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|| SportsShooter.com: News Item: Posted 2006-12-20

A Letter To Santa
By Darren Carroll

Dear Santa,

I promise I've been a good boy this year. So here's what I want for Christmas:

I want a new button for categorizing SportsShooter.com message board posts. Just to the right of the "Inappropriate" button, the "Who Gives A Sh*t?" button will prove extremely useful for people who try to turn every thread on the message board, regardless of the original topic, into an excuse to list either a) every piece of equipment they own, or b) how many airports and/or time zones they've flown through in the past two days. If "Who gives a Sh*t?" is too harsh, I'll settle for the "Oh, Just Shut Up Already" button instead.

I want the small cadre of "big name" folks who used to contribute meaningful, insightful, informative, and educational posts to the message board to come back, thereby making the message board truly meaningful, insightful, informative, and educational again. I want everybody who managed to drive them away in the first place to check out www.fredmiranda.com.

I want a nice, smooth transition from half-joking about SportsShooter.com to being serious about the state of our profession to go here. But I can't think of one. So...

I want magazines and newspapers to step up to the plate and start taking an interest in where our business is heading--and where their pictures are coming from. We can kick and scream all we want, but as long as the major players in the editorial market see nothing wrong with running what basically amount to handout photos from the NBA or the PGA Tour, or using pictures from "agencies" (or "wire services," or whatever they're trying to pass themselves off as) who don't pay their photographers, those practices will continue to be legitimized and, therefore, continue. Some of us are to blame for providing the means by which these agencies can operate, but at the same time, they wouldn't be operating if they didn't have a market to enable them, either.

I want a figurative pair of balls. I'm sick of biting my tongue, of being non-confrontational and just hoping that photographers who accept bad deals (and the people who offer them in the first place) will just fade away. I want to have the guts to walk up to some of these "wire service" photographers who are working for free, look them in the eye, and call them on it next year.

I want everybody else who cares about where our business is headed to do the same.

Oh, and I want world peace. I mean, I ought to throw in at least one thing that I stand a chance in hell of getting, right?


(Freelancer Darren Carroll is based in the winter wonderland of Austin, Texas.)

Related Links:
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