The ‘Death’ of Photojournalism
This will prove to be a slight departure from our usual programming, because WE’RE MAD AS HELL AND WE’RE NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE
To be completely blunt, photographers have a tendency to freak out over the slightest developments in the industry, whether it be for better or for worse. What can we say? We’re just a passionate bunch. Whether it’s a Hipstamatic photo story placing in POYi, or Adobe Photoshop CS5 having content-aware-fill, somewhere out there is an asshole, cowering in defeat, or perhaps trolling on the Internet with those three dreaded words:
“Photojournalism is dead.”
What the hell does that mean anyway? Should we hold a wake? Is there going to be a rebirth? Does this mean there are no more stories to tell? Where have all the cowboys gone?
Alex Garcia wrote a great little piece about photojournalism’s stinking, rotting corpse on the esteemed Chicago Tribune’s photo blog just a few days ago.
Therefore, it’s fitting that shortly after Garcia’s post, the NPPA’s Visual Student Blog posted “Advice for a Freshman”, a column of advice from graduates and students about how to stay above the negativity and figure out whether or not this career path is for them. Short and sweet. Granted, some advice is a little twee, but not everyone can be as hardcore and jaded as we are here at SPL. Anyway, pretty inoffensive, right?
Then this happened on the Facebook page of the aforementioned blog post’s author:
Thanks, man. We’ve been so sheltered. Whatever would we do without the logic of your cold, twisted heart? Time to give up before we even start.
We’re not idiots. We know the industry is in trouble. We know there’s a good chance that we’ll be baristas before we’ll be award-winning photographers. But hell if we aren’t going to try.
We respect older photographers, but we don’t appreciate the negativity that comes with so many years in the field. They paved the way for us, but that doesn’t mean the road is finished.
We’re going to stop talking before we hazard into schmaltzy after school special bullshit. We’ll end with some of Garcia’s words from his aforementioned blog post, because he said it best:
“In looking for constructive criticism, you will have to avoid the toxic people - the ones who constantly accuse you of weaknesses, failings or the futility of your aspirations. “