Chicago Sun Times Agrees – There Is No Need for Professional Photographers.

Posted Jun. 3rd, 2013 by Daniel J. Cox

About a week ago I wrote a piece on how the CEO of Flikr stated there were no longer any professional photographers. Though many were not happy about this seemingly insensitive comment, including me, from one of the largest web portals for great photography, she may end up being vindicated. Case in point, this past week the Chicago Sun Times announced they were firing their entire pool of 28 professional photographers, including Pulitzer Prize winning shooter John H. White. There you go, there’s 28 unemployed, now aperture photographers on the street. One with a Pulitzer under his belt. So I guess this is just one sign that Marissa may be right. Seems the Chicago Sun Times is going to outfit their reporters with iPhones to get the images they need. My goodness how times change. You can read more on this story by clicking the image below.

You can read more about this story by clicking on the photo above.

You can read more about this story by clicking on the photo above.

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There are 11 comments on this post…
  1. Randi MilamOn Jun. 14th, 2013

    This is a sad piece of news!! Hopefully not many will follow this companies lead!! Anyone can take a picture, but not everyone has and eye for a beautiful photo and turns it into a work of art!! I am only a freelancer but I respect and appreciate professionals who have studied hard and dedicated so much time to the art of photography!!

  2. Fred KurtzOn Jun. 3rd, 2013

    Dan, I look at my photos that pre-date my first photo trip in 2007 and they are obviously snapshots. The improvements I have made over the last six years traveling with professional photographers has been incredible and I am still learning. That says to me you cannot take great photos without knowing what to look for and the proper equipment to do it with. I have never tried to take a serious photo with my phone and don’t really want to. Photography is an art and you professionals do an amazing job. See you in two days.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jun. 3rd, 2013

      Thanks Fred, you’ve hit on my way of figuring this thing out and I’m grateful to have tremendous students like yourself who enjoy what we do. Look forward to seeing you in Ireland

  3. Lesli CohanOn Jun. 3rd, 2013

    This seems to me that it is just another confirmation of newspapers (including online versions) going the way of the dinosaur. Their readership has plummeted, and I am sure dismissing their professional photographers will be just another way to cut losses – albeit a shortsighted way to do so. In this age of phone cameras it seems that skill, training and a vision for images is no longer a necessity. Yes, anyone can take a picture, but I doubt that any of those would end up being an iconic vision that becomes part of a visual journey.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jun. 3rd, 2013

      Lesli, You are correct about newspapers going the way of the dinosaur. However, there is some hope. Read this article about the New York Times bucking the trends. Lets hope it hold true long term. Who knows, maybe those who want real news, though somewhat biased, will subscribe to the new York Times and drop their subscription to the Chicago Sun.

  4. Sue JarrettOn Jun. 3rd, 2013

    Really sad. I was a photojournalist for 15 years and as Kevin said you must have an eye for the shot. I won awards (no, not a Pulitzer) for my work not only because of the image quality but because of what the image said.

    Also unless they know how to use the iPhone, their image quality is crappy.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jun. 3rd, 2013

      Sue, good point on using the iPhone. I just recently bought my iPhone 5 and though it was substantially better than the 3GS, I was surprised how disappointed I was with the images. don’t get me wrong I love the iPhone 5 and it does superb images in just the right light but I still carry my Lumix GX1 and shoot anything I really care about with that. No caparison in quality of images when the going gets tough. Not many news images that happen in great light so it will be interesting to see how that experiment work for the Chicago Sun Times.

  5. Portrait of Christine Crosby

    Christine CrosbyOn Jun. 3rd, 2013

    This makes me really sad to hear. I am aspiring to learn more and more how to make better photos and learn from the pros (like my friend Dan Cox!!) but I don’t think I’ll ever be in the esteemed (at least in my book) pro’s who have years and years of time and hard work and waiting weeks or months in harsh conditions to maybe get the shot they were after. I honor you and the other remarkable pros who have made photography not only their living for these decades but who have the true passion for it in their hearts. It is very disappointing for that special gift to seemingly be disrespected by these big corporations. I hope we can do all we can to have our voices heard and not let this ignorance become the opinions of the majority! Have a great trip to Ireland. Can’t wait to see what you shoot! (with those large Nikons especially!)

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jun. 3rd, 2013

      Thanks Christine, being a professional photographer I’m disappointed as well. However, the only thing in life guaranteed is change. So…… these poor guys from the Chicago Sun will just have to figure it out. Luckily, for the very creative, there is still a life making images. You just have to find the new road so to speak. I can’t imagine ever doing anything else so as Mike Meyers from SNL would say, “Rock On”

  6. Kevin J RailsbackOn Jun. 2nd, 2013

    While you can show people how to push the button on an iPhone and teach them the technical side, you can never teach someone how to have an eye for a shot.

    I think it’s all just part of the dumbing down of America. We have to have cash registers with pictures of the food items in fast food joints, people don’t know what time it is when you say quarter to three, and now reports double as photographers.

    Eventually their subpar imagery will be the acceptable standard.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jun. 2nd, 2013

      Agreed Kevin. Thanks for your input. Off to Ireland to shoot photos with a couple of large Nikons.

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