News Archive

Atlanta Seminar Featuring Pultizer-Winning Speakers, Student Discounts

Photo by David Bergman

By Tom Burton

The Atlanta Seminar is the longest continuously running photojournalism conference in the country. Since 1973, the group of photojournalists that run the seminar have built a close-knit community around the program.

“Our staff is all volunteer and our faculty comes without compensation, so you know they are doing this for the love of photojournalism,” said Kevin Liles, president of the Atlanta Seminar board.

The dedication has also helped keep the price low for attendees. This year, thanks to support arranged by Mark Suban of Nikon Professional Services, students get very reduced rate of $50 for the entire seminar, making it very affordable.

The Atlanta Seminar will be held Nov. 11-12 at the Hilton Atlanta Northeast. Registration details are at and the deadline for entering the seminar’s photo contest is 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 10.

The NPPA will also be there offering discounts for both new and renewal memberships. Canon and Nikon will be offering free clean and check for equipment.

Over past several years, Liles said there have been fewer attendees with staff jobs and more independent and student photographers. The workshops featured at the seminar reflect that shift.

“We have four workshops dedicated to marketing and business. And our video workshops, something we've been offering for several years now, have some really talented folks leading them,” Liles said.

Workshops on Friday, Nov. 11 will cover photo topics from morning through early afternoon with video workshops in the afternoon to early evening. They include sessions on social media publishing, video storytelling and portraiture.

Friday night, dinner will include a screening of “Graveyard of the Great Lakes,” a film by Eric Seals, one of the workshop leaders. After dinner, there will be free portfolio reviews by faculty, speakers and photo editors.

The speakers on Saturday include Pulitzer winners and photographers who have worked for some of the best-known publications.

David Bergman, is a New York based music, portrait, and sports photographer. He has been Bon Jovi's official tour photographer since 2010. In addition to his other celebrity clients, Bergman has 13 Sports Illustrated covers to his credit and has photographed numerous Olympics, World Series, Super Bowls, NBA and NCAA Championships. His high-resolution GigaPan of President Obama's first inaugural speech was viewed by over 30 million people.

Deanne Fitzmaurice is a documentary photographer and storyteller ability to go behind the scenes to discover and convey personal, intimate and emotional stories through images. She won the Pulitzer or feature photography while working at the San Francisco Chronicle and now represents a wide variety of publications, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, and National Geographic.

Jessica Rinaldi is a staff photographer for The Boston Globe. She was awarded the 2016 Pulitzer Prize in Feature Photography for, The Life and Times of Strider Wolf. She was also named a Pulitzer Finalist in the same category for, A Life Unraveling. Rinaldi was twice named Boston Press Photographer of the Year in 2015 and 2014.

Eric Thayer is a photojournalist based in New York. As a regular contributor to The New York Times, Getty, The Wall Street Journal, Sports Illustrated, and Reuters, he has covered national news, politics, and natural disasters. He has extensively covered three presidential campaigns and is working on a project focused on the U.S. Mexico border.

Marcus Yam left a career in Aerospace Engineering to pursue a photographic life. The themes of his work revolve around the social issues and the dichotomies that shape the American experience. He currently is a staff photographer with the Los Angeles Times. In 2015, Marcus was part of the LA Times team earned a Pulitzer Prize in Breaking New Reporting. In 2014, he was part of The Seattle Times team that also earned a Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News Reporting.



Online Copyright Cases Increasing

By Tom Burton

Digital technology is making it easier to identify photo misuse and photographers are learning more about their rights. As copyright infringement cases are increasing, some are seeing settlements.

In a story by the Los Angeles Business Journal, photographer Michael Grecco talks about recently receiving five-figure settlements from three major media companies for unauthorized use of his photos from 1989 of singer Janet Jackson. The article also quotes an attorney from California firm as saying that the stream of copyright cases in the last 10 years "started as a trickle and has become more of a flood."

