Tag Archives: photographer

Photographer tracks down subjects from 30-year-old photos

From last week a nice story from Peterborough Today (and picked up elsewhere) about photographer Chris Porsz – nicknamed the ‘paramedic paparazzo’ because of his day job – who with the help of the local paper has tracked down some of the subjects of photos he took in the 1980s, finding out what had happened to the people in them and recreating the original pictures.

Full story at this link…

More pictures from Porsz are featured in this Mail Online article.

Can working for free ever pay? Fire & Knives founder responds to Twitter backlash

Last year, a new quarterly print-only food magazine launched, designed, it says, to give established writers “a place for work that would not be published elsewhere; new writers a place to show themselves and experts in other fields an opportunity to write about our favourite subject”.

Behind the project is Fire & Knives founder and freelance food writer Tim Hayward. To the annoyance of some photographers, Hayward recently tweeted: “Would like to commission some foodblogger photographers for an @FireandKnives project. Odd brief. No money.”

The Twitter backlash from professional photographers came (a selection):

@Timgander: “Guardian’s @timhayward is looking for a food photographer with independent means of income as there’s no pay for the work. #fail”

@ABCphoto: @timhayward What’s the difference between a plumber and a photographer? You don’t expect plumbers to work for free.

@chickenthieves: @timhayward sorry, Cant seem to pay the bills when I work for free…

@jhphotographer: @timhayward – if you can’t afford photography for a food magazine then you can’t afford to be in business.

Tim Hayward responded to all, at length, via Twitter.  He’s not in business yet, he says. Think of it like a ‘blog someone had the brains to put through a printer,’ he adds.

Here’s how he responded to the criticism in full, when Journalism.co.uk got in touch:

Responding to the backlash:

The intention was to recruit a few foodbloggers to collaborate on a shoot which would amusingly subvert mainstream foodporn.

As with the written material in the magazine, it would be unpaid and would credit the blogger and his/her site. If any of the photographers (or more accurately agents) who snapped at the story had cared to discuss it sensibly they might have seen that.

Fortunately, writing for the Guardian food blog for so long has given me a pretty realistic idea of how much thought punters engage in before hitting the send key. It also makes me entirely resilient to flaming.

It’s important to reiterate how we’re working at Fire & Knives. About one third of our features come from established foodwriters, most of whom are happy to supply the kind of long form, specialised foodwriting that none of the mainstream food press are paying for at the moment. The rest of the features come from food bloggers or new food writers, also keen to show off their best work in a good looking format.

We have a large circulation list of influential media people with commissioning powers and the magazine is distributed to them for free. This means that, though we can’t offer money at this stage, we can offer everyone involved an excellent showcase for their work.

The funny thing is that since the tweet went out I’ve had 75 responses from foodbloggers all over the world plus a dozen from professional food photographers who think the idea of being involved in something like this might be fun and good for their profile.

The mainstream media dilemma that inspired Fire and Knives:

Most of us in the food field are now having to work across all media. We’re doing on and offline work, TV, radio and books in an attempt to make a living doing what we love. All of us give work away in some form or another. We appear on TV shows as ‘pundits’ for nothing or for risible ‘sofa fees’ and the producers tell us it’s ‘good for our profile’.

We answer phonecalls from subs at national newspapers asking for ‘just a quick hundred about what spring salads mean to you – it’s good for profile’ only to find our unpaid contribution has been glued in with nine others to magic a 1000 word feature out of nowhere for nothing.

Book advances have dropped to a stage where agents are telling us we need to maintain journalistic and educational work in order to afford to play. At the very least we’re supposed to stick our work out there for nothing on our blogs in the hope that some editor will pick us up in a desperate trawl for a last minute idea – though what more often happens is that the idea is lifted whole and passed on to a staff writer. In my own case, I spend all the time I have between paid work – and believe me there’s plenty – editing a bloody magazine and stuffing envelopes for nothing.

Raising foodie writers’ profiles

But it’s not ‘for nothing’. I do it for the same reason the contributors do. It helps to raise profile and I’d rather my best work was out there being read by food lovers than being rejected by an editor who wants all the complicated bits taken out and as many references as possible to celebrity chefs jammed back in.

Of course, there would be money for everyone if we took advertising – but we don’t take advertising because then we’d have to worry about increasing our audience and dumbing down to do so.

So we use the subs to pay for production, printing and distribution and right now, that doesn’t leave any change – in fact I’m still  putting money in.

We will, of course, pay as soon as we can. But looking at the figures, that’s unlikely to be this year.

