open letter to newspaper photographers

Dear Newspaper Photographer,

If you think you are safe in your job, you aren’t.

I say that bluntly to make the point stick.  You are a number.  You are expendable.  Your work will win awards.  Your work will sell papers.  In the end, if they don’t sell that ugly ad around your photo, you don’t have a job.  Period.  Nothing short of winning a Pulitzer (and that doesn’t even count – ask the amazingly talented Rocky Mountain News or The Washington Times staff) will keep you in your job.

That being said I loved every minute of my newspaper staff job.

I want this to be positive, but it’s hard to be in this situation.  I’ve seen too many friends and colleagues come and go and that choice was never given to them.  Some are still shooting freelance, some had to give up photography as a career and pursue other things – but, they are some of the most creative and beautiful people on the planet.  It’s tough to watch photographers get drained through a funnel as they come into this field, and as they leave.  Staying in the funnel is tough and proving to be tougher everyday.

I left my newspaper staff only a couple months ago on my own and loving every minute of it.  It’s been busy as hell (knock on wood), but I’m learning everything on the fly which is exciting and nerve-racking.  It’s a wonderful feeling. Open book.

I write this after reading through some depressing news coming out of The Columbia Tribune today as they announced plans to – gasp – charge for their content starting in December.  I feel for them, because wading through the bathroom wall-worthy, disgustingly unedited comments like (and I’ll paraphrase here) “R.I.P.” and “Why should I pay for something when I get it for free?” made my stomach turn a bit.  I love newspapers.  I want them to survive.  It’s kind of like watching your kid on the playground and not stopping her from jumping off something because you know she’ll learn to not do it again.  It will only hurt for a bit.  I don’t think local newspapers – and I say local because it is more imminent for them – need to pull their heads out of the sand and wake up that society has changed.  Information is easier to make, easier to get, and cheaper.  That doesn’t mean they should use it.  What user generated news providers don’t have on you, Newspaper Photographer, is raw talent, drive, professionalism, passion, creativity, education, and the ability to turn chicken shit into chicken salad.

Content is what needs to change.  Not charging for content that people don’t want in the first place.  Change your content.  Improve storytelling.  Rock the visuals and design.  Make innovative websites that aren’t as ugly as a lot of newspaper websites out there.  Look, there are some doing it right.  They are obvious.  They are some of my best clients.  I love working for them, and want to keep doing so.

What you need to do, Newspaper Photographer, is a few things.  Right now.  Trust me.  I’ve done it.

I’m transitioning as well.  I spent 10 years at newspapers, and at age 33 I’ve ripped up all of that and started over.  On my own with my wife, two kids, and a mortgage.  I am shooting editorial gigs for some great clients, but I have to do something else.  I do travel, weddings, and commercial work as well.  I might not share all of it (Do you post that building mug to your blog?  I thought not).  Look at what people like Tiffany Brown just did.  She left her job, took her editorial work and refashioned with the help of a creative team to make herself marketable to another genre.  She’s going to pick up new clients with just a re-edit of what she’s been doing for years.  She’s thinking outside of the box but in the same town with the same work.  She’s going to kill it and I see it coming.  Fast.

Start a new blog.  Start a magazine.  Start a collective.  Open a coffee shop.  Start a project on Kickstarter.  Apply for a grant.  Develop that new product that every photographer needs.  I’m insanely jealous of the LUCEO kids.  They are doing it how they want, when they want, and who they want to do it for.  Use their success as a motivation to do something that will make someone else jealous.  It’s a great feeling.

You can do it too, but you need to start planning now and you might beat the newspaper to the punch.

Decide what you are going to do when you lose your job.  It may or may not happen, but assume it will.  You have to have a Plan B.  A Plan C.  And a Plan XYZ. There are certain things you’ll need to learn quickly.  Number one?  Business.  Pick up all of Harrington’s books.  Read them.  Figure out where you are going to live, who you are going to market to and what you are going to do when you don’t get your checks for 30-60 days.  That happens.  You never, ever know when that check will be in your mailbox.

Start saving money .  Squirrel it away into an savings account, a bond, gold, Apple stock, whatever.  You’ll need it to buy gear right away.  If you already have gear, you probably have a mortgage, car payment, hungry kids, credit card debt, promo materials, utilities, insurance, doctor’s bills, professional dues, that new Sleigh Bells cd.  Whatever safety net you had on staff will be gone.  It is now on you.

