Sports Illustrated Lays Off All Photography Staff

NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 2,042Member
edited January 2015 in General Discussions
As if being a photographer isn't hard enough as it is. Yeesh, way to ring in the new year. They only had 6 photographers anyway, how much would that have cost them?

They should just call the magazine "Sports" instead.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/23/sports-illustrated-photographers-lay-offs-magazine_n_6533142.html
Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S

Comments

  • PhotobugPhotobug Posts: 4,537Member
    Not unexpected. Freelancers will be happy. I don't agree with the approach. Their staff has the right equipment, the right access, and did a great job. It's too bad. :((
    D750 & D7100 | 24-70 F2.8 G AF-S ED, 70-200 F2.8 AF VR, TC-14E III, TC-1.7EII, 35 F2 AF D, 50mm F1.8G, 105mm G AF-S VR | Backup & Wife's Gear: D5500 & Sony HX50V | 18-140 AF-S ED VR DX, 55-300 AF-S G VR DX |
    |SB-800, Amaran Halo LED Ring light | MB-D16 grip| Gitzo GT3541 + RRS BH-55LR, Gitzo GM2942 + Sirui L-10 | RRS gear | Lowepro, ThinkTank, & Hoodman gear | BosStrap | Vello Freewave Plus wireless Remote, Leica Lens Cleaning Cloth |
  • mikepmikep Posts: 280Member
    its just a different market now, magazine sales are surely down, and images can be bought online on a picture by picture basis. makes more sense than to keep a full time staff.

    why even bother to limit themselves to the pictures from 6 staff members, when there are thousands of people taking pictures and selling them online in various places?

  • PhotobugPhotobug Posts: 4,537Member
    @mikep - agree that print magazine sales are down and totally agree that the free lance photographer is going to own the future for magazines and newspapers.

    Even though print mags sales are down, the digital size is increasing. I don't my wife has six magazines that run out over the next year and she is switching to reading them on her tablet. You just log into our local Library web site, enter your library card number and launch the magazine reader. They don't have all magazines but they have a lot. Unfortunately, they don't have any of mine online yet.
    D750 & D7100 | 24-70 F2.8 G AF-S ED, 70-200 F2.8 AF VR, TC-14E III, TC-1.7EII, 35 F2 AF D, 50mm F1.8G, 105mm G AF-S VR | Backup & Wife's Gear: D5500 & Sony HX50V | 18-140 AF-S ED VR DX, 55-300 AF-S G VR DX |
    |SB-800, Amaran Halo LED Ring light | MB-D16 grip| Gitzo GT3541 + RRS BH-55LR, Gitzo GM2942 + Sirui L-10 | RRS gear | Lowepro, ThinkTank, & Hoodman gear | BosStrap | Vello Freewave Plus wireless Remote, Leica Lens Cleaning Cloth |
  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 2,042Member
    I'm not sure how freelance photographers would be getting press access would even work when you technically don't work for a publication.
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 3,973Member
    edited January 2015
    Most likely they are going to get images from the AFP rather than using their own pool of photographers.
    Post edited by PB_PM on
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,144Member
    I think the Sports Illustrated photographers who have been fired will actually be shooting events for Sports Illustrated, just not as employees getting benefits. They will be contractors with no benefits.
  • kanuckkanuck Posts: 1,291Member
    Yes agreed thats quite the way to kick off the new year. I always enjoyed their swimsuit editions and thought their photographers had a lot of talent. I cannot say I am surprised by managements decision here though as it seems par for the course now with newsprint and magazines.
  • BesoBeso Posts: 462Member
    A sad day for the profession but clearly reality. Print publications are dying and cost cutting begins with the most expendable functions. SI's strength was not only in its sports related journalism but in its sports related images. It will be cheaper for SI to buy individual images from freelancers and, at least for awhile, there will be plenty of freelancers providing quality images. One question is what impact over time will the elimination of staff photographers have on the quality of images ending up in print and online publications. Other questions arise related to the apparent decline of the general public's attentions span toward the nanosecond range. Several observations I have made over the past few years: Journalism standards have generally been engulfed in a precipitous decline; and sensationalism seems to be the driving force for page hits and the resulting ad revenue. Photographers and photojournalism have played major roles in our society. Their loss will be far greater than the number of jobs involved.
    Occasionally a decent image ...
  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 2,042Member
    A sad day for the profession but clearly reality. Print publications are dying and cost cutting begins with the most expendable functions. SI's strength was not only in its sports related journalism but in its sports related images. It will be cheaper for SI to buy individual images from freelancers and, at least for awhile, there will be plenty of freelancers providing quality images. One question is what impact over time will the elimination of staff photographers have on the quality of images ending up in print and online publications. Other questions arise related to the apparent decline of the general public's attentions span toward the nanosecond range. Several observations I have made over the past few years: Journalism standards have generally been engulfed in a precipitous decline; and sensationalism seems to be the driving force for page hits and the resulting ad revenue. Photographers and photojournalism have played major roles in our society. Their loss will be far greater than the number of jobs involved.
    If you're bidding for photos and competing for the best freelance photographs, you're also fighting with other publications for the same photos. If you had your own photographers, at least you get first dibs. I don't think it's the smart way to go.
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • ThomasHortonThomasHorton Posts: 323Member
    As if being a photographer isn't hard enough as it is. Yeesh, way to ring in the new year. They only had 6 photographers anyway, how much would that have cost them?

