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picard
10th of June 2010 (Thu), 18:49
is the sport photographer a dying breed ?

Newspaper chains are laying off entire sport department and print department. I wonder if the market is saturated with unemployed sport photographers. My friend who is a editor for Hawaii newspaper chain was lay off this month along with several hundreds people

how does this affect sport photography field?

JeffreyG
10th of June 2010 (Thu), 21:33
Too broad of a genre for me to say.

I shoot sports on contract for local HS teams. I offer them what they want (posters and banquet slide show) and make a nice profit on the back-end print sales.

From what I see of the local professional sports teams there are still professional photographers in the pits and on the sidelines shooting the games. They must be shooting for someone.

Biffbradford
10th of June 2010 (Thu), 21:42
It's a changing world. If you can take a better picture than Mom, then you've got a potential market. Find a niche and work it.

yogestee
10th of June 2010 (Thu), 22:06
A very fair question..

I worked for a newspaper from mid 1990 until July 2007.. Whlist shooting film we would shoot all the big games.. For those in Australia, we would drive 100klms or more for an ARL game, to shoot a Saturday/Sunday afternoon game, drive back, process and print..

We were part of a much larger masthead.. When were went of to digital in 1999 we used images from other photographers from the same masthead more and more.. Images were posted on the company's intranet Australia wide.. We would also use images shot by sports agencies affiliated with the newspaper..

We shot fewer out of town sports events but still shot big local games.. The good news is,, we never had any lay offs.. I could always remember there being 10 fulltime photographers and two casuals..

Also,,Australia is one of the few western countries which still employs staff photographers.. A lot can be said about unionisation..

picard
10th of June 2010 (Thu), 23:27
my friend, the editor manager, is freaking scared for his job. He was told that if he seek a new job before July 1, 2010; he won't get his severance pay.

he is now effectively on call without pay. He stays at home biting his nails like a squirrel.

yogestee
11th of June 2010 (Fri), 00:28
my friend, the editor manager, is freaking scared for his job. He was told that if he seek a new job before July 1, 2010; he won't get his severance pay.

he is now effectively on call without pay. He stays at home biting his nails like a squirrel.

That's a very bad situation to be in:(

I'm wondering, is he a fulltimer??

gjl711
11th of June 2010 (Fri), 00:38
I don't think it's sports shooters per say, it's newspapers. Not sure how the newspapers are doing around the country, but in the Chicago area both major papers are really hurting and circulation continues to shrink.

photoPanda
11th of June 2010 (Fri), 00:44
The local newspaper photogs were complaining to me a few months back that the paper had laid off half their staff because of the increasing reliance on agency images; from the sounds of it more papers are getting their shots from less shooters.

hooookup
11th of June 2010 (Fri), 02:55
is the sport photographer a dying breed ?

Newspaper chains are laying off entire sport department and print department. I wonder if the market is saturated with unemployed sport photographers. My friend who is a editor for Hawaii newspaper chain was lay off this month along with several hundreds people

how does this affect sport photography field?

June 6th was a very sad day for the news making business in Hawaii. I hope my friends and colleagues over there are able to find work with the Star Advertiser or other outlets to remain working. A lot of talented shooters lost their jobs this week...
Sorry to thread jack. /end threadjack

neilwood32
11th of June 2010 (Fri), 08:31
I think it is photographers employed within journalism in general that are in danger.

Given the ease at which an editor can pull images of the web or use "citizen journalists/photographers", it means that paying staff is no longer a requirement for getting the images. The vast majority of the general public also don't want paid for their contribution as well for some reason :rolleyes:

gjl711
11th of June 2010 (Fri), 08:52
...The vast majority of the general public also don't want paid for their contribution as well for some reason :rolleyes:Not sure if it's the vast majority, in fact, even our local paper pays for photos used. It might be less than what a professional can negotiate but generally there is some freelance fee. But I see your point and I think it has to do with intent?

A photo journalist takes a picture with profit in mind. It's their main goal, take a picture that will sell. Someone out taking pictures for themselves, and happens to stumble upon a newsworthy event, never had profit in mind. A newspaper wanting their print their pic is enough satisfaction given that they were expecting nothing to begin with.

yogestee
11th of June 2010 (Fri), 12:45
When I go back to Australia I always drop in a have a cuppa with the guys at the newspaper I worked for.. The newspaper has been bought by another masthead which only looks at the bottom line..

