Seattle Photographer Daniel Sheehan's Photo Blog

KENNETH JARECKE on Cowboys and Photojournalists


Kenneth Jarecke has a photo essay on the Montana State Fair and his thoughts on the comparison between cowboys and photojournalists up on the New York Times photo blog  Lens. Some of the comments after the essay are a good read on the subject too.

“While watching the 4-H youngsters going about their business at MontanaFair in Billings this month, I was struck by a parallel. Here I am in 2009, at a fair ground: a photojournalist, making pictures of cowboys in every direction I look. Don’t any of us know that none of us are supposed to exist?…
[…]The publishing industry is suffering through its killing winter right now. Many of the big outfits I’ve worked for in the past won’t survive. That doesn’t mean photojournalism will disappear, it just means that we’ll have to pay for it a different way. As more publications use the McDonald’s philosophy of giving away the hamburger and making money on the fries and soda — but then failing to charge for any of it — photojournalists will have to create a new market for their work.
[…]Professional photojournalists have only their eye, their experience and their work ethic to create lasting images. It has nothing to do with what kind of lariat they’re carrying.
[…] if you can’t make a great picture in your own backyard, it isn’t going to happen anywhere else.”

Ken has an extended edit of the photoessay back on his own website here.


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