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Do you know anyone who buys a newspaper for the photos?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by TigerVols, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. podunk press

    podunk press Active Member

    A lot of newspapers are trying to make a go of it without photographers.

    And I just don't think that's a good idea. Our photographers are among the most valuable folks in the newsroom.
  2. JRoyal

    JRoyal Well-Known Member

    A photo also helps tell the story, sometimes in ways the story can't. We just ran a story on the overcrowded facilities of the local juvenile justice center. The photos let people see just how cramped things were. We had to go back and get some shots to get the judge who talked with us into the story, and the photog got a nice image of her sitting in a hallway that doubles as storage. I wouldn't trust an amateur to that.

    Also, a lot of papers sell the pictures they run, and I know we've made a pretty good amount off photos we run, esp. for sports and stuff we shoot at schools.

    You know, your argument can be taken another step. Why have more than a couple of full-time reporters? You can cover most games with stringers. Arguably, a paper could use stringers for all of its high school and minor-league coverage. The wires cover the pros, and there are so many content sharing agreements a lot of papers could easily cut back and still cover all of its bases. You could virtually eliminate every sports writer from a paper and use part-timers and wire.

    Of course, I'm making the argument to make a point. I don't think any paper should eliminate their sports department. The writers are valuable, but so are good photographers.
  3. Dan Hickling

    Dan Hickling Member

    an amateur doesn't have the big boy gear (who spends 10k on a Nikon with a 300m lens) that you need to get that great night football shot ... heck, most amateurs don't know enough to avoid shooting into the sun, much less know what angle to stoop/raise to get the best facial expression, or to keep shadows off the faces, or have a million snaps in the experience back to have sharpened their shooter's eye ... heck, I have about 500k snaps in, and I still don't know what I'm doing
  4. Rhody31

    Rhody31 Well-Known Member

    I'm an amateur and i have the big boy equipment.
    Wife and I bought the Nikon, the 300 lens is one of two my shop has after our last photog retired.
  5. novelist_wannabe

    novelist_wannabe Well-Known Member

    Coupons. Anything else they get is just bonus.
  6. Dan Hickling

    Dan Hickling Member

    um, amogo, you're in the biz, and would you have bought your gear if you weren't? ... and an amateur's pic reprints won't easily figure into a paper's profit center ....
  7. BrianGriffin

    BrianGriffin Active Member

    I have a Canon 20D but it's mine. I'm not putting it in harm's way shooting for the paper. They should still buy equipment for anybody on staff. I also have my own laptop, but I don't use it for work.

    It's for porn, of course (where's the damn blue font button?).
  8. murphyc

    murphyc Well-Known Member

    At our shop, we'll find out this week if people buy a paper based on photos. I got a great shot (yes, a blind squirrel CAN find its nuts sometimes!) of a girl juggling at a library event. We made it four columns above the fold, because everything was just right on it. So I guess we'll see.
    In general, it's hard to say if people buy a paper for the photos unless they specifically tell you that.
  9. BrianGriffin

    BrianGriffin Active Member

    I wouldn't hold my breath for that to push sales (no offense, I'm sure it's a great photo). But when the local school wins a state or national (if we're talking college) championship, people are going to buy the paper as a keepsake not so much for the story, but for the picture of the kids hoisting the trophy or forming a dogpile on the mound and the big red-letter headline.

    I remember in the little "Wall of Fame" at one of the colleges I covered, there was a front page from what seemed like a random game from years ago where the star player is shown scoring a touchdown in a wide shot where you see the fan reaction in the stands as he's crossing the goal. I asked why that particular paper was on the wall and was told "It's a great picture."
  10. Georgiaguy

    Georgiaguy Member

    I have taken photos for sports and other things for years and I see how hard a photog can work if they take their time to get that shot.
    Every story has that one shot that will make it or break it. I have been lucky a few times and caught that one shot, but when you are on the sidelines keeping play by play and stats and taking pics it can be hard to know what you have until you get back and look. I have actually gotten pretty good at it over the years, but that comes from having an eye for sports and action and knowing to just follow the ball.
    Pictures can and do sell rack papers all the time, and sometimes it is an awful pic but presented right it works.
  11. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Well-Known Member

    Do you know anyone who buys a newspaper?
  12. murphyc

    murphyc Well-Known Member

    No offense taken, nor am I holding my breath in anticipation of a push in sales. This spring a local girls basketball team won the state title, the first basketball or football team in city history to ever accomplish the feat. We had front page photos, game recaps, sidebar and photo pages yet hardly a blip in sales. It probably didn't help with it being spring break, but I somehow doubt that was the deciding factor, either.
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