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September 5th, 2012

Adrian Fussell Wins 2012 Ian Parry Scholarship

Adrian Fussell, a New York City-based photojournalist, 23, has won the Ian Parry Scholarship for 2012 for his project “My Name is Victory.” The series follows members of the Patriot Guards, from Francis Lewis High School in Queens, NY, a community of immigrant youth who assimilate through participating in the volunteer military program. The award, which comes with a 3,500 British pounds cash prize, was announced this evening at the Visa Pour L’Image Festival in Perpignan, France. Two other finalists were also honored. Photographer Marcelo Pérez del Carpio of Bolivia was named “highly commended” and Hilde Mesics Kleven of Norway was “commended.”

In addition to receiving a cash prize, Fussell is automatically added to the list of finalists for the Joop Swart Masterclass, organized by World Press Photo in Amsterdam. Fussell and the two commended finalists will also have their work shown in the Spectrum supplement to The Sunday Times of London and in a print exhibition to be displayed for two weeks, starting September 26, at the ad agency MOTHER in London.

The scholarship was created in memory of Ian Parry, a photojournalist who died while on assignment for The Sunday Times in 1989. It honors young photographers who are either currently enrolled in a full-time photography class or are under the age of 24, to help them receive support and launch their careers. Fussell is a graduate of New York University, and also studied at the International Center of Photography.

For more on the Ian Parry Scholarship and this year’s finalists, visit the Ian Parry Scholarship Web site.

Photo: © Adrian Fussell. Cadet Jenny Chen, foreground, orders her squad to march during a practice run for the Patriot Guard drill team on March 29, 2012, days before competing in the JROTC Army National Championships in Louisville, KY.

September 4th, 2012

Photographer and Photo Educator Susan Carr Dies, 49

Photo © Shawn G. Henry.

Susan Carr, an architectural photographer and leader of photo education programs for the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), died yesterday in Chicago. She was 49. The cause of death was cancer. ASMP announced the news on its Strictly Business web site.

In a statement posted on the ASMP web site, the trade organization’s president Shawn G. Henry, said: “With Susan’s passing ASMP has lost one of its most ardent advocates and I have lost a dear friend. She was a tireless champion of the Society, a passionate educator, and a wonderfully warm and caring human being.”

A graduate of Western Michigan University, Carr specialized in architectural and interiors photography. She was a principal in the Chicago studio Carr Cialdella Photography in Chicago and documented American architecture in both her professional and personal work. She became a board member of ASMP in 2001 and in 2003 launched the trade association’s traveling seminar program. As manager of the Strictly Business seminar program, she organized a continuing series of lectures and seminars providing legal and business information to professional photographers around the country. She also lectured on copyright, licensing and other business issues. Carr was the author of The Art and Business of Photography, published last year by Allworth Press.

Carr was the editor of ASMP business publications including ASMP Professional Business Practices in Photography, Seventh Edition and The ASMP Guide to New Markets in Photography, scheduled to be published later this year. She also created and edited the ASMP Strictly Business blog.

In Carr’s memory, ASMP announced it will launch The Susan Carr Educators Award, an annual prize for photo educators, to be awarded annually.

More information is available on the ASMP Strictly Business web site.

 

May 3rd, 2012

International Center of Photography Names New Director to Succeed Hartshorn

The International Center of Photography (ICP) board of trustees today named Mark Robbins, dean of the School of Architecture at Syracuse University, as the new executive director of ICP. Robbins will succeed Willis E. “Buzz” Hartshorn, who announced last year he would be leaving his role for medical reasons.

Before joining Syracuse, Robbins served as director of design for the National Endowment for the Arts and as a curator of architecture at the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio. In a statement,  Jeffrey Rosen, president of the ICP board of trustees, said the board was impressed with his “vision of the transformational power of images” and noted that in his previous positions, Robbins “made a significant impact as a leader and a manager, and as an artist and an educator.”

