I hope I can communicate well, what I am hoping to say——While I see the points
-the very well made points above—-I think its more a game of getting content no one else has and in that effort, when done well, a photographer eliminates his competition; there is a little more to it than that but more about that later.
If you think about it like a farmer’s market which we all have down the street and close to home, editors are going to pick their standard solid choices week after week because they know the product, the cost and how solid it is and as well if there is an issue or you need more, you can get it right away with the same good quality——week after week. I believe photo journalists, many times, loose sight of the fact that media is a business and the product has to be fresh with a different taste—-always. Yes, it’s corn in season and then apples, lettuce, carrots and beets, just like it’s elections, serial killers, G-summits, famine, car crashes and wars—-it all has its season but get to know your market just like a farmer and as much as a plumber, banker or shoe repair shop would.
If you think of what you see in the market and its too plain or overpriced—-you are going to take note and make it yourself at home. I don’t see it as bad or good but just what it is——-once more it’s that editors have thinning ranks and most likely at a greater rate than others in the media hierarchy. If you balance that with an even thinner monthly budget, the result seems likely. Everyone’s balance sheet, regardless on which side of the lens you are on, has to balance out on the cash sheets or you move on.
Talk to anyone working on their own, in whatever industry, and I would surmise, you will find they are combining several elements around their main gig to crack that nut at the end of each month—-but its all within a niche—-as the only English born, Spanish and Nawatel speaking former structural metal engineer student with Italian roots whose hobby has everything to do with south east Asian watercolor artists from the 1970’s there is
—and can take photos—and doesn’t own a tv but never misses a football match of bundesliga—-right?
The internet has undoubtedly split open the traditional role of editor and content provider and it will never be the same and even could be said to be evolving week by week at a rate never seen before in any media trend from before—-but then, the web has a crazy voracious and never ending
—and really ever increasing—demand for photos and content. The smart PJ will create his part in it with a tremendous amount of work and inventiveness—-an so its why I say there is no competition and what each photographer must do to stay in the game—-get your angle and develop it into whatever amount of combinations you can.
In regard to Libya—-stories came out about the ebb and surge of rebel versus government and the usual ap, afp, epa, and nyt were there and on it—-the tragic story of 2 venerated pjs who took their last photos there and the 4 shooters before that coming close to the same end but have lived to shoot another day—-but what about the dozens on dozens of other angles?
A little was done on how rebels were manufacturing their own weapons in garage shops but what else came out—-there was the young woman who executed several rebel prisoners and the stuff on the famous prisons no one came out of——the international works turned refugees trying to get out.
How many other things were going on….
What are they eating there—-something on the Rebel Roast and what it takes to get food—-like inmates the world over create special concoctions of toilet wine, what are their tricks? What about those trauma centers? How do the doctors get supplies, get paid and maintain electrical power for what little surgery equipment the have?
What happens to the rebels after they are wounded? Hospice in a town where they know no one—-will they get a pension somehow? The tragic story of a family minding its own business and how they manag—— and where a towns football star gets his legs blown off—-even through the fighting is there some ancient activity that continues through, like dominos or the hookah café? No one has food but tobacco there is a lot of and here is how we filter clean water for an evening smoke. Maybe a once famous soap star at the barricades—-or returning patriots coming home to fight——the sinister and wretched maiming of combatants with booby traps—-what do you look for and how do you disarm it? The crazy French nun that continues with the orphanage regardless of the danger.
Who is running the utilities—-what is their philosophy on doing it
--where is their reward? What about the animals—-the dogs, cats, camels and even cows, goats etc…How have costs gone up for the standard goods needed daily. What about the age old revenge between families and townsmen that always seem to appear in times like this—-payback and power shifts within a village, town or neighborhood—What about the town completely untouched by any aspect of the conflict? What about some religious or cultural tradition now dismissed because of the danger——will it resume afterwards just the same or will a family or individual be forever put down because of it. How will they deal with the shame—-can they be saved? What about the father that goes to the corner for cigs/milk and never comes back?
What about the internationals showing up to rebuild—-contractors, smugglers and merchants—-is it a government working on a long lost forgotten project or a new hospital, nuke facil or sewer treatment plant——what about the oil fields? Who is taking care of them—-are they damaged, still selling oil, has production dimmed——do they need parts to continue drilling.
Seems to me like all these stories can be done while the bigs are on the front lines getting the fierry recoil shots taken at the side of 4×4 toyota hilux pickup as it sits next to a burned out store or home with tattered curtains floating out the glassless window openings—- or barely hunkered down behind a sand berm along a highway somewhere—-shooting some cannon or rocket rig and don’t forget the scattered shell casings on the ground surrounding the scene.
Really it won’t mean to much if you don’t have an editor somewhere that knows you can deliver and will get your stuff up but it seems that starts with getting angles on stories like hospice house painting girl scouts, a pumpkin eating dog, the blind baseball coach or that scrawny funky kid that can shoot on goal from the mid-field pretty much every time he tries. That editor tells an editor and he tells one and he tells two more and so on, and so on….
“…Oh, hey was wondering can you shoot video
—edit it with original music and write some short copy, say a 150 words as and advance or teaser…. and then something, say 1200 words and if it goes, what’s your turn around on a follow up? --what about something with a fun tourist angle and then a business thing on the same guy?——and in french? Great, when can you get it to me? Any sooner, like tomorrow before deadline at 11:30?——okay, see you then, thanks….”
Its like Captain Jack Sparrow from the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie says,
“There are no rules, there’s what a man can do, and what he can’t…”
PS>>>>In reading this now—-I see I have not written one word about the writing a story proposal——You’re Fired, Bro, don’t ever call us again!
28 Oct 2011 19:10
(ed. Oct 28 2011)
| orange county, california,