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Live News tips


Steve F
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Hey all,

I'm covering a strike this week and I've got temporary Live News access. Has anyone got any tips they can share with me? I've got the standard Live News intro email from Alamy with the PDF caption guide. I'm just wondering about whether anyone does any image editing before submitting? Or is it more of a case of get it out asap? And things like is it usual to get people's names (if they choose to give them), and does that help image saleability?

 

Thanks,

Steve

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Keep it honest, adjust for levels, horizon and shadows. Treat the picture as if it's your kid going out the front door, wash it's face and comb it's hair, no more.

Engage with the picket supervisor, tell them you're trying to get their story in the national media, but set expectations.

Placards, placards and what else, oh yeah, placards. Placards sell.

Don't try to go on private property.

Try to get the name of the employer in the background.

Dog or baby with a placard? Permission and name.

Be kind, listen to their stories, whatever the spirit on the picket line these people are not having a good time.

And everything Phil said!

Good luck!

 

 

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17 hours ago, Steve F said:

Hey all,

I'm covering a strike this week and I've got temporary Live News access. Has anyone got any tips they can share with me? I've got the standard Live News intro email from Alamy with the PDF caption guide. I'm just wondering about whether anyone does any image editing before submitting? Or is it more of a case of get it out asap? And things like is it usual to get people's names (if they choose to give them), and does that help image saleability?

 

Thanks,

Steve

I still struggle with getting the balance between speed and editing.
Minimal photoshopping, but make sure lighting levels are good and horizons are straight. Cropping isn't too important unless you were really using the wrong lens. No cloning things out!
Get as much info in the captions as you reasonably can, but only names if it's someone people may have heard of (union leaders etc) Try to get most of the caption written before you go - facts about the event, location, reason for the strike etc can all be done before you get there. Names and details can be tacked on later.
If you are one of a dozen photographers there, get the shots filed as soon as you can - if it is just you, or you are they only one sending to Alamy, another ten minutes editing won't make any difference.

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All that’s already been said. Plus I shoot short bursts. Otherwise there’s always somebody with their eyes closed, they turn their head or stick their tongue out as speaking. That way you will usually get a useable shot. When shooting placards shoot some of a single placard, then try to stack them up one behind the other if possible, like house for sale signs. If relevant, ask if another photographer/s have been there before you, and if they knew who they represented. Whenever I ask a parent if I can photograph the youngster on their shoulders or by their side, especially if they are holding a placard, I can’t remember the parent not agreeing. If the placards are double sided and the other side has a different slogan, ask if they can be turned around and shoot again. Steve, I remember recently you mentioned the keyboard failing on your laptop. Is it repaired, as you’ll likely need it with you unless you will be shooting very close to home. Also don’t forget to enter the headline in the IPTC field, which is different to stock, or all your uploads will be individual rather than being grouped together. Have a great time there.

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Shoot from down low or up high.  Go for the unusual.  Giving context is useful, try to tell a story.  Get some wide shots to give a sense of scale then some close ups.  Interesting individuals, banners etc.  
 

if the protest starts to get unruly (unusual in the UK) stick close to police lines and don’t forget to take pictures of the police in action. (Again this applies in the UK) But, and this does not happen much these days, watch for any form of kettle and get out.  Always follow police instructions and don’t argue. Keep moving, don’t stand in one spot.  Keep an eye open for exit routes and avoid getting caught up if it’s a big protest. 
 

The vast majority of protesters are reasonable well behaved people but there is sometimes a minority who are not.  In my view, and I know some will disagree, but I don’t engage in arguments or discussions with demonstrators.  
 

Wear good shoes.
 

Expect some abuse, we are lumped in with the main stream media and the “establishment”.  You will also get “you can’t take my picture…” Yes you can if not on private property.  (That is a generalisation of a complex area).  

