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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Kelby Shoot on the Sidelines Photo Contest Part II
Tony Leon, Photographer
Whittier | CA | United States | Posted: 11:58 AM on 08.06.09
->> It appears that some of the comments made on the Sportsshooter board have ruffled the feathers of some Flickr members, in particular Mike Olivella, co-sponsor of the contest.

Mike Olivella's "open letter to Sportsshooter members"
http://www.flickr.com/groups/sportshot/discuss/72157621831335895/

Not a very eloquent response from him. Some interesting comments from the Flickr membership.
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Jeff Stanton, Photographer
Princeton | IN | USA | Posted: 12:11 PM on 08.06.09
->> Tony, thanks for the link. I think that guy missed his calling. He should write for Conan.
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Chris Stanfield, Photographer, Photo Editor
Atlanta | GA | USA | Posted: 12:11 PM on 08.06.09
->> I thought his response was spot on. The previous thread wreaked of elitism, insecurity and arrogance. Some should have spent that time improving their own photography instead of looking down their noses at others.
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Michael Johnson, Photographer, Photo Editor
Geneseo | NY | USA | Posted: 12:36 PM on 08.06.09
->> I agree with Mike. I read that thread in horror.
See there's this one photographer I know with the attitude that allot of the post had the other day. I've always said he was the exception to the norm and that I don't want to end up like him. Now what I read scares me.
Yes what we do is how we make a living. But I find it a honor that people look at our job and think how cool it is. Every day I think about how great I have it. I get paid to go to games, to have fun and get to go places that many people never get the chance to go.
So with that my hats off to the winner of the contest. I hope he/she enjoys and realizes what a special privilege they received.
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Jeff Brehm, Photographer, Photo Editor
Charlotte | NC | USA | Posted: 12:51 PM on 08.06.09
->> Chris:

I disagree with you on two counts:

-- It's "reeked" of elitism, etc.

-- The sidelines are for those who are working. If you want to watch the game, or shoot photos for your own personal use, buy a ticket. I don't want casual observers who don't belong there wandering around my office while I'm working, much less in an area where huge, fast men can flatten them.
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer
Durham | NC | USA | Posted: 1:10 PM on 08.06.09
->> I would somewhat agree with Chris on this. There are so many people on the sidelines at a major college football games nowadays it's laughable. These contests are here to stay until "Joe the excited wannabe professional photographer" gets several broken bones and a head injury after a 325 pound
lineman crushes him on the sidelines because he was gawking at the dance team. Working around these folks is just a part of the job. There are a LOT of folks here on SS who go to football games in our area who aren't being paid by anyone and when you get down to brass tacks that is as bad if not worse than a contest which has the school's blessing. I was scrolling through this fellow Mike's posts (after reading his response) and found something far more disturbing than the "why are these amateurs on the sidelines" problem.

Read this from Mike:

"I just thought of something, too. After the winner returns home, if he or she would like to send me a disc with an image or images (300dpi, no smaller than 8X10), I will submit your disc to FSU Sports Information in your name and your photo(s) may be used by FSU for posting on the official FSU Arhletics web site. The winner would retain all copyright and ownership of the image(s), but it would be a way for the winner to have a photo or photos published!"

This is far more troublesome than just being at the game. There is no mention there about being paid. Of course, that is also the "dirty little secret" about many SS members. They give away their photos to various SID's in return for access. It's a big problem and quite frankly I never think it's going to go away. Some folks are so desperate to be on the sidelines they'll do just about anything to accomplish that goal. It's a fact of life. I'm with Chris. I think I'll attempt to better myself at my craft than gripe about every GWC on the sidelines. (DISCLAIMER: That excludes, ESPN cameramen, cable pullers and annoying sound dish fools)
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Eric Canha, Photographer
Brockton | MA | United States | Posted: 1:16 PM on 08.06.09
->> Jeff with all due respect I think that you just made the point for the 'other' side. It's not 'your' office or my office or anyone's office save the staff at the university or arena. It's this belief that members of the media somehow have a right to some form of access that gets people into hot water.

I've seen, or read about it at EVERY level of sporting events. I watched an AD go beat-faced as he exploded on a Boston shooter several years ago for getting into the players box during a Thanksgiving game. Clearly she forgot that 'her' office was provided by the grace of the AD. Ditto for a TV crew at Gillette years ago when they drove the TV platform onto the (then) grass. They were asked to backup a foot and get off the grass.... They were TV so they were going to stand firm. 20 minutes later someone from the production company is being led by the nose by stadium brass to see the tire tracks on the grass I remember the exchange..... Lets just say that the platform driver was reminded of where the walls of 'his' office were located.

You, me, and the other 3000(?) members here don't get to define sideline policy in any form. When we try we just make ourselves look that much sillier. So let me put it this way.... The sidelines are for whoever the owners and managers of the real estate in question deem to allow access. If WE don't want to work under those conditions WE have the choice not to. Coming on the board here to define sideline policy is........ an attempt at letting Conan's writers know that we can be funny too.
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Chris Stanfield, Photographer, Photo Editor
Atlanta | GA | USA | Posted: 1:30 PM on 08.06.09
->> Jeff,

Yes, reeked it is...

How is an aspiring photographer supposed to turn down an opportunity like getting to shoot a college game? One college game, mind you..but an opportunity nonetheless. Seriously, get over it.

These contests are going to continue. The strong survive. How do you as a photographer plan to adapt? You don't actually think you're THAT important to a football team's success, do you?

Are we bitter? Yes.

