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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 15 May 2013 (Wednesday) 10:18
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Stringing for Competitors?

 
PlentyGood
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May 15, 2013 10:18 |  #1

After my summer internship fell through, I've now returned from college to my hometown with no summer job. I contacted local media, and now the only notable newspaper and the only notable news-website in my immediate area have responded to ask for meetings to talk about possible stringer jobs.

I doubt either of these publications will have enough work to consume my summer. Moreover, and more to the point of my question, I think that possible assignments from these publications will probably overlap.

Is working as a stringer for both of these publications doable? Obviously, I can ask these publications themselves, unless I am told that considering this and mentioning it to the publications would be a major misstep. I have never had to string for photojournalism jobs, and I really do not know much about the negotiating side of things. As relatively small publications, they do not have a ton of competition to leverage against me; as a young photojournalist, though, I obviously don't have a ton to leverage against them either.

I'm looking for these jobs more for experience and building name-recognition than money, as I can live off previous jobs' pay.




  
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Corbeau
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May 15, 2013 10:43 |  #2

You build name-recognition by impressing your photo editors with great photojournalism. It's not like hanging a "portraits here" sign over the door and getting your name out...


Look and think before opening the shutter. The heart and mind are the true lens of the camera. -- Yousuf Karsh

  
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xchangx
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May 15, 2013 11:48 |  #3

Depends on how you present it. If you are upfront about it and reassure that there will be no double dipping, then I don't think they will care. Remember you will be a 1099 contractor for them, so they really can't say anything about it as long as you don't submit images on one job to the different employer.


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JacobPhoto
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May 15, 2013 14:06 |  #4

How will they overlap?

Both will ask you to cover the same event?

or

Both will ask you to cover different events at the same time?

The 2nd one is a problem. The first one is not, as long as you manage both relationships wisely.


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PlentyGood
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May 15, 2013 15:11 |  #5

I'll leave this up in the hope that it will help someone else out. I, however, was surprised to be hired for a position on one of the publications. Perhaps it's not the ideal situation, but part of the agreement for me to get this position was to give this publication exclusive usage rights to the photos on assignment to them. Perhaps the occasional other stringing assignment will pop up for the other, but the question I asked when I started this thread has been answered.

JacobPhoto wrote in post #15935165 (external link)
How will they overlap?

Both will ask you to cover the same event?

or

Both will ask you to cover different events at the same time?

The 2nd one is a problem. The first one is not, as long as you manage both relationships wisely.

I believe they would both ask me to cover the same events. I live in a relatively peaceful area; sports (and other public events) are probably the most effective photos for selling papers, to be honest.

Corbeau wrote in post #15934580 (external link)
You build name-recognition by impressing your photo editors with great photojournalism. It's not like hanging a "portraits here" sign over the door and getting your name out...

I'm not sure what you mean. I was hoping to provide great photojournalistic coverage to each publication, not to pit them against each other for my work. :confused:




  
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AZGeorge
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May 15, 2013 18:27 |  #6

PlentyGood wrote in post #15935354 (external link)
I'll leave this up in the hope that it will help someone else out. I, however, was surprised to be hired for a position on one of the publications.

Sweet!

Don't take this as an insult if you already know it, but take it from an old news guy there's one thing more important than giving your editors quality images. Get correct names for the cut. Get the names right and have happy editors. If you are working with a reporter, trust him/her to get the names right but always verify.

Best wishes for a great summer and few names without a vowel.


George
Democracy Dies in Darkness

  
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skippix
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May 15, 2013 18:38 |  #7

congrats!

for those interested in stringing, here are a few scenarios:

1) a publication hires you to a staff position. most likely they would own your work and you would not be permitted to shoot for any competing publications; however, you could probably freelance for out-of-town publications on your own time.

if multiple publications use you as a freelance stringer:

2) if publication A gives you an assignment, it is considered bad form to offer images to publication B (even the ones not submitted to publication A).

3) if you commit to publication A and the publication B calls you, it is good form to inform publication B of your prior commitment and ask that in the future they call you as soon as possible so as to secure your exclusive services.

4) if you shoot some event on spec, all bets are off and you are free to license your images as you see fit. if you do license an image to publication A, though, and publication B ask if you have something, you do not show publication B what you sent to publication A.

the most important thing is to develop a reputation for getting better than average images, complete with captioning, ahead of deadline. avoid overshooting (if a publication only has room for one photo in print and no online gallery, try not to shoot 300 frames). take every job you can, but don't stretch yourself too thin (make sure you have time to get from one job to another). even if publication A and publication B are simply local weeklies, treat each job as if you were simply shooting for a weekly (ie, Time, Newsweek, and Sports Illustrated are weeklies).

good luck!


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