It is now on you.

It is now on you.

I say it three times, because it’s the biggest thing to learn.  You only make money if you work.  You only meet new clients if you get out of bed, take a shower, get dressed and work a 9-5 shift in your house marketing your ass off finding work.  I don’t care who you are or what you shoot, once you are out of the newspaper, you shoot 20% of the time at most.  At newspapers, you shoot 2-3 assignments a day.  You might 2-3 assignments a month outside of the paper.  You have to learn to make them count.  That requires learning licensing, copyright, creative fees, contracts, renting to yourself and working for what you are worth.  Not too many do that, and I learned it later than I should have. You have something they can’t get from a random shooter on spec….you were sought out because you possess the skills, they trust you, love your vision, and want to work with you. They will pay if they want you.  You just have to ask.  Ever wonder why an editor won’t tell you the story before asking if you’re free to shoot something tomorrow at 6pm?  Happens outside of newspapers too.  You work for money.  Not credit.

Someone has to do it for the money, and it should be you.

I know that goes against that “It’s not about the money, I tell stories for the people I cover and stories I tell.”  That’s great if you can eat off of that passion, but sincerely, you do more justice finding clients to pay for your work and publish it to get the work out there to the eyes that need to see it.  You not only help the people you cover, but you help your fellow photographers and you keep a profession in peril with a pulse for that much longer.

In the end, it’s all about making photos that you love.  Keep yourself doing just that.



43 thoughts

  1. Love the Sleigh Bells reference!
    Good timing, I need a boost today.
    Problem is I’m 10 years older then you and a slow learner, it sucks.
    I’m not a bad shooter but don’t quite have your talent, it sucks.
    I’m in a rut, again, it sucks.
    But when I read something like this I know I have to climb out again and never give up because this might be the time it works.
    Thanks Dude!

  2. Thank you for this, Chip. I’ve been following the Trib’s announcement all day and it kills me to see people who think they are entitled to free news content because I know how many people are losing their jobs over that sense of entitlement.

    As a photojournalism student at the University of Missouri, I thank you for posting this. I think a lot of students don’t know how hard it’s going to be when they get out there into the industry. But that’s not to say that I do — I haven’t been through it. I don’t think you can ever be prepared for something like losing your job and having a family. But maybe writing this will make people think about this kind of thing more. Hopefully people will try to plan. I’m already looking at those books you’ve recommended. And I always try to think about what I would do if I can’t make it in the newspaper world.

    I’m pretty good at making cupcakes.


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  4. Thanks for the candor and advice. I was laid off three weeks ago from the Sun-Times and I needed a kick in the ass… a dose of inspiration…some sage advice. It is now on you…indeed!! I’ll keep those words with me as I transition to the next chapter. Thanks again… I needed these words today more than you know.



  5. Yes, you do have to be fast and you do have to understand it IS all on you.

    I left my newspaper job in 2008. It was a year, almost to the day, before I would have been laid off without severance. I am thankful for those eight years at that newspaper. It put a lot of frames under my belt and somewhere along the way I developed a style. A style I can now sell to corporate clients and social clients.

    I think if you choose your market wisely and actually think about what you’d like to see yourself taking photos of in 10 years then you’re on your way.

    From someone only 2.5 years in, I suggest you realize that you’re gonna have to put in a lot of hours that you don’t pay yourself for. The work IS out there. People need photos of things every single day, building or otherwise. Chip knows how to make the deal count and I would suggest that eventually you’ll be pitching story ideas – with budgets – to your larger, consistent clients. Newspaper’s taught us right how to pitch a story. Newspaper eyes are often fresh eyes to a corporate client. I think we should all try to keep telling stories, embrace multimedia. Find people you trust who love to design, produce, edit and shoot with you.

    I often find myself saying, “I can’t imagine doing anything else.” If that is how you feel then figure out a way to make it happen.

  6. Good stuff Chip. It hits home. I am a young guy (3rd year on staff at my paper which makes me one of the old hands in the building) who just got a promotion….. It came in the way of the company laying of our Director of Photographer ….

    I love my job but realistically I know the day is coming.

  7. Well said Chip

    I was on the first wave of photo/journalists to lose their jobs back in 2006. And you are right, enthusiasm, creativity, excellent work and mega awards mean nothing to the bean counters.

