In the peculiar way my life works, today I can add freelance photojournalist to my list of jobs.
I’ve sent some of my photos to one of the editorial (news) photo companies, and I’ve sent samples in to another, and one of them (Alamy) accepted and approved several of my photos of the York floods and they’re now available for news sources such as the BBC and worldwide national and local newspapers to use.
This isn’t the first time my photos have been in the news – I was at the scene of a very dramatic-looking car crash a couple of years ago (nobody was hurt though) and I took a photo on my phone. I wasn’t sure what to do with it though so I sent it to a local newspaper – at first, they used it without even crediting me, then they put my name to it but never paid me or informed me they were using my picture, which was annoying – I found out by searching their site for news of the crash. I think using a site like Alamy is a much better way to get into freelance photojournalism, although I’m not sure my creative pictures would cut the mustard because the standards are different.
There was a lot of faffing around to get the pictures ready and they don’t accept pictures older than 24 hours (so ;my pictures from Sunday; weren’t useable) for editorial work. I had to edit the digital data (IPTC data) for the picture to add headline, caption, image owner etc – which it turns out you need professional picture editing software to do. Well I had no idea what I was doing with that and all the tutorials seem to focus on what to do once you’ve got the menu in front of you, with no regard for those of us who don’t use Photoshop on all our pictures, and therefore don’t have any way of accessing that digital data.
Queue long downloads and frustration – first I downloaded a program called PhotoME which totally lied and can’t edit IPTC data if you use a Canon camera. That was a HUGE waste of time when my images were close to timing out. Luckily I found this 15 day free trial of something called BreezeBrowser Pro which enabled me to get the digital details in perfect order to make the pictures saleable without having to spend money on photo editing software. It’ll at least last me until the floods and Storm Frank are over.
Those of you who have been following Invoke Delight for a while will probably remember that I’m generally against photo editing because it creates an unrealistic view of an event, and I am heavily fond of natural shots in photography (which means I resent having to own photo editing software since I prefer to get a good picture first time, every time).
If I’m ever at the scene of an event in the future, I’ll be sure to take photos just in case they’re newsworthy.