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Everything posted by Marianne

  1. Great challenge so many fun images, it took me a while to choose. Was feeling kinda wiped out from a long day and seeing one of mine in the running made my day - thanks so much! (And despite being a brash American I did not vote for myself - I've been in this British forum too long so I know better).
  2. I love the Nik filters but don't plan to upgrade. I bought some of them (Color Effex, Vivenza, Silver Effex) years ago and got the rest when Google bought them out. They haven't worked in PS for me for a while but work well in LR, and the additions DxO have added don't seem worth it to me at the moment. I checked out the new stuff on their site and it didn't really excite me. I still use the Nik filters a lot - Silver Effex, Color Effex and Analog 2 - but I'm trying not to add more stuff to my workflow, keeping as much in LR as I can, and if I upgrade I know I'll feel like I need to use them all the time. LR fixes perspective quite well for me and I tend to use my 20mm Nikon lens on my Sony a lot, and if I keep it level most photos don't need fixing, so I'm going to pass for now.
  3. I'm a freelancer in my "day job" so believe me I can relate.
  4. I remember when places like Alamy and others had 8 million images and I was amazed that people found and licensed my images. Now there are over 205 million and I have more sales than when I started, but the competition grows all the time. My biggest concern right now is that my views are down by about 35%, but with the pandemic and my portfolio being mostly travel, it's not surprising. Who knows what the future will bring.
  5. Ironically by reading and responding to this discussion I realized that since my images at ss are no longer available there, it means that many of my photos are now only available here. I had added many from Alamy to ss at the end of 2019, since I was seeing shrinking sales here along with much lower prices, but a resurgence of growth there. Turns out it was bad timing on my part, though the move was a good earning one for me, so maybe not. Anyway, now that things have changed, I think I may make many exclusive to Alamy and see how that works out. The response to falling sales can be giving up, or it can be finding new ways to increase sales. I continued to upload heavily in 2019 and early 2020. Finding a way to earn more from the sales I make here seems like a good additional strategy. I'm encouraged that Alamy's client base is suddenly growing. Europe is ahead of the US in terms of beginning to recover from the Covid crisis, so it makes sense that clients may be growing at a photo agency across the pond, especially as one of their competitors here in NY is experiencing "friction," as you say. I'd think that ss's move might also be seen as an admission that things aren't going so well, and that might discourage clients from committing to long-term contracts, though for larger companies it's not a big outlay. But for smaller companies in the current uncertain economic environment, it may well be significant. Designers and other small business customers are also more likely to identify with the plight of those shafted by the latest move. Glad I didn't tell the person considering going totally exclusive that he was "crazy," though I stand by my advice that I would not put all my eggs in one basket. I have images that are doing well on other sites, earning as much or more than I think they would here so I'm not making changes to those, but I have others that have been licensed here before or which are as likely to be licensed here as elsewhere that I may as well mark exclusive. I can always revisit my decision in six month when I assess how things have gone for 2020. And since Covid may still be an issue in December, I may just give it more time than that.
  6. Here is an interview with Masanori Sako, head of Olympus Global Marketing, from March 2020, just a few months ago (translated from the French to English) in which he discusses new products launching in 2020, their new manufacturing in Vietnam, and their commitment to micro 4/3 - it would seem that their commitment to keeping the OMD models and Zuiko lenses viable may be accomplished with this latest sale. It would have been crazy for them to set up a new manufacturing plant for the newest M1 and M5 cameras so close to the sale if it wasn't in aid of keeping their OMD line going with that sale, so hopefully this bodes well for the future of the brand. Micro 4/3 offers something that full frame does not, and I hope the new owners keep the business going. https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=auto&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fphototrend.fr%2F2020%2F03%2Finterview-olympus-masanori-sako-japon-2020%2F
  7. Yes, that's what Olympus says on its website: https://www.olympus-global.com/news/2020/nr01695.html Not finding much else out there but the announcement came today so not surprising. Hopefully we'll hear more soon. Won't know until 2021 I guess how it will work out.