 

I don’t ask anyone for permission.  There is no legal requirement.  I try not to shoot children, or photograph them unless it is either central to the story or are integral to the story (those two are different).  I know some/many will disagree, it’s just my approach.  
 

Work the protest. Get to the front then shoot the middle and don't forget to shoot from behind the March. Remember that live news pictures drop to stock so get a few generic shots that can be used over time in other contexts/stories.  For example, if a trade union leader/politician,  get some isolated headshots that can be used on other stories.  

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Thanks a lot for all your help everyone! I'm up on Live News today, let's see if anything comes of it... 🙂

 

On 13/12/2022 at 07:51, Phil Crean said:

Get as close as you can.

I had a chat with them before taking photos. And organised them all standing with the banners, felt a bit like doing wedding photography! 

 

On 13/12/2022 at 08:22, Mr Standfast said:

Keep it honest, adjust for levels, horizon and shadows. Treat the picture as if it's your kid going out the front door, wash it's face and comb it's hair, no more.

Engage with the picket supervisor, tell them you're trying to get their story in the national media, but set expectations.

Placards, placards and what else, oh yeah, placards. Placards sell.

 

Thanks for the editing tips. I had a chat with them, they were curious about which newspaper I worked for, hah!  Got lots of placards and flags in shot...

 

On 13/12/2022 at 09:37, Phil Robinson said:

if it is just you

 

Think it was just me, maybe the local paper couldn't be bothered...!

 

On 13/12/2022 at 09:59, zxzoomy said:

I try to write what I can of the text before I go out

 

I had the caption all ready for the postal strike and then my plans were slightly scuppered by the railway workers also striking at the same location. I ended up captioning it as a combined strike.

 

18 hours ago, sb photos said:

Plus I shoot short bursts.

 

Good tip - I set it to medium speed so I didn't have 1000 images! 

 

18 hours ago, sb photos said:

Is it repaired, as you’ll likely need it with you unless you will be shooting very close to home.

 

It is repaired thank you. And it was a slog of 10 minutes walk from home.

 

13 hours ago, IanDavidson said:

Shoot from down low or up high.  Go for the unusual.  Giving context is useful, try to tell a story.  Get some wide shots to give a sense of scale then some close ups.  Interesting individuals, banners etc.  

 

Thanks for that Ian. Probably didn't take enough images, pretty happy with what I did get, but think I was in too much of a rush to get back and get them uploaded!

 

Protest seemed pretty chilled, not so hardcore as big London gatherings methinks. It was all pretty much first name basis for everyone.

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The only thing I can add, particularly given the excellent advice already offered, is remember to check the IPSO guidelines before you next go out (if you decide to). It's stuff most of us already know but it's worth getting the finer details in memory.

 

 

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7 minutes ago, Steve F said:

Wow, sold one already after just an hour, fastest sale ever! Thanks again everyone. Almost into $$...

 

I've had LN stuff sell way before I even got home, but only ever see it registered weeks/months later. Where are you seeing a sale so quickly? Alamy or in the paper?

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8 minutes ago, Cal said:

 

I've had LN stuff sell way before I even got home, but only ever see it registered weeks/months later. Where are you seeing a sale so quickly? Alamy or in the paper?

 

I only live 10 mins away from the location, plus it was too cold to do anything outside (apart from protest!), so edited and uploaded from home. It has shown up on my net revenue sales report.

 

Edit: agreed, it is very quick. Perhaps it's personal use???

Edited by Steve F
see edit
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10 minutes ago, Steve F said:

 

I only live 10 mins away from the location, plus it was too cold to do anything outside (apart from protest!), so edited and uploaded from home. It has shown up on my net revenue sales report.

 

Edit: agreed, it is very quick. Perhaps it's personal use???

