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imagemaker46

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The Chicago Sun/Times has just laid off it's entire photo staff and will go with only freelancers. Apparently 20 staff people have been let go.
 

kathyt

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Crazy, huh? Damn Chicago people are nuts.
 

texkam

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From their standpoint, why wouldn't they? Sux, but this is what is happening everywhere and in other professions as well. The Graphic Design Industry has been hit especially hard because one is able to be located anywhere in the world and be connected online, so a local Graphic Designer is competeing (and not very well) with some very capable designers from third world economies. At least Photographers don't have to overcome that challenge.
 

kathyt

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KmH

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Jeez, lots of other publications did that years ago.

I'd say the photo staff at the Sun Times were lucky to hang on as long as they did.
 
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imagemaker46

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It is the sign of the times. If you live in the Chicago area and own a camera, go to the paper and tell them you'll shoot a Bulls Game, Bears Game or Blackhawks game for free. Unfortunately layoffs like this are happening all over the place, what the papers will now do is use all the staff photographers as freelancers because they don't have to pay any type of benefits.

Photographers at all papers regardless of where they work are now working under a new stress level, and as we should all know, stress is a silent killer. Being tossed out of a job and having to try and find a new one, start over with a new freelance business in the photo world is going to be tough. It's pretty much the same as getting tossed out of a lot of jobs that have a specific skill set. Most of the staff photographers don't have their own gear either.
 

Tailgunner

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Jeez, lots of other publications did that years ago.

I'd say the photo staff at the Sun Times were lucky to hang on as long as they did.

Agreed, I'm amazed newspapers in general hasn't went under by now.
 

Gavjenks

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If you want to make a lot of money and have job stability, you need to do something in demand that only you can do, or that only people with your fairly specific background have the opportunities to do.

Photography is just as much in demand, but fails hard on the uniqueness criterion, and will more so over time. Not just news photography, ANY photography. News photographers are hit first, because with the proliferation of decent quality cellphone cameras and amateur photographers and so forth, lots of events will be captured in high enough resolution for a newspaper by random people who are there at the moment that something interesting happens, rather than the professional guy who takes 5-10 minutes to get there.

But I'm sure the very same thing will happen to studio portraiture and wedding photography, etc. in full force soon enough, and already has begun quite a bit. Brick and mortar, full time establishments should naturally give way to almost entirely contractor/freelance-style facebook or flickr avertising photography businesses running out of homes or very small rented spaces, maybe part time, etc.

With the possible exception of the super rich guys who can afford private helicopters and guides and boats full of provisions etc. and can go take crazy photos for National Geographic. They're pretty much job-stable, probably.
 
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imagemaker46

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There is no such thing as job security anymore, doesn't matter what career field you're in, or how good you may be. Photography and the graphics field may very well be taking bigger hits than most. After all, the only requirements is a camera, software and enough bull sh*t to sucker people into believing that's all it takes.
 

pixmedic

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There is no such thing as job security anymore, doesn't matter what career field you're in, or how good you may be. Photography and the graphics field may very well be taking bigger hits than most. After all, the only requirements is a camera, software and enough bull sh*t to sucker people into believing that's all it takes.

If you cant dazzle 'em with Brilliance, baffle 'em with Bull**** :lol:
 
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imagemaker46

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There is no such thing as job security anymore, doesn't matter what career field you're in, or how good you may be. Photography and the graphics field may very well be taking bigger hits than most. After all, the only requirements is a camera, software and enough bull sh*t to sucker people into believing that's all it takes.

If you cant dazzle 'em with Brilliance, baffle 'em with Bull**** :lol:

I've heard this expression so many times, and it really is true.
 

Hooligan Dan

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As a photojournalist, I hope it backfires completely and respectable freelancers refuse to take their jobs for the pennies they are sure to be paying.

But this is the real world and the paper will surely continue to struggle financially and 20 people will remain jobless.
 

Gavjenks

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There is no such thing as job security anymore, doesn't matter what career field you're in, or how good you may be.
Huh???

Of course there is. You just need to be in a field that currently is very relevant and will be for some time in the future.

Domestic fastest growing and most stable industries at the moment in the United States:

1) Anything related to care for the elderly, as baby boomers all retire. Home health services, etc.
2) Building contractors, especially residential, subdivisions, HVACs, and related
3) Industrial manufacturing
4) Software and computer design
5) Medical anything, especially mental health and rehab, but with the exception of nursing.

All of those are currently especially relevant and fastest growing, and will be quite relevant and needed for 20 years or more, no problem. They are also very difficult to export to other countries, etc. Chinese companies can't build houses in the United States from China. You have to be here to build a house here. You have to be here to take care of an elderly person here (or any other medical needs). And industrial manufacturing in particular is something the US excels at (and shipping costs for heavy machinery are a factor)



I'm not sure why you would be under the assumption that job security IN GENERAL is any more or less than it has ever been for the last 75 years or so...

As a photojournalist, I hope it backfires completely and respectable freelancers refuse to take their jobs for the pennies they are sure to be paying.
They're probably still paying the same rates for photos as before. The difference is not paying health insurance and other similar benefits.
 

vintagesnaps

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I saw this earlier; hadn't realized they were struggling that much financially. Looking at their site unfortunately it already seems to be something of a train wreck of ads that are scraping the bottom of the barrel for a paper of that caliber. And rather sad to see this article on their site today.

Bob Kotalik, former chief photographer for Chicago Sun-Times, dies at 87 - Chicago Sun-Times

I remember reading on Sportsshooter.com in recent years photographers talking about losing assignments to, I don't know, any nitwit with a phone that can wave it around in the air; but when the media outlets needed good pictures they'd come back to the actual sports photographers. But it still seems to be a difficult living to make for those working at it fulltime.

The newspapers that seem to be staying reasonably successful at least in my area are ones that have been able to balance an online site with subscriptions as well as paper format (which may continue to change), but maybe local papers still get customers who want more local news and sports that doesn't seem to be as available online.

Where I live it's radio that's been particularly hard hit since there's a monopoly with a number of area stations all being owned by out of state corporations that could care less; they cut back to a small staff who each work on more than one station. Between that and the syndicated programs they air most of the time I just put in a CD (except during drive time especially in the ever popular orange barrel season).

I'd planned on majoring in journalism after being editor of the school newspaper in high school; in recent years I'm just as glad I went in a different direction. Luckily for me doing sports has been a sideline off and on and it's been great to have fun and not have to depend on the income.
 

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