"The only problem I see is that people aren't kicking enough ass" - Brian Storm
Day two is almost over. Although still excited, the initial joyful attitudes about getting up and going early seem to have diminished a bit. As our group walked to the subway this morning, everyone seemed a little worn out and cranky. We arrived a few minutes early to VII, leaving us time to grab a cup of coffee down the street. That helped me get myself together a bit. The warmth of sunshine on my face certainly didn't hurt either.
At VII, Alina talked to the group about the changing industry of photojournalism. She discussed how people hiring in the current economy are paying less but expecting much more from us. Although she covered this issue by saying that there is "no prescribed way to work successfully", we shouldn't become too flexible with price, allowing clients to take advantage of us. it was helpful to hear her advice on how to deal with these types of situations.
We then headed to MediaStorm, and Brian Storm talked to us about the business. It was interesting to hear Brian talk about the amount of work they actually turn down, due to overflowing opportunity. Putting a large stress on high quality and longer term projects, the company is completely financially comfortable. As PJ students, we often hear about the lack of jobs and how the industry is failing. It was inspiring to hear how comfortable Brian seemed with his future in photojournalism. "The only problem I see is that people aren't kicking enough ass", he shared with us. "A sense of purpose is crucial - in this kind of profession you lead a rich life but you don't get rich. It's a trade for quality over quantity".
Lastly, we visited Getty Images. This was probably the most eye opening and simultaneously intimidating visit yet. The director of photography, Pancho, talked with us about how there has never been more opportunity for photojournalists, but there has never been more competition, either. During Getty's presentation, Pancho put the most emphasis upon the marriage of great photography and speed. "If you can't transmit, you're dead. You might as well not even show up", he said. All of the editors that spoke with us at Getty agreed that if you haven't transmitted an image within the first five minutes of a game, you're late. Although Getty's work is not exactly the kind of work I'm interested in doing personally, it was definitely an eye opening experience as to the kind of expectations of modern photojournalists.
All in all, this day motivated me to step up my game, improve the aesthetic and technical quality of my work, and learn multiple ways in which to transmit images. I have a lot of learning and work left to do before graduation. A little scary, but hopefully in time, I will acquire the skills necessary to survive in this competitive field.