    I found myself unemployed after 22 years, on the cusp of turning 50. Many of my peers, who were still employed at the time, treated me like I had some type of infectious disease… with pity, and distance,

    Emotionally, I went through all of the steps that a person does who has lost a cherished loved one. I won’t lie. It was horrible.

    Then, when I got tired of the taste of my kneecaps, I got angry, I got busy and I got out there.

    Now, I am the captain of my destiny.

    Trust me, there is life after staff.

  8. I did 11 years ago at age 53 after a combined 30 years at two papers..half pushed, half dying to go. Remember that we constantly need to learn and re-invent ourselves. There is work out there, we need to find and find ways to do it for profit. Learn about your clients, learn and understand their needs so you can fill them. Remember that this is a business and not just a fun hobby.

  9. Count me as one of the inspired. I’m in the midst of digging up new work as the newly anointed sole bread winner in a house soon to be enjoying a second kid. I thought I was doing it right but now I see I have yet to turn it up to 11. I’m on it. Thanks for the words of inspiration.

  10. Chip:

    Very good advice at a time when we all have to reach past the challenges.

    This also relates to anyone in the field, photo editors, and directors of photography. There is no higher glass ceiling than that in the photography department.

    I’ve spent almost half my life in the newsroom and the other half teaching in a dojo. For the most part the same lesson applies.

    Treat those you meet with respect and replace fear with knowledge.

  11. Pingback: Must Read: Chip Litherland’s Open Letter to Newspaper Photographers | dvafoto

  12. Good read Chip. I got my lay-off about 18 months back and this is all stuff I’ve had to learn as well. The bills are paid by a day job, but I’m building the business, slowly, but surely, and I have to say, I have more hope for the future than I had in the past. Newspapers were great to me, and I’d love to do that for my whole life, but the jobs are drying up and they’re going to keep going that way, and that’s not where I want to be.

    So to all the newspaper photogs out there, I think Chip is right, but have hope, I also think it can be better on the other side, and that doesn’t mean we don’t love the PJ, just that things change.

  13. Extremely poignant Chip! Just seven weeks ago I left the cushy confines of my staff job after 15 years to concentrate on my own business ventures. If I may add a few additional comments for others in the same situation.
    You must become business person first; photographer second.
    You will need to have saved nearly twice the amount that you thought you would need for start-up costs.
    You will need to become your own I.T. department.
    You must familiarize yourself with the proper business regulations in the municipality and state where you reside.
    You will be competing for clients with every person that owns a pro-sumer camera with little to no professional training who market themselves as professionals and will under bid you by hundreds of dollars.
    If you accept free or low paying jobs it will only lead to more free and low paying jobs.
    Above all else….knowledge is power!

  14. Great article Chip.

    I was one of The Washington Times photographers let go almost one year ago. I can speak from first-hand knowledge about what you wrote here.

    I was one of the lucky ones. Because my wife stayed home with our daughter (and later our son), I had to grow my outside work about 1.5 years prior to the layoffs. I had been photographing weddings here and there but once I had to make the money it grew very quickly. The layoffs happened 1 month after I bought our first house and 1 month before the birth of our second child. That would generally be a BAD thing. But because I had been developing my “plan B”, it was fine. In fact, this year was the best financial year we have had.