    Salary, travel expenses, benefits, healthcare, other insurance, gear (if they provide), other corporation support? Could be quite expensive per photographer when you add up all the costs.

    Gear: Camera obscura with an optical device which transmits and refracts light.
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    Six photographers.....estimate at somewhere between $2 and 3 million total for the budget per year. As noted, the support expenses are the largest part quite possibly. So, how many photos can one purchase for $3 Million...?

    Plus, the administrative expenses are easier to manage when one simply pays for a product and does not have to be looking at all the other issues.

    On the good side....maybe I can get press credentials easier as in some cases one has to work for a magazine, now this requirement may need to be changed....LOL... :))
    Msmoto, mod
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited January 2015


    Salary, travel expenses, benefits, healthcare, other insurance, gear (if they provide), other corporation support? Could be quite expensive per photographer when you add up all the costs.

    My experience, in a completely different business, is the cost of full time employees, is twice that of employing a freelance. What I found interesting, was my self-employed freelancers, were not in the slightest bit interested in becoming employees

    Getting press credentials remains the same; it is just of matter of who you know
    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • mikepmikep Posts: 280Member
    i just think photography, as it has been is really a waning business, at least in some areas.

    i just happened upon this picture on reddit

    image

    look how many photographers there are lol. all taking the same picture. i can see 50 photographers in this frame alone, i wonder how many were there in total ... how much are they all getting paid do you suppose? $1000 dollars each perhaps, makes it $50,000. all stood there with $5000 worth of worth of equipment each.

    the only "use" is that they add to the "glamour" of it all, i mean red carpets just have to have hundreds of flashing camera lights, right?

    image

    i think the days are numbered for these kind of jobs.
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited January 2015
    how much are they all getting paid do you suppose?.
    I had always supposed they were provided by Central Casting
    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • BesoBeso Posts: 462Member
    I see an opportunity for a credentialing agency which would link media/publications to a pool of freelancers in various locations with specific skill sets/experience. Perhaps it already exists?

    Unfortunately the cost of maintaining a pool of staff photographers in these transitioning times is going to drive that business model into extinction for most publications. While SI's action is probably just a small step in slowing the ultimate demise of the print publication, it is not an unfamiliar tactic in recent years. I don't believe the trend we are seeing in print publications has led to higher quality. In fact, in my opinion it is just the opposite. The dynamics of written communications is radically changing and we will undoubtedly see numerous permutations before the industry and technology settle out. Hopefully quality photographs and photojournalism will continue to play a role.
    Occasionally a decent image ...
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 2,928Member
    Maybe they needed to cut their staff to get below the Obamacare threshold and photographers were the easiest.
  • DenverShooterDenverShooter Posts: 340Member
    Maybe they needed to cut their staff to get below the Obamacare threshold and photographers were the easiest.
    +1

