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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

USATSI Photographer Fired for faking Ichiro's 4000th
Sean D. Elliot, Photographer, Photo Editor
Norwich | CT | USA | Posted: 9:51 PM on 08.30.13
->> Breaking news from nppa.org ... USA Today Sports Images photographer fired for faking photo of Ichiro's 4,000th hit ...

https://nppa.org/news/swing-and-hit-and-miss
 This post is:  Informative (10) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Robert Herrera, Photographer, Assistant
Lakeland | FL | United States | Posted: 10:07 PM on 08.30.13
->> Not sure how she thought she would get away with it
 This post is:  Informative (6) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Scott Miller, Photographer
Sorrento | FL | | Posted: 10:12 PM on 08.30.13
->> Children should not be allowed at the adult table for a reason
 This post is:  Informative (14) | Funny (7) | Huh? (3) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (12) |   Definitions

Doug Pizac, Photographer
Sandy | UT | USA | Posted: 10:44 PM on 08.30.13
->> adult table remark is inappropriate
 This post is:  Informative (5) | Funny (1) | Huh? (6) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (10) |   Definitions

Will Powers, Photographer
Denver | CO | USA | Posted: 11:15 PM on 08.30.13
->> If the caption would have read something like, "Ichiro hit his 4000th hit in a game against the opposition" not indicating that the picture is that swing, but a swing from that game, would there be the same problem?
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Armando Solares, Photographer
Englewood | FL | USA | Posted: 11:21 PM on 08.30.13
->> How does one get fired from a place where they barely pay you for your work?
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Matt Cashore, Photographer
South Bend | IN | USA | Posted: 11:35 PM on 08.30.13
->> http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3286966,00.html

http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/mediawire/138728/ap-drops-freelance-phot.../

http://petapixel.com/2010/07/19/getty-photographer-terminated-over-altered-.../

http://www.sree.net/teaching/lateditors.html

Put down the pitchforks...
 This post is:  Informative (6) | Funny (1) | Huh? (4) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Thomas E. Witte, Photographer, Photo Editor
Cincinnati | OH | USA | Posted: 12:03 AM on 08.31.13
->> Adult table remark is spot fcuking on.
 This post is:  Informative (24) | Funny (0) | Huh? (1) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (9) |   Definitions

Kevin Johnston, Photographer
Oden | MI | USA | Posted: 12:43 AM on 08.31.13
->> Wow, I don't know which is more entertaining, this threads topic or the liberal use if the inappropriate button. It's not like everyone misspelled a word in their post.
 This post is:  Informative (1) | Funny (2) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (1) |   Definitions

Thomas E. Witte, Photographer, Photo Editor
Cincinnati | OH | USA | Posted: 12:52 AM on 08.31.13
->> Matt-

No.

The pitchfork isn't pointed at USATSDPOBDSOIN or whatever the fcuk their called, the pitchfork is pointed at the photographers. Yes, each of these entities at one point hired a photographer that was an ethical twat, but the interesting thing is, the other entities have always had a high reputation, won awards, hired "the best" while USAPICRAPBALLS has always had a policy of hiring people who would agree to work for free parking as long as they didn't want royalties.

The funny thing I always notice from USASSRAPECONTRACT photographers posts on facebook and such is "SO AND SO used my photo from tonight, heres the screenshot."

K.

Let me ask you this.... Do you think that they used that photo because it was the absolute cats ass from that night's selections, or do you think they used that photo because it cost them $0.0732 to license?

USAENDOFYOURLIVELIHOOD got where they are because they make money hand over fist and investors LOVE that. It's a cash cow. But why? Because they have the best images at the highest price? Or because they have negligible overhead Due to every Tom, Dick and Wong willing to shoot for peanuts - hell, peanut shells - while they pump out subscription contracts?