Fire & Knives: the story so far

On the positive side, what this little spat has proved is in itself interesting. We are tiny.

We’ve yet to sell the last quarter of our first print run of 2000 copies (and bear in mind the huge list that gets it gratis) – they’re sitting here in my office as I type this – but because we’ve used digital print technology, great design, we’re working with enthusiastic writers with an intelligent attitude to their own careers, we’ve thought cleverly and we’ve used new media to promote ourselves and raise profile: people like the rabid photographer contingent are fooled into thinking we’re a major player.

We’re out there, creating a fuss like a national magazine while we have the scale, business model and budget of a bedroom printed fanzine, by and for a microscopic audience of like-minded geeks. If it helps, think of us as a blog someone had the brains to stick through a printer.

The funny thing is that I trained originally as a photographer and freelanced for several years. I’m totally versed in the ‘never do anything for free’ logic drummed into us since birth.

But I also spent many years working in media and marketing and I know that the only way any of us can hope to survive is by efficient management of personal brands. Our contributors are doing that well.

As am I by continuing to be involved in this discussion – for which, by the way, I assume I’m not getting a fee – [no, you’re not, Ed.] instead of getting back to writing a bloody recipe for sorrel soup which may or may not, make me £20.

No. A foodie can’t live on fresh air. On the other hand, any creative working in the media at the moment can’t afford not to promote themselves and their work at its very best.

Maybe you have an agent getting the work in, in which case you’re paying 15 per cent. Me, I prefer to give away a little work and raise profile with interesting and creative projects. Do I think special interest writing will become something done for love not money? In the traditional sense of ‘writing’ absolutely.

If anyone thinks they can make a living sitting at a keyboard writing about food they’d better have a private income. If, on the other hand, they want to make a living involved in the food media, they can if they think broadly enough about how they sell themselves.

When you think about doing it for free, ask yourself this, would I rather write rubbish for a lifestyle magazine for a laughable fee, or a) write something great and shove it in the public domain on my blog, b) write a series of proposals and pay an agent to flog them or c) write something beautiful, the way I want it, put it in a beautiful magazine and know it’s going to seen by everyone of any importance in my industry.

If you’re still sat at an Underwood, troubling the Tippex then the answer is probably a) if you want to eat, the answer is c). It’s not working for free, it’s where I’m choosing to put my marketing effort.

But then, I would say that. I’m not a proper writer. I’m a working food hack.

That’s Tim Hayward’s take. Over to you, in the comments, or by tweet.

BJP: Derbyshire – the best place to live as a photographer?

Olivier Laurent’s extensive report into the use of the terrorism act against photographers suggests that many British police forces have been permitted use of Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 to stop and search individuals, including photographers – with Derbyshire’s force, so far, being the only exception.

The British Journal of Photography (BJP) filed 46 Freedom of Information (FoI) requests to chief constables in Britain to determine whether they had requested permission to use the section of the Act in their regions.

A number of forces declined the information requests, according to BJP.

“[C]ounties including Cumbria, Essex, Hertfordshire, Merseyside, and Surrey all declined to answer, claiming that although there is a public interest in the transparency of policing operations, release of any details regarding the use of S44 could threaten the health and safety of the public and the police force itself,” reports Laurent.

Full report at this link…

There’s also a breakdown of how the police forces responded to the FoI requests by county.

Follow this link for more coverage of photography and the UK’s Terrorism Act.

Jonathan Warren: Climate Camp, the Guardian and cit-j photos

Interesting post by photographer Jonathan Warren reacting to the Guardian’s setting up of a Flickr group asking attendees of this week’s Climate Camp in London to submit photos from the event.

Warren raises a few concerns, firstly:

“If they want protesters to send them pictures for free they aren’t going to want to be too critical about the camp or actions that people from the camp might be doing. To say nothing of the veracity of the pictures that might be sent in by those opposed to its aims as well as by supporters.

“It is no longer news gathering when the subject of a story provides their own content – it is propaganda. Would you trust the Guardian if it took content supplied by the police in the same way?”

He also argues that there is some good from this as it challenges the restrictions being placed on professional photographers wanting to photograph the event.

But the Flickr group also comes at a time when freelance photographers are petitioning against a supposed ‘rights grab’ by the paper, he says.

Full post at this link…

Photography Is Not-A-Crime.com: images from the fourth plinth

At the beginning of August the photographer Spike Brown mounted the Trafalgar Square fourth plinth, with a simple message: photographers, both professional and amateur, have the right to take photos in public. He supported two campaigns:

The British Journal of Photography aims to raise international awareness about the threat of attack, arrest or harassment to photographers in the UK. A Flickr group pool of self-portraits can be found here.

