Sports Illustrated lays off last remaining staff photographers
On the eve of the Super Bowl, legendary US-based sports publication 'Sports Illustrated' has laid off its remaining six full-time staff photographers. According to Sports Illustrated director of photography Brad Smith, speaking to News Photographer Magazine, the decision was made due to 'economic circumstances'.
|The cover of the current issue of Sports Illustrated, which today fired all six of its remaining staff photographers.|
NPM quotes Smith as saying that the plan is 'to re-evaluate what's best for the magazine, not just financially but also content-wise. Our commitment to photography is as strong as ever, and we will continue to create the best original content possible'.
The news that Sports Illustrated - which has been in continuous publication since 1954 - has now dispensed entirely with staff photographers has been greeted with shock and dismay among industry professionals. We spoke to Jordan Stead, staff photographer for Seattle PI.com, to get his reaction.
Jordan, you’ve worked alongside some of the Sports Illustrated photographers at various sports events - how do you feel about this news?
People are used to hearing about photo staff at newspapers being cut, - the obvious example being the Chicago Sun Times which cut its entire photo department in 2013, and then actually hired back a couple of their staffers, once they realized what a mistake they’d made. But this is different. We’re losing an historic, picture-powered publication.
People in the newsroom have very little power over this sort of thing. This has nothing to do with the people over there producing the magazine. You look at Sports Illustrated, and what does everyone always say? Its about the images. And I don’t mean any disrespect to the writers but everyone who knows what Sports Illustrated is, knows the magazine because they’ve been running big pictures for years. They’ve been running color, and big double-truck photos for longer than anyone else.
|Jordan Stead, staff photographer for Seattle PI.com. Picture by Robin Layton|
The other thing that’s interesting about SI - and I was just talking about this with my co-worker Josh Trujillo after last week’s game - is that we see the SI photographers at the big games, and we’ll often be shooting side-by-side with them. And when you compare everyone else’s work to the SI shooters - even when they’re literally shooting from right next to you - their images just have this look. The players are jumping just a little higher, maybe, or the composition is just a little better. Everything is just… premium. Their sports photography is legendary and the photographers that were just laid off are living legends too.
What will those photographers do now?
Well the good news here I think is that they’re so well-known, and they’re such high-calibre photographers that I doubt they’ll have trouble finding another job whether it's as staff photographers or freelancers. I really don’t think someone like Robert Beck is going to stay out of work and not be able to make another dollar from here on out just because he just got laid off from Sports Illustrated. Things change, and he’s such a good photographer and he’s been a legend for so long that I don’t think he’s going to have a problem. And the same goes for the other five photographers.
And what do you think will happen to the magazine?
What do I think will happen? That’s an interesting question. Obviously the SI will be using freelancers and wire imagery but the whole beauty of a team of photographers putting out consistent work, working together is that there’s a consistent look to the coverage. And when you start hiring different freelancers and using wire content that intermixes with everything else… there’s nothing wrong with that, but the sports coverage is going to start looking like everyone else’s. Because the guy who’s shooting for SI today might have shot for Getty yesterday, and another place the day before.
The magazine is saying that quality of coverage will be maintained - do you think that’s realistic?
Of course they’ll continue to publish amazing content. There are amazing photographers everywhere, including amazing freelancers. And I’m sure they’ll hire some of their former staffers as freelancers, so they’ll probably still get their work in SI often. Do I think it’s going to be as consistent as it’s always been? That’s what I think is still up in the air.
Are the cost savings worth it, for a publication like Sports Illustrated?
From a strictly financial standpoint I suppose it’s possible but I’d go back to the personal style, the consistent voice and the consistent product that has made SI so unique. This is Sports Illustrated, you know? The premier sports publication.
The name of the magazine is literally 'Sports Illustrated'! Who’s illustrating the sport? It’s the photographers.
Jun 19, 2017
Jun 17, 2017
Jun 9, 2017
May 16, 2017
|Patrick Finds Inner Peace by ecastellon|
from Your best photo of the week!
|Forks by Kukla|
from Arranged everyday objects
Starting October 1st, Getty Images will no longer accept images in which the models have been Photoshopped to "look thinner or larger." The change was made due to a French law that requires disclosure of such images.