We've been through this in other threads already too... "But I know some USASLICEYOURTHROATANDTELLYOURWIFEWHYYOUREBANKRUPT photographers who can really shoot and make good money." Yea, no siht sherlock, that's because they are actually good photographers who have a different kind of contract. Because you know "a guy/gal who is a good shooter" doesn't mean USACUTMYBALLSOFF hires good people who can shooter per se; it means you know some who go on with USAPULLTHISKNIFEOUTOFMYCHEST.

There is a really big difference and you do a disservice to yourself if you don't look in to the difference.
 This post is:  Informative (22) | Funny (4) | Huh? (2) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (13) |   Definitions

Thomas E. Witte, Photographer, Photo Editor
Cincinnati | OH | USA | Posted: 12:55 AM on 08.31.13
->> And damnit if the two typos in the end of graph 8 didn't kill it. Oh well, you get the point.


I hope.
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Thomas E. Witte, Photographer, Photo Editor
Cincinnati | OH | USA | Posted: 12:59 AM on 08.31.13
->> And some keyboard monkey is going to mark that post as inappropriate.

Why?
can't
Because it's all false and I'm making stuff up? Or because they have an interest stake and don't like that I'm using curse words to TRY AGAIN TO JUMP UP AND FCUKING DOWN TO MAKE PEOPLE TAKE NOTICE?

I think option 3... Neither one of their parents had a common sense gene and feel bitter and jaded.
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Kevin Johnston, Photographer
Oden | MI | USA | Posted: 1:00 AM on 08.31.13
->> USATHISISGETTINGTOHARDTOFCUKINGREAD
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (9) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (1) |   Definitions

Thomas E. Witte, Photographer, Photo Editor
Cincinnati | OH | USA | Posted: 1:05 AM on 08.31.13
->> $20 says that's what some people said while reading their contract before finally just signing it.
 This post is:  Informative (13) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Tami Chappell, Photographer, Photo Editor
Atlanta | Ga | USA | Posted: 1:23 AM on 08.31.13
->> Matt-What is your point ? That because its been done before that it's ok or there's one in every bunch? Its never acceptable from ANY publication to alter images OR state something is what it is not.
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Chuck Steenburgh, Photographer
Lexington | VA | USA | Posted: 7:47 AM on 08.31.13
->> I was invited to audition for USATSI...but it sounded like way too much work and given that I'm at least an hour away from anything they'd be interested in covering, not very lucrative.

Especially when I'm already so busy being underpaid!

Now that I think about it...I wonder if they asked me based on the quality of my work, or the lack of quality of my apparent business plan. Hmmm...
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Matt Cashore, Photographer
South Bend | IN | USA | Posted: 8:28 AM on 08.31.13
->> Just reminding everyone that the actions and ethics of an individual are not connected to the popularity of the organization on their credential.

When I read the NPPA article I had to check several times to see if it was a news story or an editorial.
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David G. McIntyre, Photographer, Photo Editor
Hong Kong | . | CHINA | Posted: 9:19 AM on 08.31.13
->> Matt, What do you mean if it is a news story or an editorial. Maybe it was an editorial about a person that tried to pass off their photo as an accurate capturing of the news.

Either way, it is news, and others should learn from this. It is not about the USATODAY Illustration Agency.
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Brian Blanco, Photographer
Tampa / Sarasota | FL | USA | Posted: 9:53 AM on 08.31.13
->> Matt Cashore,

You work for US Presswire (USATSI) right? I seriously doubt that you or the vast majority of their shooters would pull such an unethical thing so you should be glad that the photojournalism community (including NPPA) is reacting so harshly to this alleged breach of ethics. We need to call these people out loudly when this happens so that we:

1) Send a message to the outside world that we're serious about policing ourselves.
and
2) Send a message to the other shooters within the industry that this stuff is not acceptable at all.

Harsh criticism of these types of events SHOULD be aired out in as public a way possible. The NPPA website is, after all, a trade publication and if the tone of their article took on an air of outrage then I'm ok with that.