To see the full news story, visit PDNOnline.com.

Related story
ICP Director Willis Hartshorn to Step Down

April 30th, 2012

Student Photographer Claims Falling Bear Photos Were Infringed

You may not know the name of photographer Andy Duann, but you may have seen his work. Duann, a photographer with the CU Independent, the student paper of the University of Colorado Boulder, photographed the bear that fell out of the tree on the school campus after it was tranquilized by wildlife officials (landing gently on some pads below). The CU Independent distributed his images to the Associated Press (AP), the Denver Post, the Colorado Daily  and other outlets. As the Poynter.org mediawire reported on Friday, Duann claimed that the school had no right to resell the images, because he holds the copyright.

Today Poynter reports that, in light of Duann’s complaint, the AP has yanked his falling-bear photos, and issued an advisory to its members to scrub the pics from their archives.

What’s at issue here is whether the student photographer is considered an employee of the university’s paper—and thus his images are automatically “works for hire”—or an independent contractor—and thus retains copyright to the images unless he’s signed a work-for-hire agreement. The faculty advisor to the paper says Duann’s an employee, but an attorney for the Student Press Law Center says no. A student is not in an employee/employer relationship with his school, and federal law requires a specific work-for-hire contract, not a general understanding, for the copyright to be transferred from the creator. (The attorney, Adam Goldstein, also provides a succinct and clear explanation of when work-for-hire does and does not apply. You might find it useful the next time a client hires you for an assignment and says, “But why don’t we own the copyright?”)

Poynter reporter Andrew Beaujon explains that as soon as Duann saw his photo on the Washington Post and elsewhere, he headed to the university law school to find out his options.

Hey, don’t say the young photographers of tomorrow don’t understand their intellectual property rights!

You can read the whole saga, including the story of how Beaujon got inadvertently involved in the copyright dispute, at Poynter.org/latest-news/mediawire. You can see other photos of the bear in mid-air, not taken by Duann, here.

Update: Some copyright information for student photographers has been posted at Student Press Law Center, splc.org.

March 29th, 2012

Free Conflict-Training Course Now Accepting Applications

Photojournalists covering conflict zones can now apply for Reporters Instructed in Saving Colleagues (RISC) training. RISC, which was founded by journalist and author Sebastian Junger, currently has courses scheduled for New York City in April 2012, London in fall 2012 and Beirut in winter 2012/2013. Each three-day workshop focuses on teaching attendees crucial combat medical skills.

Junger was a friend of the late photojournalist Tim Hetherington, with whom he collaborated on the documentary Restrepo. He started RISC after he learned that Hetherington, who was killed by a mortar in Misrata, Libya, last year, could have survived his injuries if someone on the ground with him knew basic lifesaving techniques.

“Combat photographers like Chris Hondros and Tim Hetherington regularly take chances that many writers wouldn’t dream of, and as a result they suffer a disproportionate number of casualties,” Junger says. “RISC is an attempt to train freelancers in battlefield medicine and equip them with combat medical packs so that they can render aid immediately and effectively. The industry has gone far too long without providing any medical training for the people—mostly freelance photographers—who run most of the risks.”

Most conflict-training courses can be costly. However, applicants accepted into RISC courses are only required to pay for their own travel and food expenses. Housing and workshop costs are covered with funds raised by RISC. Many media organizations have donated funding for the first round of workshops, including ABC News, National Geographic, Vanity Fair and Condé Nast, and Getty Images.

The first workshop takes place in New York City April 18 through 20, which is the one-year anniversary of Hetherington’s death. At the time of this writing, all but three of the 24 spots were filled, with eight people on the waiting list. Applicants were chosen based on the amount of time they’ve spent in conflict zones. RISC’s mission is to train experienced conflict reporters, photojournalists and other members of the media who will use the medical skills on future assignments. The workshops do not include hostile environment training, such as preparation for loud noises, surprise attacks or mitigating personal risk.