    From my experience of seeing a staff of unbelievably talented people laid off, I can attest and add to a couple things:
    It doesn’t have to be fully in force, but have a parachute. This can include a lot of things. Develop a wedding business. Develop a portrait business. Develop an event business. Develop a sports business (or C, all of the above)
    I spent over 10 years at the Times trying to avoid PR people. When you go freelance, you need a database of clients. I’m not saying you have to love all those PR people at assignments, but ENTER THEIR BUSINESS CARDS INTO YOUR ADDRESS BOOK. Those people that you avoid at all cost as a staffer can make you a lot (A LOT!!!) of money when you aren’t a staffer any more. I can’t tell you how many PR contacts had their business card thrown away in the trash can outside the office building. Now, many photographers would give anything to have that stack of contacts with clients who wanted to pay good money.
    I am sick and tired of photojournalists looking down their nose at weddings, portraits…. Wedding photography has a bad wrap because for too long photojournalists wanted nothing to do with it. I am now telling some of the biggest stories of my clients’ lives as a photojournalist and they absolutely love it. How can any photographers begrudge other photographers for making a living taking photographs?? Celebrate all the ways you can make this industry yours!! I am full time with this and tripled my paper’s salary the first year out (that either says very little about my salary or a lot about the wedding business). You don’t have to be full time with it. Use it to support the stuff you want to do.
    I know so many photojournalists who hold their photography/business/life secrets like they are Super-Double-Secret-Probation-Top-Secrets. Get over yourself. When you share your knowledge with others, they share it back with you. I don’t want to get all Zen on your asses but good things happen to good people. When you learn something good, you share it with others. They will do the same things for you. I can’t tell you how much I had to learn the hard way. After the layoffs, I had most of our photographers asking about business and weddings. Instead of answering it 10 different times, I had everyone over and went over my entire business from top to bottom. We talked about money, marketing and everything. Nothing was off limits. I believe I learned a ton from others (and learning the hard way) and wanted to pay that forward. Days after the layoffs, John Harrington (author of the best freelance photography/business book ever written) had the entire staff over for the day. He did this out of the kindness of his heart and gave everyone a ton of knowledge (that he could sell for thousands of $$ in a workshop) and even a free book. He knew the art of paying it forward!!
    I spent over 10 years shooting amazing things. I was sent to South Africa for a story on land reform, Botswana for a story on AIDS, Mexico for the presidential elections, all around the US for stories on the border and politics and traveled with the Redskins home and away for 7 or 8 years. I can’t tell you how much my perspective has changed since becoming a freelancer. All that stuff I took for granted means so much more with hindsight. There were Redskins games that I just took for granted. End of the season, cold, raining… It took a kick in the ass from a new hire (Peter Lockley) at one game to get my butt in gear down the field in Seattle. I was shooting EVERY game home and away in the NFL and I was being lazy. WTF?! That came from shooting like a staffer – 5 days/week and a guaranteed paycheck. How many of you can say that you haven’t taken your jobs for granted? That just doesn’t fly any more. Shoot for the paper, yourself, contacts and your portfolio at every assignment.

    This doesn’t have to be a gloom and doom scenario for staff shooters. It has to be a wakeup call to start building yourself into the photojournalist of 2011 rather than the photojournalist of 1999. We are used to change and this is just a part of it. Those that can adapt the best will succeed.

  15. Great article Chip. I assumed that I would lose my job…and I did. I was let go in January of this year (2010) after being a staff photographer for a combined 21 years at several papers. I have to agree with you on everything you’ve said. After the first round of layoffs at my paper, I started my plan B journey. Namely, gathering equipment, so in the event I lost my job, I could still work. That was the single best idea that I ever had. My former paper has been good to me in offering lots of freelance work. I was doing freelance within just a few days of my departure and I have not looked back. I also do other things, just like you: weddings, portraits, public relations photos, quarterly newsletters, etc. I read Harrington’s book “Best Business Practices by Photographers,” at the suggestion of a former colleague and it is filled with FANTASTIC information that is a MUST read for every photographer. Most of us photogs are creative people and have not had to deal too much with the business side of things, but when we leave our staff jobs, we must become the business person or fail. It’s as simple as that. I am the CEO now. I’m the accountant, the tax guy, the marketing guy, the graphics guy, the billing guy, the IT guy, the repair guy, etc. You are absolutely right about being alert to the client’s needs. Myself and a former colleague have formed a PR team. We are taking what we learned at the newspaper, namely, writing good stories, taking good photos AND shooting video and/or multimedia. For many, multimedia is an attractive new medium. We have created new business out of thin air because of multimedia. I suggest you do the same.
    Here’s something that I found very helpful when it comes to marketing because I never took a business class. I wish I could attribute the list, but I forgot where I got the list. Perhaps it was Harrington’s book:
    1) Spend a portion of your day EVERY day marketing yourself.
    2) Be persistent
    3) Be aware of what works and repeat it
    4) Know your audience
    5) Find a niche & define it
    6) Personality creates buzz
    7) Motivate people to spread the word about you
    8) Share the spotlight, promote others
    9) Share your knowledge
    10) Be smooth

    I’m glad you are successful in your new endeavor Chip. God Bless!
    Rodrigo Pena freelance photographer

  16. Hmmmm—I hope people are not just now figuring this out, if you are, you best get moving FAST. I also don’t know any newspaper photographers who feel safe in their jobs. Most newspaper photographers I know are already well established freelancers or business owners by now — Nothing is more dangerous than an idea when it is the only one you have. ~Emile Chartier.