Mickey Osterreicher, general counsel for the National Press Photographers Association, is quoted in the story saying that at one time, most copyright issues were filed by corporations for work produced by staff photographers. Now, with staffs shrinking and the pool of freelancers growing, the photographers are taking on the burden of copyright issues themselves.

“As more and more companies are laying off staff … you either, as a photographer, find a new line of work or you freelance,” Osterreicher is quoted in the article.

Osterreicher also points out that by registering your copyright in the beginning or your workflow, it can make the process less complicated if you have to go to court and your settlement could be much higher with a registered copyright.

Read the full story here.



NPPA Launches New Equipment Insurance Program

As news organizations continue to downsize and newspaper and magazine and television station staff jobs become fewer and farther between, NPPA’s membership continues to evolve as more and more of us become independent entrepreneurs.

With this new independence can come a hefty price tag when we invest in new photographic and computer equipment. There are also a growing number of struggling news organizations who now expect their staff to come to work with their own gear. In both instances the need for affordable and comprehensive equipment and liability insurance is now more critical than ever.

You let us know about your needs, and NPPA is now ready to deliver something which we hope will be of great help. Please help us welcome Lockton Affinity, an affiliate of Lockton Companies, to the NPPA family. After months of research and proposals from various insurance programs, we selected Lockton Affinity for their reputation and for their proven success with other professional photography organizations, non-profits and trade associations. The program goes into effect Nov. 1, 2016.

Lockton Affinity offers efficient, dedicated and accessible customer services at rates exclusive to NPPA members. Lockton is also in the process of building a customized eCommerce site for NPPA members that will be available online early 2017. In the meantime their dedicated sales and customer service representatives will be available to facilitate issuing new policies and processing claims. Even after the online platform is launched, you will always be able reach a live representative to help you in your service needs.

  With the new coverage from Lockton, NPPA members will be able to insure against loss through fire, theft, or breakage, covering all of your photography equipment and computer hardware whether it is at home, on-location or traveling with you worldwide. Lockton will also be able to provide general liability coverage. And we are in the process of working out some type of a drone rider for your policy as well.

  Your photography equipment and digital computer gear are essential tools for your business, and having insurance to protect them as well as protecting yourself is an absolute necessity that cannot be overstated. I can’t tell you how many close calls I’ve had either dropping a lens or leaving a bag full of gear unattended on location while I was engaged in setting up the shoot. Honestly, I could not afford to replace an expensive piece of equipment right now if I didn’t have the proper insurance coverage. Ask yourself: could you?

  We’re hoping this new insurance from Lockton is yet another membership feature that helps you to enjoy the full benefits of being a member of the NPPA family. If you want more information or have questions about your coverage please contact Lockton at 844-307-5956 or by email at [email protected]

  If you have questions about your NPPA membership please contact NPPA Professional Services Director Thomas Kenniff at [email protected] or call 919-237-1782. You can also see more information about the Lockton Affinity coverage here.

And thank you for continuing to support NPPA. 

Akili Ramsess, NPPA Executive Director



Choosing Software, A Personal Choice

By Katelyn Umholtz

Picking software for photo and video editing can be a lot like picking camera equipment. Everyone has a different preference, and each software has something a little different from the rest, making it difficult to decide which is right for the workflow part of the job.

In some news organizations, there are preferences over which software is used. For those on their own and have a tougher choice to make, it’s all about finding the perfect fit.

What the pros are saying

Craig Hartley, a freelance photojournalist in Houston, Texas, uses Photo Mechanic and Photoshop. He said Photo Mechanic is best when you need to organize a lot of photos in a short amount of time. It’s where he does his captioning and photo selection.

“[Photo Mechanic is] especially handy when you’re shooting sports assignments and when you’re really on a tight deadline,” Hartley said. “Once you go back and figure out which pictures you’re interested in, you can tag them and narrow them down even further.”