Though the dates aren’t set for the London and Beirut workshops, RISC has already received applications for both cities (42 and 15, respectively). Regardless, the organization encourages journalists to continue to apply since it plans on holding courses once a year in all three cities.

Go to risctraining.org to apply for workshops and get more information.

Related Articles:

Survival Training for Conflict Zones
What to Expect if You’re Injured on Assignment
In Case of Emergency: Recommended Practices for Notifications
Chris Hondros and Tim Hetherington: A Reflection

March 15th, 2012

PDN’s 30 Panel: Perspective and Persistence Key to Success for Young Photogs

Sam Kaplan, Ryan Pfluger and Holly Hughes at PDN's 30 seminar

©Amber Terranova. Sam Kaplan, Ryan Pfluger and Holly Stuart Hughes at the March 14, 2012 PDN's 30 Seminar at the School for Visual Arts Theater in New York City.

At the first in a series of educational seminars organized as part of the 2012 PDN’s 30 programming, three photographers named to this year’s PDN’s 30 spoke about the importance of establishing and unique esthetic perspective, and about being persistent in creating and promoting new work to potential clients.

The panel discussion at the School for Visual Arts Theater in New York City, which was moderated by PDN editor Holly Stuart Hughes, included PDN’s 30 photographers Sam Kaplan, Peter Ash Lee and Ryan Pfluger, as well as veteran photographer Andy Katz and New York Times Magazine associate photo editor Clinton Cargill. (more…)

February 1st, 2012

Magnum Foundation Announces 2012 Emergency Fund Grantees

© Justin Maxon/Prospekt

The Magnum Foundation has announced the 2012 class of Emergency Fund grantees. The Emergency Fund supports photographers who are working on long-term documentary projects that address “critical global issues that have not received the attention they deserve, or budding crises that are still over the horizon,” according to the EF Web site.

This year’s grantees are:

Evgenia Arbugaeva, for her project “Tiksi, the Far North”; Rena Effendi, for “Capturing Coptic Life: Egypt’s Sectarian Struggle”; Eric Gottesman, for “Baalu Girma”; Sebastián Liste, for “The Brazilian Far West”; Benjamin Lowy, for “iLibya: Libya’s Growing Pains”; Justin Maxon,  for “Murder That Goes Unsolved and Unheard”; Donald Weber, for “War is Good*”; and Paolo Woods, for “Poor Rich.”

The Magnum Foundation, established by the cooperative photo agency to promote and finance independent documentary photography, began its Emergency Fund grants in 2010. Past grantees include Jonas Bendiksen, Tomas van Houtryve, Emily Schiffer, Larry Towell, Bruce Gilden and Krisanne Johnson.

Grantee candidates are nominated by an international committee and evaluated by a selection committee. This year the Emergency Fund received 93 nominations, and 76 photographers from 28 countries submitted proposals.

The Magnum Foundation also announced the its 2012 scholarships for the NYU/MF Photography and Human Rights program, a 5-week summer intensive at New York University that teaches photographers skills for creating documentary projects on human rights. This year’s scholarships went to: Poulomi Basu of India; Arthur Bondar, of Ukraine, Liu Jie of China; and Pooyan Tabatabaei of Iran.

October 31st, 2011

PhotoPlus Panel: Why Licensing Matters

There’s no better argument for eschewing a buyout or work-for-hire contract, than Michael Grecco’s real-world example of how he earned more than $140,000 in licensing fees over an eight-year period from one advertising client. Because the contract had a set licensing period, every time the client wanted to use the images after the license expired, Grecco had to be paid again. John Harrington, Grecco’s partner for the 2011 PhotoPlus Expo seminar Licensing: Putting Money Back in Your Pocket, presented a similar case study to demonstrate how he earned $940 from an editorial client who wanted to use additional takes from a cover shoot for two sister publications not included in the license.