Trust me, I'm sure nobody was as outraged as USPW's management and executives. I know some of those guys personally and while we may disagree on business practices, they all take ethics seriously and, irrespective of what they're paying their shooters, expect their shooters to be honest and act professionally at all times.

I agree that this is not a failure of an agency but rather a failure of an individual. Now, that being said, I have seen a MUCH larger percentage of "camera enthusiasts" and "sports fans" wearing spec agency credentials (from a host of different spec wires) than I have with the more established and higher paying wires.

This is just a fact of the business we're in because people who are enamored with camera gear or are big sports fans are, let's face it, more likely to volunteer their time and money to shoot for free (or close to free) than someone who is an established and profitable professional. So, people who see this as "photography" and not "journalism" (which it is), are more likely to not see the harm in this type of ethical breach. Similarly, people who are not working professionals are less likely to realize that editors would MUCH rather you own up to missing a shot than to lie and fake something.

Hey, I'm no USPW apologist, I just lost a sizable chunk of my annual income on this Reuters deal, but if I'm being fair, USPW has some squared away shooters who would never dream of doing this.... they should be JUST as outraged as everyone else here.
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Michael Proebsting, Photographer
Barrington | IL | USA | Posted: 12:04 PM on 08.31.13
->> The action of the photographer speaks for itself and the dinner table comment is 100% correct.

As far as USPisswire, Maybe it's just me but I think "taking ethics seriously" means making at least an attempt to pay people a decent wage.
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer, Photo Editor
PLANET | EARTH | | Posted: 12:27 PM on 08.31.13
->> I'm not making light of this but the phrase "you get what you pay for" is the first thing that comes to mind.
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Jim Colburn, Photographer
Omaha | NE | USA | Posted: 12:35 PM on 08.31.13
->> Questions for Tom (Whitte):

Who pissed in your corn flakes this morning?

I'm all in favor of a good rambling diatribe with swearing and blasphemy (no joke) but your posts here are a little hard to understand.

How about posting one version with all of the spit and bile that you can muster (always entertaining) and then another version written in a calmer style that would be easier to decipher?

Thanks in advance.
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Steve Ueckert, Photographer
Houston | TX | | Posted: 12:47 PM on 08.31.13
->> I wonder what the LA Times was paying Walski?

Being a professional is not the same as professionalism.

In the situation that prompted this thread, a choice was made. My Mom & Dad taught me as much as anything a person eventually will be known by the choices they make/made.
 This post is:  Informative (1) | Funny (0) | Huh? (3) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Michael Proebsting, Photographer
Barrington | IL | USA | Posted: 3:54 PM on 08.31.13
->> Anybody else here agree that what gives this message board less and less credibility is the fact that people can slap the innapropriate button without having the balls, decency or common sense to try and articulate what is "innapropriate"?

My suggestion is if you use the "inappropriate" button, you must also offer a written explanation for what exactly is inapropriate, at least in your world.
 This post is:  Informative (3) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (3) |   Definitions

Mark Loundy, Photo Editor, Photographer
San Jose | CA | USA | Posted: 4:24 PM on 08.31.13
->> Jim, I had no problem understanding it. But maybe it's because my brain is just wired that way.

--Mark
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Clark Brooks, Photo Editor, Photographer
Urbana | IL | USA | Posted: 4:54 PM on 08.31.13
->> "Anybody else here agree that what gives this message board less and less credibility is the fact that people can slap the innapropriate button without having the balls, decency or common sense to try and articulate what is "innapropriate"?"

In case folks can't see it, I'm holding my right hand up high over my head. I think that should go for Huh? and Informative (which I think most folks translates to 'I agree') as well. Funny? It needs no explanation unless you one of those with no sense of humor.
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (1) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Scott Miller, Photographer
Sorrento | FL | | Posted: 9:29 PM on 08.31.13
->> Doug and the spineless pricks sending me anonymous emails..

Would you have preferred "USPW (USATSI): Better than season tickets ?"

