I love being a photojournalist. When people hear I live in Colorado, the first thing they often say is, “You must love it out there being a photographer.” To which I reply, “Yes, there are a lot of people here, and so many great stories to cover.”
As many of you know, from the mid-80’s to early 2000, I worked as a staff photographer for a daily newspaper in New Jersey, shooting everything from the NY Giants, NY Jets, and Philadelphia Eagles, to covering Presidential visits, NJ Governor news, and protests at the NJ State House. I photographed food stories, house fires, car accidents, and plenty of business portraits.
With more and more newspapers closing their doors or laying off their staffs—the newspaper I worked for, The Trenton Times, is down to one staff photographer—it’s difficult to make a living as a photojournalist. Newspapers editors who have laid off their photography staffs now expect their reporters to shoot pictures with their phones, or rely on the public to send them photos to use for free.
And the ones who don’t get to cover the stories are the real photographers, the seasoned photojournalists.
And the stories that are missed are the ones like Don’s, a 99-year-old from Lyons, sharing Thanksgiving morning with friends. [Order Reprints]
I still long to photograph and document local moments and events like I did when I was a press photographer. These stories continue to this day, but they are not getting documented like they used to by working photojournalists.
So, that being the case, I am excited for 2017 to create a venue to shoot and publish more photo stories. Those are the stories I live for—real human stories with great emotional qualities.
Only they won’t be seen on Facebook, but rather on Boulder Viewfinder, where we will have multiple photographers documenting life in Boulder County.
With a team of top quality photographers, I want to create more amazing stories on people and events in our local community, but there has to be a model to make a few dollars and pay bills to keep it going, cover equipment costs, and pay the studio rent.
So, I’m building a group of professional photojournalists to cover local Boulder stories—Lyons, Longmont, Boulder, Louisville, Lafayette, Nederland, Niwot, Erie—and will be regularly posting them on the BoulderViewfinder.com Web site. And there will be a place for viewers to support the photographers of each story with contributions or subscriptions, and a way to purchase reprints of the photographs seen in the galleries.
That way, the stories will grow, the coverage will increase, and photojournalists will have the ability to get paid for their work, which will encourage more stories being made.
Will you please consider supporting local photojournalists?
The five ways to support Boulder Viewfinder:
- a Small Monthly Donation as a Patron
- a One-Time Contribution
- Advertise your Business on our Site
- Buy a Reprint of a Photo
- Share the Site with Friends
Are you a local news agency–newspaper, magazine, Web site–that would like to license some of the photos for your publication? They will be available to you.
Are you an advertiser who could support our photographers by placing an ad on our Boulder Viewfinder site? We want to hear from you.
Do you have any STORY LEADS? We want to document the happy to the bittersweet, if it will work for a photo package. Send story leads to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Think of this as LIFE MAGAZINE for Boulder, a picture publication.
Are you or do you know a photojournalist who would like to photograph for Boulder Viewfinder? I am seeking experienced professional photographers with photojournalism experience who can seek out and deliver timely photo stories. Send an email to the editor of Boulder Viewfinder, to schedule a portfolio review.
The goal is to create Viewfinder sites for towns and cities across the world, with photographers creating quality photo stories of the people and happenings in their town, and being able to make a living doing so. And it starts in Boulder, Colorado.