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Posts Tagged: Group Therapy

We asked a wide variety of former staff photographers the same question, and here’s what they told us. Please share your own stories — as you can see, you’re not alone. Follow the “more” link to see all photographers. Click here for more “After Staff” posts.

  • How long were you a staff photographer and where? Did you think you’d be a staffer for life? What is the biggest difference between what you’re doing now and what you were doing as a staffer?

Jason Arthurs
If you combine my 2 years of internships with 4 years as a full-time staffer, then it’s a total of 6 years I was in newspapers. I don’t think I could ever see myself doing it forever. It was an amazing time in my life but it was so much of a roller-coaster ride I never really felt totally in control of what I chose to focus my energy on.

This summer I have been given several opportunities to teach that I would not have had if I were still at the newspaper. I taught a week-long workshop for North Carolina high school journalism students, and helped coach two documentary projects through the University of North Carolina. For one class I spent one month in the Galapagos Islands helping edit a multimedia project shot by students and it was an amazing experience and I would not have been able to get the time off work to do something like that at the newspaper.

David Walter Banks
I was a newspaper staff photographer for a year and a half, before which I interned for a newspaper for eight months. When I began, I planned to stay in the newspaper business for an indefinite amount of time, but I did hope to work for myself at some point. However, as I spent more time in the newspaper world, it became evident that not only was it not the place for me, the industry itself seemed to be falling quickly into turmoil.

I now shoot for a number of national and international magazines; I’m part of a successful wedding photography business; I helped found the photographic cooperative Luceo Images; and I’ve begun to move toward more commercial work. I would say that the biggest difference is that I now feel that I’m controlling my own destiny in relation to the path my career is taking, as well as the images I produce.

Kendrick Brinson
I had two internship and two jobs at newspapers from 2005 to 2009. Once I discovered my love for photojournalism toward the end of college, I thought I would work at a newspaper for life. My mother worked as a writer at The State newspaper for more than 20 years so it seemed like an exciting yet solid career. After about a year and a half working for newspapers, my attitude toward them slowly shifted as I watched friends lose their jobs and their enthusiasm.

I am very busy now. I work with some of my favorite photographers in Luceo Images, doing personal projects and editorial work for major newspapers and magazines. I also photograph weddings with my partner David Walter Banks under Our Labor of Love. Now I am spending more time working on marketing and researching stories that I want to tell, and less time looking for heat features to fill holes in an-ever thinning newspaper.

Bob Croslin
I was a staffer at the Tampa Tribune from 1996 to 1999, a multimedia producer at from 1999 to 2001 and a picture editor and staff photographer at the St. Petersburg Times from 2002 to 2006. I didn’t think I’d be a newspaper staffer for life because I saw first-hand how much the business of journalism was changing when I went to work at MSNBC. I didn’t think there would be newspaper staff positions by 2004 or 2005. Turns out I was about 5 years off.

I’m an editorial and commercial photographer specializing in produced portraiture based in the Tampa Bay area. The biggest difference is that I used to be one part of an organization and now I AM the organization. I’m the photographer, the marketing dept, the accounting dept, the IT dept, the archivist — and I do it mostly by myself.

Pouya Dianat
These days my work schedule is whenever the Braves play. I had a great working relationship with the team while I was at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and they’ve allowed me a lot of creative freedom thus far. The night’s they’re out of town, I’m firmly planted behind my MacPro, editing away.

I don’t think my photography has changed, but I am enjoying my photography a lot more since going freelance. I’m exploring every outlet that I’m interested in, while still applying the same vision I have to the work I did at newspapers. A lot of the ideas I have won’t work, maybe my idea falls apart in the studio, but I learn from the experience.

Not everyone affected by the newspaper decline is in their mid-40’s with a family to support. For those of us fortunate enough to be free from those more important responsibilities, this is a prime opportunity to do whatever we want. I’ve told a lot of students that I’ve spoken to that the next phase of photography is finding something you LOVE and applying photography to it. More »


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