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  1. streetviewroc:

    New York City. Spring 2014.  © Donny Bajohr

     

  2. streetviewroc:

    New York, NY. Spring 2014.  © Donny Bajohr

    Over on Streetview.

     


  3. NYC Trip: Reflection

    It was an amazing opportunity to be able to see first hand the operations inside such institutions as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Reuters, Bloomberg, TIME, MediaStorm, and Mashable, among others. Throughout the week common themes came up with most every place my classmates and I visited. Here I will share them in no particular order:

    Networking

    The most important thing I took from everyplace I visited was the tool of networking. It is important to not burn bridges in this profession because of how small the community is.  The trip wouldn’t have been possible without the relationships my professor, William Snyder, has built through his career.  When talking about networking not one person said talent was a way to keep strong relationships, instead being humble, having integrity, and working well with others was said over and over again. Basically, as Brian Storm stated, “don’t be an asshole.”

    Teamwork/Collaboration

    None of the publications produce work with a one-man show. Flexibility and the ability to work with others is key in this industry.  Brian Storm of MediaStorm stated that you should place the best people around you who can do the job. But that does not mean you shouldn’t know as much as you possibly can.  The best content will come when collaboration is at its best. Jonathan Woods of TIME showed the importance of teamwork and collaboration in his work on One World Trade Center.  The project couldn’t have been completed without a strong team behind it, which meant people were flexible, egos were put aside, and outside of the box thinking took place. 

    Work Ethic 

    "If we want to be in this industry we will be" is something I heard over and over again during my time in New York.  But this takes sacrifice and dedication.  Leslye Davis of the New York Times is a great example of this.  She told us how she was told she wasn’t good enough in college and that she would redo projects over and over again to produce the best work that she was capable of.  If I put in the time and consistently produce excellent work I feel confident that there is a place for me in this industry.  

    Ability to Communicate

    Time and time again my class and I were told the importance of communication. Whether its communication between photo editor and photographer or being able to articulate why a story is important, the need for good communication is important in this industry.  At Open Society Foundations we were told to, “be a journalist, write captions, and report” and to “go one-step beyond what the editor wants.”   Also an important part of this industry is being able to communicate why photography works.  Pancho Bernasconi of Getty told my class to “learn why a picture is great and explain it and articulate the value to someone who doesn’t know about photography.”  

     


  4. NYC Trip Day Five

    The end of the week had my class and I visiting TIME and Sports Illustrated.  

    Kira Pollack, the Director of Photography at TIME, and Jonathan Woods, the Photo and Interactive Senior Editor at TIME, met with my class to discuss the inner workings of the magazine and the online components.  

Kira spoke about how the instagram feed was taken over the by the photo editing teams so the best quality photos are constantly being shown.  However, I found it interesting to find out that when Hurricane Sandy hit New York TIME commissioned photographers to take over their instagram feed and update it without their consent first.  Kira also spoke about how the print and online components are basically two different audiences.  I found this interesting because it gives me an idea of how important the print world still is.  Jonathan gave us a rundown on how he and his team executed the image from the top of One World Trade Center, which was featured on the cover of TIMEs March 17th, 2014 cover.  Jonathan talked about the logistics, preparation, and persistence it took to make the shot happen.  ”Just because its TIME magazine doesn’t mean that anyone was ready let us do this,” stated Jonathan when trying to get the go ahead from the New York and New Jersey Port Authority, who own the property. He also talked about the rig built for holding the camera. When working around obsticales Jonathan said to “Invent ways to do things” and “find ways to execute something.”  Being persistent is what I took most from what Jonathan was saying in accomplishing this task.  

    Brad Smith the Director of Photography at Sports illustrated (SI) met with us next.  What I found amazing is that there is an editor for every sport.   He talked briefly how he left SI then came back to take on DOP. One year after the attack at the Boston Marathon, Brad talked about shooting the cover in remembrance.  Again nothing was easy with the shoot.  The Mayor of Boston was reluctant to be featured but in the end decided to take part.  For the shot they closed down a street in Boston and invited the public to take part.  To accomplish this shot Brad stated it takes “knowing lots of people.”   

     


  5. NYC Trip Day Four

    Day four of our trip in New York City lead us to Open Society Foundations, Mashable, and Getty.  At the end of the night we met up with RIT Alum.