Ever since he was a photo editor back in college, Matt Weigand, intern photographer for the Ann Arbor News, has preferred using the combination of Photo Mechanic and Lightroom. While he uses Photo Mechanic for sorting and captioning, he chooses Lightroom over Photoshop for edits because of its convenience.

“I like that I can have specific import settings in Light Room that are tailored to exactly what I want,” Weigand said. “If it’s a lot of photos with the exact same lighting, I like that I’m able to copy and paste and quickly tweak each photo just to make the workflow that much faster.”

Though Amanda Voisard, a freelance visual journalist in Washington, D.C., does her video editing in Premiere, she has an alternative preference when it comes to video compression. With Pavtube, video compression comes quick and easy. Voisard said she doesn’t know too many people that use it, but it was something that she caught onto after a co-worker introduced it to her. “If I’m going to compress quickly, I use Pavtube,” Voisard said. “It’s an unusual one, but a boss at one of my former positions found it because it compressed files very quickly. It could compress four at a time rather than waiting for individual compression.”

With deadlines always an issue, Nick Serrata, a freelance photographer for the Batavia Daily News and Livingston County News, said iMovie comes fast and easy to him when editing videos. Though the free OS-user application may not be an industry standard, Serrata said he can shorten clips, tweak audio and add title slides just as one would be able to in Premiere, but at a much quicker pace. “Believe it or not, I pretty much use iMovie,” Serrata said. “I have external mics and things like that to make sure the audio is good, but I use iMovie because it’s quick and easy. You just get right to the point and then export it.”



Charges Dismissed Against Journalist Who Recorded Video Outside of a Courtroom

By Tom Burton

Charges against a journalist who was detained and arrested while recording video with his cell phone outside a New York City courtroom have been dismissed, following motions made by the National Press Photographers Association.

Daryl Khan, a reporter for the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange (JJIE) was covering the sentencing of Taylonn Murphy, Jr. on June 24, 2016 when court officers confronted him outside the courtroom when they saw him recording video of the defendant’s family.

Officers escorted Khan from the hallway and detained him in a jail cell. The legal motion describes officers intimidating Khan with threats of felony charges if he did not delete the video from his phone and eventually, he complied with the officers. Kahn was still charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct.

“We are very pleased that the judge agreed with our motion that the allegations against Mr. Khan were “facially insufficient” to support the elements needed to show he was disorderly,” said NPPA General Counsel, Mickey Osterreicher, who made the motion.

“What is almost as disturbing as the violation of Mr. Khan’s constitutional rights under the First, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments, is the fact that the officers coerced him to delete his footage which itself is a form of prior restraint on the press and a violation of the Privacy Protection Act of 1980, a federal statute enacted to protect the unlawful seizure of a journalist’s work product,” Osterreicher said.

Osterreicher said that the relevant subsection of the New York state penal law, a person can be guilty of disorderly conduct when they cause inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, create risk or disturb lawful assembly.

“ In this case Mr. Khan’s intent was to gather and disseminate news on a matter of public concern. The only people apparently inconvenienced, annoyed or alarmed by his mere act of video recording were the court officers which does not satisfy the ‘public order and peace’ component of the statute,” Osterreicher said.

The murder trial was part of the story of violence between rival gangs in New York that Khan had been covering for the JJIE. The judge had ordered additional security for the sentencing and Khan’s story from that day reported that a number of young men were gathered outside the courtroom. Friends from both the murder defendant and the victim were sharing space in the hallway.

A judge’s order had prohibited video recording inside the courtroom, but there was not an order outside the courtroom. Kahn was one of an estimated dozen reporters waiting in the hallway, including journalists from the New York Times and a crew from ABC’s Nightline. Photos and video were made in hallway without any issue for at least 30 minutes before the sentencing hearing started.

