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NYC Trip Day 4 – In the Field



By the time we had reached Time magazine and Sports Illustrated, we really weren’t being told anything we hadn’t learned already. However, I’ll share my notes still.

Concerning photography, taking a good photo is good but what is important is finding a story and executing it visually.

To be a hire-able photographer you need a distinct style and point of view. This also goes for photo editors.

They then shared with us some raw takes from some of their photographers in Libya covering the civil war. The photos were amazing and they also shared with us the trouble they have sending their friends into dangerous and life threatening situations. How they spoke makes me second guess whether combat photography is for me.


Then off to Sports Illustrated where we spoke with Steve Fine. Fine was pretty awesome, he spoke fast, spoke truth, and didn’t fluff anything. He told it like it is. He said what’s needed with sports photography and even in the photos themselves are a sense of place, art, that key moment, and the emotion. He wants photos of “tears and cheers.”

Plan in advance, do your homework, get ready to collaborate. Go the day before, look at the lighting, where you should stand. Each stadium, field, etc. is different.

Get details and establishing shots.

Portrait photographers need to get the face, sometimes they get so caught up with lighting and concept that they end up shooting a statue. The face needs to have some emotion in it.

Off beat news has to have national relevance, and try to find that heart wrenching piece.

Also, if you have a great shot, you can find a home for it at Sports Illustrated.

He said something else that was pretty interesting, and somewhat sobering. One of the students asked, “How can we get our foot in the door with someplace like Sports Illustrated.” Fine paused, and said that he’d tell us how it is. “You can’t get your foot in the door here, we know who you are before you know who you are, we are watching everything and everyone.” In essence, he was saying, work in the field and we’ll come to you, you can’t come to us.

This is an echo of a theme that I heard throughout the week, a lesson I learned a long time ago, about how important your reputation is in the field you want to work in.


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