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November 18th, 2013

Pro Tips for Photographers with Jake Stangel

Colleagues know San Francisco-based photographer Jake Stangel as a person who is open with information, advice and encouragement for his peers and aspiring shooters.

Occasionally over the past few years Stangel has answered questions and offered “Pro Tips” on his Tumblr to younger photographers who are wondering how to go about building a career in today’s market.

Stangel gave us permission to reprint a couple of our favorite of these pieces on PDNPulse, and has also agreed to field questions from PDN readers for some new installments of his “Pro Tips” columns.

To submit a question for Jake please send an email to editor@pdnonline.com with the subject line “Pro Tips.”

On When to Work With a Rep and When to Just Work Harder

Question: So I’ve worked with some editors and worked for some companies doing small time shoots and small editorial things. My relationship with editors/publications is kind of going much too slow and I don’t feel confident in sending them promo or emailing them and expecting results. Would it be appropriate to find an agent? I feel confident in my work and abilities but I’m wondering if ever there’s a time to search for representation, would it be now?

What exactly should I be looking for with representation? And what should I be prepared to send them?

Answer: By and large, the appropriate time to search for representation is when you literally can no longer manage shooting and client requests and calendars and making estimates and negotiating various licenses and shoot deliverables all at once.

The other time an agent is helpful is if you’re extraordinarily talented but a recluse, and want someone to be your “face” and leave it up to you to just make photographs. But the key thing here is that you need to be extraordinarily talented. Extraordinarily. Talented. (more…)

November 15th, 2013

Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Award Winners Announced

An interior spread from Karma, photographs by Óscar Monzón (Dalpine, Madrid / RVB Books, Paris) © Óscar Monzón 2013

An interior spread from Karma, photographs by Óscar Monzón (Dalpine, Madrid / RVB Books, Paris) © Óscar Monzón 2013

The winners of the 2013 Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards were announced this evening in Paris.

The self-published book A01 [COD.19.1.1.43] — A27 [S | COD.23] by Rosângela Rennó was named PhotoBook of the Year. The book considers the disappearance due to theft of the material in 27 archival boxes housed in the General Archive of the City of in Rio de Janeiro.

KARMA by Óscar Monzón (RVB Books, Paris / Dalpine, Madrid) is the winner of $10,000 First PhotoBook prize. KARMA is comprised of photographs of automobiles and their drivers made in Madrid between 2009 and 2013. (more…)

November 15th, 2013

Head of Kodak Alaris Tells Lomographers: Film Lives

In a move to reassure a large base of film buyers, Kodak Alaris President of Personalized Imaging Dennis Olbrich issued an open letter to members of the Lomographic Society yesterday. Olbrich told the international group of analogue camera enthusiasts that the Eastman Kodak spinoff is “as committed to preserving your Kodak Moments as we ever were!”

Kodak Alaris, Olbrich wrote, will continue to manufacture film and photographic paper and development chemicals, and will also continue to offer their instant printing kiosks.

Read the full letter on the Lomography site.

November 14th, 2013

Shortlist for $109K Prix Pictet Announced

An image from Mishka Henner's series "Beef & Oil" on the Prix Pictet website.

An image from Mishka Henner’s series “Beef & Oil” on the Prix Pictet website.

The shortlist for the fifth Prix Pictet was announced last night in Paris. Kofi Annan, the former secretary-general of the United Nations, will announce the winner of the CHF 100,000 (approx. $109,218 US) prize, which will be awarded to a photography project fitting the theme “consumption,” on May 21, 2014 at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

The 11 shortlisted photographers and projects were selected by an independent jury from a pool of more than 650 nominations.

The Shortlisted photographers are: Adam Bartos of the United States, who was nominated for his project “Yard Sale”; Motoyuki Daifu of Japan, nominated for “Family”; Rineke Dijkstra of the Netherlands, nominated for “Almerisa”; Hong Hao of China, nominated for “My Things”; Mishka Henner of Belgium, nominated for “Beef & Oil”; Juan Fernando Herrán of Colombia, nominated for “Escalas”; Boris Mikhailov of Ukraine, nominated for “Tea, Coffee & Cappuccino”; Abraham Oghobase of Nigeria, nominated for “Untitled 2012”; Michael Schmidt of Germany, nominated for “Lebensmittel”; Allan Sekula (who died in August of this year) of the United States, nominated for “Fish Story”; and Laurie Simmons of the United States, nominated for “The Love Doll.”

