Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Don't Really Make Photos...This is ONLY a simulation after all!

An e-mail arrived yesterday, and I must say, I did a double-take on the date when I finished reading it. I thought, with absolute certainty that it was April 1st. Then I thought that maybe the former head of a high school pep squad had gotten ahold of the NY Post's photo department, holding tryouts like he did on the cheer squad, carrying out a "simulated assignment during your visit, so please come prepared", read the missive. I thought - oh, are they going to start a fire on the 33rd floor of the building to see how the assignment would be covered? Rent police uniforms and then beat down the interns to see how the photographer captures the intensity, and if they're wimps and use an 80-200, or are really committed and and get into the fray and use their 14mm, and then compare those that use their 14mm, with those that have a 14mm rectilinear? Play street rules basketball in the lobby and see if the photographer knows how to set backboard remotes on the fly?

Who gave this guy - David Boyle, a photo budget and the balls to call for photo tryouts! Try looking at portfolios, websites, or ask for some sample work. Heck, look at your own paper's credits to see who's work you like that you've already paid them for! Here's what he wrote:

Dear All,

As you know, we pay our freelancer rates based on experience and equipment. As such, we’re updating our equipment records in an audit, and need you to come into the office for one day to meet with David Boyle and Dave Johnston.

We will pay a day rate for this visit.

Please bring all of your equipment along with you, including your laptop

We will be looking for the following types of equipment:

Radio (for monitoring police/fire)
Your Camera Bodies
300mm Lens and Converter
All Your Lenses
Your Flashes
All Your Battery Packs
Point & Shoot Camera
Any other lights

You can schedule an appointment by contacting Jessica Hober, our new photo desk assistant, at (212) 930-8530

You will be asked to carry out a simulated assignment during your visit, so please come prepared.

Thank you,
David Boyle
Bring lights? Like my arena strobe kit? All my Norman's? My paparazzi point-and-shoot? My digital bodies and my F2's I use as a doorstop? All of my equipment? What? You wouldn't take my list of insured equipment as a legitimate statement of my capabilities? As a journalist, I can't actually be trusted to be honest when I state I have the equipment I do? Perhaps if that's the case, I can't be trusted to not alter my photos either?

And what the hell does the fact that YOU are going to an equipment audit have to do with calling in freelancer's gear, unless you think they stole from you when you were practicing your home team cheers from days gone by and weren't minding the store? Are you logging all the photographer's serial #'s of their own equipment? How truly Orwellian of you! Is this 1984? Do you think that someone will forget that they lifted a 300 2.8 from your equipment closet and bring it on down and represent it as their own?

While you're at it, why don't you collect all the freelancer's Photoshop serial #'s to make sure they're not infringing on the copyright of Adobe when they are editing the photos for you, since every photo that you work on in Photoshop now has embedded within it's metadata the serial # of the Photoshop you used? Ditto for PhotoMechanic - make sure they're legit copies, what, since these freelancers can't be trusted! Ask them to prove they've registered their software!

I can only hope this is some grand scheme to mock someone (or me!), and this isn't the new reality.
Please post your comments by clicking the link below. If you've got questions, please pose them in our Photo Business Forum Flickr Group Discussion Threads.


JeffH said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JeffH said...

This has got to be a come on! If it is real, you can bet that there will be a handful of uninformed (should I dare say brain dead) photographers who will happily show up with their gear....

Stupid Photographer said...

Should one bring one's darkroom as well, twelve foot sink, 4x5 enlarger and all?

Anonymous said...

Photojournalism is dead, and the doctors that have tried to bring the patient back to life have left the hospital and have gone on to bigger and better things.

Again with the moaning and groaning?

You didn't see this coming?

The photoj's did this to themselves; stop trying to put an us (all photographers) vs. THEM spin on this.

They have repeatedly allowed themselves to be pushed around and have taken the scraps that the bean counters have given them and have made up for this by doing "side jobs" to make the money that they've been getting screwed out of in their marketplace. In doing this they have pushed our rates down because they are willing to take .25 to .50 cents on the dollar.

