Is Shooting for a Bad Magazine Good?

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by benjikan, Aug 11, 2009.

  1. benjikan

    benjikan TPF Noob!

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    Is Shooting for a Bad Magazine Good?

    Today on a generalist Photo Forum under the Portrait Fashion category, someone from a small independent and in my opinion based on what I saw on their web site, not very good fashion magazine, placed an ad for photographers for their magazine. Now that seemed strange in the first place, which I go on to explain in the copy below. Here is part of the content of her query.

    I have left out the name of the magazine and the name of the person.

    "..We are looking for an up and coming photographer each month to shoot images for our cover. This is an unpaid commission, but provides great exposure as the cover stays on the front page for one whole month.."

    Hello ...

    My concern is that if you are coming to a forum to seek out photographers for your magazine, then that speaks volumes about the credibility of your magazine. I have been in this strange business for over 20+ years and do know one thing; the minimum one should know is where the sources are, where the press offices are which agents represent which photographers and what are the agencies representing the models etc. Now, perhaps you are new at this, so I will consider this query as naive, but, I do know that if I had to put production together and I wasn't the photographer, I would know exactly where to find them.

    That tells me, that getting exposure in your magazine could be considered poison in disguise, wrapped in a sweet chocolate covered coating. Why? Because anyone in the know would see immediately by the content, layout, choice of talent and advertisers what your standing is in the Fashion community. This may sound cruel and arrogant, but the reality is, in looking at your web site, I would recommend to anyone wishing to shot for this magazine the following..."buyer beware..."

    

Getting to shoot for VOGUE,Harpers, Elle, Marie Claire, Numero, V, W, or ID has and never will be a question of "How Much Do I Make?" that is a joke! You couldn't pay VOGUE enough money to shoot for them. The status associated with doing so is the following..."Once you are in VOGUE, you ARE in Vogue" and your phone will slowly start ringing off the wall to shoot Ad campaigns that command 5 too 6 figure numbers. There is a very simple barometer in this business. The less credible the magazine, the more perks it should provide for the team, as the exposure the team get, may be more detrimental to them than if they hadn't at all.


    
If you want a photographer, stylist, AD, make-up or Hair stylist, set designer, etc...just order Lebook. Now if you didn't know about Lebook, you should NOT be in the Fashion Business. If you want to play the game, learn the rules.

    Benjamin Kanarek Blog » Is Shooting for a Bad Magazine Good?
     
  2. jealous

    jealous TPF Noob!

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    if they are small and independant... I assume they run on little money? and they are just starting out...so their work isnt up to your standard?

    Im guessing they aren't expecting pros to shoot for them, but up and comers (as stated) so whats the problem here? helping eachother out is a good thing innit? at the very least, if a newbie gets screwed over (somehow?) then its a good life lesson. All i can imagine happening is the photographer learning about a team dynamic and learning to spot dodgy offers. these may be genuine people trying to start something off. not sure it was neccesary to say "If you want to play the game, learn the rules."

    that seems a bit pretentious and straight up rude - not to mention calling them on the quality of the work. we cant all start off shooting for vogue from day one right?

    Imagine if Speilberg had a rant at an up and coming producer looking for up and coming directors to help out on a project - imagine his rant based on some rough cut of the film - imagine hes ranting because... he wants to make himself feel good?

    what is the point of this post? did you just contact them to tell them they suck and you are awesome? chill bro, not everyone knows as much as you. we're still learning.
    You could've been alot more helpful by suggesting how they could improve instead of telling them how stupid they are no?
     
  3. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hahaha... this comes up often. There are not one, but apparently several fashion and wedding photo companies that love to "hire" gullible good photographers to shoot for them for free, and get them to sign over all rights to their shots while ALL they get is "street credit".

    Bottom line: **NO** amount of claimed "street credit" is going to put bread on your table from these kinds of loser companies... not in the short term and not in the long term. If you are gullible and enjoy working for free... go right ahead.
     
  4. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I agree with the fact that it is an underhand method to use (highlighted in red) but so far we have not seen the full TC of the job offer, nor is it mentioned in the original post that this clause is in effect.