Kahn had previously interviewed the defendant's father, Taylonn Murphy, Sr., several times for stories about feuding gangs in Harlem. Murphy’s daughter had been shot and killed in a gang retaliation hit and her brother, Murphy, Jr., had just been sentenced for killing one of the men involved in that shooting.

After the sentencing, Kahn was waiting for the father for an interview. He began recording video on his cell phone, as many reporters do, hoping to get footage of the father to go with his reporting. Court officers confronted him before he could see Murphy, Sr.

The full legal motion can be seen here.



NPPA's New England Driving Short Course Kicks Off Tonight, Walk-ins Welcome

For so many reasons, it's good to feel you belong, especially when the world seems upside-down. You belong to the NPPA for a reason and it isn't that often we get the chance to spend time together and learn from one another. Whether you work in print, online or tv, are a staffer or a freelancer, there's something for everyone. We have great gifts and giveaways too! And a simple lunch! Just come :)
So get yourself registered now at, and spend the day at The Boston Globe with some of New England's best photojournalists and storytellers. We have an awesome program planned that you don't want to miss. Registration closes at 5pm today, but you may also just walk-in and register on Saturday if your schedule is up-in-the-air.
My hope is that this workshop will become a tradition for the New England region and I'd really like your support in making it a success. As an NPPA volunteer, it's worth the effort if you come, because I believe our work as photojournalists is more important now than ever before.
We also have an evening of networking and portfolio reviews, tomorrow, Friday October 21, 6:30pm - 8:30pm. 
Stop by and say hello, or bring some of your work for review by your peers.
Location: The Boston Globe "The Link" conference room, 135 William T. Morrissey Blvd., Dorchester MA 02125 

MAIN WORKSHOP, Saturday, October 22, 9am - 6:30pm. Doors open at 8am. 
Free Parking onsite. Simple lunch and refreshments provided too.
The Boston Globe Auditorium, 135 William T. Morrissey Blvd., Dorchester MA 02125
Jess Rinaldi "Amplify your voice, by listening"
John Tlumacki "The Marathon Bombing: Survivors move on but the hurt remains"
Dominic Chavez "Passion Beyond Normal"
Christopher Wood "Down to Business"
Greta Rybus "Finding your True North"
Vern Williams "A View from Above: The latest on drone journalism"
Bob Dotson "A Survival Kit for Professional Storytellers: How to compete in the age of social media"
Plus discussions on the business of freelancing and the value of entering competitions and being recognized moderated by Peter Southwick.
***Awesome gifts and giveaways!!***Everyone who buys a ticket will receive a copy of "Make it Memorable" Bob Dotson's best-selling book, and one lucky attendee will be going home with a SONY 4K VIDEO CAMERA FDR-AX53, retail value $999.00. PLUS we'll also be giving away a $250.00 certificate towards gear rental from Rule Boston Camera and some goodies from ThinkTank*** 
$65 for members. $30 for student members. Non-members $100, students $35 with proper ID. Register now!
Come be inspired by our speakers, their stories, their work, their passion and go home with new ideas for your own work. Bring your friends!!
We know these are uncertain times. We know the lines are blurring more and more each day between print, TV and online platforms and that jobs are changing or disappearing. We all need a bit of moral support and inspiration to carry on with our work and keep those ideas coming.
Thank you to The Boston Globe for hosting us, to our speakers, giveaway donors ThinkTank, Sony and Rule Boston Camera, our supporters and our volunteers who are all generously giving their time and resources to make this happen.

Current Privacy Laws Can Cover Drone Issues, News Media Recommends

By Tom Burton

Existing laws will protect both the right to privacy and the First Amendment even with drones in the air, according to an argument presented to the Federal Trade Commission by media industry organizations.

The News Media Coalition has presented comments to the FTC arguing that the commission avoid creating additional regulations concerning drone use for newsgathering. The FTC held a public meeting last week and is soliciting input from the general public on unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and rights to privacy.