Does the industry suck right now? Yes

And it isn't changing anytime soon. Sooooo....bitch all you want, but if you're not adapting, you won't last.
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Jeff Stanton, Photographer
Princeton | IN | USA | Posted: 1:35 PM on 08.06.09
->> Let's take a look at this. In the 25 plus years I have been doing this, I am unaware of any media organization who has ever had its hand out for payment of coverage and publication to any sporting event. That's from the pros on down the line to pee-wee league. Nada, nothing, not a red cent for published stories, images, videos, etc.

Free publicity for every team, school, player, coach - right down to the yell leaders. Free. It's been that way since I can remember and way before that. Our local high school in this town finished a 29-0 season in boys basketball earlier this year. We covered and published stories and photos from each game. We ran huge headlines and images on 1A. On to the state, way to go guys, positive, positive, positive. It didn't cost the school corporation one thin dime.

Yet the media battled to shoot around fans standing in line to buy popcorn, cheerleaders who have a right to be in front of you and the rule that you cannot use a strobe in a gym so dark, it would make a D3 blush.

And what do we get for our trouble? What have we got in return for all this? Hostility? Sometimes. Problems with access. Sometimes. Advertisements on the fields of play that make such wonderful backgrounds, not to mention the additional space they take up.

And after State Farm saw it fit to deny the claims of thousands of homeless policy holders after Katrina, the NCAA and colleges across the country decided to climb into bed with them by placing their signs up behind each goal in basketball arenas across the nation. Well hell, they need the money, so why not?

The great images by hard working professionals cannot be captured when there are fans standing in front of them, well-healed alumni who have better vantage points than the fans in the stands, VIPs and contest winners who take up space where they don't belong.

All we have ever asked for is access to the venue so the images could be recorded, the stories written on a first account basis and a cliche-laced interview from the star of the day. The cost? a photo copy of the rosters, a stale ham sandwich. Not much. And certainly no outlay of cash for the publicity.

Media outlets across the globe do this on a daily basis. And in return, we get kicked like a flea-bitten dog for the privilege.
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Chris Stanfield, Photographer, Photo Editor
Atlanta | GA | USA | Posted: 1:47 PM on 08.06.09
->> Jeff,

So what's your point?

"All we have ever asked for is access to the venue so the images could be recorded, the stories written on a first account basis and a cliche-laced interview from the star of the day."

No one is denying access. The job has simply become more difficult due to changing times. Again, how are we adapting? By complaining more?

"The cost? a photo copy of the rosters, a stale ham sandwich. Not much. And certainly no outlay of cash for the publicity. "

But you're employer paid you, right? And stale or not, that free sandwich is more than the fans got for free. Why does the university or anyone other than you're employer owe you, or us or anyone a thing?

Look, I'm not disagreeing that things are much worse on the field, but the reality is simple: This is the way it is. Universities and others are capitalizing on their ability to entertain and make money, at the expense some times of working professionals who are becoming less and less important with the growth of information sources combined with the media's general reputation for being arrogant, out of touch and elitist - not to mention irrelevant to so many young potential customers.

Adapt, adapt adapt.....
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Jeff Brehm, Photographer, Photo Editor
Charlotte | NC | USA | Posted: 2:13 PM on 08.06.09
->> I'm disappointed my point has been so thoroughly lost. Perhaps I'm not the communicator I hoped I was.

The sidelines should be for the teams -- players, coaches, support staff -- the game staff, and the rest of the people who are WORKING (I grudgingly include the bands and cheerleaders). The place to just watch the game or pretend that you're working is in the stands, where it's safe and you don't interfere with the people who are WORKING.

I see only a small difference between making someone a "pro photographer for a day" and holding a contest for fans of the TV show "Cops" and allowing them to follow police officers as they kick down the door in a drug raid. Or a contest that allows someone who always wanted to be a firefighter to charge into a burning building with the pros. Or even a doctor wannabe spending time in the trauma ER in the way of the people trying to do their work.

Just because you always wanted to see the game from the sideline doesn't mean it's a smart thing to do, for you or the people who might let you or for the other people who now have to work around you.
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Max Lashin, Photographer, Assistant
Fort Lauderdale | FL | United States | Posted: 3:02 PM on 08.06.09
->> +1 to Jeff for sure. That is why I brought up this entire thread in the first place. I think the contest has potential to be decent... if it wasn't on the sidelines of a NCAA Div.1 national football game..

Sidelines are a privilege for working media, not a prize for a contest.

The whole firefighter/police thing that Chris spoke of creates a great metaphor for the contest and I think a lot of people need to think of this contest as described in that metaphor..
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Eric Canha, Photographer
Brockton | MA | United States | Posted: 3:02 PM on 08.06.09
->> So it's GRUDGINGLY that you would grant access to the very people who are paying a tuition and are MEMBERS OF THE SCHOOL and are part of the overall athletic process in favor of securing more space for the media.

Look if you are going to keep digging the hole, could you please bring back some authentic 1000 year eggs on the climb back up. I'd like to compare them to the local offerings.
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer
Durham | NC | USA | Posted: 3:05 PM on 08.06.09
->> "And in return, we get kicked like a flea-bitten dog for the privilege."

