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There Are 21 Comments On This Article.

  1. Chris Walters

    Thanks for sharing the video, I couldn’t stop laughing and thinking at the same time that he has to be talking about photographers. He made some solid points on how amateurs thought process works. I guess all creatives have it rough across the board.

    I was surprised about Sony ran a forty year old image (shot with a film camera) for their ad campaign. Did they not think that someone would recognize it? I wonder if heads are rolling in Sony’s creative department since the origination of the image has came to light.

  2. About the famous 60’s image for Sony Digital that was taken by an ancient film Nikon:

    the leopard/baboon image was made famous by Life magazine and is featured very prominently in the new Richard Gere/ Clifford Irving movie in a scene where Gere/Irving is visiting the Life Magazine HQ in NY. coincidence for the image to suddenly pop up twice in the same year?

    the name of the movie? very fitting – THE HOAX ;-)

  3. That video rant by Harlan Ellison is great. But what I think needs to be discussed is why people work for free to begin with.

    I think photographers do work for free primarily because they have nothing notable in their portfolios yet, particularly for beginners. So, it is often in their interest to do free work just to be able to say “I shot an editorial for so-and-so magazine.”

    This is the same in a lot of other fields. Given the constant stream of new talent — which means a constant supply of beginners just needing to fill their portfolios — how do you expect clients to pay for anything without the government stepping in?

  4. I need to make an “I love Harlan Ellison” t-shirt. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had that conversation lately. And that Fred McDarrah quote is awesome. I’m a photographer transitioning out of assisting and am the one raging to the photographers I work with when they say that their client didn’t guarantee OT so they had to pay it out of pocket. If that’s the case, then what kind of pussy agent do you have?

    I also wonder historically when the client began to dictate the pricing? I have a photo editor friend that I’ve heard say directly, “Well…we only pay our assistants $200/day.” Well, a. they’re not your assistants, 2. is it that hard to pull an extra $50 from your ad dollars to pay for some hard labor that at the current state will be printed before it’s paid (whatever happened to copyright release upon payment in full anyway?) c. Good people
    cost good money. Across the board. If you don’t like the price go somewhere else and potentially absorb the cost of a reshoot. Everything costs money, and if you can’t respect that this is both my livelihood, and those working with me, then do I really want to work with you?

    To me, the real issue is that there are not standards, and there is no way for a young photographer to get the information that Harlan Ellison is talking about. Most photographers are hardly transparent about their business to their assistants. I would think that this mainly has to do with the competitive nature of the field. What it’s really doing though, is making it harder to negotiate across the board since no one knows how to.

    In closing I might add my desire that photography mirror the professional film world. People on film crews all know the standards, and if you don’t then they’re going to tell you, and repeat it over and over again until you are damned sure up on what flies. Guaranteed rates with no negotitated upward limit, payment within two weeks, unions with real health care and dental plans that have insanely low copays. Could go on and on. Hmmm…that’s odd. Commercial and film crews all have half the same clients as professional photography does? I used to have a roommate who worked as a non-union gaffer. Regardless of whether a professional job is union or not, then it is run by the same rules. In his capacity as a best boy, it normally fell on him to double-check if there was an overtime agreement in place at ten hours. He would go to the producers to find out somewhere around nine and a half hours into the day. His conversation with the producers would go something like this, “Is there an overtime agreement in place? Because if there isn’t, then all of these guys you see working away behind you come ten hours drop everything and just walk away…which means you break down all the grip and electric, pack all the trucks….” You get the idea.

    I have half a mind to organize this industry. I feel much more relaxed now.

  5. that sony ad is one of the most hilarious and true things i’ve seen in a while. actually its a sum-up of all photography- technical- blabla- measurbator-talk: the latest gear wont make better pictures than the old stuff. thanks for sharing.

  6. I was about to compile a blog-entry in my swedish and at times spanish blog (http://akitsushima.blogspot.com/) about the “Nikon-ad”, I mean Sony-ad, and I just realized that sometimes there is more than meets the eye.
    When we look at pictures we have to look twice, or just keep looking at the picture or in this case the two pictures,
    because there are two different pictures or at least the Sony-ad is a photoshoped variant of the first, the baboon is hidden in the sand, and therefore the “when timing is everything” to get a great shot.
    Maybe they were to subtle to make their point.
    btw I enjoy reading your blog, keep it up, cheers,
    Miguel

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