it into the fee. We looked at what it would cost to rent the gear locally, then backed out the baggage charges.

-I got a quote of 468.00 for the airfare, but I rounded up. Airfares can change a lot between when you send out the estimate and when it gets approved. So it’s important to say that you’re going to charge for the actual cost.

-The photographer told me he’d need to check three bags, so after referring to the airline’s baggage policy (25.00 for the first, 35.00 for the second and 125.00 for the third – each way) it came to 370.00.

-Lodging in NYC is expensive (and it’s one of the reasons that we chose to hire a local assistant). I found a hotel near the factory for 378.00/night. Again, I rounded up. I’d rather have the invoice come in a little bit under the estimate than a little bit over.

-The file prep charge covers color correction, blemish/spot removal, minor retouching and delivery of three high resolution images.

-Miles, Parking, Meals, Taxis, Tolls, Certificate of Insurance & Misc. covered all of the estimated miles to/from the departure airport, parking at the departure airport, meals for the entire trip, local transportation in NYC, a certificate of insurance likely required to shoot at the manufacturing facility and any unforeseen miscellaneous expenses that may arise.

-Lastly, just to avoid any confusion, I listed the items that would be provided by the client, the agency and the subject.

If you have any questions, or if you need help estimating or producing one of your projects, contact Wonderful Machine.

The Decimation Of The News Outlet Photography Department

- - Blog News

“Picture editors and photographers are some of the biggest newsroom casualties” of budget cuts, he said. “So when you have a story laced with subtleties, it becomes key to really work to have the latest visual content and representation of that story.”

Five years ago, the Sentinel had five photo editors and the Herald had six. Today, each paper has two.

via The iconic photos of Trayvon Martin & George Zimmerman & why you may not see the others | Poynter. thx, Tom Q.

The Daily Edit – Monday

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The Red Bulletin

Chief Photo Editor: Fritz Schuster
Creative Photo Director: Susie Forman
Deputy Photo Editors: Valerie Rosenburg, Catherine Shaw,  Rudolf Ubelhor,
Creative Director: Erik Turek
Art Director: Kasimir Reimann

Photographer: Palani Mohan

Note: Content for The Daily Edit is found on the newsstands. Submissions are not accepted


This Week In Photography Books – Javier Arcenillas

- - Photo Books

by Jonathan Blaustein

Let’s be honest: last week’s column was long. The week after I agreed not to mess with the format, I went and added 10 paragraphs to your reading load. Forgive me. (Even my Dad had to read it in two stages.) I thought it was worth it, as the chance to hear from such talented publishers was too good to pass up. But this week, allow me to rectify the situation. We’ll keep it short, just to maintain the balance. Book review only. No rambling personal narrative. (Until next week.)

When I visited New York last Fall, I saw some posters strewn around Williamsburg. Intense and more than a little scary, they advertised a project called “Sicarios,” which was showing somewhere in Brooklyn, I believe. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, it means Hitman in Spanish. (Or Assassin, if you prefer.) There are a lot of them running around Mexico and Central America, as the skill-set is in high demand.

So when the book ended up in my pile, (by Javier Arcenillas, published by FotoEvidence in Brooklyn,) I was relieved and disturbed at the same time. While I would normally drop into a story about the dangers I faced traveling in Guatemala back in ’99, I won’t go there today. Got to honor the promise above. But the photos in this book offer a stark, black and white vision of the red bloody mess going on down there at present.

Is this book for everyone? No. Definitely not. It’s a collection of gruesome, troubling and poignantly tragic photographs. They’re expertly rendered, and may or may not lead to any sort of social change. But they do, for certain, bring humanity to what is, for many, an abstract Geo-Political problem. The US can swing it’s military dick around the Middle East all it wants, but that doesn’t make the drama to our South any less real, or horrifying.