Jeff, I'm a little surprised by this statement you made. I too have been doing this a very long time. I too bitch and moan about stuff (no surprise there heh?) but you seem to be pretty bitter about this stuff. I'm just saying in this day and age either you learn to deal with the circumstances (see Chris' adapt post) or you can get out. There are a LOT of talented and qualified people looking for jobs right now. It is surely not going to get any better. No matter how much whining and crying we in the media might do these folks at almost any level could give a rat's ass about what WE think. I learned this several years ago when various SID's would call for photos that appeared in the paper. "Oh Coach really loved that photo, could you get us a copy?" I used to comply. That is until I FINALLY realized it NEVER helped grease the skids for me at all. I ask to do something special "denied". SI asks? They drop to their knees and start drooling. I now have a pretty firm policy, it goes like this. "Coach loved that photo can we get a copy?" My reply, "Sure, go to our website there is an order form to PURCHASE it." I'm sure I'll get an off topic for this but I'm at a game to work, it's just like spot news when the cops, general public or rent a cop try and stop me from shooting, I just try and make the photos I need and not sweat the small stuff. And trust me, one more GWC on the sidelines of a football game qualifies as the small stuff.
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Jeff Mills, Photographer, Photo Editor
Columbus | OH | USA | Posted: 3:42 PM on 08.06.09
->> Its simply foolish to expect anyone other than fellow working media to be in the least bit sympathetic with our complaints.

At a given game, about 100,000 fans are paying anywhere from $50-500+ dollars to be in that very same stadium and we've got a better vantage point of any of them. Think theres one ticket holder who wouldn't be willing to switch places with us and watch the game from field level rather than C deck ?

Millions of people are watching on television who would all much rather be there as well. Do you think any of them really care in the least that I can't find a spot in the media work room to setup my laptop ?

Millions more people are buying photo equipment (often many times far newer and better than our own gear) just to enjoy doing as a hobby what we are doing for a living. Think they care that the cable puller stepped in front of our shot ?

The public perception is we are quite lucky to be doing what we are doing. Now perhaps they don't fully realize that while they have the option to stay home or under shelter when its 20 degrees, with a 50 mph winds and freezing rain, we have to still be out there and still do a good job. They might not realize that while they go to a backyard BBQ after the game and drink a few beers, we are sitting in front of our computers until 2am editing and captioning photos from the game. Theres a lot more hard work that goes with this job than it appears on the surface but the public can't be expected to know that.

Do I hate it when I can't get a spot on the first row of the baseline and there's someone sitting there who isn't even shooting with their P&S because they are too busy watching the game ? Yeah I do. I think I should have that spot instead. Thats honestly what goes through my head and I'm sure any of you would think the same thing. I'm quite uncomfortable kneeling on the hardwood all game shooting over someones head but would any fan from the upper bowl jump at the chance to get to kneel on the baseline ? You know they would and I bet they would and they'd be thrilled about it. Do you think that any SID really cares about my comfort though?

I'm not saying that makes it right, or the credential process is fair, but neither is life. If an SID ask my input I'll gladly give it to them, but so far its never been up to me. I don't think Ryan Seacrest deserves $45 million for hosting American Idol, but again, no one asked my input during negotiations there either.

The fact of the matter is simply that its a losing battle to try to argue about who deserves sideline access because its going to fall upon not only deaf ears, but the ears of all those who would jump at the chance to do so. It does make us look elitist and sours public opinion. Valid argument or not, us trying to tell GWC why we should be and he shouldn't just isn't going to go over well.

I don't like all the things I have to deal with but I still do love my job as a whole and some things I'm just going to have to deal with. I'm going to have to get there absurdly early if I want to setup in the media workroom. I'm going to have to not only anticipate the play on the field, but also where the cable puller might stand so he doesn't block my shot. I'm going to have to shoot from my knees behind a GWC on the baseline sometimes and focus on the game and not my comfort level. I'm going to have to find ways to make sure my clients still think my content is worth paying for when theres a never ending supply of people looking to give that same client free images just to be there. I'm going to have to drink water from the drinking fountain because the cooler of bottled water is empty or pay $5 for a stadium hotdog because theres no media meal.

Its going to be rough, and I'll probably complain, but no one is going to care to hear it, and theres no shortage of people who would jump at the chance to take my place.

I worked in an office before and there was no shortage of things that annoyed me there as well. Thats going to be true for any given job no matter what field your in. I'll tell you this though, I've never had a job I've enjoyed doing more than photography though, so at the end of the day I go to bed pretty darn happy overall to be doing something I enjoy for a living.

How many people in todays society can really say that ?
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer
Durham | NC | USA | Posted: 4:10 PM on 08.06.09
->> BINGO Jeff! Well said!
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Jeff Stanton, Photographer
Princeton | IN | USA | Posted: 4:24 PM on 08.06.09
->> Jeff M., I think it's okay if we agree to disagree, because we obviously do not see eye-to-eye on this matter. It just sounds to me like you've given up and are prepared to accept anything these people want to dish out to you. You have power and authority and don't even know it.
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Jeff Mills, Photographer, Photo Editor
Columbus | OH | USA | Posted: 6:29 PM on 08.06.09
->> Well Jeff, lets discuss said power and authority because I just don't really see it, so perhaps you can enlighten us a bit on it. (Not sure who said "huh" btw, wasn't me, just FYI)

Anyways, lets take the example of a basketball game where I can't get a spot on the baseline and theres a GWC type shooting with his P&S.

Options:

a) explain to that person that I'm a professional and have a better/bigger camera and he needs to give up his spot for me ?

b) go over to the scorers table, and the SID who's currently busy with game management and has headphones on, make him stop what he's doing and come over to the baseline and tell him that he should make someone move ?

c) refuse to cover any more games ?

d) kneel behind in the second row and get the best shots I can and suck it up ?

