Monday, September 22, 2008

The Greenberg / McCain debacle

I really should just keep my mouth shut about this - but I'm going to vent anyway. Briefly. And then I'm done.

Just in case you don't know which DEBACLE I'm referring to... just Google the two names together and you'll get more information than you could ever want. 'A Photo Editor' (a really great blog, if you're into blogs) has a great post on it here.

You want the Cliff's Notes version? Jill Greenberg (the photographer who shot the controversial 'shiny crying babies' awhile back - see her image at left) was hired by Atlantic Monthly to produce a 'hero' cover shot of John McCain. She got that shot. Nailed it, even. But while he was there, she also took a lot of 'less hero-esque' photos of him. Now those pictures are loose, and she hasn't held back on the manipulation and monster-lighting.

Making a political statement? Fulfilling her vision as an artist? Whatever.

One mission she DID accomplish was make life even harder for emerging professional editorial photographers. I mean, it was already an impossible industry to get into. Day rates are becoming laughable & our former clients are buying the same DSLRs that we shoot with and claiming they can do the same work. The Internet has made it easier for anyone's work to be seen, making it hard for the good work to shine though. And my biggest pet peeve - other 'emerging professionals' who are willing to give their time and work away for peanuts, bringing down the standard for us all!

As if that wasn't enough... NOW we have to deal with people DISTRUSTING us?

Further proof that we wouldn't do this unless we REALLY loved it. That, or we're insane.

(both images above ©Jill Greenberg)

1 comment:

tim said...

we just discussed the mccain images in one of my classes. of course, this was at wayne state in a social activism photography class so the discussion was more about the images and not the impact on people in the business. hadnt even considered that aspect.. thanks for bringing it up.. it's kinda easy for us in academia to kinda ignore what it's like to try to be out there making a living at it. thanks for these reminders...