Each year the Savage seminar is a great educational and inspirational weekend for photojournalists. This year I have the proud honor of speaking.
The circumstances around my presentation are probably less than inspiring. With the state of newspapers in shambles, news of mass layoffs occurring daily, and many working and student photojournalists left wondering about the viability of their chosen professions, the NNPA thought it would be topical for me to talk about my experience leaving the industry.
It’s my goal to help any photographers who want to continue making a living through photography to have a clear view of some of their alternatives and help them maneuver around some of the obstacles they may face.
I know many of the people who follow my blog are photojournalists. This is a call for your help. Whether you plan to attend or not (and I hope you will!) what kinds of questions do you have? What specific points would you like to see me address? What’s on your mind? Please leave comments below.
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8 thoughts on “Photojournalists: 2009 Savage Seminar cometh. Your input desired.”
BTW, photojournalists outside Nebraska are encouraged to attend!
I would be interested in hearing about how you built your business & the legalities of it.. most of us are not very entrepreneurial when it comes to our photography…. Your fears, your lessons, your reason for leaving newspapers and daily photojournalism.. will you ever come back?
Also, I would be interested to see if you’ve started making content for clients that are web-ready.. things like multimedia, video, slideshows for people to post on their websites and blogs.. is there even a market for this stuff in wedding photography?…
I’ll be going to see you, so good luck in your presentation!
Sorry, but I won’t be able to make it.
I’m always interested in your finished product: Albums, bundles, rights of use for families, what you do with files — both working them before production and what you allow families to see and have. How you decided on a vendor and what relationship you have with them, if any.
How clients respond to what you offer. How flexible you’ve had to be. What you’ve sold you didn’t expect and what nobody wants.
Where you think you could offer more or expand.
That’s awesome that you’ll be in attendance! Thanks for the comments.
Sorry to hear you won’t be there. I guess for you to get the same info it’ll cost you a beer. Don’t worry, I’ll pay for the second one.
Thanks both of you for your questions. I truly appreciate them!
Lane – If I remember correctly, you were still a shooter for The Independent when you started your wedding biz. Is that right? I think it would be interesting to hear about your transition from working for the man to being the man. What was it like going from the security of a steady paycheck to the relative uncertainty of making a living on your own? How did you balance your day job with your business workloads – still factoring in spending time with Sarah, Owen and other stuff?
I won’t be there this weekend, but I ask this because these are things I had trouble dealing with while trying to mix a day job with a wedding biz. Doing both was a serious strain on my lifestyle and that of my family. I ultimately never made the full transition for many reasons, but mostly because I decided I didn’t love photography enough to make the sacrifice it took. I wonder if people in attendence are facing similar struggles. You seem to be thriving, and I think people could learn from you. Wish I could be there.
And thanks for always being one of the good guys. William – if it’s indeed William Lauer on these comments – you too.
I was wondering what advice you may have for recent graduates who are hoping to pursue a career in photography. I know I’ve wanted to do photography for awhile and just when I decide to make the jump for it, it seems like everything is plummeting. While at first I wanted a job in photojournalism, I’m starting to think a job in the wedding biz or a studio would be a better option. In that case, how does one go about finding a studio that’s hiring at all even? What advice would you give to a young photographer to stay positive?
Thanks. I look forward to your presentation as well.
Vanessa, thanks for your comments! Mindful that a lot of my audience will be students and recent grads, I definitely plan to address the exact things that you mentioned. While there are a few exceptions, I think photography-related “jobs” are few and far between. You have to create your own job for the most part.
Derek, it’s good to hear from you! How’s your family doing? The short answer to your question is that it was hard! First, I think you have to love the business-building process. Otherwise it’s daunting labor that consumes so much time. (it’s going to be time-consuming whether you like it or not…but when it consumes all your free time, it helps to enjoy it). The thing that worked for me that first year is a good conversation with Sarah in which we set goals for ourselves. We set a deadline for when the transition away from my day job would take place. We recognized a better life for ourselves afterwards, and the work that would be required to achieve it. So that first year was hard, but well worth the effort.
I’m going to be there this weekend and am looking forward to it. I’d like to echo much of what has been said already, many of those questions are ones I’ve been starting to wrestle with myself. I’m sure you’ve got much of your discussion planned out already, though I didn’t really add that much either…