And yes as Brian pointed out, some of the people there are good folks, but as most have said many times, you get what you pay for.

We all bitch about fans on the sidelines at college and bowl games they are there for a better view, not much difference with a lot of Freewire folks.

Oh feel free to mark this one inappropriate too
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Doug Pizac, Photographer
Sandy | UT | USA | Posted: 12:04 AM on 09.01.13
->> Scott...

Uncool. You wrote me privately with an opinion and I respected that with a private reply. Now you dish me publicly linking me to something that was not part of our conversation.

Not fair. Not right. Not appropriate.
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Brian Blanco, Photographer
Tampa / Sarasota | FL | USA | Posted: 12:20 AM on 09.01.13
->> Doug,

If I may say, reading Scott's last post I personally didn't read it as if he was calling you "spineless" or suggesting that you sent any anonymous emails. I read it to understand that he was addressing you AND those people. I know Scott well enough to know that he likely respects the fact that you addressed him directly in this thread... even if he does disagree with what you wrote.
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Scott Miller, Photographer
Sorrento | FL | | Posted: 5:52 AM on 09.01.13
->> Doug

As Brian pointed out, the key work in my second post was "AND"

And I never got, sent or returned a message from you.
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Jim Colburn, Photographer
Omaha | NE | USA | Posted: 11:17 AM on 09.01.13
->> "...and the spineless pricks..."

Yours has a spine?

Wow.

Really.
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Doug Pizac, Photographer
Sandy | UT | USA | Posted: 11:22 AM on 09.01.13
->> Scott...

My public apology to you for saying you wrote me privately. You didn't. I got emails too from people (including anonymous) about my post on being civil. One was from a Scott, but a different Scott. When I wrote my "and" response I was in pain from having knee reconstruction surgery and not thinking fully. Again, my apology for the private correspondence link.

I still stand by anti-flippant remark however. The idea of SportsShooter -- I believe -- is to share knowledge and experiences; not as a platform for personal attacks. Having said that, I may have crossed the line myself. And I apologize to everyone for that.
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Michael Granse, Photographer
Urbana | IL | USA | Posted: 1:35 PM on 09.01.13
->> Photographers from all over the world have succumbed to temptation by manipulating an image, caption, or both to give the final product that extra nudge toward the perfection that it lacked and this is a failing on the part of the individual photographer, not the agency to which the photographer submits their images.

It is irresponsible to assume that everyone who submits images to a given agency is dishonest or unqualified because that agency has had to fire a photographer for manipulating images. This would require us to have a very low opinion of some really good photographers who work for Associated Press, Getty, Reuters or any other agency or publication that has had to fire a photographer for ethics violations. If anything, we should be relieved that USATSI and other agencies have taken action to discourage such behavior on the part of their photographers.

This is not a defense of USATSI nor is it an attack on the other named agencies but a suggestion that we should not harbor ill will toward every photographer that has worked for an agency that has had to fire someone for ethics violations. I would hope that we are better than that.
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Mickey Bernal, Photographer, Assistant
nashville | TN | usa | Posted: 5:38 PM on 09.01.13
->> I liked Scott Millers comment
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Kevin Johnston, Photographer
Oden | MI | USA | Posted: 6:47 PM on 09.01.13
->> While this is a heated topic on this board more than 50 "inappropriate" instant feedbacks is absurd. There's really nothing in this thread that deserves that kind of crap. If your that easily offended it's time to toughen up.

Maybe everyone should review the definitions of what those little buttons are for and stop making the whole thread look childish.

http://www.sportsshooter.com/if_definitions.html
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Scott Miller, Photographer
Sorrento | FL | | Posted: 7:21 PM on 09.01.13
->> Jim, yes it's from the darker purple pill :)
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Scott Miller, Photographer
Sorrento | FL | | Posted: 7:24 PM on 09.01.13
->> Doug, accepted. I will answer you other question you sent me via email well, via email when I get home from a weekend of soccer.
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Randy Sartin, Photographer, Assistant
Knoxville | TN | USA | Posted: 11:01 PM on 09.01.13
->> Kevin,

>> While this is a heated topic on this board more than 50 "inappropriate" instant feedbacks is absurd. There's really nothing in this thread that deserves that kind of crap. If your that easily offended it's time to toughen up.