Of course, none of these fees would have been possible if their licensing agreements, which should always include the terms of usage (length of time, type of medium, region, etc) and exclusivity, were not clearly defined. Harrington is a big proponent of PLUS (Picture Licensing Universal System), a non-profit organization with the goal “to simplify and facilitate the communication and management of image rights.” On its site, UsePLUS.com, there is a License Generator tool that allows users to create a license based on the criteria entered. The trade organization American Photographic Artists also has licensing information on its site, APANational.com, or you can work with an intellectual property attorney who specializes in artists’ rights. Grecco also mentioned the importance of obtaining model releases and keeping them on file, especially if you plan on selling images commercially.

An important component of licensing is copyright protection, which Grecco and Harrington also discussed. Though as the photographer you technically own the copyright of an image at the click of the camera’s shutter (unless you’re doing work-for-hire or you’ve ceded the rights of the image), actually registering the photo at the U.S. Copyright Office will make prosecuting an infringement case much easier—a lesson Grecco learned the hard way when his photos were infringed: once when a derivative work was created and another time when a work was reprinted, both without his permission.

Grecco briefly touched on his system for registering his images with the Copyright Office, which he does en masse while the photos are still unpublished (once they’ve been published they must be registered individually): He fills out the necessary forms at Copyright.gov; creates CDs or DVDs with the files, organizing them using Print Window for Mac software; and sends the discs via a shipper that provides proof of receipt, such as FedEx or UPS. This last part is particularly important since the copyright goes into effect on the date it’s submitted, which means the date it’s received by the U.S. Copyright Office.

Though the licensing process seems onerous, it’s worth the extra work; both Grecco and Harrington use their knowledge of copyright and licensing to negotiate better fees from clients. And making extra money on photographs you’ve already taken, that’s just a smarter way to do business.

October 31st, 2011

PhotoPlus Panel: Getting a Tastemaker’s Attention

Aiming to shed some light on how photography mavens find innovative work, W.M. Hunt moderated the seminar Your Picture is Fabulous: The Tastemakers and Why We Look at What We Do during the 2011 PhotoPlus Expo. The panel featured a gallery owner (Yossi Milo of Yossi Milo Gallery), a magazine photo editor (Caroline Wolff of W) and an agency director (Kelly Penford of Jed Root)—in other words, a wide array of influential people every photographer dreams of impressing.

Though it’s not easy to articulate what makes a photograph cutting-edge, Hunt, a photo collector and former gallery director, noted that he needed to be excited by the work and told the story of traveling to Paris to see photojournalist Luc Delahaye’s Taliban Soldier, a large-scale image of a Taliban fighter lying dead in the dirt. Though Vanity Fair and The New Yorker both passed on the photo (American Photo ended up publishing it) when he returned to the U.S., Hunt was able to sell the image to a collector for $15,000—using just the color Xerox of the print—proving he had indeed discovered something new. Milo seconded Hunt’s sentiments, saying he wants to be blown away by a work and cited the example of Kohei Yoshiyuki’s series “The Park,” which not only excited him, but also had an amazing concept he was intrigued by.

Yet Hunt readily admitted that it’s hard to be fresh and pressed the panelists to find out what is trending now. In a word: technology. Milo said he’s been looking to younger photographers and is currently captivated by innovations in the picture-making process. An example is Matthew Brandt’s series “Lakes and Reservoirs,” in which he develops the photographs using water from the lake or reservoir featured in the photo. Wolff explained that she recently commissioned on online video from Santiago & Mauricio in which still images contained moving droplets of water, while Penford added that digital is the only acceptable method for his clients, who expect to see instantaneous results.

So how do you get your work in front of a tastemaker? Wolff said she reads a variety of magazines and newspapers, and used the examples of a few up-and-coming photographers she’s either commissioned or is keeping tabs on: She discovered Santiago & Mauricio through their submission in W’s Fashion on Film series; Chadwick Tyler was featured on the cover of Grey magazine; and Elle Muliarchyk’s “Dressing Room” series was published in The New York Times Magazine.