It was only two weeks ago that we collectively meditated on the concept of suffering with Donald Weber’s new book “Interrogations.” He left much up to the imagination, which was what lent a talismanic power to the publication. “Sicarios” does not. Which is why it’s not for everyone. But for those of you who hunger to stare down the ugly “truth”, this book might offer a sumptuous repast.

Dead bodies, naked streetwalkers, scowling psychopaths, blood trails down the side of a car door, young kids strolling through their perilous reality without a second thought, women crying in hand-me-down American T-shirts (West Virginia- No Lifeguard At The Gene Pool,) barbed wire-topped prison walls, cowboy hats, machine guns, machetes, crucifixes…it’s all there. Does this sound like fun? I sure hope not.

But, if you’ve read any or all of my previous columns, you’ll know that I don’t believe Art must always be pretty. Quite the opposite. Dave Chapelle once did a skit on his show called “When Keepin’ It Real Goes Wrong.” This book pretty much nails the concept. A cycle of violence, once kicked off, is hard to stop, no matter where in the world you live. Some places, as Malcolm Gladwell has mused, have it worse than others. Cultures of revenge and blood lust. Guatemala is such a place.

So let’s end this now, shall we. After all, I guaranteed you a short piece. This book is worthy of your attention. Mr. Arcenillas is laying out the gory bits for all to see. It’s up to you if you feel like looking. I won’t judge you either way.

Bottom Line: Super-hard-core book, not for the faint of heart

To purchase “Sicarios” visit Photo-Eye

Full Disclosure: Books are provided by Photo-Eye in exchange for links back for purchase.

Books are found in the bookstore and submissions are not accepted.


It’s the people you know who give you work

- - Blog News

…photo editors or creatives got to know me from production calls. I wasn’t handing out business cards on the shoot [as an assistant]. I showed up, did my job, showed people I was the guy who could get things done. That’s when my conversation with clients began, and when I called them up later [about work], they remembered who I was.

Michael Clinard’s Professional Transition via PDN

The Daily Edit – Friday

- - The Daily Edit

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Runner’s World

Design Director: Kory Kennedy
Deputy Art Director: Marc Kauffman
Photo Editor: Andrea Maurio
Associate Photo Editor:
Renee Keith

Photographer (first image): Trevor Dixon
Photographer (second image): Michael Lewis

Note: Content for The Daily Edit is found on the newsstands. Submissions are not accepted

Still Images In Great Advertising – Kevin Griffin

Still Images In Great Advertising, is a column where Suzanne Sease discovers great advertising images and then speaks with the photographers about it.

I reached out Kevin Griffin when I saw this incredible campaign by Chemistry for The Irish Examiner. I liked the diversity of the images and felt they were creatively shot for each concept. I also liked that the way social issues were not hidden but in your face.

Suzanne: I went to your site and you have an excellent body of work. This campaign required you to shoot in different styles. Was that a challenge?

Kevin: The biggest challenge was to show a certain continuity throughout the campaign. This was achieved by good art direction and good grading by the retoucher, iCraft.

Suzanne: This campaign is very political- how were they received by the public?

Kevin: They were very popular, the campaign highlighted underlying problems within Irish society, problems that are usually ignored.

Suzanne: And were you disappointed that Ads of the World did not include “Suicide” and “Mental Health”?

Kevin: No, I was not one bit disappointed. I think the whole campaign is strong. Lürzers Archive included “Mental Health” recently in their magazine.

Suzanne: Did the campaign get to the social issues that are highlighted in the campaign?

Kevin: Yes I think they did, I believe the pictures really do tell the story they are trying to portray.

Suzanne: I noticed in your personal work, you look at the world in a fun and quirky way- has that work helped you in your commissioned career?

Kevin: I love shooting personal work, this work is really for me. Not all my work is fun and quirky, we all see the world from a different perspective and I think this is the interesting part of any visual communication.


Note: Content for Still Images In Great Advertising is found. Submissions are not accepted.

APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s, after founding the art buying department at The Martin Agency then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies.