Saturday, January 31, 2009
GOODWILL HUNTING $$$
Now the election has past and Americans are hopeful. I'm hopeful but the reality for photographers is that were like lone planets spinning in a Universe of our own. Money is tight everywhere. Only a handful of shooters are banking it consistently. I don't see how photographers can ever get rates raised and the basic respect of clients if editors don't have the means to pay them accordingly. It's an ago old problem...the pecking order...and were all at there steps waiting for what feels like crumbs and an occational lump of gold if were talented enough or just rubbing sholders at the right dinner tables I suppose? Budgets are dictated by publishers and have never been huge with editorial clients unless fashion inspired or cover related. The rates have not changed in decades and the rights or getting less. Its not the editors fault, he or she work for the publisher and we just are hired guns. Photographers have to carry there own insurances and fend for themselves daily. Many publications have relied upon there "NAME" and the fact that some of the more revered magazines in AMERICA are weekly which is great for putting a shooters name before potential clients and those powers that be. (The editors HIRING) I have worked for many amazing editors and now everyone is an expert editor and photographer. I think its odd that many have not studied the arts on both counts but rather by the seat of their pants do the job according to the title and not with the greatness of those I've been so lucky crossed paths in my career. Where is photography going? I was so inspired by the batch of photographers that seemed to bring an artful eye to all of us. Weston, Arbus, Michals, Newman, Penn, Frielander, Mann and so many more. The majority of us have to earn a living and seems making a living can rip you away from your original dreams. However fortunate my career may seem to some I tell you it has been hard earned and my first LOVE. Photography still holds my heart for the sake of the journey and the process I am beholden.
I am constantly going between worlds of Magazine, Advertising and Art. I am fully committed to all the best I can but somehow you have to make reality checks. Living in NYC I was working steady and earning my way and now that I've moved to New Mexico I work steady on getting work and I think most of the photographers with or with out reps are doing much the same.
I am thankful for all that comes my way. One has to be flexible to stay in this climate. I keep hearing from shooters that are second guessing what they should do with there lives now? I do understand this feeling where a talented shooter may not be in big demand at the moment but he or she has something unique in the way they see. Don't give up. Everyday do something to make the world see or feel your talent. It can kill a persons spirit if the majority is not bangin your door down for work. Hang in there I say. I think if you love it than keep focused and make projects that make a difference and do what you may to keep food on the table. This is tough times and I don't count on anyone to feed my life. I have a wonderful rep. now but ALWAYS make sure you hustle your work too. NEVER LEAVE YOUR CAREER soley in the hands of others. I did this the last few years and the painful financial loss has been mine to bare. I feel the expense of multiple portfolios is a waste and one can better funnel what money they have into online promotion and shooting. I suggest if you know stories and or clients that you can send to magazines and ad agencies than your helping our community sustain itself. Build relationships with those folks and the value for all will grow. Make lists and manifest it. Care about your clients and their needs and be original. Don't be battered down by online sites that want us to pimp it out free all the time. Value your intellectual property. Look at the bigger picture if your shooting for less than find the good for all and explore your point of view. It's all additude. Make it creative and work for you too. Remember everything is cycling and with the suppose 2012 end of the world coming , well its not that at all ....its the end of the Mayan calendar's dark year's and the BEGINNING of the "light year's" in the new Mayan Calendar so we will move forward and create a ripple of strength by feeding the positive fire. I can and I am and I will be a creative working photographer. I wish all my peers much success and peace in our quest to sustain the passionate eye as image makers.