I just received the latest edition of News Photographer Magazine in the mail. It is the May 2013 edition. I have subscribed to this publication probably since 1998, my early days as a news photographer at WSPA-TV.
I opened…flipped the pages…and I was overtaken by the powerful images captured in the month of May. The Boston Bombing, The George W. Bush Library Dedication, and even some images from the last year including a funeral from the Aurora movie shooting…powerful stuff.
I have no words to describe the images, the feelings, the emotion behind these images as they take us back…remind us. That is my point…these images reveal the unspoken language from these memories that we all sat back and watched.
These images were taken by experienced storytellers, photojournalists who risked so much to capture these images.
We see groups like the Chicago Sun Times fire their whole photography staff. I am not sure the motives behind this business move…but the numbers do not add up. This is a common trend in the industry. One of the main reasons why I am self-employeed…we photojournalists have a unique skill set that does not fit inside any job decription. We pay the bills with our passion to capture a story…the story as we view it…through our lens.
Michael Borland, President of NPPA, wrote in this edition his message titled “NPPA By The Numbers.” A few of these numbers stood out.
There membership is down roughly 3500 people resulting in a revenue short fall of about $374K. Is this because more and more news organizations are reducing photo staffs and those loosing jobs are not re-engaging in the organization in a post-news profession. I wonder what the percentage of these numbers are independent/self-employeed individuals like myself?
Am I a news photojournalist…no. But the organization I have been associated since 1998 is one of the few that provide the guiding principles for the way I run the creative side of my business.
Photojournalists bring life to our magazines, television, iPads, iPhones, video screens, and movie screens. We capture the slice of life that many forget to capture…those moments in time that help us remember. These images create change, provide a voice, give context, help us make decisions, and create a platform for public servants to advocate.
So let me ask you…the next time you are funding a project, do you want just a picture, just a video, just an image? Or do you want a story. Do you want an moment in time captured so when it is time to sell/adovocate with your next pr/marketing campaign…your audience connects, engages, and sees the story through “your” eyes.