  8. Olympus has just announced they are leaving the camera equipment business completely. They are selling to a Japanese investment group. No way to know what this will mean for sure, but given how investment groups destroyed G I'm sad to hear this news. My very first SLR, a gift from my dad when I was a junior in college back in the late 1970s, was an Olympus OM-1, which my daughter used when she took photography in college. In fact, I still use the collection of lenses I got for that camera on my OMD E-1 and on my Sony mirrorless. To my surprise, even after buying my Sony full frame, I still use my Oly a lot, and before Covid hit I was planning to buy a travel zoom for that wonderful light little mirrorless for a trip to Europe which we have put off indefinitely. I hope that this doesn't mean the new owners will pare down the business so much in an attempt to appeal to consumers, but if they are focusing on the OMD and Zuiko brands, perhaps those of us who love our Oly's will be lucky and it will mean that they'll focus on pros and their higher end cameras and lenses. Panasonic is now working with Leica more and seems to have turned away from micro 4/3 and while micro 4/3 may not be the highest resolution, it is a perfect compromise for those of us who want high quality super light camera equipment. Here's the link: https://www.theverge.com/2020/6/24/21301460/olympus-selling-camera-division-jip-vaio It's from an investment site, my hubby just sent it to me. I'm going to see what other info is out there and will add new links when I find additional info.
  9. A lot of former ss contributors have said they are encouraging their clients to license images elsewhere. Many people don't care how a company treats their workers/suppliers, but many do, so the uptick in new clients Alamy is seeing could indeed be a result of the goings-on at that big MS agency. I agree with John's assessment. Since my zooms have finally risen this month, I hope that means a few of those new clients are looking and that they choose my work. This current drought has lasted too long.
  10. My average views are less than two-thirds of usual volume, but zooms are good. Last year at this time I thought I was headed for a BYE by a huge margin since my revenue by the end of June 2019 was a hairsbreadth below all of 2018, then the doldrums hit and I had sales but for such low $ for the rest of the year that I ended up pretty much even in 2018 and 2019. I grew my portfolio and anticipated good things but it was a bust. I suppose things could as easily change for the better although with a portfolio heavy on travel it could be a while. I'm grappling with whether photography is viable anymore or at least for the next year, but I love it and don't want to give up something I had hoped to stay active in even after retirement age, which I'm edging ever closer to. I don't expect stock to be a source of significant revenue as I had initially envisioned back some years ago, but I felt it would be a good way to keep active into my 70's and beyond. I've been shooting stock since 2008 and can't imagine what it would be like to retrain myself to go on a trip and shot solely for my own enjoyment LOL. Given the current extraordinary times, it is hard to really extrapolate what the rest of the year will bring. Covid numbers are continuing to go down here in New York State, but so much of the country has a curve that is growing, so it's impossible to guess how things will shake out. I'm very fortunate that my husband is in an essential business and that while he is completely on commission he's ahead of last year and has a boss who is happy to let him work from home since I'm at heightened risk. I have 1/3rd of an acre, and a 100 square foot new plot of land on which I'm growing veggies and flowers, so while I wish my Alamy sales hadn't disappeared, we have food shelter and income, not to mention health insurance, good doctors, and neighbors who wear face masks, more than many of my fellow humans these days. Alamy has always been feast or famine for me, so I'll wait it out and eventually things will take a turn for the better.
  11. Worst year ever here for me. Nothing since February.
  12. New York Times Sunday June 21, 2020: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/20/at-home/coronavirus-share-your-backyard-pool.html?action=click&block=more_in_recirc&impression_id=599336929&index=3&name=STYLN_more_in_reopening&pgtype=Article&region=footer&variant=2_variant Cavan Images, Alamy WMN5XW Good to see NYT using an Alamy image instead of ss, and this image is also available on Offset, ss's higher end brand. EDIT - kudos to Michael just saw he already saw this
  13. I went for nearly 2 months without zooms, and in the past couple of days they shot up to their highest point in a year, including a run today on images I originally made in response to the economic downturn in 2008 - ironic that the bad economy that killed my zooms is now helping them. With the effects of the pandemic, it's not surprising things are bad. You're not alone seeing the effects.
