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Daily Telegraph on the Make ?

Discussion in 'News - Discussion' started by perkeo, Nov 30, 2005.

  1. snapperlondon

    snapperlondon Well-Known Member

    I refer you back to the first post in this thread...

    <span style="color:red"> "Just wondering what Paul, Len and anyone else who perhaps relies on news photography or Photojournalism to provide a crust thinks about the DT's offer to publish readers' newsworthy pics without payment and with a host of other 'conditions' ? To me it seems pure exploitation of the natural desire of most amateurs to see their work 'in print'." </span>

    Just because you aren't aware of it doesn't mean it isn't happening!

    At the agency where I work we are most definately being affected by the fact that newpapers and magazines are increasingly wanting something for nothing! The payment rates of many newspapers clearly shows that whilst they want good photography they don't want to pay for it! It will backfire on them in the end though as they will force all the decent photographers into more lucrative areas of the industry, leaving just the dregs!
  2. ahar

    ahar Well-Known Member

    I can hardley even compete with a camera strapped to a cat randomly opening and shutting the lens, let alone someone with a bit of skill :)

    The point is though that we get the photos we ask for. If we buy newspapers with crappy photos, then that is what the newspapers buy from photogs. If we stopped buying newspapers and magazines with boring pictures then the situation would change.

    The DT is simply giving the readers what they want - a paper with 'adequate' pictures at the lowest price possible

    I and the newspapers are not a charity - if they can't produce work that people will pay for then tough, they should go part time and find a job that will keep them in bread and milk. The world does not owe them a living and does not owe them a good wage if they continue in their chosen line of work no matter how good they may be. It may sound harsh, but this is the case no matter what the profession.
  3. snapperlondon

    snapperlondon Well-Known Member

    I think you are missing my point...but I'm not going to repeat it again, it's getting a bit boring now :D
  4. GlennH

    GlennH Well-Known Member


    I wholly agree with Perks' original point (as I've made clear at various points in my posts). I've been supplying agencies and freelancing for years (albeit not generally for newspapers), so I'm against both exploitation and the devaluing of photography.

    If you've noticed a trend, who am I to argue?

    However, there have always existed people that didn't want to pay a whole lot for photography, or whose conditions could be seen as exploitative. That's not new. There may be more of them now, and the exploitation is doubtless more outright, but digital photography and the internet have arguably counterbalanced that somewhat by making much more possible for everyone - including pro's.

    In spite of this controversial move by the Daily Telegraph, they're still using the same agencies and photographers for their paper and various supplements that they have for years, and I very much doubt that they'd jeopardise their relationships with reliable sources of pictures by reducing their rates.

  5. ahar

    ahar Well-Known Member

    I'm not but there are a hell of a lot of people who work in Management Consultancy (my field of work) who are and make a cery nice living.

    Why do the publishers want to pay nothing? Because the quality of the photos they require is low enough that there is a massive oversupply of pictures. Why is there an oversupply? Because there are too many photogs, the quality asked for by publishers is low (reflecting the needs of their readers), photos can be used time and time again and it's an industry where people do this as a hobby so will happily sell pictures for less than the cost of production.

    But they do not DESERVE anything back for their investment if they do not fulfil the needs of their customers. If they cannot supply customers with what they want, then the customers will go elsewhere. Simple market forces.

    Perfect example of the point I was making. A photog supplier their customer (newspaper etc) with a product that they wanted and I'm sure was compensated at the market rate. An amateur couldn't provide what newspapers etc wanted so they went to the market to get it.

    I actually cut my own hair with clippers (not hard as it's very short) but thanks for the offer :)
    Hairdressing is a terrible example. There is not an oversupply of hairdressers, people have very high requirements for their hair cuts (generally, obviously I don't if I do my own), a hair cut does not last and cannot be used again and again, people generally don't have a pair of scissors integrated with their mobile phone and very few people do haridressing as a hobby in their spare time.
  6. TimF

    TimF With as stony a stare as ever Lord Reith could hav

    "Reflecting the needs", or merely the contempt that some newpapers hold their readers in; believing perhaps that we're all only interested in pictures of some Z-list 'celebrity' falling out of a nightclub, rather than in great photojournalism.

    No, the truth is that as with 99% of everything, its tunnel-visioned bean counters who wield the most influence. When all that counts is the bottom line, then you end up scraping the bottom; "the price of everything and the value of nothing" springs to mind.
  7. snapperlondon

    snapperlondon Well-Known Member

    Exactly! :(
  8. ahar

    ahar Well-Known Member

    To be honest, I tend to hold the readers of those kinds of papers and magazines in contempt as well. Don't remember the last time I saw a celebrity snap in the Independent...
    That's the world we live in. I don't actually like the demise of quality photos used in Newspapers etc and the processes I've described in my earlier posts, but when it doesn't bother most of the newspaper buying public then it's an inevitable consequence.
  9. GlennH

    GlennH Well-Known Member

    The Telegraph is still fairly impressive photographically IMO, and The Guardian has an 'Eyewitness' feature which often shows stunning photojournalistic pictures as double page spreads. The values, good or bad, of most newspaper titles don't seem to have altered much.
  10. snapperlondon

    snapperlondon Well-Known Member

    No...but as they seem not to want to pay photographers a living wage then it is only a matter of time before they put all those great photographers out of business...then what?!
  11. GlennH

    GlennH Well-Known Member

    Okay, but as these titles appear to be sourcing the same people that they always did for pictures, it's difficult to see how they're now paying any less.
  12. snapperlondon

    snapperlondon Well-Known Member

    Read last weeks BJP, they had a list of the newspapers current rates, compared to ten years ago...very little in the way of a pay rise and The Times now actually pay less for their half-day rate than they did then!