    Open Society Foundations (OSF) features Open Walls, an exhibition of photographs covering a variety of social justice and human rights issues.  Having discussed this work in school and its importance it was great to see it first hand.  My classmates also had the privilege of hearing words of encouragement from Associate Director, Yukiko Yamagata and Senior Communications Coordinator, Annick Shen.  What I appreciated from them was what they thought makes a photographer great to work with. Which was “to be a journalist, write captions and report. And to always go one step beyond what the editor wants.”  Often times I think, “Well won’t the writers get all the info?”  I’m realizing that my research is as important as a writer.  My photography will only be as strong as my research.  They also shared what makes a bad photographer.  Most of it has nothing to do with the act of making a picture but mostly the attitude of the person.  Never complain about a project; never be out of contact with your editor, which includes being available after delivery.  

    I’m enjoying the non-traditional places on this trip that potentially have work for us as young photographers.  Mashable was one these places. Christina Ascani an RIT alum is the only working photographer and editor at Mashable.  I find this amazing for the amount of content that is on the site.  When asked how Mashable sets itself apart from other sites such as Buzzfeed, Christina mentioned the journalistic integrity, fact checking and the care put into the stories featured on the site. It was great to hear Christina talk about not being afraid to experiment and to have an open mind with what work you can get as a photographer.  

    Getty Images was the last stop of the day.  Pancho Bernasconi, the Senior Director of Photography News & Sports at Getty spoke to my peers and I.   What I took most from my time at Getty was Panchos discussion on being a photo editor stating “you need the ability to verbalize a picture and to have conversations about photographs.”  Building my vocabulary for photographs is always something I’m working on.  The time at Getty and other stops during this trip has made me realize editing may not be the worst position to be in.  It can only help me as a shooter.  

    At the end of the day it was nice to meet up with former RIT students and other friends of the program for some drinks and celebration.  One Alum that I bonded with was Bruce Byers.  We talked about his time after RIT, which was in the late 70s, his career in New York City and his love of street photography.  Another highlight of the night was the opportunity for Alums to purchase copies of Testament, which is a book featuring the work of the late Chris Hondros. 

     

     


  6. NYC Trip Day Three

    Dan Witkowski at the New York Times.  April 11, 2014.

    Another long, inspiring, and informational filled day started in Brooklyn where we met Brian Storm the founder of MediaStorm, a multimedia production and publishing company.  Brian brought enthusiasm that showed he believed in his company and what he was doing.    All week I’ve been hearing how still photography won’t make money and that can be somewhat discouraging to a photo student, but Brian stated that his love of still photography is what brought him where he is today.  Brian also talked about creating an identity with your work. Which will create value. This is something I know I have to work on as I grow as a storyteller.   The one thing that I took the most from Brian was his idea of collaboration. He told us to “know your limitations and hire people that are better than you.” I’ve always have and will continue to embrace this idea and believe the best work always comes from a good working team. MediaStorm is the type of organization that is progressive, innovative and adapting to change in an ever-evolving industry. 

    Our next stop of the day was at the New York Times where we met James Estrin.  James has been at the Times for 26 years.  James made it point that a nice picture is okay but that more importantly it was the research before hand that was more important. James said, “the process is key to great work and being a photographer.”  James also introduced us to Leslye Davis who shoots and edits photography and short documentaries for the web.  Leslye is just two years out of college. She explained that to get where she is now she practiced and worked hard at honing her craft, whether or not it was for class assignments. I struggle with this; often times knowing that my classwork isn’t where I want it be discourages me to seek out more work.

      

    Times Square, New York, NY. April 17, 2014. 

    Reuters is where our last and final stop of the day was.  At Reuters we had a great variety of speakers from young up comers to seasoned veterans that included Adrees Latif, Darren Ornitz, and Lucas Jackson. Darren Ornitz is a young photographer who told us his story about getting work with Reuters.  Darren told us to be “humble about success” and that we should have “integrity and work hard.”   Lucas Jackson, a Reuters staff photographer, spoke next. I enjoyed how he told us to look for inspiration in other work and to always check other resources such as TimeLightBox, Image Deconstructed, and PDNpulse among other sources.  

    At Reuters we also had the pleasure of meeting Stephen Mayes, Frank Fourier, and Alan Chin.   Stephen Mayes of VII “told us the more personal a story the more stronger” He also made me realize a new way of looking at my work. That as photographers ” we are publishers, we are in control of story, subject, and who our audience is.”  Frank Fourier was a seasoned photojournalist who encouraged us to “break from the pack.” That we need to invest in our self to tell better stories.   What I took from Alan Chin was his approach to his personal story telling and personal work, which is a story about his parent’s hometown in China.  