  14. I contribute to two other RM agencies but until about mid-2019 Alamy did much better for my RM images than they did (small European boutique agencies with a 50% split, but 50% of very little isn't worth it), so I have a some RM images here that are exclusive, but due to Alamy's poor returns on personal use licenses, compared to the $200+ I generally receive per sale on POD sItes, I prefer to have some of my RF images that sell well on my POD sites on a micro (not ss) which, while sale prices are low, does not cannibalize my POD sales, which earn me several times what I make on Alamy yearly. I'm sure I'm losing sales here as a result, but I make a lot more POD sales, so it's not worth the risk. With so few outlets for RM work, it's a tough choice but more of my work is RF so I have options. Having options is important to me. I worry about having all my eggs in one basket, and so that's another reason going completely exclusive would never work for me. However, now that ss has pulled a fast one, I will probably add many more of my editorial RF images here and make them exclusive. As an American, I found splitting my editorial images between Alamy and ss gave me a much better return (usu better on ss, actually, but I've had some $250-450 editorial sales here which beat anything I'd make on ss). American travel images sell well for me here, but general news and soft news do (I should say, did) better elsewhere. Now Alamy is my best option for editorial, other than direct licensing, which is permitted by the "exclusivity" clause. Alamy generally treats us pretty well and they are great to deal with. The other A is also quite supportive of their contributors, and sales there are growing well, but I rarely make more than 99 cents for a download, my best single download there this year was $20, for a photo of a brick wall. They sell a lot more backgrounds and traditionally stocky type stuff, the kind of images I rarely sell here but if your work is more travel, landscape and editorial, then going exclusive here might make sense for you. Some things to consider. Good luck!
  15. Nice photos. Especially the wildlife images. Nothing really to add to what the others said except to say welcome to the forum & to Alamy & good luck!
  16. I spent all day Sunday and Monday working on my garden. Such gorgeous weather. It was great to work so hard outside.
  17. I thought you didn't want politics in the forum. What has this guy to do with ss? I think politics permeates most aspects of our lives, but I fail to see the connection here, just random liberal baiting? 😎 PS if you get a red arrow, it's not from me. I'd rather speak my mind than hide behind a button. (Just sayin' cause I know you're gonna get them). No, I'm not gonna take the bait, but you know how to fish don't you?
  18. I've always felt conflicted about microstock, though I suppose by the forum's standards I'm seen as a supporter, since I started at both Alamy & ss in 2008. I like to think that my 100 or so image experiment there and on two other micros (now up to about 500 after many years) have not contributed to photography prices' downfall, but I guess they all add up so I'm guilty, in part. However, I think that the ease of digital photography, and the wider public's seeming inability to tell a bad photograph from a good one, or their lack of caring, and the concept that intellectual property, especially if it's on the internet, should be free, has done more to destroy value. The decline of print journalism and the even more marked decline of print advertising, which pays for most of that journalism, has had a much more marked impact. There are more images than ever uploaded, shared, and purchased by buyers today than ever, so it is no surprise that most, but not all, buyers look at price first. Until the past year, I kept my two portfolios separate, with maybe an overlap of about 25-30 images, and put my best work on Alamy from the time I started in 2008 for fear that I'd lose out on higher value sales if my portfolios were the same as well as my reluctance to license via the micros. The real value that microstock had for me, however, coming to the profession late in life without a degree in photography, was that multiple sales a day from an initial portfolio of 80 images taught me what buyers were looking for, something my meager sales on Alamy when I started did not. But I always championed Alamy over the micros, despite my lopsided sales experience, and my willingness to supply images to the micros. My micro portfolios were mostly backgrounds and concepts, with a handful of travel and editorial. They all sold well and more than 70% of my micro images that are over a year old have sold at least once, many 100s (some >1000 times). A set of simple backgrounds I shot the first day I got my lensbaby in 2012 paid for the price of the lens within a month or so. In fairness, so did a photo I took on Cape Cod that sold here - it paid for a 4-day trip (meals and gas - I stayed with a friend) within