In addition to awarding the prize, the Pictet & Cie, the Geneva-based bank that founded the prize in 2008, will award a commission to one of the nominees to create a project in an area of the world where the Pictet Group supports a sustainability project.

Previous Prix Pictet winners include Luc Delahaye, Mitch Epstein, Benoit Aquin and Nadav Kander.

November 12th, 2013

Newspaper Job Cuts Hit Photographers Hardest, Pew Research Says

In an article published yesterday by the Pew Research Center, writer Monica Anderson noted that photographers and other visual journalists have borne the brunt of newspaper layoffs from 2000-2012.

Basing her findings on newsroom census data released by the American Society of News Editors, Anderson wrote that “The ranks of photographers, artists and videographers have been trimmed by nearly half (43%)—from 6,171 in 2000 to 3,493 in 2012.” By comparison, the number of full-time writers and reporters fell only 32%, and editor and producer jobs by only 27%.

Related: Chicago Sun-Times Eliminates Photo Staff

Via Poynter

October 24th, 2013

PPE 2013: Photography & The Law: Access, Copyright and Social Media Issues

During a talk at PhotoPlus Expo 2013, sponsored by the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA), attorneys Mickey Osterreicher and Alicia Wagner Calzada provided tips for how photographers can protect their First Amendment rights and control the copyright and distribution of their work.

Tips On the Right to Photograph in Public

Osterreicher, who is the general counsel for the NPPA and was a working photographer for 40 years before he became a lawyer, offered advice for news photographers in dealing with police.

He noted that photographers or videographers are never arrested for documenting a news event in public. Instead they are arrested for “discretionary charges,” what he termed “catch and release” charges, which can include disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace and loitering.

If a police officer orders a photographer to stop taking pictures in public, they are violating the rights of that photographer, Osterreicher said. Photographers can avoid being accused of interfering with or obstructing police officers by following reasonable directions from police when they’re given. He also mentioned that it’s prudent to be aware that officers are concerned with things like weapon retention, making sure nobody is close enough to them to reach for their gun. If a photographer is in an officer’s face with a camera, the officer can reasonably claim that photographer is interfering or obstructing their work. (more…)

October 24th, 2013

New Law Regulates the Use of Child Models in New York

New legislation in New York State demands that models under the age of 18 receive the same protection as child performers. Photographers and clients who hire models under the age of 18 will have to provide them with more protections and services on shoots in New York State under a new law that takes effect November 20. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the new child labor law on Monday night.

State senators Jeffrey D. Klein and Diane Savino, Democrats from New York City, proposed the legislation earlier this summer.

Lawyers writing for The National Law Review broke down the implications of the legislation in an article published in July. According to the article, “the new legislation will provide that companies employing models under the age of 18 will be required to obtain certificates of eligibility, to provide chaperones and tutors and to limit their work hours,” among other requirements. Under-age models will now receive the same protections as child performers.

The law also stipulates that 15 percent of a child model’s gross income be placed in a trust by the model’s employer.

Advocacy organization The Model Alliance, which supported the legislation, created a guide to understanding the new law, “Under 18 Models and the Law,” which can be downloaded here: http://modelalliance.org/child-models

October 11th, 2013

Nick Brandt’s Photographs Go Viral, But Media and the Internet Miss the Point

We recently interviewed Nick Brandt about his new book of fine-art photographs from East Africa, and how his photographic work led to the creation of Big Life, his foundation, which protects elephants and other wildlife from poachers across a two million acre swath of land in the Amboseli ecosystem.

Brandt’s photographs and commitment to conservation speak for themselves. In the past week his work has appeared on websites like Huffington Post, ABC News, Grist, Gizmodo, The Verge and several others.

Yet the majority of the coverage of Brandt’s new work hasn’t focused on the animals killed by poachers; instead writers and editors have keyed on the images in his book showing birds and bats that died in—and were calcified by—a caustic lake in Tanzania. While those images of birds that look strangely alive in death have generated fascination and thousands of comments across various sites, Brandt’s conservation message of has gone largely unremarked both by the media outlets and their audiences.