    As for single images, they will pull every trick in the book to get an image as cheap as possible (yes, I know, market forces, but they are now pushing things too far). Several pro photographers I know are reassessing their options and many smaller agencies are going under!

    Still, these newspapers will get what they deserve in the long run and no one will work for them...as Oscar Wilde said (via Tim) they know "the price of everything and the value of nothing"!

    And (as we are using quotes and I'm being a little bit liberal with my interpretation) Samuel Johnson said, "Excellence in any department can be attained only by the labor of a lifetime; it is not to be purchased at a lesser price." So all those photographers willing to give their work away for nothing won't save them in the long run!

    Guys, just remember, "If you really put a small value upon yourself, rest assured that the world will not raise your price." So don't give your work away to organisations who CAN (but don't want to) pay!
  13. Fen

    Fen Well-Known Member

    I think we've started going around in circles with this converstion.

    People are stating and re-stating exectly the same things over and over again.

    Let's just agree that people see differently on this subject and call it a day.

  14. snapperlondon

    snapperlondon Well-Known Member

    “Where quality is the thing sought after, the thing of supreme quality is cheap, whatever the price one has to pay for it.” (William James)

    And (as Forrest Gump would say) "that's all I have to say about that!" :D
  15. TimF

    TimF With as stony a stare as ever Lord Reith could hav

    Indeed, though to be fair I think the article in question applied only to freelancers. That said, I don't think it would be wrong to say that most, if not all, papers have dramatically reduced the numbers of staff photographers, so it amounts to the same thing.
  16. Leif

    Leif Well-Known Member

    What kind of pictures are supposed to compete with ones taken by pros? Are we talking about news pictures (Gordon Brown emerging from a conference), sports (a footballer scoring a goal), or the sort of stock agency photo that illustrates magazines etc (a picture of an ash tray to illustrate an article on smoking bans). I imagine we are talking about the last kind.

    But the amateur images that appear on the BBC web site - e.g. to illustrate the first snow of Winter - are hardly competition for pros.

    Regarding the quality of amateur pictures, looking on a well known photography forum, the most popular subjects are usually cliches esp. a beach at sunset and a waterfall. They are popular both in terms of quantity, and the response of the readership.

    To my uneducated and probably naive eye, the difference between amateur and pro is the intent. Amateurs seem obsessed with form whereas published pictures focus (sic) on content. Many of the pictures I see in papers and magazines would be savaged by the critics of some popular photography magazines as not following the numerous rules that they invent. (I'm not referring to AP.) But a picture of David Beckham tripping an opponent has value even if the composition is off.

    There is one picture I have seen a lot recently. It is a picture of a white van driver in his cab, window wound down, gaze directed to the photographer, and the right arm raised in an aggressive clenched fist gesture. The quality is high and it is ideal to illustrate a paragraph/article on road rage. Are amateurs really producing images of that quality? I doubt it. Anyone giving away such an image would be a fool.

  17. perkeo

    perkeo Well-Known Member

    OK, Guys - thanks a lot for your input to this particular thread.

    I hope any digicam/cameraphone user reading it will perhaps be influenced not to give away their potentially lucrative pics to profit-hungry media moguls.

    Don't give them a free ride.


  18. Bettina

    Bettina Well-Known Member

    Now, picture this. This week, there's one of my photos in the Hornsey Journal and there's two in the Ham & High! The news editors called me to ask what credit line I wanted to have and what did they do? Nowt. No credit at all!!! :(

    And I'll be sending out invoices on Monday!!!
  19. Fen

    Fen Well-Known Member

    And how many peoples photos from today will be used without payment/credit.

    All day the BBC have been asking for peoples pictures; using them on TV and the web. The Beeb will probably sell them onto news agencies as well!
  20. Burgy

    Burgy In the Stop Bath

    It is not a competition a pro tog cannot afford to give away images, Bylines have never paid my mortgage and I don’t expect them to start anytime soon.


    It has always been that way in the photography business, more people leave college every year than there are jobs for,it was the same when I was at college in 1985, so that can’t be right.

    I really can’t wait until some “have a go hero” with a phone cam or point and shoot gets burnt to a crisp or causes an accident and finds that all of his free bylines won’t pay for is liability insurance.

    Hey I never said I was nice.. :mad:

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