a month or so after retuning from the trip. (I can argue both sides, it's the recovering lawyer in me). Eight years later, those 10 lensbaby images still earn me over $100 a year on one or two of those sites. None of my Alamy images have earned me over $1,000 each, but several of my microstock images have. With a portfolio 1/8th to 1/4 the size on each of the top 3 micros, most years I made more on each microsite than I made here and ss always beat every one by a mile, so I get the lure, seeing that map with worldwide sales and watching it trounce the higher priced competitors had its appeal. But I appreciate the downside. But it is not just photography that has suffered, which is why I think that while microstock may be a factor, it may also be a symptom of the greater market softening, and not actually the cause, though probably a little of both. Here's why I say that. Photo assignment work has been my bread and butter, along with some direct stock photo sales and writing. And fees for all three stayed at the same level for many years, while costs to run my business, not to mention the general cost of living, went up. Then, sales here dropped precipitously despite my adding more images. Editorial clients also dropped their rates, claiming drops in advertising, subscriptions, etc. (The ones who hadn't gone out of business - over two dozen of my former clients no longer exist). Anyway, as far as ss is concerned, I've disabled my portfolio, forever if they don't reverse course and I intend to delete it if they stick with the 15% commission. I'm not holding my breathe. If I can get 99 cents on Adobe, or $15 here, I'm not going to take 10 cents from ss, but frankly the real issue is that editorial assignment work is barely worth the rates offered anymore. Five years ago if you told me I'd even consider 99 cents or $15 worth uploading for I'd have laughed. When I started making significantly more on FAA than on stock sites, I felt like things had gone haywire. (April was an awesome month when people got their stimulus checks, now that's dried up too - ah, the consumer society). That seems to be the only place where I net around $250 per sale anymore. National magazines are still paying about $200-300 for a quarter page image (stock not assignment), the same prices they were paying back in 2010 when I made my first direct license sales. It's barely sustainable. But at nearly 62, what to do? A lot of soul searching and exploring other markets. Maybe, like Alexandre, I'll go back to practicing law...😎
  19. Green bucket: Green bike rack in Baltimore, Maryland: Green bamboo photo illustration:
  20. I did a broad two word search on google images that would cover some of my best-selling photographs - a place name and the word lighthouse which covers a couple different ones - many that have been licensed multiple times by Alamy and also directly from Photoshelter (but there it was some years ago) - I have 12 of them on Alamy and the same 12 are searchable on Photoshelter, 6 are on Fine Art America and 10 are on Adobe (the same 10 were on shutterstock but that portfolio is now disabled). My images on Fine Art America start to show up in the 4th row, and more in the 6th, by the 8th row I see some from Adobe, by the 16th row I see images of mine licensed for local web sites interspersed going down more rows, I have to go down to the 30th row to see my first one from Alamy, though many of these images have been licensed over the years by them - I only scrolled the initial page and did not hit "see more images" but none of mine from Photoshelter are showing on that initial page. When I did the same search in the past, my shutterstock photos were often in the top three rows. I know that google often shows you stuff you want to see, so I'm not sure that if someone else did the same search they'd see those images, but as they are so spread out and since I haven't uploaded or shared any of them on social media in a long time it seems like it may be a valid search - showing things you've engages with recently may just be in ads and not in the image search - I'm not sure. Looking at all the images and where they are from seems to indicate that certain sites are doing better than others in their placement in searches. I remember when my Photoshelter photos used to show up at the top of google images searches and I'd get direct licenses from magazines and web sites but as algorithms change, so does search placement. The search gives you other two word options to click on across the top. Hitting the placename and "harbor" are another choice (a more focused search term) and with that I'm in Row 1 for both ALAMY & FAA, Row 2 for Photoshelter, with more from Alamy, Adobe, FAA, and other stock sites throughout page 1. This shows me that a more focused 2-word searches brings up all of my images that have those terms and they rank well from various sites. When I clicked across the top for the location itself, just one word (town, no state), I see my licensed photos up top for