A candid open letter from award-winning US photojournalist Chip Litherland to newspaper photographers everywhere: “It is now on you.”
Dear Newspaper Photographer,
If you think you are safe in your job, you aren’t.
I say that bluntly to make the point stick. You are a number. You are expendable. Your work will win awards. Your work will sell papers … I want this to be positive, but it’s hard to be in this situation. I’ve seen too many friends and colleagues come and go and that choice was never given to them. Some are still shooting freelance, some had to give up photography as a career and pursue other things – but, they are some of the most creative and beautiful people on the planet. It’s tough to watch photographers get drained through a funnel as they come into this field, and as they leave. Staying in the funnel is tough and proving to be tougher everyday.
I left my newspaper staff only a couple months ago on my own and loving every minute of it. It’s been busy as hell (knock on wood), but I’m learning everything on the fly which is exciting and nerve-racking. It’s a wonderful feeling. Open book.