Maybe everyone should review the definitions of what those little buttons are for and stop making the whole thread look childish.

http://www.sportsshooter.com/if_definitions.html

Sorry, but I found this comment slightly rude and offensive from Thomas...

"The pitchfork isn't pointed at USATSDPOBDSOIN or whatever the fcuk their called, the pitchfork is pointed at the photographers. Yes, each of these entities at one point hired a photographer that was an ethical twat, but the interesting thing is, the other entities have always had a high reputation, won awards, hired "the best" while USAPICRAPBALLS has always had a policy of hiring people who would agree to work for free parking as long as they didn't want royalties.

The funny thing I always notice from USASSRAPECONTRACT photographers posts on facebook and such is "SO AND SO used my photo from tonight, heres the screenshot."

K.

Let me ask you this.... Do you think that they used that photo because it was the absolute cats ass from that night's selections, or do you think they used that photo because it cost them $0.0732 to license?

USAENDOFYOURLIVELIHOOD got where they are because they make money hand over fist and investors LOVE that. It's a cash cow. But why? Because they have the best images at the highest price? Or because they have negligible overhead Due to every Tom, Dick and Wong willing to shoot for peanuts - hell, peanut shells - while they pump out subscription contracts?

We've been through this in other threads already too... "But I know some USASLICEYOURTHROATANDTELLYOURWIFEWHYYOUREBANKRUPT photographers who can really shoot and make good money." Yea, no siht sherlock, that's because they are actually good photographers who have a different kind of contract. Because you know "a guy/gal who is a good shooter" doesn't mean USACUTMYBALLSOFF hires good people who can shooter per se; it means you know some who go on with USAPULLTHISKNIFEOUTOFMYCHEST.

There is a really big difference and you do a disservice to yourself if you don't look in to the difference."

"Childish" is the way a few folks here like to comment on things that they have no knowledge of. "Naive" is what I call folks who do not try to understand how this industry is changing, so they just whine and call names about who and what is happening.
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Nic Coury, Photographer
Monterey | CA | | Posted: 1:32 AM on 09.02.13
->> http://www.sportsshooter.com/news/2635

I should really pay royalties to the guy who wrote this piece for all the times I've linked it. Oh wait...
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Ting Shen, Student/Intern, Photographer
Chicago | IL | U.S. | Posted: 1:37 AM on 09.02.13
->> You are though!

But seriously.

Thanks Nic to remind us of being an professional no matter of the situation and platform.
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Brian Blanco, Photographer
Tampa / Sarasota | FL | USA | Posted: 7:15 AM on 09.02.13
->> Randy Sartin,

I just read the last sentence in your post and 'heard' you say that Thomas Witte, yes THOMAS E. WITTE: 'doesn't know what he's talking about and that he's "naive" for not understanding how the business is changing.'

You should maybe Google Mr. Witte. He knows more on the subject than you could ever imagine and I can ASSURE you that he understands the BUSINESS side of this industry better than almost anyone.

Ok, now that that bit of nonsense is out of the way let me address something else:

You're now the THIRD person on this thread who shoots for US Presswire and has come on here to subtly defend US Presswire or admonish someone for a comment they made critical of US Presswire but who doesn't own up to that fact and mention that they shoot for US Presswire in said post.

I find that kind of telling.

You know what else I find kind of telling? That the VAST majority of the members on this site who shoot for US Presswire don't include that information on their member page bio and that they mysteriously exclude that byline from the end of the caption of their images posted here. On their member page bio they write things like "My images have appeared in Sports Illustrated, USA Today, etc..." but what they never say is: "I proudly shoot for US Presswire". Why is that?

