I don’t think that everything set in until I got back home to Rochester. This trip has been the most motivational trip that I have ever experienced in my life. Having the chance to meet and listen to all of the people from the companies that I idolize so much, has really inspired me to work even harder in my last two years at RIT.
What I took from this trip, other than meeting some incredible people, is that everyone in this industry is a closely knit family and that everybody knows everybody in one way or another. Keeping a good relationship with your editors and other photographers will help you so much in the long run. Burning bridges or simply just being an “ass,” could potentially end your career since most places run off referrals. If some guy screws over James Estrin, he most definitely will make sure that he will have an extremely hard time finding another job.
Both David Bergman and Al Bello gave our class great presentations that have gotten me extremely excited to try new things with sports. For the most part, all I’ve shot in the past was the straight action on the field(which is needed) but what companies are looking for are the out of the ordinary angles or different perspectives to show you have the ability to do the assignment asked for but take it a step further to surprise editors with something new and creative. “If you see a group of photographers together, go somewhere else.” - David Bergman At some times, theres not much you can do so you have to shoot where the group is but try to use a different lens or something or else you might end up with the same thing that everyone else gets. Go high to get an overall or get a birds eye view or get in close with a wide angle lens or go worms eye view. There are so many different ways so you have to be able to decide which to do in the moment.
One of the big things that every company repeated was that you need to be yourself. Show yourself through your work. Work where you want to live(more so for wire services) because companies now don’t really have staff photographers anymore so that they can save money on booking flights, hotels, etc. so they’re hiring more and more freelancers to be on call all over the place.
This trip has pretty much re-enforced the fact that I want to be involved in sports, but has made me realize that I may want to go down the photo editing path. Every single place said that photo editors are definitely more in demand that photographers. Taking photo editing 1 this semester with Jenn Poggi, who had helped me in obtaining an independent study as a photo editor with the Sporting News, has made me question if being a photographer is what I really want to do. I am excited for things to come this year and can’t wait to see what opportunities arise for internships going into the Spring semester and Summer.
I can’t express how much I appreciate every single company and speaker that took the time out of their busy schedule to meet and talk with us; Associated Press - Santiago Lyon, New York Times - James Estrin, Reuters - Adrees Latif, Carlo Allegri, Andrew, David Bergman and Frank Fournier, Blue Chalk Media - Pam Huling and Greg Moyer, Bloomberg Businessweek - Clinton Cargill, Esquire - Michael Norseng, Magnum Foundation - Alexis Lambrou, Time Magazine - Olivier Laurent and Myles Little, Getty Images - Pierce Wright and Al Bello, Buzzfeed - Kate Bubacz, Human Rights Watch - Emma Daly, Sports Illustrated - Brad Smith, Open Society Foundation - Maggie Solday.
Again thank you so much for the amazing experience!