  17. Nice Chip,

    Although, don’t feel that the newspaper industry is the only group feeling this change. We are going through a technology era, just like the beginning of last century’s Industrial era. There is change all around. Those that can adapt and use it to their advantage will be the winners.

    Take something new and see just how far you can run with it. You might not win the race, but will be stronger when the correct solution arrives.

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  19. Chip,

    Well said, great insight, hope all will read and learn!

    In 1997 I was forced by the doctors to medically retire after shooting for 25 years. Twenty-one years at three different newspapers, and four as a military combat-aerial photographer. Got a degree in photography, and taught part-time at local university for nine years. But at the age of 39 had a brain-stem stroke (believed to have been caused by carrying 35 pound camera bag on the right shoulder for 25 years, pulled the inner wall of artery in neck loose, and it damned at brain-stem). Life and career as I knew it was over. Put on 100% disability in 2001. Been hard to raise three kids and teach them work ethic when dad doesn’t work. Years went by trying to adjust meds, and finally the magic formula was found three years ago. You see, SSI or disability doesn’t pay enough to live on! I have no income to upgrade equipment, I have a D200 only (given to me by good friend who bought a D3x), a 12-24, 18-200, and 70-200 f2.8, & TC-1.4. No lights, no second body. No knew computer upgrade or software. And the biggest problem I’ve found is no credentials! Old friends shake your hand, but won’t call if they need extra help. Even offered to work for free for sports department of a local university (& they need the help) but no go. Newspaper I was disabled from in 1997, last September laid off 66% of photo staff. Had one freelance job in last three years of doing posters for a high school lacrosse team (love shooting lacrosse). At one game a father stood next to me and noticed he had the same camera and lens that I did, and said, “I have the same gear you do, but my photos look nothing like yours.” I would have been one of them. Then a month ago a neighbor hired me to do some artsy photos of his business, nothing hard or tough. I got a massive headache after the camera hung around my neck for 30 min, and 15 more my torso was screaming for a break from the photo vest. After three days of shooting I fainted on the shoot. I got the hint, finally. My point in this is telling is that there is another view, not so happy one. 40 years ago all I wanted to do was do photography. I still dream of assignments several times a week. To all of you who still shoot, have a wonderful vision; to those just laid off, take notes from Chip, and adjust what will.

  20. Great thoughts, Chip. Really important advice.

    I jumped 3.5 years ago. I owe everything (skills, vision) to the newspapers I worked at for 4 years, but I don’t miss it. I found a really good fit with weddings. I enjoy it more than I do the newspaper work. I get to connect with people on an intimate level, I get to take the pictures I want to take and have people hire me for it, my schedule is much more predictable, and I’ve actually been able to put money into savings, something I was never able to do in 4 years working in newspapers. When I left I didn’t think I was going to do weddings or enjoy them, but now I have little interest in the editorial work. I’m proud to be a wedding photographer. Something I couldn’t have visioned before taking the leap. Good and unimaginable things await.

  21. Chip. Great article. Great points. Very true.

    I have been completely freelance for close to 16 years now after losing my job in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. There is no greater boss than yourself. Believe in what you are selling and it is a lot easier. But yes, shower every day, get dressed. I have a ritual where I don’t shave unless I’m shooting.. once it starts to itch, I know I’ve been on my butt too long.

    But to the first person who replied “Jump before you are pushed” absolutely not! Jump when you are absolutely ready to jump, if you aren’t pushed first. Be ready, get ready. Start putting money away. If you live in a condo, then you know about “reserves” you need to be more liquid. You need to be prepared for what you aren’t prepared for.

    Meet people as you work. Take business cards. Start good business practices now. Everybody you meet is a client or a potential client. Everybody is a contact. Do not imply you are leaving but leave no names behind.

    As a staff photographer, if you are good, you know how to work alone, from your car. Same principles apply. You need to be self sufficient.

    But my biggest suggestion is never complain about where you are. Currently as a staff photographer, you make a decent salary (hopefully) shooting one to three assignments a day. There is absolutely no reason what so ever to complain. Chip, you said it right and you said it right out of the gate. Love what you do and do what you love.

    Great article. Really on the mark! Good luck with your new career.

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  24. Nice post Chip!

    And wow, so many great stories, advice…

    @MichaelConner ~ Love the one about being proud of your work. It’s YOUR work! If your clients love it; pat yourself on the back.

