THIS AND THAT
Story By: James Edstrom
|Edie Falco As Nurse Jackie|
I have been doing a lot of thinking about the demise of the photo business. In fact it seems very sad to me that now people in the photo business for years are now taking Online Nursing Programs and leaving the once valuable photography business.
Photos used to be a great business. You could get pretty much what you demanded for the right photo. But owners of several photo agencies have now ruined the business, they are giving unlimited use of photos for a fee every month. This makes it almost impossible for the photographer to make any money. For photos that used to bring in at least 200 bucks, they now bring in 4 bucks or less. The agencies charge 5 to 10 thousand or more for the unlimited use, depending on the size of the publication. So if they have a 100 publications paying these fees, you can do the math. They are raking in millions of profit a month, while the photographer is being shafted. One photographer complained she got 7 dollars from a photo used in Time magazine.
I recently had dinner with a very famous gossip guru. The publication he works for has several magazines. He said that he has to get all photos from this certain photo agency and if they wanted a photo from somewhere else, it had to go all the way to the top for a approval to purchase. The day of the 50 thousand dollar photo has died.
There is a answer, but most of these modern day paparazzi are star struck. For some reason they thrive on being at a event that people are watching on the news, to be at the spot where history is somehow being made. Most of them are either trust fund babies or have another job to pay the bills. But the answer remains for photographers to demand that they are not included in the unlimited use deals that these photo agencies are making. Better yet, do what I did, I always sold my photos myself. Every photo I negotiated a price if it was exclusive. One example a couple of years ago was when I got call that the star of the Spider-man movies was climbing the billboard on top of Tudor City. I was very sick, so I gave the photo op to a friend. I told him I should sell it and it would make 50 thousand or more. Well the photographer did not listen, he gave it to his photo agency, it ran on covers all over the world and he just made about nothing, the agency gave it away in their unlimited use package.
So the photo business has died and several photographers are taking online nursing programs. I looked it up it up, registered nurses employed in general medical or surgical hospitals earn an average of $69,490. They have structured hours, they have benefits and they know when their next paycheck is coming. They have maternity and vacation time. This is something no photographer could have. In the photography business, you are on call 24 hours a day. When you are not taking pictures, you are on your computer uploading, editing and everything else.
When I was young I worked at St. Francis Hospital in Roslyn Long Island. I loved the hospital and I loved the people. The pay was great and I worked in General Stores. I used to love to load up my cart with supplies and head to the nursing floors to fill their orders and to see all the happy faces. But at that point in my life, I wanted fame and fortune. I wanted to be where the stars were. Somehow I wonder what life would be like if I stayed at St. Francis. I loved working with the nurses and I loved the new people I met everyday.
My favorite supply delivery was to the psychiatric unit. I don't know why, I just loved it. Maybe because I'm crazy to be in this photo business, I fit right in. The nurses used to be so happy to see me, they seemed like they really loved their career. I used to spin around with my medical cart supplies and the patients would follow me around. I was very anal retentive when it came to supplying my floors. Everything had to be labeled and everything had to be in the right spot. But somehow doing a great job made me feel so good. The nurses and doctors appreciated my work. They knew that not having the right medical supplies could cost a life. I did my job.
So when I have friends telling me they are taking a online nursing program, I am not shocked. It's a great career and a rewarding life. I only wish I was younger so I could do it.