I don't shoot for any client that I'm ashamed to work for. I'll proudly tell you who I shoot for because I worked hard to build a mutually-benficial relationship with all my clients... clients that respect me and my contribution.

Hey, I'll admit that when I first left my staff job I had, for a moment, an idea for a new kind of spec agency (more local news focused) and my lawyer and accountant looked at the numbers and saw that it'd be slightly profitable but we abandoned that idea and the corporation we started because I realized that while it would have been profitable... it would have only profitable for me, and not the shooters contributing the material and doing the work.

Look, I'm not averse to the idea of change and, frankly, the guys running US Presswire are smart people whom I truly do respect so maybe Witte and I (and the vast majority of profitable professionals) are missing something. Ok, great, come one here, be up front about your affiliation, and let's have a discussion about it. Don't come on here and give me the same ol' spec shooter line of: "You don't have all the facts" or my personal favorite: clicking the 'inappropriate' button on any and every post critical of spec shooting.
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Brian Blanco, Photographer
Tampa / Sarasota | FL | USA | Posted: 10:09 AM on 09.02.13
->> By the way Randy, it may not come across above, but I meant what I said with respect to you and to all spec shooters. Sometimes, often times actually, the typed word doesn't come across with the same inflection as the spoken voice so it's important that you know that none of what I wrote was an attack, just more of an observation and an invitation to have discussions of substance.
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Jacob Langston, Photographer
Orlando | FL | | Posted: 11:18 AM on 09.02.13
->> Thanks for stealing my thunder Blanco.

I went to bed thinking I was gong to wake up and say the same thing. If you work for them, be proud. Own it.

We are professionals proficient in a very specific trade. Act like it. You are now getting paid less than the people who take your tickets at the entrance, fry the chicken fingers in the concession stands and the security guys who hassle you to stay behind the yellow line.

From now on, B.B. can speak for me in any public forum, at any women's conference or gathering of science fiction enthusiasts.
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Brian Blanco, Photographer
Tampa / Sarasota | FL | USA | Posted: 11:34 AM on 09.02.13
->> Thanks Langston, and to expand on your very-accurate observation:

The security guys at the game making $125 for the day only had to buy and bring a pair of black $29.00 New Balance sneakers to get the job.

The shooters shooting for $125 (inclusive of expenses and before taxes) for the day had to buy and drag $30,000.00 of their own gear to the stadium to get the job.

Not a jab; just a a fact.

Like you pointed out, someone would make FAR more money working security at the game.
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Randy Sartin, Photographer, Assistant
Knoxville | TN | USA | Posted: 11:59 AM on 09.02.13
->> Brian,

No worries man, all is good.

A) I shoot for USATSI, and yes it's on my member page. And my websites. And my social media. I proudly shoot for them and a gazillion other clients. Never tried to hide that fact.

B) Mr. Witte probably knows 10 times more about this business than I do. I did mark his post as inappropriate because of the name calling and yes it seems childish to me.

C) I'm sure Mr. Witte is not naive about how this industry is changing, but there are a lot of folks that comment on all of the USATSI threads that I think are a bit naive.
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Brian Blanco, Photographer
Tampa / Sarasota | FL | USA | Posted: 12:21 PM on 09.02.13
->> Randy,

A) I'm not seeing it anywhere on your member page. Just the "my work has been published" language. Nor do I see it on social media and I cannot get your website to load but, ok, I'll drop it, it was only a fraction of my total point anyway.

B) Yes, that Witte guy is a wealth of business knowledge and he's pretty approachable too and would be happy to help anybody with business questions. He's a resource that too many people don't take advantage of.