This is no suprise to me; this is the reason there are more "photojournalist style" wedding photographers in the marketplace now.

So for those of you photojournalists willing to risk you life to make these photos, give the cheerleader a little room to squeeze in and try to get the same shot with her point and shoot; because she got the same credentials as you and she's cheaper......

Anonymous said...


What's the difference between a photojournalist and a paparazzi?

The paparazzi makes more money, and has better working conditions.

Anonymous said...

I bet that at least 50 "photojournalists" show up to this farce. And out of the 50; 49 of them will be deemed "fit to shoot". The worst of this is that this will become a "how low will you go" to get published and a photo credit.

Anonymous said...

Who cares about how those high and mighty photojournalists are treated? Yawn.

Is Paris out of jail yet?

Jonathan Levin said...

I wonder if they could trace the serial number of my Diana camera? I'm rushing over there right now in my stolen Pinto. See you folks in line.

Anonymous said...

This is it. Total insanity! I just had to add my 2 cents. Hopefully I'll be able to bill someone for it.

My favorite line was.. "As you all know our freelancer rates are based on equipment and experience..."

That is just funny on so many levels. Does this mean if Alex Majoli shows up with his Olympus P+S, he wont get the job?

Is there going to be a JV squad of photogs who have pro-sumer equipment?

Silver River Images said...

Make sure to leave your integrity behind!

Anonymous said...

The reality TV show starts next season....

Anonymous said...

Calling Photo Babe!
Calling Photo Babe!

They need you in NYC.

Are you available?

We don't know if you'll get paid, but we can surely use you.

Anonymous said...

Maybe they should have someone try out to write headlines. That is easily one of the most difficult to comprehend. Die yellow journalism, die!

Anonymous said...

Here is a beauty of a contract if you want to shoot for Reuters:http://www.reuters.com/youwitnessTerms?WT.mc_id=ext_mktg_sonycon_yahootc_052007

Ikeaphile said...

Is this guy's email readily available? Seriously I'd love to send a1 line email, "Do you know how retarded you are?"

Anonymous said...

Right. That's it. I've had a gut full of this business. I'm off to become a fashion photographer.

Anonymous said...

Pathetic. This is his latest in a long line of humiliating rules and conditions he has set forth. The worst photo newspaper in NY.

And he does not realize he is the laughing stock of the NYC photo community, and has been for a while. It's great.

And the photographers who think this is ok or who support it or who are this mans mouthpiece in trying to convince others that it is ok, are just as bad. You are grown men and women who know if you can do the job or not. And Boyle, being an "editor" should have been able to figure it out as well without this humiliating, demeaning and pathetic tactic.

"....As you know, we pay our freelancer rates based on experience and equipment...."

No, we did not know that. Great, I should be getting $800 a day, plus expenses. Not mileage only after the first 40 miles.

Have fun -


Anonymous said...

David Boyle

Anonymous said...

The standard is to look at your portfolio. I couldn't even get the Post to do that even though it is just a click away on line. Instead another photographer had to give them my phone number when they were short handed in my area.

Look at the work, not the equipment. I'm not going to risk lugging all my equipment around New York. If I am robbed then I will have no means of employment. I carry only what I need to an assignment. No more. A portfolio should speak for it's self. The Post didn't have the time to look at a web based portfolio but they now have the time to look at my equipment. I've spent most of the last three decades working for some of the best news organizations, even including AP assigned photos that became Post covers, but they don't even remember my name or wanted to look at my work. I have covered the Gulf war and celebrities. Done more well known peoples portraits then I can count that have been published in Time, Newsweek, and the NYT, but all they care about is how big my kit is. Give me just a box Brownie and I will still come back with good photos.

Anonymous said...

the post still owes me money for photos. fuck them.

James Edstrom said...

What about the fact that you have to see your photo in the Post and bill them, they don't tell you.If you dont see your pic, you dont get paid. I argued with Boyle about this and he could give a shit. I supply thousands of publications across the world. If this was the process at every publication, you would not have time to take a pic as you would be reading every magazine to see if they used your work....What happened to the trust and automatic payment at the Post?