Since I resigned in July '07, there has been two retirements but they are starting to offer redundancies to the older longer serving guys.. These photographers are at the top of the pile when it comes to experience and talent, and naturally salaries..

On guy has had over 35 years continuous service with the newspaper and is only in his mid 50s.. Press photography is all he knows and the prospect of getting another job in the industry is very rare.. Luckily, the payouts are quite generous..

It's not a happy camp..

blueM
11th of June 2010 (Fri), 15:17
I don't think it's sports shooters per say, it's newspapers. Not sure how the newspapers are doing around the country, but in the Chicago area both major papers are really hurting and circulation continues to shrink.

Same situation in Detroit. Joint Operating Agreement between the Det Free Press & Det News. They stopped home delivery 4 days out of 7 some months back. They also increased the price and reduced the size of the paper. Now the paper(s) is(are) hardy worth buying. Definitely a reduction in last minute sports reporting. Sort of a downward spiral - less subscribers - less news printed - less subscribers ...

picard
11th of June 2010 (Fri), 18:21
That's a very bad situation to be in:(

I'm wondering, is he a fulltimer??

yeah my buddy is a full time editor manager who worked there for years.

crcal
11th of June 2010 (Fri), 18:34
I don't know much about the industry, but I do know that the two newspapers in Hawaii just merged into one. That is probably a bitg reason why so many got laid off in this case.

gjl711
11th of June 2010 (Fri), 18:38
I don't know much about the industry, but I do know that the two newspapers in Hawaii just merged into one. That is probably a bitg reason why so many got laid off in this case.I've noticed that there is a large generational gap in those that prefer newspapers and those that prefer getting their news in other ways. As our older members fade away, there are less and less readers replacing them.

Thalagyrt
11th of June 2010 (Fri), 19:57
Not sure if it's the vast majority, in fact, even our local paper pays for photos used. It might be less than what a professional can negotiate but generally there is some freelance fee. But I see your point and I think it has to do with intent?

A photo journalist takes a picture with profit in mind. It's their main goal, take a picture that will sell. Someone out taking pictures for themselves, and happens to stumble upon a newsworthy event, never had profit in mind. A newspaper wanting their print their pic is enough satisfaction given that they were expecting nothing to begin with.

CBS4, at least locally, likes to ask right before every commercial break, "Have a picture? Send it to us at pics@cbs4.com and if we like it, we'll display it on our website and give you a credit!"

I wrote up a scathing reply asking them to send me free articles which, if I deemed worthy, would post up on various websites I run, including a high traffic forum, and give them a whole, yes, you read that right, one whole credit! You know, because that credit is perfectly good for paying bills and feeding the family. I know I could completely sustain a happy living on photo, or in their case, article credits alone, couldn't you? :D

I never sent it, figured it'd be bad for business, but who knows, maybe some day I'll pull it out and shoot it over at them. ;)

gjl711
11th of June 2010 (Fri), 20:08
CBS4, at least locally, likes to ask right before every commercial break, "Have a picture? Send it to us at pics@cbs4.com and if we like it, we'll display it on our website and give you a credit!Yea, I've seen that on our local weather as well. "Send in your weather pics". They pretty much have a few different pics every night. Sign of the times I suppose. As photography gets easier and more available, it's value goes down.

birdfromboat
11th of June 2010 (Fri), 21:31
I think it is a double whammy on the newspapers, they compete with so much web available information, so subscriptions are down, thats one source of income that is drying up. And the other is paid advertising. I heard our local was selling something like half their normal ad space overnight when the economy dropped. Counting on weekly ads from local car dealers and appliance stores and such made it hard to see it drop off like that.
But still, a smart business keeps the good writers and the good photojournalists, a dieing one cuts the experienced staff and goes with the inexperienced help to save money. My local is just plain lame, the writing is highschool level, they have 1 maybe 2 shots per page max and they look like they were taken by the writers.
They are digging their own hole now. wish it wasn't so, but our kids will be remembering newspaper delivery the way I remember milkmen.

spkerer
11th of June 2010 (Fri), 21:47
They are digging their own hole now. wish it wasn't so, but our kids will be remembering newspaper delivery the way I remember milkmen.

