John Arrington’s answer to David Hobby’s Four Reasons to Consider Working for Free, is an must read for any photographer; pro, hobbyist or a pro wannabe.
Arrington his not on a mission against the very popular Mr. Strobist. As he put it himself:
“I commented to him « yeah, you cite valid examples where it might work (more on that later), but almost all your readers will think that you’ve painted with a broad brush and won’t comprehend the discretion and the distinctions you’ve drawn. They’ll just hear ‘we can’t pay you to shoot that concert, but we can get you a credential and will give you a photo credit…’ and they will think you encouraged that ‘for portfolio purposes’, when that’s not what you meant. »
The third part where is answers comments is particularly enlightening. If you ever worked or considered working for free, your argument for doing so is sure to be answered.
As a photojournalist, I photographed every political leader, both on the federal and provincial scenes. 4 parties in Canada, 4 in Quebec, that mean 6 of them where not my guy/girl. But each time, I did my job the best I could, putting aside my political view.
Apparently, not everyone do the same. Jill Greenberg is a top photographer, working with major US publication. How many of us can say they had 15 minutes with US presidential candidate John McCain?
On assignment for Atlantic magazine, she was on assignment for the cover. Interviewed in PDN magazine, Greenberg tells how she feels about McCain and how she duped him.
Greenberg asked McCain to “please come over here” for one more set-up before the 15-minute shoot was over. There, she had a beauty dish with a modeling light set up. “That’s what he thought he was being lit by,” Greenberg says. “But that wasn’t firing.”
What was firing was a strobe positioned below him, which cast the horror movie shadows across his face and on the wall right behind him. “He had no idea he was being lit from below,” Greenberg says. And his handlers didn’t seem to notice it either. “I guess they’re not very sophisticated,” she adds.
And she added insult to injury by putting amongst others those pictures in rotation as a splash screen of her website.
Now, tell me how someone will trust her to take a photo of them? And which magazine will trust her for a job?
I think she somewhat sums it up:
so maybe it was somewhat irresponsible for them [The Atlantic] to hire me.
Agence France-Presse has issued a correction, saying that the image of four missiles was “apparently digitally altered” by Iranian state media. The fourth missile “has apparently been added in digital retouch to cover a grounded missile that may have failed during the test,” the agency said.
In an Iranian Image, a Missile Too Many