Freelance - News Shots

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by DigiJay, Jan 4, 2008.

  1. DigiJay

    DigiJay TPF Noob!

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    I am curious to know if any takes shots for current events and gives/sells them to newspapers or other media?
    Is there legal matters involved? How do you go about doing it?
     
  2. DigiJay

    DigiJay TPF Noob!

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    anyone?
     
  3. timd346

    timd346 TPF Noob!

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    the link isnt working
     
  4. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    What link?
    He isn't even providing one!

    Anyhow, no. I don't give any of my pics to any of the papers around and have never even thought of asking if they'd want me to give them pics and what would be the legalities about doing so, so I cannot be of help. Battou is trying to do just that, though, i.e. give his photos to the local paper, he might know.
     
  5. dpolston

    dpolston TPF Noob!

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    I've done a little of this but there seems to be a "good ole boy network" in a lot of these papers. Unless you know someone or have a background in photojournalism... you're pretty well stuck.

    My experience has been more or less unsuccessful. The papers use the staff photographers, freelancers or spinners mostly but I guess it depends on the market (my city is pretty large and is hard to get into. If you love in a small town, you might increase your chances.)
     
  6. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Wow. Is that so???
    Why don't I feel it?

    (Sorry, couldn't resist ;))
     
  7. jols

    jols TPF Noob!

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    i send pics to my local newspaper they have a special page for readers shots of the area where we live, its printed on a friday and its always fun to open it up and see one of my pics there.

    why dont you e mail the picture editor of your local paper and see what he replies thats how i got started.
     
  8. DigiJay

    DigiJay TPF Noob!

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    Sounds like a good idea... I'm not looking to be a fulltime news photographer by any means, but in my line of work (even off duty) I see a lot more than the average person.. and I know my local newspaper misses a heck of a lot of good opportunities.
     
  9. tr0gd0o0r

    tr0gd0o0r TPF Noob!

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    I've worked with a paper or two and am trying to get into a career with newspapers. In my experience, larger papers use more freelancers, but its almost impossible to get one of these positions. Smaller papers may be more willing to work with you, but may not be willing to pay. If you really just want to work with a paper, email the photo editor and say your are interested and ask if there is anything you can do (including a ride-a-long to see how things work). A ride-a-long may not sound so great, but I have gotten internships that way.

    This quote bothers me a little though, what is your day job (the off duty comment makes me think firefighter/ police officer). If this is true and I were a photo editor, I would be very hesitant to get fire/police photos from you. There is a big conflict of interest and would be worried you are advancing the priorities of the department. Also you should consider the same, if you're taking photos of your place of business and then publishing them, you could easily get yourself in trouble.
     
  10. DigiJay

    DigiJay TPF Noob!

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    I am neither firefighter/nor police officer (or any other emergency service). I'd rather not get into details, but I'm not worried about conflict of interest..

    I'm more curious to know if I happen to see something, have my camera with me, and get some good shots.. is there a good chance the news paper might use or even pay for the shots? assuming one of their own photographers don't get any?
     
  11. Seefutlung

    Seefutlung TPF Noob!

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    I'm a former news photog ... small publications are easier to crack than larger. The larger the paper the photo needs to be of better quality and more importantly of significantly higher news worthiness.

    Some tips- smaller papers have minimal staff on weekends ... so less competition from staffers and "stringers" (not spinners ... spinners are on hub caps.)

    Hard news has a better chance than a feature photo. Get caption info, who, what, where, when, why, ID's of people involved (Left to Rights.)

    Typically, no money, but you should get a photo credit. Paper will probably asked you to sign a release authorizing the paper to use your photo.

    Persistence will ultimately prevail. After a few images get published you will have established a relationship with the paper making it easier to get your stuff published and they may even call you when no staffers are available (a stringer.)

    Never misrepresent yourself to those involved at the scene. Just call yourself a free lancer and identify the paper you will call/potentially publish. Never step past the police line and always stay on public property until you are probably credentialed. Always have a pad and pen for taking notes and IDs ... a business card would be helpful.

    You may/will run into a lot of crap (depending on the size of the city) ... Always be courteous or just ignore the crap. Always ... Always look and act professional. Do not wear shorts, sandals or T-shirts with writing. Look and watch before you leap. Do not interfere with first responders or members of the working press if they're busy ... if you need info ask for the PIO. Most news people will talk to you just wait for a break in their action to approach them. Remember that you're there for fun, the first responders and press are there professionally and the victims are having their lives turned upside down.

    Good Luck and Good Shooting,
    Gary

    PS- If/when you get something call/ask for the "City Desk" or "City Editor" not the photo department or photo editor (larger papers often call it Metro.) The City Editor is the guy/gal who is responsible for calling the shots on local news ... what is published and what isn't published.
    G
     
  12. DigiJay

    DigiJay TPF Noob!

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    great response

     

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