    We know what it feels like to lose the stability of a newspaper job. Had I known things would be OK…

    I agree, saving money and watching your cash flow is super important; not just for gear but for things like an engine blowing out; new tires; too many trips to the dentist; unexpected illness, etc. No matter what you are doing — staff or freelance — always be aware of your environment; what’s happening around you. Remember, marketing is an expense. The beauty of today is that marketing is so much more affordable!

    Complaining is part of being human. Desiring something better is natural. Whether you are staff or freelance, the work is hard and whatever you are feeling is real; valid.

    If you are laid off, definitely tap into your community; your people. It’s scary and you can do it. Go ahead, don’t let pride or vanity stop you from asking someone to hold your hand.

    If you are on staff; be thankful for what you have but if you are miserable, go ahead and seriously think about making the jump. Just be smart about it.

    And if you are freelance, things have changed for you too. Try something new; take a risk. You did when you first started freelancing; why not now?

    No matter what category you fall in, always be aware of your environment; what’s happening around you.

    Oh and that T.Brown… she’s always had something special 🙂

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  28. You are righ Chip, and I’m following your advice. I am a 27-year veteran of newspaper photo staffs to be laid off recently when our newspaper in NH was sold. It does suck as Cheryl notes. I’m in the planning stages now, and searching for freelance clients, weddings, portraits, video projects, etc…

    • Keep up the fight because you are a solid photog and always have been! Good luck. I made the jump to the state crime lab and while the work is fascinating and rewarding there isn’t a day that goes by that I wouldn’t like to be shooting assigns for a daily.

  29. Dear Chip,

    I find myself returning to this post in the wake of more recent layoffs.

    Can’t help but thinking that as the world of photojournalism becomes increasingly complex (by orders of magnitude), the situation demands increasing focus on being robust.

    Strength may come to our aid here in many ways: diversifying income streams; adding skill sets; never settling in your ways for too awful long. By simply evaluating, saving and strategizing to protect against great unknowns, we grow stronger and more aware.

    I have found that placing more small, low-risk “bets” as opposed to only a few large high-risk ones has greatly aided in my stability and security. There are so many opportunities in the expanding universe of photography, but if we are not strong enough to adapt, we will simply not survive.

    We must acknowledge that we cannot predict, the greatest argument for becoming more robust.

  30. What a VERY powerful letter. I worked at the Hartford Courant from 1997 to 2002. I LOVED working there. Newspaper is in my blood. My very first job was at the Hartford Times. I went from the Classified Department to being the Obituary Editor until the Times closed in 1976. There is something about working at a newspaper. It’s a rush. Deadlines, By-Lines, THAT I miss.

    I left the Courant on a leap of faith, moving 500 miles away to Michigan, with the dream of getting another job as a writer at a newspaper. Unfortunately, it was at a time when newspapers were going on the internet. It didn’t work out. Three years later I moved back to Connecticut.

    I don’t regret leaving the Courant (aside from working with many awesome people). I got out at a time when the shit was hitting the fan, and lay offs were coming at an alarming rate. The Courant is not the same. Fox61 took over. There are very few original Courant employees left.

    I feel bad for the photographers at the Trib. Some have been there forever. Now what?

  31. I enjoyed your post Chip, and appreciate your perspective! Awareness is indeed key in being able to “shift gears” should the need arise. Change may be daunting at best, but planning, tucking aside money here and there can make the process a little less scary when it happens. I for one survived many moons ago, and while I may not be shooting as often as I’d like to, I have a job, a roof over my head, food in my dog’s bowl and a smile on my face! Cheers all.

  32. Sorry, but this blog was nonsense.
    Start a coffee shop? Start a new magazine? Hey, why not add in “bike through Italy on an antique unicycle while sipping a caramel macchiato and twirling a handlebar mustache?”
    None of this advice was very practical at all for the laid off photographer. The laid off photographer has a few other things to worry about if he/she is laid off from a newspaper right away,especially if they have kids and a mortgage as the author says, but then oh-so-casually advises to start up that coffee shop, etc. Sure, I’m sure most laid off newspaper photos have a spare 50 grand or so sitting around to go open up that new Starbucks franchise.
    Sounds like the author might come from a few bucks himself, otherwise he wouldn’t throw out these pie-in-the-sky platitudinous pieces of advice for the laid off middle aged photog with kids and a mortgage.

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