Monday, January 26, 2009

Who Ya Gonna Call?

E.T phoned home and the City of New York called the Ghost Busters. But who are you going to call?

When people need a photographer, they often call a newspaper. Why not? They have a whole department full of photographers.

There's trouble in the world of that which is Black and White and Read All Over. Newspapers are sick and dying. The Tribune, where I use to work recently lost 40% of its staff. This means there are fewer photographers at fewer newspapers. And who do you think these newspapers are laying off? Their veterans. The ones who cost them the most. Their best people are out on the street. This means that if you are in the market for a photographer and call a newspaper you will be talking to a photographer who could be inexperienced, overworked and underpaid (so of course she will leap at your offer).

Instead of calling the newspaper, you can go to They have a "Find A Photographer" resource to help you find the photographer whose style is right for you and your project. You don't have to cover your eyes and stab at a list of names. ASMP's photographers are experienced people who have had to have someone vouch for their work as well as their work ethic.

Sadly, because newspapers aren't thriving, few can afford the once great photojournalist. So who are you going to call? You can always call me — I'm an ASMP member.

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