Answers (as I see them)

a) the GWC could be cool and move, or he could tell me to pound sand. He's was given a credential and is allowed to be there. They don't have to ask my permission. In fact he'll go tell all his buddies about the jerk that though he should move because he's got a bigger lens.

b) SID is going to see me as a total PITA to him because out of all the media he deals with, I'm the only one who's running over and complaining. He's tell me to do deal with it, and then when he's getting chewed out by the Dir of Athletics about why he wasn't at his post and the network is complaining, he'll in turn take it on out me and probably not give me credentials next time and instead grant them to one of the other 75 applicants they got who wanted them.

c) We don't cover anymore games and as such lose circulaion because we aren't covering events people want to read about. They aren't putting on a game for the purpose of my publication covering it, rather my publication is being granted the privilege of being at the event so we can have content that makes people want to pick up our publication. We don't cover it, someone else will and the school isn't hurt in the least.

d)while uncomfortable, and probably complaining under my breath all game, I still am able to get publishable shots and do my job. It could of been made easier, and I wish it was, but at the end of they I did what I needed to, my work ran, and I got a paycheck.


Really seems to me that D) was the only practical solution
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Jeff Stanton, Photographer
Princeton | IN | USA | Posted: 7:23 PM on 08.06.09
->> At this point, pet of the week sounds the most appropriate.
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Jeff Martin, Photographer
wellington | OH | usa | Posted: 7:40 PM on 08.06.09
->> The posts that make it easy for others to take offense at are the ones that talk about the "right" to be on the sideline. No one has the "right" to be there. The host school grants permission for some. This is completely at their discretion. They don't need to justify their reasoning. They don't have to have logical arguments to support their position.
Don't pretend your paper covers these events to provide free publicity to the school. Your paper sends you there because they believe it's news and they hope to make money by publishing game coverage their readers want.
Unfortunately, the digital age has made this a piss poor time to make a living as a photographer.
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Robert Hanashiro, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | | Posted: 8:19 PM on 08.06.09
->> He obviously missed the point.

At least my point.

But most P.W.s do ...

'Nuff Said.
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Chris Stanfield, Photographer, Photo Editor
Atlanta | GA | USA | Posted: 8:44 PM on 08.06.09
->> @Bert

Ok, I'll bite...

P.W.s ?

http://acronyms.thefreedictionary.com/PWS

or can one assume - poet/writer?
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Dave Doonan, Photographer
Kingston | TN | USA | Posted: 9:24 PM on 08.06.09
->> "We completely forgot that you are Lords and Masters of the Universe and can dictate to the rest of the world how the sidelines are to be run by FSU or any other arena/stadium."

Jagoff
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Ray Anderson, Photographer
San Francisco | CA | USA | Posted: 11:04 PM on 08.06.09
->> I think Mikes flicker response is right on.
Really can we make a little room to a shooter who may have a little of the eye of Ansel Adams, Robert Beck , Peter Read Miller ,Robert Hanashiro and other great photographers.
This photographer has to submit his work to win I would see like the work of who ever wins.
I am sure they will award the prize to the person who they see has the most talent and they will fly him to Florida I say bravo and I wish the winner the best of times and happy productive shooting.
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Robert Hanashiro, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | | Posted: 11:07 PM on 08.06.09
->> You too missed my point.
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Max Lashin, Photographer, Assistant
Fort Lauderdale | FL | United States | Posted: 11:17 PM on 08.06.09
->> You DONT learn on the sidelines of a NCAA football game..

You learn on the sidelines of a little league football game or a high school game.
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Chuck Steenburgh, Photographer
Lexington | VA | USA | Posted: 2:48 AM on 08.07.09
->> Max - Which sideline were you on when you dropped Mike's 300/f2.8? Nothing wrong with learning on an NCAA sideline; I did it, and I'm sure many others have as well.

As I see it, the point seems to be that someone is making a game out of amateurs getting to do a job someone else gets paid for - a job most people had to "pay their dues" to get into, and a job which is increasingly harder to make a living at due, in at least some part, to the willingness of amateurs to perform for free as if they were playing a game.

Indeed, there's the rub - the thought that this "amateur" might actually produce images that are "good enough" (which today is increasingly the standard) is what is so threatening.
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Yamil Sued, Photographer, Photo Editor
Peoria | AZ | USA | Posted: 2:57 AM on 08.07.09
->> OK, I'll bite!!

Why are some missing the point?

I guess 25 years as a Commercial Photographer and the 3 years I spent at Brooks back in the mid 80's didn't teach me enough!! Because I think I'm missing the point too!! I just don't get it!

I'm sitting here dumbfounded at the attitudes and the name calling. Honestly folks, this is not who I am, nor is it what I want to become.

When I shoot for my Corporate Clients at the Pistol Nationals, I don't take anything for granted, I don't have the right to be there, I'm a guest of the event. I must follow their rules and regulations of where I stand and where I work from. Some Officials are more accommodating tan others. I have been doing these events for over 15 years now and I have learned to adapt!

GWC?? There's tons of them at the events, they walk up to me and ask questions, and I answer, give them tips and tell them where to stand to get a good shot. They don't bother me and I don't bother them. Why should I? They are fans and or participants of the event.

When I need a good vantage point for the great shot I need, I get there early, talk it over with the officials and I find my spot. Most importantly, I GET THERE EARLY! This way I can get everything done it time.

I know what I do is not the same as Basketball or Football, but then again, I honestly think it applies there too! If I want a good spot to shoot from, I make it a point to get there before anyone else, how difficult is that?? It is my job. I'm getting paid to do it. So I do it, I do it well and I do it responsibly. If I get there late and someone else is where I wanted to be is nobody else fault other than me. I was the one that was late and I'm not entitled to a spot in a private event.