Haven't heard it described that way, but I think you nailed it.

gjl711
11th of June 2010 (Fri), 21:48
...a smart business keeps the good writers and the good photojournalists, a dieing one cuts the experienced staff and goes with the inexperienced help to save money. ...Either recipe is headed for disaster. A smart business that keeps it's experienced and expensive staff needs to bring in even more revenue to break even. If the revenue is not, a few bad quarters and it's gone. Cheap inexperienced staff may reduce readership more, but it also reduces cost. Either way your gonna die.

birdfromboat
11th of June 2010 (Fri), 22:37
I am sad to see local radio go away, I am sad to see local newspapers dieing, but yet I have more information available to me than ever and it all fits in my pocket. This is one of those points in history where a new approach could be the new norm. Sports photography as it applies to newspapers is dieng because newspapers are dieing, but there will most likely always be a job puting good images of sports in front of viewers and whatever it is will make some sports shooters a career. Todays sport photographer is a dieng breed, but there will be sport photography as long as there are sports.

The Moose
13th of June 2010 (Sun), 12:08
Also,,Australia is one of the few western countries which still employs staff photographers.. A lot can be said about unionisation..

I love that we still have strong newspapers here. I love that Australia still takes in newspapers so much so that there is no real fear like there is in the US.

yogestee
13th of June 2010 (Sun), 12:51
I love that we still have strong newspapers here. I love that Australia still takes in newspapers so much so that there is no real fear like there is in the US.

Glenn,,we still have strong newspapers in Australia.. One reason is they are highly unionised..

Newspaper readership isn't dropping, but circulation is.. Many people read their newspapers on the internet..

I love reading the newspaper.. I go to a cafe each day, grab a coffee and spend time reading.. Funnily enough, I read the Bangkok Post which is a damn fine 'paper.. It's the only foreign newspaper allowed into Laos, a country which for all intents and purposes is cut off from foreign media..

The Moose
13th of June 2010 (Sun), 15:26
Glenn,,we still have strong newspapers in Australia.. One reason is they are highly unionised..

Newspaper readership isn't dropping, but circulation is.. Many people read their newspapers on the internet..

I love reading the newspaper.. I go to a cafe each day, grab a coffee and spend time reading.. Funnily enough, I read the Bangkok Post which is a damn fine 'paper.. It's the only foreign newspaper allowed into Laos, a country which for all intents and purposes is cut off from foreign media..

Yeah, I can imagine that circulation's dropping. I don't buy a paper everyday but I do love sitting down and reading one when I do, which I try to do every so often. The thing is, even though I've read most of it already the day before on the internet, I love reading it again in the paper. It does get annoying when you notice how much of the papers are boring ads and mindless stories, but not everyday is a great news day so you have to take it as it is.

When the Melbourne Storm salary cap scandal broke (I'm a big Storm supporter), I bought both the Herald Sun and The Age to see how they presented it, despite reading the majority of the articles on both of their websites from the minute the story broke. It was interesting reading it in front of me as a hard copy, it was like it was happening all over again.

rks221
14th of May 2012 (Mon), 15:58
Obviously the editorial markets have been hit, the people I know who are still in the business have stayed by adding commercial and advertising sports photography to the editorial repertoire. This is probably the way to go for people going into sports photography. Learn how to shoot sports editorially, but also learn how to stage action shots as well for commercial and advertising use.

CountryBoy
17th of May 2012 (Thu), 18:21
It's a changing world. If you can take a better picture than Mom, then you've got a potential market. Find a niche and work it.

Not sure how much that matters anymore .

DStanic
17th of May 2012 (Thu), 21:17
10 years ago it wasn't that easy for an amateur to take good, or even usable action shots unless they knew what they were doing and would have to have a pretty expensive setup. Now anybody can buy a 40D or a used 1D series with a 70-200 or some sort of telephoto with USM and practise enough to take usable (I won't say good necessarily) photographs. I think digital has made a huge impact in alot of areas in photography (especially wedding photography too). I'm not a "pro" but I've done a couple weddings with decent results, something I could not have learned to do with film in as quick a time as I did.

watt100
18th of May 2012 (Fri), 08:33
10 years ago it wasn't that easy for an amateur to take good, or even usable action shots unless they knew what they were doing and would have to have a pretty expensive setup. Now anybody can buy a 40D or a used 1D series with a 70-200 or some sort of telephoto with USM and practise enough to take usable (I won't say good necessarily) photographs.

I've even heard of people with a rebel and a cheap 55-250IS getting "usable" sports action pics that were published.
it's crazy

CountryBoy
18th of May 2012 (Fri), 14:18
I've even heard of people with a rebel and a cheap 55-250IS getting "usable" sports action pics that were published.
it's crazy

Some are just using a P&S and getting away with it .