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May I suggest that you read this.
Kenneth is of that last generation of magazine photographers who bridge the days of viewing wondrous events around the world and viewing the rapid decline of the news weeklies. He's a remarkable photographer, probably because he is a remarkably decent human being.
And now that you've read that, try this - also from Ken
Thank you, Bill, for a great read. I wholeheartedly agree with Kenneth. Great photography is not the same as acceptable photography and the two should be compensated differently. Unfortunately, the great unwashed masses have never understood art and are quite happy looking at the umteenth photo of a silhouette against a sunset or a cliched wedding photo. Now that anyone and his dog can create passable images with modern digicams, professionals are having so much trouble selling/licencing their images. To me, that's sad because in "the good old days" average people who bought magazines like Time and Life and National Geographic were treated to outstanding photographic art masquerading as "mere photojournalism". Today, they're likely to get mere photojournalism and much less art. And the more the bean counters have their way, the more art most people will never see.
This sounds cruel and unsympathetic but they need to get over it. So we know the traditional magazine business model is gone. In fact how much longer will ANYTHING be printed? It's not like this is the first time technology has wiped out craftsmen. They are like the buggy whip makers, gas lamp manufacturers, abacus makers, refridgerator repairmen (ever try finding one of those lately?).
So do they sit down every night with a Guiness and mope over the good times, or do they set themselves up with a nice gig that pays them and then they can hop on a plane to the next hot zone and do the work they want? What about teaching photojournalism, pj photo workshops, finding a sponsor, etc. Take the class to Egypt or the next hot zone in the middle east ;-) Either find a way to continue their passion or change directions.
I was never in their league when I was a working PJ. But the best thing that ever happened to me is I went thorugh a dry spell when the phone never rang, and art directors never called and things looked bleak. I was selling some images and I also wrote stories and that kept food in the fridge. Then some friends of mine started a business and invited me along and I said yes. I now make tons of money, take more photos than when I was making a living at it, and take only the kinds of pictures I want to.
They are good enough to still make it in the businesses, they just need to find a new way.
Magazines and newspapers face exactly the same problems as these PJ's
Everything in the media is in turmoil now and who knows what there will be when the dust settles.
I will be 50 by the end of the year and I see myself sitting in a cafe with an other butcher bemoaning the demise of our profession in favor of industrial meat processing where no skills are required.
ps: On the other hand I can find enough work in my neighborhood, and well paid to, most people always find a relative to do the wedding photo's but for butchering their cow, pig etc. they'd rather outsource.
My previous post might seem to show little respect for the Photojournalists mentioned by Bill Pierce, au contraire I have great respect for these people.
I enjoy photography with the little technique and vision I posses but I am constantly outclassed by these pro's.
So good luck to you all,
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