On being a Pro Photographer



Waiting for the shot to arrive is World Cup Cricket stringer sports photographer Matthew outside a Napier Motel. He is hoping for a shot and interview with star players from the Pakistani team.

One of the good things about travelling is that we seem to have a greater freedom in speaking to strangers. Our single night in the East Coast town of Napier coincided with a World Cup Cricket Match. Sure it was between the worlds least likely cricketers (The United Emirates) and Pakistan (who haven’t been performing well) but it’s always a big deal to host an International.

Returning from an evening walk I saw a young bloke, equipped with pro camera gear, sitting on our hotel wall checking his laptop. We had a 10 minute chat about his last minute assignment from a Pakistani Insurance Company to follow that team throughout their World Cup Campaign and photograph one of the star players before and after each game as he gives interviews. The Pakistan team are staying in our hotel. These photos then  appear on the Company website and social media within hours. Sometimes the photos might be taken up by other media if something noteworthy happens or is reported from the interview.

We talked about Sports journalism – photography in particular. I have had experience as an amateur but have worked as a Media Assistant at Olympic Games and World Cup Rugby tournaments. It looks glamorous, exciting to be a travelling the world watching sport but I think it’s a hard life. There are a hundred stringers like Matthew for every one with a secure job. My local paper, the Sydney Morning Herald, sacked more than half their photographers last year and now use agencies to save costs. So many photos now come for free via social media and the ubituous camera phone. In 2015 everyone has a camera and thinks they can be a photo journalist. Good luck Matthew!

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2 thoughts on “On being a Pro Photographer

  1. Absolutely, good luck Matthew, he’s young doing what he loves. He looks a lot like our friend who got married last year who’s name is also Matthew.
    The only difference between your so called amateur shots and a pros shots is that theirs is their job and your’s is a hobby, the quality is the same.

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