Why don;t we worry about the things we can control and we can do better, rather that to whine and complain about what others are doing. I have full control of ME!! Not what others do or say, So I try not to let that bother me and I do the best I can to produce the best work and make my customers happy and make them feel that they are getting more than what they paid for, ever time. That's why I've been doing this all this time.
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Chris Stanfield, Photographer, Photo Editor
Atlanta | GA | USA | Posted: 7:12 AM on 08.07.09
->> @Dave Doonan - Jagoff? Classy. I'm sure your employer and readers of the Roane County News are proud.

@Bert - We're not missing your point. We don't agree with it.

Several of us will have to agree to disagree.
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Steven E. Frischling, Photographer
102 Yards From The Beach | CT | | Posted: 7:27 AM on 08.07.09
->> "Sidelines are a privilege for working media, not a prize for a contest."


Having previously spent 4 years as the primary athletics photog for an NCAA Div 1 school, overseeing the photography for 20+ sports, as well as having shot as contract photog for two professional leagues, I can safely say that the side lines are not a 'privilege for working media.' The Sidelines Are For Whomever The College/University Deems The Sidelines To Be For! (within NCAA regulations).

Having covered major sporting events as a journalist and working directly for the event host I see both sides of this, but the fact is the sidelines are ONLY the 'office' for those working for the college/university, everyone else is a guest. When I worked for the NCAA Div 1 University the sidelines were my office, the media shooting the games were there as guests of the Sports Information Director. Having covered countless pro and NCAA games as a journalist I knew I was there as a guest of the team or league.

I never liked when the President of the University would bring guests onto the sidelines, it was always a free for all. While my school's sidelines were not as packed as Notre Dame or UCLA, they were still quite crowded. My job was to shoot what the school needed and often to tend to photogs needs and requests...and I had seen more than my fair share of photogs get their credentials yanked for taking the attitude that they owned the sidelines.

I recall one TV shooter for a major regional TV outlet getting tossed because he was pissed that the University President and his entourage (which included a few state legislators) were sucking up space in the end-zone). This TV shooter and eventually the producer demanded the non-working media be removed from the end-zone, the SID got involved and it was the TV shooter and producer who were sent packing.

Is it right that there is a content allowing a 'non-working photog' on the sidelines? That isn't my call, it is the SID's call. Pissed about it? Take it up with the SID.

I can recall MANY professional photographers who had no business being on the sidelines at Gillette Stadium with those of us covering the Pats each and every Sunday, but my job was to focus on my job, to look out for my clients needs and work around the deadwood along the sidelines.

Suck it up, deal with it...it ain't your call. If the SID says the contest winner belongs on the sidelines, then the contest winner belongs on the sidelines.
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Eric Canha, Photographer
Brockton | MA | United States | Posted: 7:56 AM on 08.07.09
->> ->> You DON'T learn on the sidelines of a NCAA football game

So things like the SS Academy are a waste of time or an inappropriate place to put students? What a LOAD OF BS! So I guess that shooting T-ball for a season is your idea of prepping for the All Star or World Series, after all they both involve bats and balls.

-->>You learn on the sidelines of a little league football game or a high school game.

Right, shooting a 9 year old receiver preps you for the speed agility and air that make a professional football player a challenge to shoot.

Every time I read lines like that I am taken back to Eddie Murphy's early years. Someone with better you-tube powers can look up the clip. He did a great piece on how mothers made homemade big macs and tried to pass them off as 'just like' the real things. Same applies here.

We have managed to stray well off the topic at hand. The bottom line is that if the 2 people holding the contest have the blessing of the SID and the school, they have met the ONLY obligation that they had.

What do you guys do during your down time? Hang out at the supermarket and make sure that the people with Handicap plates meet your definition of incapacity?



(btw I think that things like the SS Academy are a great learning tool and the fact that Bert is able to get a bunch of students into those events makes the learning experience that much better. Or so I've been told by some who have attended)
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Robert Scheer, Photographer
Indianapolis | IN | USA | Posted: 10:38 AM on 08.07.09
->> This theme is entering dead horse territory, but I'll say that while agree with Olivella's sentiment, the immature tone wasn't particularly endearing (but it doesn't sound like he cares too much about that). As I stated on the original thread, lots of elitism here.

FWIW, my breakdown on what's on the sidelines:

Other Pro photogs: Just don't be too aggressive (needless bumping) and it's all good. And remember, we're never done learning! If you're having a problem navigating other photographers, cable pullers, etc. . .might be time for a fitness and diet plan, or D II games instead of the Notre Dames and USCs of the world.

Student/amateur photogs: Study the pros: learn how to behave, (I'm happy to help when I can, but: Don't yammer constantly, keep your eyes open, if you want to cheer---don't let anybody know about it), and happy shooting!

Boosters/invited guests: No hopping on the field to celebrate, realize we have a job to do and we're cool. And, no friggin' hopping on the field to celebrate!!!

TV folks: Most of them are courteous and know they potentially block our lenses and make every effort to make everybody happy. With the worst, they will do what they want, when they want. Doesn't matter what we think.

Security detail: Most are great, but for the worst: C'mon now, do you really need to say something to us every time the end of our shoe is an inch over the line?

Mascots: Has that mascot at Tennessee Titans games killed anybody yet?

Cheerleaders/band: Rock on! Only annoying ones I've seen are the endzone cheerleaders at KC Chiefs game.
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Jeff Mills, Photographer, Photo Editor
Columbus | OH | USA | Posted: 10:58 AM on 08.07.09
->> You know why you do in fact learn on the sidelines of a NCAA game ? Because its on heck of wake up call experience and many of the very comments we are seeing in this and the other thread really illustrate that point. After shooting years of prep sports when I shot my first NCAA D1 Ohio State game it was sure an eye opener.

