Archive for February, 2010

Photographers Start to Organise

25th February, 2010

Photographers’ met at the first LPB branch meeting earlier this week to begin organising the fightback over rates and the right to take photographs.

The Digital Economy Bill

The meeting opened with a report from NUJ General Secretary Jeremy Dear on the union’s lobbying and representations to the government on the Digital Economy Bill which is currently making it’s way through Parliament. Dear said that the union does support the bill, but not in it’s current form, especially with regard to orphan works. Dear also said he would be meeting with representatives from other trade unions the next day to discuss how it would effect their members.

Discussion was opened to the floor as to what the branch should do collectively to lobby government over the bill, specifically s42 of the bill which allows for orphan works. There were contributions from the floor that the union should be lobbying for the complete removal of s42 from the bill.

It was agreed that members should write to their MPs using the template letter from Copyright Action to keep the pressure on MPs in the final stages of the bills passage through Parliament.

The meeting then moved on to the panel discussion on the Future for Photography, which you can listen to in it’s entirety.

Branch Business

After the discussion the remainder of branch business was dealt with, including reports from the committee, which will be available in full in the minutes (Registration required).

There were some changes to the branch committee with members without portfolio Jason Parkinson and Phillip Wolmuth taking up the Welfare Officer and Learning Representative positions respectively. Additionally the roles of ‘Legal Representative’ and ‘Web Editor’ were created with the positions being taken by Secretary Marc Vallée and Treasurer Jonathan Warren. New student member Franc David said that he would like to join the committee and it was agreed that he would be co-opted onto the committee without position. The branch committee page has been updated with all the new members and their positions.

Jason, Phillip and Marc all indicated that they would like to job share the new positions with others, if you are interested in helping out with the Welfare Officer, Learning rep or Legal rep positions get in touch. The Equality Officer position also remains vacant.

The full minutes from the meeting will be available to branch members online shortly, to view the minutes you must first register and your branch membership be confirmed.

Audio: Panel Discussion on The Future for Photography

24th February, 2010

You can listen to last nights panel discussion on The Future for Photography below. The panel began by giving a brief summary of where they thought the future of each sector – Staff, Freelance & Agency – lay, before the discussion was opened to the floor.

Whilst some were quite bleak about the future of press photography others said there was still a market for quality in editorial photography. The idea was raised that in order to continue making a living from press photography, photographers would have to charge a proper rate for online usage and that this might only happen when newspapers started charging users for content online.

Guardian staff photographer Martin Argles talked about the strong union activity in the Guardian chapel that had preserved good terms for the staff and freelance photographers. Report Digital owner John Harris said that his agency continued to hold NUJ rates for editorial photography, even online. And freelancer Kelvin Bruce said that while it was becoming harder to sell non-exclusive images, he was still able to make a living by covering niche subjects.

A contribution from the floor raised the idea of ‘Sub-Prime photographers’ whose consistent under-cutting picture rates meant they would never be successful longterm and that there should be collective action to combat bad rates. Another contribution from the floor said that the only way to earn a living was to make yourself indispensable, by finding a niche and charging the proper rate for your work.

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The Future for Photography

15th February, 2010

6pm, 23rd February at Headland House

The London Photographers’ Branch invites you to a panel debate Chaired by Jess Hurd with Martin Argles, Kelvin Bruce and John Harris.

LPB’s first meeting will be an open and frank debate about the state of the industry and a discussion about what we can gain from working collectively as photographers. Leading our discussion panel we are pleased to have:

  • Martin Argles
    Staff photographer for the Guardian.
  • Kelvin Bruce
    Previous Agency staffer Kelvin has been freelance since 1996 covering, royals and general news. He deals direct with clients in the UK and syndicates worldwide through Rex Features.
  • John Harris
    Has been a freelance photographer for 30 years, initially working with Report photo agency, he currently runs independent UK based library Report Digital.

Branch business will be conducted as normal after the panel discussion. Any substantial motion being put to the Branch should be sent to the Branch secretary prior to the meeting.

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