Tuesday, July 27, 2010

US Open + Craigslist + PR Company = Idiocy

Craigslist and the idiocy of what must be an intern at a PR company in NYC strikes again!

Let's parse this ad (red text is my commentary):

Photographer Needed for High Profile Client (Idianapolis) (in other words, we're willing to risk a high profile client's happiness for a few thousand dollars in photographer fees we'd rather not pay, even though our account executives bill out at $300 or so an hour)

New York City based Public Relations Company (a company paying hundreds of dollars per square foot and probably $40-$60k to a junior account executive) is seeking a photographer for a small photo shoot (hmm, portrait? lights? catering? Studio rental? Pro gear?) with a well known professional tennis player (yes, we're willing to risk the free photographer being inappropriate on set, having non-pro gear that might break down with no backup gear, on a well known professional athlete, oh, and let's hope that the free photographer actually turns up since they may not have enough subway tokens to get to the shoot!). Great way to add photos to your portfolio and work with a great company. (Also a mindset that is sure to build up a clientele looking for you to always shoot for free, and if it's such a great company, why don't they have even a reasonable amount of money to pay for a pro shoot?) Photos will be used in a marketing campaign geared towards the US Open. (Yes, photos could end up on Times Square Billboards, US Open program ads, and murals around the venue, not to mention ads in the newspaper, but you won't get paid while they potentially pay tens-of-thousands to reproduce your great photography.)

Although there isn't financial compensation for this project (for you, the photographer. The account executive will get paid, the studio you have to rent will get paid, the car service that brings the pro athlete will get paid, the cell phone bill that the account exec has for all the calls related to the shoot will get paid, the athlete will benefit and may even get paid an appearance fee if the marketing isn't for the athlete, but some apparel company, but you, the creative talent behind the photo - to paraphrase the Soup Nazi - "no money for you!"), full credit is given (what? In 6-point type in the gutter? In 24 point bold text at the bottom of the ads? How do you define "full"? What will be the ramifications if you don't give credit? What if it's a hand-out photo for PR and the newspaper that agrees to run the photo has a policy of not crediting hand-outs, or they forget?) as well as opportunity for future work with a magazine (right - future FREE work, because they already know you'll work for free). We will work to create a great credit package for the right photographer! (nice - you, the account exec, billed $150 for the time necessary to create this craigslist ad, and you'll spend another few hours culling through the idiots that respond to this ad, and then, you'll give the photographer total freedom to realize their creative ideas and genius!)

Please email us for details ASAP, as this project would be taking place with-in the next few days. (translation - we weren't thinking and this is just some stupid idea we hatched and it may not even go ahead, but if we can get someone for free while our athlete is on layover in Indianopolis for a few hours, we'll get a freebie shoot out of it. What's the worst that can happen? The photos suck and we didn't pay anything, and we didn't PROMISE the photos would be used.)

Below is the actual ad, and the link to the ad if you want to write them. It might be interesting for someone to find out the PR firm's name and get in touch with the head of that office to let them know how their junior staff are coming up with hair-brained ideas like this putting their celebrity clients at risk with you-get-what-you-pay-for caliber photographers....

(Continued after the Jump)

Photographer Needed for High Profile Client (Idianapolis)

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Monday, July 26, 2010

Social Networking Solutions for Photographers

So often, I get calls from friends and colleagues about how to handle online marketing and social media. How do I set up a facebook page? How do I use social media to maximize my business? Most solutions are generally offerred, except one, now, just for photographers - The Linked Photographers' Guide to Online Marketing and Social Media. I know both authors well, and have read the book and think you'll benefit from it, regardless of your level of experience.

Everything form How-to's, to explanations as to why, and why not. When it comes to getting "with it" on social networking, there is no better guide for photographers available, and at under $20, what's not to love about it?

(Comments, if any, after the Jump)

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Trampling on First Amendment - AGAIN

Today's Washington Post has an interesting article - Freedom of photography: Police, security often clamp down despite public right (7/26/10) whereby, yet again, a uniformed officer detained someone taking photographs. Yet, a directive from the New York City police reveals what common sense tells most of us already about photographing buildings like this - "practically all such photography will have no connection to terrorism or unlawful conduct", according to the article.

While I don't know much about the photographer, Matt Urick, it seems from this report that, yet again, the police have over-reacted. Yet, the police, in trying to acknowledge the photographer had the right "Some people will figure, 'I have a right to take pictures,' and we are not arguing with that", said the President of the DC lodge of the Fraternal Order of the Police, but he then is cited as saying "An officer also has a right to his or her safety and to control the situation", and that's just such a far-reaching statement that it begs arguing. Cameras don't impinge on an officers safety, and to suggest that anyone has the right to "control the situation" is akin to the persuasive attempts by the gestapo to control situations. What "situation?" No officer can take away a constitutional right unless the excercise thereof could take away someone elses' constitutional right. The proverbial "your right to swing your fists wildly stops at the tip of my nose" comes to mind. Thus, the photographing done by this photographer was well within his rights.

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