Nothing at all wrong with prep sports or the people who shoot it, don't get me wrong. However, its often a case of thinking your a big fish in a very small pond for a lot of people who shoot it.

People are impressed at your 70.200 2.8 or dare I even say a 300 2.8. "Wow I bet you can see Saturn with that thing" comments abound. Your free to move wherever you want on the sidelines. You probably have got to know the officals and the coaches and can joke about getting the back judges "good side". You can show up whenever and walk right down to the field because "they know you".

Those are probably some unfair cliches and generalizations I admit, but I also admit that's rather how my mentality was during that era as a younger shooter. I thought I was pretty hot stuff after working a few seasons as a team photographer for a local high school and plenty of parents at the games stoked my ego nicely.

Got to shooting NCAA though and man, that was an eye opener!

Not one person "knew me" and I had to stand in lines and show credentials everywhere I went. "But look at the size of my camera, aren't you just going to wave me in" ?

Think I could go wherever I wanted to shoot ? Hardly, I swear they had spotters in the press box with spotting scopes because if my toe was as much as on the line around the field I had an usher yelling at me. I can't shoot past the 27 yard line ? Why the HS coach let me stand next to him if I wanted.

Was anyone impressed with me or my equipment and offering me prime spots because I was "a pro" ? Nope, tons of people who had been doing this for years longer than me, with far better equipment than me, and shooting for publications I only dreamed about being in, could of cared less. I'm not saying they were jerks or anything of course, but sure is different shooting beside Peter Read Miller who's focused on doing his job than the second string linemans father and his p&s who just wants to talk all game doing prep sports. Gee, people are really serious about getting the shot at NCAA games I found, like their job depends on it or something ?

Trying to find a place to set up my laptop, figure out wi-fi access and get images submitted at halftime ? Wow, that was sure a lot harder and more pressure than simply posting everything I shot to a Smugmug site that weekend at my leisure. Wow, you mean its not just about showing up and taking photos ? You mean you have to write accurate captions and do that in a very timely manner ? Who knew ?

My first NCAA game was the most eye opening experience I've had as a photographer. It taught me that no matter how good I thought I was at the time, there was tons of people who were better. That I was nobody and had much to learn. Some people don't like that experience at their first game and instead do go back to shooting prep. I instead choose to really focus on improving and make this my career.

I don't know who this said "Contest" winner will be, but I do know that whomever it is will defiantly have a new appreciation for what we do. Not only how cool it is, but also how difficult. I hope they tell their friends how awesome it was shooting the game on the sidelines with a 400, but I also hope they tell their friends about the sound dish guy that blocked what would of been a great TD shot.

Here I am 8 years later and at least a few ushers say "Hello" now.
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Brian Blanco, Photographer
Tampa / Sarasota | FL | USA | Posted: 11:28 AM on 08.07.09
->> OK, well, this is certainly a dead horse and this will be the last thing I say about it:

I’ve communicated via email with Mike Oll, and he’s NOT inherently evil and he certainly doesn’t have the end of our industry as his ultimate evil goal. We have however agreed to disagree (as adults do) on several key things and we’re not likely to be on each other’s Christmas list but we’ve agreed to introduce ourselves at the next game we’re at together and maybe even grab a drink or something.

I do want to clear up one point though and I do this with all due respect to Mike. There appear to be a lot of people posting above who are, through no fault of their own, under the impression that his contest has the blessing of the FSU SID. By his own admission Mike has said that giving away his “assistant” credential to his law firm’s clients as a perk is a very common practice for him and that this contest his just him giving it away to someone else. This is exactly the type of thing that has working pros’ feathers in a ruffle. The act of treating the sidelines like a playground of sorts while we watch our industry slide into scary waters is disheartening to say the least.

Do I take offense because I fear that an amateur with a DSLR and a rented 400 f/2.8 is going to take money out of my pocket in a single game? No. Do I fear that same amateur getting better and taking my clients eventually? Of course not, I welcome everybody who wants to learn and join this industry that I love.

It’s just the general attitude that the sidelines are “fun” and so it’s ok to shoot for free, or next to nothing, and burn a DVD of all of your images and give them away to everybody for free because, well, it’s fun and I get to be a big shot every Saturday or Sunday.

Those of us who shoot pro or D1 college sports regularly see it ALL THE TIME and it’s getting frustrating. That’s not, as it has been interpreted here, “arrogance” or “elitism”. It’s our office and our livelihoods and so, we’re naturally protective. When I see something like this happening I don’t see it as a blow to my ego that someone else “dare” share the sideline with me. When I see someone treating my industry like a play toy I think of my wife, and our mortgage and my friends and their kids’ college tuition, etc…

I believe that if the SID provides you with an “assistant” credential to every home game then you should use it as it was intended- for someone to actually “assist” you. Making that credential a contest prize, a perk for a law firm’s big clients, auctioning it off on eBay or any number of other abuses is frustrating to those of who worked hard to get where we’re at and have to work around more and more obstacles and restrictions every year.

The bottom line is that it’s not elitism, nor is it bullying, or fear. It’s frustration. Mike has a lot invested in his sports photography and he clearly loves the industry but sometimes it’s ok to shed light on practices (whether it be a single thing like this or someone offering to shoot every game for free) that hurt the industry that some people love and many of us rely on to pay the bills.

For the record: Mike is not evil, he just may have a hard time seeing it from our side of the fence and he was very forthright about that fact in our last couple of communications.
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Daniel Putz, Photographer
Jefferson | MD | USA | Posted: 11:29 AM on 08.07.09
->> This theme IS in dead horse territory.