The coalition of 23 media corporations and professional associations, including the National Press Photographers Association, presented the opinion to the FTC through the Holland & Knight law firm on October 7. Mickey Osterreicher, general counsel of the NPPA, helped draft the comments. The full text of the draft can be found here.

“As we did during the stakeholder meetings of the National Telecommunications and Information Agency (NTIA) regarding best practices for drone privacy, we will continue to advocate for First Amendment protections in the area of newsgathering regardless of the technology involved,” Osterreicher said.

The comments from the coalition noted that privacy concerns with new technology go back at least as far as the introduction of the Kodak Brownie camera in the late 1800s. Current privacy laws can protect citizens “whether by traditional cameras, camera phones, telephoto lenses or UAS photography.”

In addition, the coalition argues that no new laws should prohibit UAS photography in public places or in situations where there isn’t a reasonable expectation of privacy. Also, editorial decisions on the use of those images must be left to the newsrooms, the coalition recommended.

The FTC has heard arguments from other sources that data collected by drones, which can include data beyond video and photography, is a threat to privacy similar to some internet website data collection. There are also arguments that because a drone operator is not physically with the UAS, they could try to circumvent existing laws like trespassing.

The FTC will continue to accept public comments on UAS operations and privacy issues until Nov. 14.



Workshops Provide Hands-On Experience For Students

Elizabeth Mansour, 17, from Coweta County, and her cow Elle at the Georgia National Fair in Perry, Georgia. Photo by Cory A. Cole

By Katelyn Umholtz

The 40-year tradition of the Mountain Workshops will continue this week as Western Kentucky University visual journalism students spread out to document Paducah, Kentucky.

“It is not intended to be a ‘how a camera works’ workshop,” Tim Broekema, a photojournalism professor at WKU, said. “All the workshops are based upon the art of storytelling and the craft it takes to put visuals together to tell a story.”

The workshop, which typically take place in different communities in Kentucky or Tennessee, started in 1976 as only a photojournalism workshop. Now it’s made up of six workshops that include photojournalism, video storytelling, picture editing, time-lapse, data visualization and a special workshop for K-12 educators.

This isn’t a new idea. Many photojournalism programs across the country have similar workshops. The hands-on aspect is central to all of the programs.

“Particularly in a medium like photojournalism, the only way to understand the power of an image to inform and educate is to go through the whole cycle,” said Mark Johnson, a lecturer of photojournalism at the University of Georgia. “Students need to explore and find stories, tell them well and then analyze what the result of that effort was.”

The Mountain Workshops program is made up of 60 percent students and 40 percent coaches. Students are grouped with a coach that helps them angle their stories. The teams pull pre-researched story ideas from a hat for their projects.

“They read a brief description of the person or concept for a story idea. Each person then meets with their individual coach, and they analyze the story more in depth,” Broekema said.

Once the story idea is fleshed out, students and their coaches go to work. The program ends with a large cast party where students all show their work.

Syracuse University’s Fall Workshop took place Oct 13-16 with 70 students, including military visual journalism students.

“The Fall Workshop is often cited by students as one of the best educational opportunities they had during their time in Syracuse,” said Bruce Strong, MPD chair and director of the workshop.

The Missouri Photo Workshop was founded in 1949 by Cliff Edom. The 68th edition of the workshop recently concluded, having focused on Cuba, MO, the self-described “small town with big ideas.”

Johnson at UGA was inspired by Syracuse University to begin his own weekend workshop for his photojournalism students.

“We prototyped a workshop in the fall of 2005, my first semester here,” Johnson said. “We brought in a handful of professionals to coach students in covering UGA’s homecoming celebrations. Based on the success of that, we did the first weekend workshop in the spring of 2006, covering Morgan County, [Georgia].”

Now, the photojournalism program holds two workshops, one for the advanced photojournalism at the Georgia National Fair in Perry, Georgia, and the other for the documentary photo class in different counties throughout the state.

