Oxford School of Photography

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Tag Archives: Newspaper

Chicago Sun-Times lays off its photo staff

I know that all major news operations are looking to cut costs and that newspapers are in need of the greatest cost cutting, Sydney Morning Herald group (Fairfax) apparently didn’t send one photographer to the London Olympics and relied on agency pictures, but this news from Chicago is still disturbing

The Chicago Sun-Times has laid off its entire photography staff, and plans to use freelance photographers and reporters to shoot photos and video going forward, the newspaper said.

A total of 28 full-time staffers received the news Thursday morning at a meeting held at the Sun-Times offices in Chicago, according to sources familiar with the situation. The layoffs are effective immediately.  

The newspaper released a statement suggesting the move reflected the increasing importance of video in news reporting:

I particularly hate this, oh and I especially hate the to shoot photos and video going forward, what is wrong with the words “in the future”

The company is also preparing to supplement its freelance staff with reporters to shoot more video and photos, according to sources.

So send anyone out with a camera and that will do, what about professionalism don’t they understand that a professional photographer is more than a person with a camera. Would they accept written pieces as journalism from someone because they own a pen?

As the places where we see most photographs, the news media, cut the use of professional photographers all that happens is that those looking at the photographs get used to poor quality pictures and loose the critical ability to know when a picture is good or bad because they are mostly bad. This is just further evidence of a world where the lowest common denominator is cost rather than quality.As we can see from the written word above “going forward” we will only have poor images, poor writing, poor editing, in fact poor everything in the future. Shame on you Chicago Sun-Times.

If you want to read all of this article you can go here but there is no happy ending

How to take a photography portrait in 10 minutes

When time is short or the location is a disaster, every photographer needs some tried and tested ideas to fall back on. Here are a few tricks of the trade

David Bailey once said, “I’m very quick. Ten minutes, that’s about enough time for a portrait.”

How long should it take to shoot a portrait for the Guardian? Probably longer than the time our photographers are often given: interviews run over; subjects are busy people; it’s a daily newspaper, and arrangements are often made at the last minute; the pictures are wanted for a pressing deadline.

So you’re the photographer who has been assigned the job, you’ve rushed at the last minute to arrive at an unprepossessing building where the subject is finishing an interview in a dull room. It could be in a bland hotel or an office decorated in an even blander shade of beige. What do you do next?….READ MORE HERE

This useful article in The Guardian doesn’t really tell you anything you couldn’t work out for yourself by looking at pictures of important people in newspapers and magazines. Most photographers have their style, their go to way of photographing and rarely shift far from it. Jane Bown, who photographed for the Observer was a case in point. See how she always uses light from one direction with preferably a dark background. Very effective.

We teach about natural light portraiture on our Portrait courses

One photographer who makes is living photographing the very important and to whom 10 minutes would be luxury is Ander McIntyre his website is absolutely full of images of presidents, politicians, scientists, artists and others in the public eye and all photographed in about 2 minutes. Go and have a look at his remarkable portraits and learn.








EricParryAll images ©Ander McIntyre