I think it was over when someone pointed out that it isn't OUR FIELD.
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John Germ, Photographer
Wadsworth | Oh | USA | Posted: 11:34 AM on 08.07.09
->> Wow,
I guess when construction crews are working on a road, you shouldn't be allowed out for an enjoyable drive. After all, they have mortgages to pay too right? Your casual drive makes their job more stressful. It's their 'office' isn't it? So anyone not working should not be allowed on right?
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Brian Blanco, Photographer
Tampa / Sarasota | FL | USA | Posted: 11:46 AM on 08.07.09
->> Respectfully John, I think you may have missed my point. But that's OK. Some of us deal with it a lot and understand what I'm saying and some of us, luckily, don't have to deal with it that often. I suppose it has a lot to do with the geographic area you shoot in or the market level you cover or any number of other factors. We're not all going to agree, but it really is not elitism and ANYBODY who's ever known me or worked with me would likely attest to that.

Like Bert though, I'm going to give up on this one now.
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John Germ, Photographer
Wadsworth | Oh | USA | Posted: 11:54 AM on 08.07.09
->> OK, since someone didn't understand the arc I'll explain it. Here is a quote:
"It’s our office and our livelihoods and so, we’re naturally protective. When I see something like this happening I don’t see it as a blow to my ego that someone else “dare” share the sideline with me. When I see someone treating my industry like a play toy I think of my wife, and our mortgage and my friends and their kids’ college tuition, etc…
"

The point is - to everyone NOT working on the sidelines, sideline access is a 'play thing'.

To a construction worker, the road is a job. To a Sunday driver, it's a play thing.

My point being - 99.9% of the world doesn't care that having extra people on the sidelines makes life difficult for the pro photographers. The people controlling access don't care. Why? because id does not affect them or what their job performance is judged on.

The reality is - every person working any kind of job encounters difficulties in that job because other people make decisions without caring how it affects that person. Whether you call it elitism, ego, whatever - the fact that you make a big deal out of it is amazing. Would I love it if my company hired people only based on skill and not policies of nepotism? Sure. Does it make my job harder? Sure. But guess what? The practice isn't going to stop. The practice of giving away access to non-working people isn't going to stop. So you've got a little adversity. Guess what? So does everyone else. To be blunt, learn to DEAL WITH IT.
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Jeff Mills, Photographer, Photo Editor
Columbus | OH | USA | Posted: 11:57 AM on 08.07.09
->> ->> By his own admission Mike has said that giving away his “assistant” credential to his law firm’s clients as a perk is a very common practice for him and that this contest his just him giving it away to someone else


WOW, just wow.........

Beyond the fact how of wrong I think that is, the very fact someone would publicly disclose they are doing that blows my mind.

FSU must be pretty laid back because I know if Ohio State's SID heard about me doing that I'd be out a job. Heck, I don't even get assistant credentials in the first place.
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Bryon Houlgrave, Photographer
Mason City | Ia | USA | Posted: 12:26 PM on 08.07.09
->> Remember that we cover the news as it unfolds before us. It's not a photojournalists job to influence what happens. If some "jagoff" gains access to the field with his Rebel, it's not our call to make to say they shouldn't be there. We all understand the frustration of obstructions (be it GWC, cable puller, bad timing on a referee) but you grumble a quick swear word of your choice and move on to covering the events that are taking place.
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Brian Blanco, Photographer
Tampa / Sarasota | FL | USA | Posted: 12:33 PM on 08.07.09
->> John, I'm pretty sure we can respectfully disagree without you having to be rude. Can't we? We deal with different things in our respective careers. I'd never tell you in all caps to "deal with it" or anything else like that. It's not a personal thing. It's an opinion. And no I didn't mark your post. Good luck and happy shooting.
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John Germ, Photographer
Wadsworth | Oh | USA | Posted: 12:43 PM on 08.07.09
->> Brian - sorry about comming across as rude. It is meant in the same way I mentor people in my profession - a kick in the pants. And, I apologize for the appearance my comments are directed specifically towards you. That was poorly written. It's directed towards everyone here who is writing posts on how this is making their job more difficult. No one is going to make your job easy for you because no one else cares the decisions make it difficult. So, I do appologize for sounding rude - but I think the advice is still sound. Learn to deal with the adversity of your job. Sports shooters don't have it any worse than any other profession. You either learn to deal with adversity or let it become an excuse for not thriving / surviving. Regardless of the job, those that learn to "deal with it" are the ones that survive and thrive. As I said in my email, it's about picking your battles. Fight to affect change when it's important enough and you have a chance of success. In this instance, I don't think people posting here about how these practice make their job more difficult are affecting change.
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Steven Ickes, Photographer
Mechanicsburg | PA | USA | Posted: 3:37 PM on 08.07.09
->> I don't get the whole "road worker" analogy. Roads are constructed specifically so we can drive on them and get from place to place. Not a playground but a means of transportation. If anything I would say that I doubt those crews would appreciate a member of the general public donning an orange safety vest and climbing in behind the wheel of the asphalt roller simply because "filling potholes looks fun!"
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John Germ, Photographer
Wadsworth | Oh | USA | Posted: 3:59 PM on 08.07.09
->> Steven - the analogy was made because the complaint I was hearing were people on the sidelines that aren't working. I was reading here the biggest complaint isn't that the person is taking photos but that they are taking up space and getting in the way. If the road construction crew had the entire road shut down so they could work, that would make their job much easier. But the people making the decisions on whether to close just one lane or all lanes don't care about making their life easier - only safe. The argument I was hearing here was 'these extraneous people taking up my work space makes my job tougher'. Sorry if it wasn't a good analogy. But I stick to my general point - everyone has things that make their job difficult. As best as I understand - the person in question is using an existing pass - so there is no increase in the number of people. It's someone that during the game will be assisting the photographer and taking photos under the photographer's supervision. Wouldn't you agree it's unlikely said winner is going to be freely roaaming around getting in everyone's way? So, in the grand scheme of inconvenient things that make our various jobs more difficult I'm having difficulty seeing why this is such a hot button issue. Really, all of our jobs would be easy if everyone else made decisions based solely on how it affected our jobs. They don't.
The wedding photographers have to deal with "undle Joe" with a camera, event photographers have to deal with "dad with camera" and every other profession has their troubles too. Given the specifics of this particular situation I'm unclear why this isn't a perfect example of something you don't have to like but there's little to nothing you can do to change it so you deal with it.
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Chuck Steenburgh, Photographer
Lexington | VA | USA | Posted: 7:43 PM on 08.07.09
->> John,