various travel and local business websites, and about halfway down the page (I'm tired of counting rows), one on my Photoshelter hosted site (not one I've licensed). Clicking on a broader regional term, I'm up top in the first three rows with a few different images from FAA, then more from licensed websites. I see Alamy (not mine) a few rows down from there and some rows below that mine from Alamy start to appear. In all these searches, a nice variety of my 6-12 images from the various sites show up. Lots of Alamy and Photoshelter images in other two word searches across the top row too. It is a very popular tourist location in the US and searches on Alamy and elsewhere bring up pages and pages of images. Some years ago, I'd never see Alamy images in a google search but now they are showing up, so things have improved. In the initial search, the first FAA and ss images (not mine) show up in Row 3 (my first from FAA is in Row 4) and the first from Alamy (not mine) is in Row 4, so that is positive for Alamy. My image in Row 8 from Adobe is the highest ranking image from there. I don't see any from Photoshelter nor from any Photographer's websites at all. Weirdly, when I click on the links that show across the top for the name of one lighthouse, the only image of mine I see is one that Getty now has from 500px (which didn't show on page one of the broader search), and a few on local websites. There are very few stock images that show up at all. When I click on another lighthouse name, my first image is in Row 2 (from FAA), with an image from ss (which leads to their Spanish site - I scrolled for ages when I clicked and my image is fortunately not showing so it appears to be properly disabled) and others from local and national websites but none from alamy. It's impossible for figure google out but it is concerning that the most specific search terms, the actual lighthouse names, rarely bring up any stock photos. This was interesting but I'm going down a rabbit hole. I'll try another search where I have more than 12 images - like the broad regional term without lighthouse, and see if at some point too many with the same search term hurts my images, though if they are spread among different sites, maybe that's less of an issue. Interesting experiment. Many of these images show up in the top row or rows for searches on the various stock and POD sites, since most have been online since 2010 and still sell regularly as framed art and licenses for web and print, though there is lots of competition, so it seemed like a good search to compare how they rank on google. Evergreen travel has been good for me and it will be so good when it's safe to travel again. It may be a very long time.
  21. I deactivated my account as soon as this mess started, but won't delete in case things change, although I don't hold out much hope. It's too bad as I was making a reasonable amount with a small portfolio there and had intended to add to it as I was adding images here and at Adobe. May was the first month I didn't make payout there, so I guess I'll have to ask for my earnings. I assumed they would just be a loss. This really seems like a minor issue in light of what is happening in my country, a distraction, but one that has threatened the livelihood of people who have large portfolios there and were making a living at ss. All part of the same greed and income inequality that is bringing our way of life down. In stark contrast to shutterstock's underhanded move and refusal to respond to contributors, Alamy and Adobe's willingness to engage with their contributors gives me hope that stock photography will still be viable as an adjunct to photographer's income, but I worry that pricing in the stock photo industry has passed a tipping point so that it will no longer be viable as a full time profession, even for those with tens of thousands of images.
  22. What he said. Until I disabled my portfolio, I got sales nearly every day on shutterstock for 12 years with anywhere from 10 to 500 images (and fewer than 100 the first few years). Alamy is a different animal. It can take several months before your first image is licensed and you need tens of thousands of images to see daily sales in most cases. Alamy also does not pick and choose your best images, rejecting similars the way microstock sites do. It is up to you to choose only your best few images from a set - getting 20 of a similar scene online here is not a win - too many similar images and you will see your view to zoom ratio (i.e. your CTR = click through rate) plummet, and your images will not come up on the first pages of searches, making you chance for a sale even slimmer. Wander around the forum and learn. You have a lot of travel images, something a lot of Alamy buyers are looking for (or were before the pandemic at least), but don't upload everything that is good enough - pick and choose your best. In the long run, you'll have a better CTR and this should help you make your first and subsequent sales. Good luck.