Penford said he looks at everything and anything, but emphasized the power of photo blogs. His agency currently represents Scott Schuman whose blog The Sartorialist receives millions of visitors each month, the popularity of which lead to new assignments, and recently signed Bill Gentle largely due to the photos on his blog Backyard Bill. Milo said he also reads a lot, both print and online, as well as travels and goes to shows. However, he tends to track photographers and follow them for a couple years to see how their style evolves before contacting them.

The moral of the seminar? Though there’s no way to guarantee your work will be deemed worthwhile by influential people in the industry, one thing that’s for sure is that it has to be out there in order to get noticed in the first place. Start a blog, enter a contest, send an introductory e-mail—do whatever you can to get your photographs seen by the right people.

October 28th, 2011

PhotoPlus Panel: Finding Funding for Your Documentary Work

At the 2011 PhotoPlus Expo, Aidan Sullivan, vice president of photo assignments for Getty Images, moderated the seminar, Your Picture is Important: The “Concerned Photographer” Today and How Projects Get Funded. With a panel that included both grant recipients and foundation employees, the goal was to help attendees get a better understanding of the various avenues of support available for advocacy photojournalism.

Shrinking editorial budgets throughout the media world have made grant and fundraising more important than ever for photojournalists. As Sullivan pointed out at the beginning of the seminar, a simple Internet search will produce numerous grants available for photographers. However, the more elusive part of the process is figuring out how to actually get awarded those funds.

Amy Yenkin, a director for the Open Society Foundations, explained what her “advocacy oriented” foundation is looking for when it comes to funding projects: a long-term commitment and thorough knowledge of the issue, an engagement with the community being photographed, the respect of non-governmental or non-profit organizations working on the issue, an awareness of what other photographers are doing regarding the issue and past success on previous projects or partnerships.

While Yenkin noted that her foundation is open to projects that highlight both the problem and/or solution regarding an issue, Emma Raynes, Emergency Fund program director at the Magnum Foundation, said her organization prefers to focus on underreported issues “in anticipation of powerful stories” rather than in the aftermath of them.

Both speakers emphasized the importance of working with non-profit organizations, not just for funding, but also to build a partnership. The effect a non-profit can have on a photographer’s work was exemplified when photographer RaMell Ross spoke about his experiences shooting in the economically depressed “Black Belt” of the Southern United States. Ross works at the non-profit Youthbuild and began phootgraphing his students as well as abandoned schools in the area. His photography came to the attention of the non-profit For | By | For, which helped him set-up a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for an exhibit, the proceeds of which were donated to Youthbuild.

Kickstarter actually played an important role in many of the case studies presented at the seminar. Yenkin listed seven different sources of support, including a Kickstarter campaign, for Saiful Huq Omi’s project photographing Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. Raynes also noted that the Magnum Foundation helps set up Kickstarter campaigns for Emergency Fund recipients, including one for this year’s W. Eugene Smith grant recipient, Krisanne Johnson.

Persistence and patience seems to be the key when it comes to applying for grants and raising funds. This was evident when photographer Darcy Padilla spoke about her experiences after she turned down a job at The New York Times and “made a choice to be a freelancer.” Padilla won her first grant in 1990 and describes living on very little income as she continued to apply for grants and awards while shooting projects she felt were important, including The Julie Project, which consists of photos taken of the same subject over an 18-year period. She applied for the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship three times before receiving it in 1995 and the W. Eugene Smith Grant close to ten times before she was awarded it in 2010.

Padilla noted that she rewrote her winning proposal for the W. Eugene Smith Grant in order to “give it intimacy and closeness.” Perhaps this is the biggest takeaway from the seminar: the issue has to be something you’re passionate about; something you’re dedicated to documenting regardless of whether you’re on assignment or not. This passion and commitment will not only influence the photographs, it will also show foundations and donators that it is a cause you truly wish to eradicate, which may just inspire them to support your journey.