Anonymous said...

this guy is a real jack ass and whomever works for him too. there's plenty of other jobs in the city. I'd rather be a busboy than work for such a shit head and...sorry ass newspaper

Anonymous said...

I've heard he actually has called his photographers, morons, liars and stupid to their faces. I agree with the last post, but shit head is too nice a description of this lowlife and his cronies.

Anonymous said...

Ouch! feel sorry for you last two- being fired, yelled at! or called "a Bozo" must hurt! But.. You don't have to diss the photogs that do work for the paper and haven't gotten fired, yelled at, or fucked up an assignment. He's an asshole if YOU SUCK or fuck up. If you do your job WELL-He will leave you alone, THANK YOU and give raises.
How much does the News pay?
Do we agree with this stupid idiotic "audit" No way!!
It's BS! (And don't plan on participating either- will he fire me? give me less$? Nahh, his loss, I'll be gone.)
And.. Lastly, NO ONE deserves to be called names or spoken to the way he can rip you a new asshole.
So either, do your job well, so well that he knows that he can't spit on you if you do happen to make a mistake. Or get out of the kitchen. now. Before he whips your ass.

Anonymous said...

time to bear arms and strike at the enemy THE BOYLE MUST BE POPPED and don't forget to use your flash when doing it

Anonymous said...

The best thing that can happen is that someone might catch a shot of this ass when he fondles someone other than himself. The worst would be that the Daily News or NYT won't run the pic.

Anonymous said...

I think the request for equipment is to see what you would actually bring on an assignment, not everything you own.

Anonymous said...

Having worked with Mr. Boyle I can assure you that he is the biggest asshole of all time. Not only doesn't he know photojournalism, he's on such a power trip that he thinks he is the ultimate professional. Many long time staffers left the Post after he arrived and they continue too leave. I'm surprised that a harrassment suit has not been filed against him. The remaining staff and freelancers put up with his nonsense because they need a job. But I can assure you that if they have an opportunity to leave, they will leave immediately. The entire staff, including reporters despise him.

You can contact Boyle at:
dboyle@nypost.com or 212-930-8505

Anonymous said...

on one assignment, that two photogs and a reporter worked on for five days, he told me my images sucked, hmmm, they ended on the front page, 3 of the 5 days that week, I must suck, I missed the other two days. I should have banned from working that week. Two weeks later I got another one on the front page....Gee I guess I got better......Go Dave Go Dave

Anonymous said...

ready for the fake simulation....put your head between your legs and kiss the rest good buy

Anonymous said...

Dave Boyle is an asshole. He rules by intimidation and has the audacity to call himself a Photo Editor. He's nothing more than a photo pusher. He makes no final decision on what gets in the paper, he simply collects Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton photos. The whole paper is headshots or celebs in skimpy outfits. Its as crap as any paper can get. The paper might as well be shot in a passport studio. As for his qualifications he has none. He was a night editor in a Brit paper and before a lowly paparazzi chasing B celebs in London. Even though the paper is successful a chimp could do what hes doing. All his photographers hate him and curse him among each other. He can't get qualified photographers to work for him since hes such a tyrant and now he wonders why most pictures he receives suck. Auditions, what a joke. Look in a mirror Mr. Boyle. You're the joke of the industry.

Anonymous said...

has any body been inspected by the boyle yet?

Anonymous said...

2 photographers were auditioned today. They were sent to the Bronx apparently to photograph the printing plant or possibly a distraught mother throwing her baby out the window on cue to see if the photographers can capture the baby in mid flight.

Anonymous said...

there was also one other photographer sent to the brooklyn bridge to photograph it being sold to a guy from france, not sure if a baby was being thrown off at the time

Sam said...

You really should grab some foto stuff, make an appointment, and tell the story so we all can have a good laugh :)

Anonymous said...

Boyle is gone from the Post...These "auditions" were a dog & pony show for the EDITOR IN CHIEF to show that he was not a total fuck up. That the photographers had actually "improved" under his watch. The truth is we can all breathe a sigh of relief and rally around our new and more sensible photo editor. someone we really care to work for and one who treats photogs with respect.

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