    Also some interesting replies to this same post in another forum to consider

    Is Shooting for a Bad Magazine Good?
     
  5. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Interesting. Like often, I see one side of a conversation and there are more than 2 sides to it.

    My comments were on companies that consistently search ONLY for free photographers naive enough to shoot for free and give away the rights to their work all for nothing. The company profits HUGELY from this, dumps this "new talent" and moves on to the next sucker. Of course this is not the only possible scenario. One could possibly shoot for (it was mentioned), Vogue and suddely the skies open, champagne flows and wallets are filled... but let's be realistic here for a moment... Vogue is not normally going to take an unknown and risk their name, even if it is for a the advantage of a free photographer... they pay high end prices and expect nothing but the best of high end results.

    One post did strike me, though it was not quite on topic:
    "In an idle moment I decided to count how many fora Bunnikins posted the same diatribe on. I got bored at 7."

    I wonder what the goal to plaster this post all over the world is? One would think that their WORK will make a photographer well known (or not)... not thier ability to, as we say in Canada, "Jaw-wag".
     
  6. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I do very much agree that there are companies which do "predate" on the innocent and eager amateur photographer to get easy money and easy shots. I think though you have to draw a line and remember that there are also many publications which are not blessed with a massive readership nor budget (esp in the early stages) and thus setups like the above are not uncommon. Provided they don't sneak rights grabs into the clause (though I can fully understand them wanting say a time limited setup - where the photographer cannot use that same image in other uses for a period of time) I don't have any gripe with them.
    One would also hope that these companies (in time and provided they prove sucessful) would be able to compensate or at least start to branch out and pay for their images as their readership grows.

    It's very hard to pass judgment on the company in question currently as we just don't have enough info about the company setup nor the actual indepth terms and conditions of the contract on offer. Unless we do all we can hope for is some theoretical guesses at what their setup might entail, but its all just guesswork

    Meh I don't put much stock to this - the OP appears active in this and the other forum I am on so I expect he is just as active on the other sites he has posted this on - even I will cross post messages on different forums I am on if I think that the info I have found is worth sharing or if I have a question and want as wide a range of possible answers as I can get
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2009
  7. ANDS!

    ANDS! No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Times change. Time was the financial buy-in to this "hobby" was substantial, and it really only left the diehard hobbyists and those truly interested in the craft. However technology has allowed ANYONE to pick up an entry level camera and take pretty damn clean photographs with it.

    As for the "ethics" behind "preying" on budding photogs - as anything, buyer beware. This is no different than the sports, movie, music or any other entertainment industry that is heavily weighted on who you know, and who knows your work. More often than not the work you produce in the beginning is not the work you are going to own in the end. You have to pay to play, and unless you're just that good at marketing (and a lot of folks aren't), you are going to need any and every leg-up you can to forcefully get your name out there.

    As long as I'm not taking intense "personal" photographs that I will want to keep in my personal control - who cares if I throw a bone to a low budget magazine?
     
  8. UUilliam

    UUilliam TPF Noob!

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    As the last thread about "buy a camera and start a business" stated, If someone is willing to pay you, why not

    Works the same way for companies, If a photographer is willing to work for free, Why not?

    But as soon as you give away free services, It will be forever held on your name, you will be expected to give everyone a freebie as if you dont, it is unfair you gave cousin Rosetta a free wedding package but you charging Uncle charlie £700
     
  9. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    I remember a tiny rag called W. Also remember a tiny newspaper called Village Voice. Clearly you have no interest in their editorial vision which is fine, but do not pass judgement. 5 years down the road they may or may not be commanding a strong presence in the fashion world.

    Personally photography/art has always been and always will be a kinship or gathering of friends and ideas. I have been known to shoot models for free, lend lights and technical knowledge. Also assisted on a couple of endless commercial shoots for friends. A lot of work but as I look back I am very proud.

    Point is we need to make photography a community once again. At this moment in time I feel everyone is battling each other for supremacy and work. Of course shooting for free is not a great idea, but can we have the vision to see to the bigger picture?

    Love & Bass
     

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