Riding a lift at the Georgia National Fair. Photo by Cory A. Cole

Cory Cole, a student who participated in the fall workshop on Oct. 8, said photographing and telling stories of the people at the fair was a valuable experience, despite it being exhausting.

“I definitely felt pushed the entire day, which was really good for me,” Cole said. “It was hard to be critiqued of your work and see what you were doing wrong, but at the same time, it was very helpful.”

The nature of these workshops, Johnson said, is to get students out of their comfort zone in the university’s campus and into a new community with different stories to be told. The UGA workshops are funded through the support the Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at UGA has for experiential learning.

Cole said it was a experience like no other, and it was one that would prepare him for his future in photojournalism better than a classroom lecture.

“It gives us a taste of what we can expect in the future,” Cole said. “We got to go outside the classroom and work for the Macon Telegraph. That was a great experience.”

Broekema said students at WKU’s Mountain Workshops have called it life-changing. He knows it firsthand. Years ago, when he was a student at WKU, he participated in the photo workshop. He remembers seeing his work change and get better because of this workshop.

“The participants always leave with a sense of pride and accomplishment,” Broekema said. “We stress to our participants all the time that it’s not about the quality of the story you get in the end. It’s about what you learn along the way.”



Rich Clarkson to receive Missouri Honor Medal

Former NPPA president Rich Clarkson
Former NPPA president Rich Clarkson

COLUMBIA, MO (October 14, 2016) – Former National Press Photographers Association president Rich Clarkson is among three distinguished journalists and three organizations who will receive the Missouri Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism during a ceremony on the University of Missouri in Columbia campus on October 18.

Clarkson’s career includes a turn as director of photography at the National Geographic Society, The Denver Post, The Topeka (KS) Capital-Journal and Sports Illustrated. He founded Denver-based Clarkson Creative in 1987 for the creation and management of unique projects based in various uses of fine photography.

He organized the photographic coverage of the Munich and Montreal Olympics for Time magazine, the Moscow Olympics for Sports Illustrated and for the Atlanta Olympic games. And Clarkson Creative does all the photography of the 91 national championships of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. In addition, Clarkson chairs NPPA’s Council of Presidents.

He has co-authored six books and among the 15 books his company has produced is Brian Lanker’s “I Dream A World,” portraits of America’s great black women, which became the best-selling trade coffee table book in American publishing history. Another landmark book Clarkson produced is “Where Valor Rests: Arlington National Cemetery,” a photography book featuring the work of many award-winning photographers which is given as a memento to families who bury someone at the nation’s premier cemetery.

Clarkson has been a Pulitzer Prize juror, a lecturer in a variety of venues from the International Center of Photography in New York City to the Sasakawa Foundation in Tokyo. He organized NPPA’s 50th anniversary celebration including a rededication of the Iwo Jima Memorial in Washington with a week-long series of events. Read more about the Missouri Honor Medal and this year’s recipients online here.



Judiciary Committee Censors Member

ATHENS, GA (October 14, 2016) Six NPPA members in good standing brought forward a formal, written complaint regarding three separate social media posts by Charles Menefee about the Black Lives Matter movement, including one that showed an aerial view of protestors accompanied by his words: “BLM is blocking the street… But I have a solution! How about we box everyone in and drop a fu*cking bomb on it.” A second post read, “I think it would be cool if someone rained gunfire down on to the ignorant human turds at the next @blacklivesmatter March.”

The committee has met twice, and reviewed a written response by Menefee. The committee unanimously agrees that Menefee was in violation of the following sections of the NPPA Code of Ethics:

- Treat all subjects with respect and dignity. Give special consideration to vulnerable subjects and compassion to victims of crime or tragedy. Intrude on private moments of grief only when the public has an overriding and justifiable need to see.


- Avoid political, civic and business involvements or other employment that compromise or give the appearance of compromising one's own journalistic independence.

His membership has been revoked.