    LOLROF

    Denver Shooter
  • proudgeekproudgeek Posts: 1,422Member
    edited January 2015
    Funny, but not really true. Here's the real deal. Several months ago Rupert Murdoch made a play for Time Warner, (owner of SI) which was turned down. However, in order to justify doing so to their shareholders, they had to figure out a way to create a level of shareholder value so that it at least approached what Murdoch had offered. As a result, approximately 1,000 people were laid off. An aquaintance, who worked for the company for 20 years in various capacities, including as director of PR for most of their media properties, was one of them. Weep not for her though, as she got a 64-week package and all her options became immediately and fully vested.

    For companies like SI, hiring freelancers makes a ton of sense. I've been freelancing (not as a photographer) for 20 years, and companies love that they can hire me on an as-needed basis, and not worry about paying my salary when they don't need me. They also like that they don't have to worry about any of my benefits. For me, it's been a huge boon in that I've been able to earn about 2x as much as someone permanently employed in my field. When I started doing this I was pretty unique. These arrangements though, are becoming more and more common.
    Post edited by proudgeek on
  • manhattanboymanhattanboy Posts: 983Member
    Maybe they needed to cut their staff to get below the Obamacare threshold and photographers were the easiest.
    Doubt it, as they can do what many other companies are doing and just make up some BS to get a waiver approved.

    Using Obamacare as an excuse to cut though, is highly probable though.
  • michael66michael66 Posts: 231Member
    I wonder what the swimsuit edition will look like when it is taken soley with reporters' iPhones. "Honey, I swear. Its for the Swimsuit Issue."
  • manhattanboymanhattanboy Posts: 983Member
    I wonder what the swimsuit edition will look like when it is taken soley with reporters' iPhones. "Honey, I swear. Its for the Swimsuit Issue."
    LOL. :D
  • safyresafyre Posts: 113Member
    edited January 2015
    I wonder what the swimsuit edition will look like when it is taken soley with reporters' iPhones. "Honey, I swear. Its for the Swimsuit Issue."
    AFAIK the photogs for the swim issue aren't staff photogs, they have been freelance for quite some time now. Altough, I really wouldn't mind if some of them got axed as well. The quality of the photos in that issue have been going downhill for the past ten years.

    Post edited by safyre on
  • PhotobugPhotobug Posts: 4,537Member
    I wonder what the swimsuit edition will look like when it is taken soley with reporters' iPhones. "Honey, I swear. Its for the Swimsuit Issue."
    AFAIK the photogs for the swim issue aren't staff photogs, they have been freelance for quite some time now. Altough, I really wouldn't mind if some of them got axed as well. The quality of the photos in that issue have been going downhill for the past ten years.
    Oh do I agree with you @safyre - I have a huge collection of the Feb Swim Suit editions from the past 15 years and the quality of the images has really dropped the last five years. I thought it was me, thanks for saying this.
    D750 & D7100 | 24-70 F2.8 G AF-S ED, 70-200 F2.8 AF VR, TC-14E III, TC-1.7EII, 35 F2 AF D, 50mm F1.8G, 105mm G AF-S VR | Backup & Wife's Gear: D5500 & Sony HX50V | 18-140 AF-S ED VR DX, 55-300 AF-S G VR DX |
    |SB-800, Amaran Halo LED Ring light | MB-D16 grip| Gitzo GT3541 + RRS BH-55LR, Gitzo GM2942 + Sirui L-10 | RRS gear | Lowepro, ThinkTank, & Hoodman gear | BosStrap | Vello Freewave Plus wireless Remote, Leica Lens Cleaning Cloth |
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 2,928Member
    Funny, ..........common.
    You may want to consider deleting this post Proudgeek.

    Any termination agreement that crosses my desk, and lots do, has a clause that should what you just did happen, the ex-employee is required to return the severance. It will be in the "Confidentiality" provision.

    I would be surprised if your sister's agreement (if she received that much, there will likely be an agreement or if not, check the Employment Contract) did not have such a clause.
Sign In or Register to comment.