C) Ok, fine; educate us. That's my point.
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David Seelig, Photographer
Hailey | ID | USA | Posted: 12:24 PM on 09.02.13
->> The thing is when you pay so little sometimes you get fans with cameras. I have known some of presswire photographers who I respect and some I would not let in my driveway. No need to mention names. The fact is highly respected long time shooters have done things with photoshop and gotten fired from jobs it is easy to take pot shots because of who she worked for but this is not about presswire but about someone who missed a shot and panicked and blew it, and hurt there life forever, I find it quite sad.
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Randy Sartin, Photographer, Assistant
Knoxville | TN | USA | Posted: 12:59 PM on 09.02.13
->> Brian,

A) Point taken about my member page, it's in my twitter profile, and I hope my website is not broke :)

B) Well said.

C) I am so new to this industry it's not even funny. Started out shooting a lot of 100% spec stuff, alongside a lot of other folks doing the exact same thing, and at that point I really considered it pretty normal. Started out with US Presswire when they started the assignment fee structure (thought that was a step in the right direction...no longer on spec only).

Yesterday I covered a college football game, and I would guess that at least 80% of the photographers there were shooting for free/shooting on 100% spec/receiving a lot less than $125. I will try to somewhat verify this info this week.

My point is this...I can probably count on one hand the number of folks I know who make 100% of their income shooting action sports. I do not see how it can be a viable business model. I'm sure it once was but not in today's world. Did the spec agencies cause this? Did the availability of decent digital gear cause it? I really do not know, because by the time I started shooting the current situation was "normal".

Am I making any sense at all? :)
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Mike Carlson, Photographer
Bayonet Point | FL | USA | Posted: 1:29 PM on 09.02.13
->> Randy - did I really just read that? Let's try arranging things this way...

QUESTION: "I can probably count on one hand the number of folks I know who make 100% of their income shooting action sports. I do not see how it can be a viable business model."

ANSWER: "Yesterday I covered a college football game, and I would guess that at least 80% of the photographers there were shooting for free/shooting on 100% spec/receiving a lot less than $125."

Does that help clarify your own question? And, yes, I know "today's world" is changing...mine changed a little more with the call from Reuters telling me I would no longer be covering sports - being replaced by those willing to shoot for less.
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Brian Blanco, Photographer
Tampa / Sarasota | FL | USA | Posted: 1:54 PM on 09.02.13
->> So Randy, what you're saying is that you recognize that what you're doing is the reason that the business is no longer profitable and yet, knowing this, you CONTINUE to do it because, well, everyone else is doing it too and you don't want to give up your golden ticket into the game?

This, this right here, is the problem. The fact that the draw of the sidelines and the chest-tumping that comes with that almighty SI clip, means more to casual shooters than making a living and operating their "business" in a manner that allows others (people who feed their kids this way) to make a living as well.

*** Side note: Mike Carlson (the post above mine) is probably the single best sports photographer in my market. He also has a full-time career and a government salary and yet, out of respect for himself and those of us full-time shooters in the area, he insists upon being paid the same rate that we're paid and does not, and will not, shoot on spec. Mike, despite having season credentials to every professional team and NCAA team in the area, choses to stay home on non-paid game days rather than shoot for free even though he can.

We need more people like Mike Carlson. He is living proof that you can have a "day job" and still operate your photography business in a manner that is profitable and that does not hurt the immediate market or the industry as a whole.

Thank you Mike Carlson for your post above, the manner in which you conduct business here in Tampa and for being just so damn sexy to boot.
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Robert Caplin, Photographer
New York/Barcelona | Worldwide | | Posted: 2:04 PM on 09.02.13
->> Randy,

The issue is "freelancers" accepting assignments for little or no compensation, thus you (and others like you) are the problem.

I don't mean to be rude and blunt, but the fact that you're on here calling others naive and making ridiculous assumptions of the business practices of others is so hypocritical makes me want to jump out of my skin.

"I am so new to this industry it's not even funny." and you're calling people here naive. Pure comedy gold right there.

I wish you the all the success in your career, but I'd highly recommend taking a serious look at your own business practices, lack of experience, and listen to what the veterans here are saying.

Respectfully,
Robert
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