     


  7. NYC Trip Day Two

    Today we started out with the Wall Street Journal.  All my past ideas of what the Wall St. Journal (WSJ) was have gone out the door.  Jack Van Antwerp the director of photography at the WSJ explained in what the WSJ mission was more specifically how photography was used.   Jack Van Antwerp explained to my classmates and myself that “demand for still photography is in decline” however “the demand for good stories has increased.”    Jack also reiterated the fact that “there’s story in your own back yard that your missing” and finished by saying that if you can tell those stories than an employer will send to a Nepal.   I enjoy when editors share tiny tidbits that you’re always afraid to ask about. Jack was kind enough to share some them. Here is my favorite:

    • Being in the middle of the country will get you more work than in a major city.
    • You have a millisecond to make your point in an email
    • keep editors in the loop with new work
    • Make and email personal if you can

    Our second stop of the day was at Bloomberg. We had a nice personal conversation with Graham Morrison the Head of Photo in the Americas and Scott Ells Chief Photographer.  With Bloomberg being a financial and politically heavy I really didn’t know how Bloomberg used photography. But Graham explained with ” Economy does hit people at some point and that’s where photographers come in” including that “you have to be like a photographic technician being able to illustrate an idea.”    Coming out of college and looking for a job they told us not to be overly picky on where to look for work and to keep our options way open. 

    ABCnews.com was our 3rd stop where we met RIT Alum Katie Bubacz who serves as Photo Editor.   She explained to us the importance of networking and how it basically how she was getting into the business from here time spent at Eddies Adams workshop.   Katie explained the difference in quality that you will find at magazines, newspaper, and online as far as photography goes and that all three have different audiences and that it dictate content.  Katie made some interesting points with photo editing stating: “as an editor think of yourself going to be out there shooting.”  That way the photographers get exactly what you want.

    Our last stop of the day my peers and I were given a tour of Teach for America by two former RIT students Megan Rossman and Prisca Edwards.  Megan told us the great amount of potential for story telling that does not deal with news organization and how in the 3 years she has been with Teach for America it has doubled in size.  Sometimes with my work it becomes formulaic.  It was nice to hear Megan tell us to avoid making blanket rules when making work.  Another great point brought up was the need for good editing because “you lose half your audience every 30 seconds.” 

     


  8. NYC Trip Day One

    image

    Today my classmates and I visited the headquarters of the Associated Press.  We were greeted by Santiago Lyons the Vice President and Director of Photography of The Associated Press.

    Before entering the newsroom Mr. Lyon stopped a moment to show us a memorial dedicated to AP journalist who have died while on duty for the AP including the 2nd women on the list German Photographer Anja Niedringhaus. This was an important reminder of the danger journalist put themselves to show the rest of the world.

    We were then allowed to sit on a meeting which was a daily rundown of the news topics and trends from around the world.  AP news Editors from around the world were video conferencing in giving the latest on such events as Ukraine Crisis, the continuing search for flight MH370 and sports trends.

    Mr. Lyons then gave us a presentation on events that the AP had covered recently such as the Sochi Games and the Afghan Elections.  I especially enjoyed his touching presentation on Anja Niedringhaus. He told us she would shoot sports to create a balance in her career. This an issue that find personal because I’m always trying to find balance in my own work.  

    I found it interesting that sports is actually 75% of what AP photographers cover.

    Mr. Lyons also gave an insight into what he wants from a photographer.   Telling us most of what we have learned from professors and other professionals but what stuck out most was his idea on attitude: “photography is a direct result of the attitude of the photographer.” 

    Our second destination of the Day was at Human Rights Watch(HRW) located in the Empire State Building. We met with Emma Daly the communications director.  HRW believes that exposure pushes change. Backed with extensive research HRW uses photography and video to make human rights violations known to the public forcing change. Credibility is huge so the research must be correct before making issues public. 

    When looking for photographers to collaborate with Emma said they look for people who can tell story and understand what they want.  One of the latest issues being researched is children working in tobacco fields in the United States. HRW also produces most o their content on issues in the US, saying that if the U.S. is not accountable why should others nations be accountable? 

     

  9. streetviewroc:

    Coney Island - Brooklyn, NY. Spring 2104. © Donny Bajohr

     

  10. streetviewroc:

    New York, NY. Summer 2011.  © Donny Bajohr 

     

  11. Travlin’ 2014. © Donny Bajohr

     

  12. streetviewroc:

    Niagara Falls, NY. Spring 2014. © Zack DeClerck

     

  13. streetviewroc:

    Dublin, Ireland. Summer 2012.  © Donny Bajohr 

     


  14. Go checkout STREETVIEW.

     

  15. streetviewroc:

    19th Ward. Rochester, NY. March 2014. © Donny Bajohr