“Media only wanted to cover the calcifieds, not anything related to conservation.” Brandt told PDN via email. “I tried to persuade some to expand their coverage from just the calcifieds, but in all but two instances failed—the calcifieds were the story du jour. Elephants and lions being annihilated across Africa seemed to be met with a cyber-‘whatever’ on the whole.” (more…)

October 4th, 2013

If We Spend $25K On A Photo Essay, Readers Should Pay to See It, Says Harper’s Publisher

Harper’s publisher John R. MacArthur wrote a letter for the October issue of the magazine in which he took a strong stand against publishing free writing and photography on the web. He tackles the question of how journalism should be funded and distributed today, arguing that publishers, readers and journalists should reject the idea that good journalism should be given away for free in hopes of gaining page views. When he talks about good journalism, he includes good photography. (We’ve noted previously that Harper’s has become a great publisher of photography, winning National Magazine awards and other accolades.)

MacArthur says he has been distressed in recent years as publishers give away the work done by journalists and editors “in the quest for more advertising. Instead of honoring the reader, writer, and editor, this new approach to the publishing business instead insulted them,” MacArthur writes, “both by devaluing their work and by feeding it—with little or no remuneration—to search engines, which in turn feed information to advertising agencies (and, as it turns out, the government.)”

MacArthur says advocates of free content are peddling “nonsense.” “Who needs fact-checkers when we have crowdsourcing to correct the record? Why doesn’t Harper’s give away a particularly good investigative piece… so more people will read it?”

He also has the temerity to suggest that publishers, journalists and editors “have to earn a living.” He singles out a recent photo essay by an anonymous photographer, who risked arrest and imprisonment to report from inside Iran. The assignment cost the magazine $25,000, MacArthur says. “Shouldn’t Anonymous be paid for this courage and skill?” MacArthur asks. “Shouldn’t Harper’s be compensated for sending Anonymous into the field?”

“It is unreasonable to expect that an advertiser would directly sponsor such daring photography,” MacArthur writes. “It is wishful thinking to believe that parasitic Google, now bloated with billions of dollars’ worth of what I consider pirated property, will ever willingly pay Harper’s, or Anonymous, anything at all for the right to distribute Anonymous’s pictures…”

MacArthur will hopefully forgive us for quoting him at length on our blog, which is not behind a paywall. Those who want to read the rest of his statement, and see Michael Christopher Brown‘s fantastic photographs from Libya, or Misty Keasler‘s touching images accompanying a report about a controversial Montana orphanage for Russian children, will have to pick up the magazine on the newsstand, or subscribe for $20, about twice what I will probably spend on lunch today.

September 16th, 2013

Lange-Taylor Prize of 10K Given For Photo Project On Tiny Alaska Town

The Begich Towers after midnight, Whittier, Alaska, 2012.. Photograph by Jen Kinney, winner of the 2013 Lange-Taylor Prize.

The Begich Towers after midnight, Whittier, Alaska, 2012. Nearly all of the residents of Whittier, Alaska live in the 14-story apartment building. Photograph by Jen Kinney, winner of the 2013 Lange-Taylor Prize.

The Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University has awarded the 2013 Dorothea Lange-Paul Taylor Prize to photographer Jen Kinney for “City Under One Roof,” a project about Whittier, Alaska, a remote town of 200 people on Prince William Sound accessible only via one of the longest tunnels in the country.

Nearly all of the residents of Whittier live in a single apartment building. Kinney’s work examines “how the structures that people inhabit shape and order their lives; how, in turn, people construct, alter, and destroy spaces; and how these constant renovations to our physical world mirror changes in the stories that we tell ourselves, and how we structure our lives to these stories,” a statement from the CDS said.

The Lange-Taylor Prize Committee also awarded a “special recognition” to Bianca Giaever for her innovative approach to using images and words to tell personal, philosophical stories. Her video “Holy Cow Lisa,” which she submitted as part of her proposal, can be seen on Vimeo at http://vimeo.com/54700919

The Lange-Taylor prize is named in honor of the collaboration between photographer Dorothea Lange and writer Paul Taylor, and it seeks to encourage similar collaboration in the field of documentary storytelling.

The finalists for the 2013 Lange-Taylor Prize were Christopher Capozziello, Vincent Cianni, Maja Daniels, Matt Eich and Kate Linthicum, Margot Herster, Simon Hipkins and Agata Skowronek, Brenda Kenneally, Tom King, Gillian Laub, Sara Lewkowicz, Justin Maxon, Alec Soth and Brad Zellar, and Will Steacy.

Related: Lange-Taylor Documentary Prize Suspended for 2011