  23. In most instances it might bother me but it won't stop me from taking photos - but with what is happening now here in the US it feels different and too dangerous to our democracy to shoot images that can be used by the rightwing to further their agenda. It feels wrong to say this since my journalistic instincts tell me to remain neutral but my morality and frankly my love for my country and my wish to see things change tells me that at this moment in history how my images could be used is too important to let them be co-opted. It's gut-wrenching to feel this tension between my principals and the need to document history - I can relate to the fear of that protestor Gina mentioned and her uneasiness in this situation despite my conviction that she had every right to take that woman's photo had she been so inclined and that she should not feel any guilt about it - and I can also relate to Kristin's uneasiness in documenting the historical riots taking place around her - it's unbelievable to me that I would ever feel this way - and I think it is so important for the story and images to get out there - but I can't fault anyone for holding back or being conflicted in this particular situation if they don't know how their images will be used. It's ironic as stock photographers our aim is usually to make the most useful photos possible, photos that work for a variety of situations, even news images that can later be used as secondary editorial stock, but in a situation like this the malleability of our images can be dangerous to our principals. Quite a dilemma.
  24. I vote for the micro 4/3 system. I used Nikons (both Full Frame and APS-C) for years and now use an older Olympus m4/3 (an OMD E-1) as well as a Full Frame Sony a7rii. The Olympus was my first foray into mirrorless so I purchased 3 lenses with the body - none of them are in the Pro series - the 17mm f1.8 and 25mm f/1.8 and the inexpensive 40-150mm f/4-5.6 - they are all tack sharp. I don't have a macro lens for the Olympus but I use the Nikon 4T closeup lens (it screws onto the front of the lens and increases the magnification so it acts like a macro lens, though not 1:1) It weighs little more than a lens filter and I've gotten some wonderful images with it (it has a 52mm filter thread so it fits that particular lens). I have a very expensive Sony 90mm macro that I use on my full frame Sony, but I still use the little close up lens on the Olympus if I'm out for a long hike and want to be able to shoot both birds at a distance and butterflies close up. The 40-150mm cost me $125 or $150 new (on sale) and gives you the equivalent of an 80-300mm zoom - not as far a reach as you might want for serious wildlife work, but a good start. There is also a setting in the camera that increases the zoom beyond 300mm (I think up to 600mm but it also decreases the quality and I believe cuts it to 7 or 8MP - I don't recall - I only used it once - but that would still pass QC here). If you purchased a newer Olympus second hand and started with that lens and a closeup filter, you'd have a nice kit to start learning. I'm still debating whether to purchase one of the Olympus pro zoom lenses which would duplicate the range of the 40-150mm f 4/5.6 but even if I did, I would keep the 40-150mm I have because it weighs less than a pound and is so small I can fit it in my pocketbook. I have never had a fail here with it. Here's an image I took handheld at 150mm with the 4T attached: Pretty good for an inexpensive setup. It is not a 1:1 macro solution, it is a close up lens so it is good for butterflies but it won't let you take a close of just part of the wing like a true macro. As you get more experienced, you can add the Olympus pro 60mm (120mm equivalent) macro lens which, with certain Olympus cameras, lets you stack something like 50 images together for incredibly detailed macros. I don't have it but it looks amazing. The only place where the micro 4/3 system falls down sometimes is if you are taking images at night without a tripod and you need to really push the ISO, however you can shoot very slowly handheld with the Olympus because of its amazing in body stabilization so you can often manage to keep the ISO down. I've had the 42MP Sony for 2 years now, and have a couple of the super pricey Master lenses which I love, but when I'm out hiking I often opt for the much lighter 16MP Olympus and my little non-pro lenses. Olympus lenses are sharp and the cameras and lenses are light. Full Frame cameras require larger and heavier lenses, so even a mirrorless Sony can be quite heavy. The Sony is amazing for night photography, and as primarily a landscape and travel photographer, I lean toward using it at night, but for wildlife and macro, you'll probably be happy with the Olympus, especially if you move up to the pro telephoto zoom and macro lenses. One thing I would note is that Olympus is exiting the camera market in So. Korea - I don't know if this means anything for its business in the rest of the world and certainly hope not. I got my first SLR back in 1978 and it was an Olympus OM-1 - I use my old lenses on both my Sony and my mirrorless Olympus with an adaptor and they are super sharp too. I really like Olympus lenses. Another few things to note - if you go the closeup lens route, opt for top quality like Nikon. There are a few different strength diopters (which effects magnification) and each is suggested for a different range of focal lengths so be sure you get the proper diopter and also that the lens threads fit your lens. You can also stack them to increase magnification, though I haven't. You'll also need to buy them second hand - the only used place I'm familiar with in the UK and US is mpb and I'm sure they can direct you properly but you can also google Nikon close up lens. Again, it is not a 1:1 macro solution, it is a close up lens so it is good for butterflies but it won't let you take a close of just part of the wing like a true macro. If you want a true macro then the Olympus macro lens has amazing capabilities from what I've read, with the stacking capability - so make sure you get an Olympus camera that works with it, whether you get the macro lens now or later. Mpb in the US had a lot of Olympus equipment when I looked and second hand can really save you a bundle. My only experience with a APS-C sensor was the Nikon D-5100 which I bought as a backup camera. Like the OMD E-1 it is 16 MP The Olympus is smaller, lighter, and better in low light; In fact, the images I've taken with the Olympus are just better all around, even though I used much more expensive Nikon lenses on the D-5100.