  • ‘AP Rights Watch’

Updates on The Amateur Photographer’s ‘AP Rights Watch’ campaign to protect photographers’ rights can be found at www.amateurphotographer.co.uk.

Brown’s ascent was reported at the time by the Telegraph’s Kate Day here, by the British Journal of Photography here, and by Amateur Photographer here [August 3].

You can see the video of Brown on the plinth here at OneandOther.co.uk.

He has kindly shared his own view from the plinth with us.

This self-portrait:

spikebrown1

and another view:

spikebrown2

Spike Brown, Blue Feather Photography, www.bluefeather.co.uk

Last chance to enter Red Bull reporting competition

Red Bull and Nuts magazine are recruiting aspiring journalists to cover the Red Bull X-Fighters Championships next month.

Twelve of the world’s best freestyle motocross riders will be competing for the top title with an acrobatic motorbike show at Battersea Park Station in London, on August 22.

One reporter and one photographer will be selected to report the event live. Their work will be published following the event on Nuts’ website.

The competition is open until 5pm (BST) on Friday, July 31. To enter submit examples of your work at http://www.nuts.co.uk/redbullreporter.

WashingtonPost: Abducted French security advisers in Mogadishu posed as journalists

“Two French security advisers posing as journalists were abducted from their hotel in Mogadishu on Tuesday by Somali gunmen, according to the foreign ministry and reports from the chaotic Somali capital,” reports the Washington Post.  Full story at this link…

Related:

  • The AFP reports that, according to the Somali defence minister, the pair were ‘kidnapped for cash not politics’.

Background from the Frontline:

“The Telegraph’s Colin Freeman and photographer José Cendón were kidnapped and held for six weeks earlier this year. Meanwhile, freelance journalists Amanda Lindhout and Nigel Brennan after still being held hostage after being kidnapped in Mogadishu in August, 2008. Their driver and fixer were released in January, 2009. This new kidnap comes at a time of ‘fresh fighting’ in the north of Mogadishu, although one could argue fighting never really gets the time to go stale in Mogadishu.”

Schlesinger: Reuters’ ‘multimedia gospel’ and a new media Olympics

On Tuesday Reuters editor-in-chief, David Schlesinger urged the International Olympics Committee to rethink its accreditation rules and strategy for media/news coverage of forthcoming Games to take into account new forms of newsgathering, publishing and the democratisation of both in the hands of the non-journalist.

Schlesinger (or @daschles) is well placed to comment on such issues – during this year’s World Economics Forum, the Reuters head beat one of his own correspondents to a report by tweeting his own updates from George Soros’ speech.

Last night, he also described to the IOC how he had been pressured to remove a Reuters blog post after he took pictures of the Beijing Games without proper editorial photographer accreditation.

His comments also builds on the debate ahead of last year’s competition over whether athletes should be allowed to blog/report from the Games.

Some key quotes from the speech:

  • “The old means of control don’t work. The old categories don’t work. The old ways of thinking won’t work. We all need to come to terms with that.”
  • “More and more, we’re issuing a multimedia report to multimedia-savvy consumers who no longer make a distinction between information they receive from text and information they receive from images.”
  • “That means understanding what really can be exclusive and what really is insightful. It means truly exploiting real expertise. It means, to my earlier point, using all the multimedia tools available and all the smart multimedia journalists to provide a package so much stronger than any one individual strand. It means working with the mobile phone and digital camera and social media-enabled public and not against them.”

You can read Schlesinger’s full speech on Reuters’ blogs.

Dorset Echo reporter Miriam Phillips scoops young journalist award

picture of Hammond / Whiteley Awards winners

Photo: (left to right) Neil Glass (Judges Award), Melanie Vass (Reporter of the Year), Martyn Benn (chairman of the judges), Miriam Phillips (Young Journalist of the Year) and Richard Crease (Photographer of the Year).

This year’s Hammond/Whiteley Awards, which were launched 1983 in memory of two senior Bournemouth Daily Echo journalists, John Hammond and Carl Whiteley, were presented this week at Bournemouth university.

Miriam Phillips, Dorset Echo reporter, scooped the Jane Hayward Memorial Trophy, which honours the young journalist of the year, for a second time.

Bournemouth Daily Echo journalists collected two awards: reporter of the year going to Melanie Vass and photographer of the year to Richard Crease.