Friday, May 21, 2010

Ryan Pyle Blog: AP Taking Assignments


This story broke a few weeks ago and it's taken me a bit of time to come up with a reaction to it. The Associated Press is now taking editorial assignments.

Their online advertisement can be view HERE.

"Our new Editorial Assignments Service offers the power of AP's award-winning photojournalism and global access. Hire AP's elite staff photographers, now available for your next editorial project. AP will capture your vision with depth and authenticity and offer unsurpassed vision and on-point delivery. Book your assignment today."

So the big question is why does a wire service need to start taking assignments. It's true, the AP have some very talented and dedicated image makers, and if those photographers were freelancers they would get a lot of assignments; but this just feels wrong.

Perhaps it's timing. While the career options for a "freelance photographer" are dwindling, we now have another competitor to deal with. The industry is shrinking. Everyone is offering everything and rates are dropping. The future can't really be this bleak, can it be?

I still believe the still image is the most powerful form of communication and story telling there is, but do I have to earn a negative income, spending more money than I make, to pursue my career as a photographer?

Only time will tell.

Ryan Pyle

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Ryan Pyle