  25. It's really hard shooting stock in any kind of political arena since you don't know how your photos will be used. It made me crazy that about half the photographs I took of Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election ended up in right-wing media articles critical of her, but that is the risk you take. One even used a bogus quote about her and the way they used my byline it was easy to think it was something I said if you didn't read it carefully. That last bit really shook me, but it didn't stop me from taking photos,. However, she is a public figure and, more important to this discussion, the photographs themselves did not harm her. But what happens if your photograph of a peaceful protestor is captioned in a way that makes it look as though they are a looter? Do they lose their job? Get arrested? If you are shooting for a reputable media outlet, and you take photos documenting what went on, including photographs of those who are looting, and you caption your images with the facts, you can trust that your client/employer will rely on those facts and properly caption the image. But you cannot always trust the buyer of a stock image to do so. That's what makes it so hard in this instance, at this particular moment in history - and it makes me both sad and angry that we have to worry about documenting the truth. If you are a photojournalist shooting stock, the integrity of your image can be turned on its head. That doesn't mean we don't have the right - or even the obligation - to document what is going on, but being mindful of how our images can be used when our country is literally burning, may understandably make us take a step back and decide not to take those photographs, or to take photos as part of the historical record, but not to release them now when things are so fraught. Photographs don't always tell the truth. They are open to interpretation. That doesn't mean we shouldn't take them - and I applaud those photojournalists out there - on assignment or shooting stock - who are taking a risk right now, with both protestors and the police turning on the media - but I also understand stock photographers here in the US, whether or not they have a photojournalism background - who worry about how their images may be used - and who chose not to document these protests. As stock photographers we are not assured that any of the images we take will even be published, nor can we control who publishes them and how. The "media" has changed - there was always "yellow journalism" but today the "media" is so amorphous, so all consuming, and so out of control, and our country stands at the brink - it's incredibly scary right now - and we are rudderless. Those of you who don't live in the US, I believe, can't know the depth of the horror those of us who support the Black Lives Matter movement and the peaceful protestors feel as we see this essential movement turn into chaos, as we watch our country literally burning, and fear the instability of those in control, the threats that our own military will be turned on our citizens. You probably don't know the pain of having a child who can't see a future for herself in the country of her birth if things don't change. I wouldn't want to take a photograph right now that would ruin someone else's daughter's life because some unscrupulous editor captioned it wrong. I had a long talk with a friend today who is so frightened because her 22-year-old African American daughter is out protesting in California, she's proud of her but fearful for her safety, and reading this discussion I couldn't help thinking of how a photo of her peacefully protesting could effect her life. I don't recognize the world I'm living in. Our dystopian present started a while ago. I envy you Canadians, Brits, Dutch, Aussies, and all the rest. I can empathize with my African American relatives and friends but I don't really know what it's like to be them. And, lucky for you, you don't really know what it's like to be us right now, but we appreciate your empathy. We have all of us on this fragile planet gone through something so frightening and it should have brought us closer, yet here in the US it is causing an even greater divide.
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