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Standalone photos

Discussion in 'Design Discussion' started by sportschick, Apr 20, 2006.

  1. sportschick

    sportschick Active Member

    As I look at my incredibly muddled and ugly front page tonight, highlighted by a dull and boring standalone photo, I'm wondering if anyone has examples of standalones as main art on their front or any suggestions for how to talk my SE out of shooting an event we aren't gonna cover in the future (highly unlikely I'll ever be able to convince of this, FWIW).
  2. BTExpress

    BTExpress Well-Known Member

    Standalones as main art are difficult enough if you are using them as a front-page entry point to a story inside.

    But using them when the event isn't even covered seems to be a complete contradiction.

    Important enough for the front page / not important enough to even cover.

    What is the reader supposed to think?
  3. sportschick

    sportschick Active Member

    Yea, well, I tried that argument. I apparently don't know what I'm talking about.
  4. pixelstainedwretch

    pixelstainedwretch New Member

    Tell him he took the "news" out of newspaper.
  5. ServeItUp

    ServeItUp Active Member

    We very rarely use standalones as main art on the sports front since anything worthwhile happening locally gets covered by writer and photog. We have, however, used a standalone from the wire of the local pro teams when we had a lot of local copy without a lot of local photos. And a standalone from a youth wrestling tournament that we had no intention of staffing won one of our photogs an award a couple years back. Youth sports yield great photos, shitty stories.

    Our A1 lead art is a standalone about once a week.
  6. Gomer

    Gomer Active Member

    We did it in today's edition because we don't have the staff to cover everything, the front lead story didn't have art. So, you get a standalone with a score called in and a lead story with no art. Bingo.

    At a bigger paper I'd think such a scenario would be a definite no-no, however.
  7. bigpern23

    bigpern23 Well-Known Member

    I rarely use standalones on the front because, as someone else mentioned, if it's big enough for a front-page photo, it's usually big enough to cover. Our competition often sends a photographer to one game and a reporter to another if they conflict, so as to get more games into the paper. I don't care for this, but I've had a reader or two say, "Well, Competition Weekly at least had a photographer there!"

    I suppose it is a way to cover more ground, but I much prefer to have my art go with the stories.
  8. I kind of agree/disagree. This would never happen at a larger daily because, well, they have very few staffing issues. I have worked at both a 20,000 and 50,000 daily, both kind of small comparitively speaking, and I would much rather have a standalone than nothing at all. It's not difficult for the photog to get the game information for a nice size cutline or if he/she doesn't get it, it's not hard to take the information over the phone. You get the information, a photo, and you get two games covered. Just make sure the art is quality, and let the photographer know that going out. Tell him to really try and sell it because it's all the game is getting. As far as what the reader is supposed to think, I think you are giving them too much credit. If they see something on the game, they will be happy. Especially when if they call to complain, you explain to them that you didn;t have the staff to cover the game, but you thought it was importance for some presence in the paper besides a boxscore.
  9. Smokey33

    Smokey33 Member

    Here's a good example of why not to use wild art.

  10. Riddick

    Riddick Active Member

    damn! that can't be real.
  11. spikechiquet

    spikechiquet Well-Known Member

    As a sports editor that also covers play-by-play duties for local High School sports on deadline night...I live and die by standalones. I am a staff of two for a bi-weekly, so usually I will get a game story from the game I call, my No. 2 gets pics and a story and then we get a freelancer to shoot another game. Sometimes the pic will be art for a recap of all area sports, sometimes, not.

    But my main point is...people in our area seem to think that if you take a pic of the game, you are "covering" it. When I just write a game story for the game I was at and there is no art...then people complain that it wasn't "covered".

    Heck, even running a mug shot with the game story makes people think it is special. In local sports, the saying is so true:

    A picture is worth a 1,000 word (story)

    We actually tinkered with the idea for this years spring sports of just running art from local events and run an agate page with boxscores from local events.
    No stories.
    Why? Because all people want out of local HS sports is their kids name or face in the paper. My publisher nixed the idea, but we are slowly doing it anyway with less gray space and more pics than anything, and people love it.
  12. MonitorLizard

    MonitorLizard Member

    We've found that standalones can be good when what you were going to cover gets postponed, which has pretty much happened every day this month. You can't do it too often, obviously, but a weather photo of a swamped field or a kid kicking a soccer ball in the snow, with an extended cutline, is neat every now and then.
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