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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 08 Apr 2013 (Monday) 15:06
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Any Freelance or Salary Newspaper Photographers out there?

 
Bang ­ Bang ­ Boy
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Apr 09, 2013 03:13 |  #16

TimHphotovideo wrote in post #15804469 (external link)
Hello POTN,

I have wondered how does someone become a freelance Newspaper Photographer? I am just curious as to how it all comes about. Is it a day to day 9-5 sort of thing? - If so I would love to get into that!!! When looking at a newspaper I see many photos and they are all coming from different places in the area. Knowing that these papers are issued daily, I would imagine that there are a handful of staffed photographers out in the field capturing photos...Right? Anyone can chime in if you are knowledgeable or know what direction to point me in to get more information on this subject. Thanks in advance...

It's definately doable. Currently doing a six month internship in Johannesburg SA.
I would recommend a varsity education. If you are from the states look at the University Of Missouri as from my understanding they are the best. Hell Guttenfelder went there. I might be a bit biased since my professor used to school there. Here in Sweden we have the swedish school of journalism, the masters program is in english and quite awesome.

Try and get someone at the paper too look at your portfolio, maybe find a mentor that is currently working. It is in a way very much like the old days when you have to work your way up. Tell the paper you can do music events and smaller stuff that the staffers might prefer to not do.

It's a long way but if you don't give up and you have the eye then it is doable.
And to all the people telling us that we are a dying breed, **** that. We are just evolving into something else. I can write and I can shoot/edit video. It is necessary to learn that and more of the role of a journo. But we are not dying.

And to the people complaining about paychecks. I worked for five days and earned 3000 USD covering the Oscar Pistorius case for swedish papers. It is all about selecting the best buyer aka the one with the most money to splunge.


Lots of old stuff but hey I am a student
Photojournalist in Johannesburg.

  
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watt100
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Apr 09, 2013 06:00 |  #17

gonzogolf wrote in post #15804628 (external link)
Our local paper used to have an award winning staff of 5 or 6 full time shooters. They are now down to 1 full timer and a couple of semi retired stringers. They fill the paper with wire service shots, and reader submissions.

That's the situation in my city, the transition to digital has been brutal for the newspaper staff. Most of the photographers have been laid off, they have one paid photographer using stringers and reader submitted pics (and there are decreasing number of newspaper readers)




  
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xchangx
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Apr 09, 2013 09:55 |  #18

I do freelance sports work for the paper in my area. Not paid per image but per event.

There are only a few staff guys at that paper and they cover just about everything, but I normally help out with high school sports since there are so many games going on at the same time.

Develop a killer portfolio, find out who the director of photography is and get your portfolio in front of them.


Nikon D4s / 2x D3s / D3 / 17-35 2.8 / 70-200 2.8 / 600 f4
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Freelance sports photographer for Sports Illustrated
My Images with Getty (external link)
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yogestee
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Apr 09, 2013 23:58 |  #19

TimHphotovideo wrote in post #15804469 (external link)
Hello POTN,

I have wondered how does someone become a freelance Newspaper Photographer? I am just curious as to how it all comes about. Is it a day to day 9-5 sort of thing? - If so I would love to get into that!!! When looking at a newspaper I see many photos and they are all coming from different places in the area. Knowing that these papers are issued daily, I would imagine that there are a handful of staffed photographers out in the field capturing photos...Right? Anyone can chime in if you are knowledgeable or know what direction to point me in to get more information on this subject. Thanks in advance...

Hi Tim,,, I worked as a fulltime photographer for a medium size daily for 17 years from 1990 until I resigned and moved overseas in mid 2007. I also had a fortnightly column which I did both the writing and photography for. I was paid freelance rates for the column above my normal salary.

I had known the photographers at the 'paper for quite some time before working for the newspaper. I had a commercial photography business at the time and knew the guys socially and professionally. I had been offered jobs twice at the newspaper but knocked them back because my business was doing well and I was also studying commercial photography at college level. The third job offer the newspaper daggled to carrot, so I took the gig.

The newspaper employed 11 full-timers and two casuals. Two of the full-timers were women. At the time the department had something like 220 years of total continuous service. A couple of guys had over 35 years experience with the newspaper. Photographers, once employed at a newspaper just don't leave. Being highly unionised as newspapers are in Australia, salaries and conditions are excellent. You also get to "play" with some top shelf equipment.

Our "standard" kit at the time was a 1DMkII/20D or 30D backup, EF 16-35mm f/2.8 or 17-40mm f/2.8, EF50mm f/2.5 macro, EF70-200mm f/2.8, Canon 1.4x TC, two 580EX Speedlights, Toshiba laptop with aircard,,all which we could take home for personal use. We also has a locker full of specialised gear EF 800mm f/5.6, 200mm f/2 and everything in between. Enough gear to make a Canon fanboy cream his shorts. The newspaper was part of a much larger organisation, so money wasn't an issue. Gear is updated as needed or when new models came out. Quite a few guys used their own gear also, especially lenses. I often used my Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 and old Metz 45CT1 (fantastic flash especially if I was shooting quickly at a press conference)

We'd work three shifts which were rotated,,including weekends. The first shift would start at 8.00am and the last shift would finish at 10.30pm. We were allowed a couple of hours at the end of the shift to file our images, sometimes we would file from home via the company intranet. Filing images onsite was a common practice from our laptops via an aircard. 8.30 hours a day with one hour for lunch over a 38 hour week. We would often be rostered off during the week with two or three days off consecutively, depending on which shift you came off. We also had a fleet of company cars assigned to the photography department.

The work varies depending on what is news worthy. For example, you might shoot a press conference in the morning or maybe a vox pop after. In the afternoon maybe police rounds or school sport. It's so variable. One photographer would usually hang back at the office in case of an emergency. We also had a couple of police scanners in the office. In short,, assignments varied from day to day. Jobs were assigned by the boss, but many of the guys had their speciality. One photographer was a brilliant basketball photographer and had won many awards. Weekends was busy because of sport and social functions.

Getting full-time jobs in newspapers, especially in Australia is difficult. Photography has the lowest staff turn over of any department in a newspaper. Great job, high salaries and great conditions. Photographer's salary rates are in line with journalists salary rates, and paid depending on the grade.

I had a quick scout around for salary rates. A grade 1 photographer is on about $770.00 per week before tax,, a grade 13 photographer $1465.00 before tax. These are Australian awards and for full-time photographers. Freelance rates are much higher.


Jurgen
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The Title Fairy,, off with her head!!

  
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Any Freelance or Salary Newspaper Photographers out there?
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