 

The cold can be a killer. I was photographing a protest outside London's Chinese Embassy last Sunday. Another photographer was sitting down editing in the icy cold. I headed for somewhere warmer not too far away. Monday it was nippy too. One of the protesters outside the Royal Courts of Justice had a hot water bottle sticking out from under her coat. I kicked myself for not photographing her as she showed it to a friend, but I was packed up leaving. Congratulations on the sale. That may help in getting LN permanently.

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5 hours ago, Steve F said:

Wow, sold one already after just an hour, fastest sale ever! Thanks again everyone. Almost into $$...

Well done! You'll be buying the cakes then!

Edited by Mr Standfast
I have no idea how I did this😎
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5 minutes ago, sb photos said:

The cold can be a killer

I kept my batteries in my pocket until they turned up!

 

5 minutes ago, sb photos said:

That may help in getting LN permanently

Fingers crossed!

 

5 minutes ago, Mr Standfast said:

Well done! You'll be buying the cakes then!

Perhaps hot drinks might be more appropriate!

 

Just had a second sale come through, also almost $$. Seems this is a hot topic!!

 

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1 hour ago, Steve F said:

Just had a second sale come through, also almost $$. Seems this is a hot topic!!

 

My guess: one of the they partied / we worked images.

 

wim

 

edit: however those were missing the word Basingstoke.

Edited by wiskerke
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On 13/12/2022 at 07:51, Phil Crean said:

Who; What; Where; When; Why;

Get as close as you can.

Stay safe.

f8 and be there.

Wear comfortable shoes.

 

Good luck!

Phil 

 

 

 

 

I know it is not one of the five "W's" I like to add "How" to the list.

 

Allan

 

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All of the above editing just look out for obvious dust spots, I don't alter any image. Remember live news is time critical, once you have the images the clock is ticking. A couple of days ago I grabbed just 3 frames of a gritter out on the road. Uploaded within the hour, in three nationals online and in print that day.

 

Andy. 

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20 hours ago, Steve F said:

had a chat with them before taking photos. And organised them all standing with the banners, felt a bit like doing wedding photography! 

Just a comment.  Some agencies (I think Getty in particular) and some practitioners, would argue that you should not “pose” News pictures.  It may be seen as manipulation.  When I have covered picket lines the strikers tend to know the drill and form up by themselves.  I actually prefer candid shots of them chatting and interactions with the public.  Alternatively, add “posed” to the caption. Many will disagree, this is just a view relating to the nature of press photography.  

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18 minutes ago, IanDavidson said:

Just a comment.  Some agencies (I think Getty in particular) and some practitioners, would argue that you should not “pose” News pictures.  It may be seen as manipulation.  When I have covered picket lines the strikers tend to know the drill and form up by themselves.  I actually prefer candid shots of them chatting and interactions with the public.  Alternatively, add “posed” to the caption. Many will disagree, this is just a view relating to the nature of press photography.  

 

Thanks Ian. They weren't particularly photogenic, just a bunch of people milling around...... I should definitely try more candid shots.

Steve

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On 14/12/2022 at 18:18, aphperspective said:

All of the above editing just look out for obvious dust spots, I don't alter any image. Remember live news is time critical, once you have the images the clock is ticking. A couple of days ago I grabbed just 3 frames of a gritter out on the road. Uploaded within the hour, in three nationals online and in print that day.

 

Andy. 

 

Just read your post Andy. I've previously passed going the other way a convoy of about 10 gritting lorries that had just pulled out of a depot early evening. Next day I waited outside the depot on the pavement for them at a similar time. After nearly 2 hours no activity and I was cold so went home.

Edited by sb photos
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1 hour ago, sb photos said:

 

Just read your post Andy. I've previously passed going the other way a convoy of about 10 gritting lorries that had just pulled out of a depot early evening. Next day I waited outside the depot on the pavement for them at a similar time. After nearly 2 hours no activity and I was cold so went home.

 

Damn! Probably easier than doing wildlife photography I guess...

I had visions before I got to the picket line of waiting in the cold for the strikers, but they'd decided to do a different day. 

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