Your analogy would hold water if the Sunday driver was in fact "playing" construction worker instead of driving.

Your analogy would be more accurately described as the construction workers are the photographers and the Sunday driver is the ATHLETE - i.e., the person for whom the road was put there to begin with. Obviously, no one is talking about the athletes/Sunday drivers here.

But again, this has very little to do with anything other than the fact that the profession of photography is fast becoming little more than a rich guy's hobby. Better get used to it. Just ask your friendly neighborhood buggy whip maker.

Chuck
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Sam Morris, Photographer
Henderson (Las Vegas) | NV | USA | Posted: 10:33 PM on 08.07.09
->> Allow me to jump on the carrion bandwagon (the 50-count threads always attract my attention like a bad car accident).

While I didn't bother to read all the posts thoroughly, (c'mon, I didn't want to harsh my mellow after just returning from a couple great weeks in Iowa) they seem familiar to gripes heard on this board for years.

I've been shooting for a while now and I learned fairly early on that with sporting events, I'm playing in somebody else's sandbox. I might not like crowed sidelines at a football game (which seems to be the only place I have ever encountered GWC's who get in the way) and I may not agree with giving out passes to people who aren't working. But it happens and that is what you have to deal with.

I'll gripe as much as the next person and tell "war stories" at the next lukewarm, bacteria-laden hot dog lunch (I've got more than a few). But it just goes with the territory. I wish I had more good complaints other than cable pullers and dish heads, but the fact is that I have rarely had anyone that "shouldn't" be there not move or make room for me when asked with a panting "excuse me" after running past the bench down to the opposite end of the field.

It's just part of the job.

And as for safety? GMAFB. You have more of a chance getting into a car accident on the way to the game than getting hurt on the sidelines, although I am not an expert on actuarials. It does happen on occasion, and Mickey Pfleger is an example of how even the most accomplished pro can get hurt.

Just get out there and figure out a way to make it work.
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Dennis Wierzbicki, Photographer
Plainfield | IL | USA | Posted: 5:40 PM on 08.08.09
->> Well, I like Mike's latest reply better than the one on his blog, but I could have done without the personal details of what has transpired between he and Max.

It would have sufficed to say he had a personal conflict with a SportsShooter member that had surfaced on his blog which likely caused a lot of the negativity and left it at that. Not sure SS is the place to air dirty laundry (with names and all the details) like this, but maybe that's just me.
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Max Lashin, Photographer, Assistant
Fort Lauderdale | FL | United States | Posted: 6:50 PM on 08.08.09
->> Wow... just wow.

I wanna state my side of that entire story...

I came to FSU with a few years of photography.. I was not a newb but I did not know everything.. I worked for the FSView specifically to learn these things such as how to cover daily assignments and sports games, which is how most photojournalist start..

Equipment: the 28-70... a joke. KEH wanted more to repair it than the thing was worth used.
The D2h was at market price because all it included was the body.. no battery, charger, etc
So no favors there...

I worked for the Tallahassee Democrat for $85 dollars an assignment. Yes it was not full market price but in a paper with a smaller circulation and budget cuts hitting Gannett it is all the paper can offer. It is a great opportunity for a college student and I got to cover everyday news assignments, I never shot a sports game other then a little league game. It also led to other freelance work including the Palm Beach Post and the Sun-Sentinel, both which paid very well

USTA: I was on assignment with Eclipse Sportswire. I was not there just to play around.
Broken Lens-I was not Chit-chatting with someone, I was reaching down for my water bottle because it was a million degrees outside. I turned for a second and it fell. My fault and I fixed it

I have never attacked Olivella on this forum. I have quoted his blog on this thread but nothing else. I did criticize the contest he is involved with but I never spoke a bad word about Mr. Olivella.. I really do not appreciate the attacks from him especially being posted on this forum. Mr. Olivella has called me and tried for attack me on the phone with a very rude and uncalled for voicemail and to quote he said on the voicemail, "if you have balls you will call me back."
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Max Lashin, Photographer, Assistant
Fort Lauderdale | FL | United States | Posted: 7:03 PM on 08.08.09
->> Final post to close this out.

Mike has posted his email on his personal blog with a picture of me included in a means to potentially try and ruin any future photo work for me, my only job in South Florida currently. He has every right to do this because we are Americans and freedom of speech is a given right.. but I think it talks a lot about him and how "professional" he may be...

I am very glad my future career is Trauma Nursing and not photography after all that has happened this week.

Again I have never attacked him publicly. Thank you
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Alan Herzberg, Photographer
Elm Grove | WI | USA | Posted: 8:57 PM on 08.08.09
->> This thread alone is worth the $25 membership fee.
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