The 3D printed panoramic film camera known formerly as the "Cycloptic Mustard Monster" is officially available as a DIY kit through Kickstarter.
Snapchat is using its augmented reality tech to replace the sky in your photos. The so-called 'sky filters' can swap out a boring sky for a colorful sunset, rainbows, a starry night, and more.
A court ruling our of Newton, Massachusetts has set an important legal precedent for drone pilots: federal drone laws will now trump local drone regulations in situations where the two are in conflict.
Photographer Mathieu Stern has put together another interesting vintage lens shootout. One model, three lenses, three locations.
From landscapes to motocross and white water kayaking to a wedding, exactly what can't the D850 do?
Calumet UK and Wex Photographic, two of the biggest photography retailers in the United Kingdom, are going to officially merge tomorrow.
macOS High Sierra came out today, but if you use a Wacom tablet you need to wait a few weeks before you upgrade. According to Wacom, they won't have a compatible driver ready for you until "late October."
Do you think a $3,000 Canon 80D video rig can compete with an $80,000+ Arri Alexa setup? Well it can't, but check out this video anyway to see how the rigs compare.
Seven simple rules to make sure you get the most out of your next photography outing.
Vitec, the company that owns popular accessory maker Manfrotto, has just acquired JOBY and Lowepro for a cool $10.3 million in cash. The acquisition adds JOBY and Lowepro to Vitec's already sizable collection of camera gear brands.
A master drone pilot has captured one of the most incredible (and highly illegal) drone videos we've ever seen by flying around, inside, onto, and under a moving train.
Intel just debuted their 8th generation desktop CPUs, and the lineup packs a performance boost for 'content creators' that photo and video editors might be intrigued by.
Canon is developing a 'Free Viewpoint Video System' that will turn real life sports games and events into immersive 3D interactive experiences. It's video game-like camera control IRL.
A veteran photojournalist, Rick Wilking secured a spot in the path of totality for the August solar eclipse. While things didn't quite pan out as predicted, an unexpected subject in the sky and a quick reaction made for a once-in-a-lifetime shot.
The new iZugar 3.25mm F2.5 super fisheye lens offers an insane 220-degree angle of view. That means it can basically see behind itself... good luck keeping your feet out of the shot.
You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll remember that time you took a picture of the frozen pizza baking directions.
A Craigslist poster has discovered the worst possible way to photograph a car: taking pictures of pictures displayed on a cracked and scratched up smartphone screen.
With the iPhone X coming out soon, the title probably won't last, but the iPhone 8 Plus is officially the best smartphone camera DxOMark has ever tested, and the iPhone 8 is second.
Kodak's new Facebook Messenger chatbot is trying to bring back the 'Kodak Moment' by digging up your old social media photos and trying to sell you prints and custom coffee mugs.
Affinity Photo for iPad was touted as "the first full blown, truly professional photo editing tool to make its way onto the Apple tablet." This update makes it that much more convenient.
Yashica has released a new teaser video, and this one claims they'll be releasing an "unprecedented camera" in October on Kickstarter. Ready... set... speculate!
Storage solutions company Synology has just released its very first 6-bay NAS tower. Combined with the DX1215 expansion units, it can hold and control up to thirty drives.
We're always expanding our collection of product overview content, and we've just added videos for the Canon EOS 6D Mark II, the EOS Rebel SL2 and EOS M6.
The venerable Canon PowerShot G1 was announced seventeen years ago this week, marking the start of a line of enthusiast-focused compacts that's still alive and kicking.
Super macro photographer Can Tuncer captured these incredible close-ups of a single peacock feather using a special setup and three different microscope lenses.
After successfully crowdfunding the Biotar 75mm F1.5, Oprema Jena is at it again. This time they're bringing back the Biotar 58mm F2: the world's only lens with a 17-blade aperture.
Adobe's move to a subscription model is treating it very well indeed. The company has posted record revenue for the second quarter in a row, hauling in a mind-boggling $1.84 billion.
More details have emerged about the potential sale of Blackstone's 45% stake in iconic camera brand Leica.
Popular mobile editing app Snapseed just got a major update that includes a new interface and 11 new presets for both Android and iOS, as well as adding the Perspective tool to the iOS version.