The Digital Journalist

Jim Colburn - Don't Ask

What They Say Vs.
What They Mean

What They Say: "I've done a lot of testing and experimentation with cross processing in order to get just the effect I want.."
What They Mean: "That green cast? I guess I forgot to turn off the flourescent lights."

What They Say: "It shows a warmth that really fits the inner warmth of the subject."
What They Mean: "All I had was daylight film and the flash wouldn't work."

What They Say: "Your photographs will be seen in newspapers and magazines all over the world. Even your Mom in Indianapolis will see them on the front page of her local paper."
What They Mean: "You'll get $100 for the job, take it or leave it."

What They Say: "We're re-thinking our budgeting for the coming fiscal year in order to position ourselves properly in the market"
What They Mean: "We're lowering the day rate by $50.00."

What They Say: "If we need any of your out takes we'll give you a call."
What They Mean:" We don't want to waste our time filing and retrieving any of your crappy photos and no we're not going to pay you another repro fee."

What They Say: "We've scanned the finest images in the collection and they'll all be on-line by the end of the month."
What They Mean: "Pack everything up and send it to that warehouse in Jersey."

What They Say: "We're going all digital to meet the requirements of our clients."
What They Mean: "At the minimum you're going to have to buy a couple of D-30 bodies at $3000 per and a couple new flashes for $500 a piece. And don't forget you're going to have to upgrade that laptop of yours. Have you got a DSL line in your house yet?"

What They Say: "We'd really like to use you if we can come to some sort of agreement."
What They Mean: "If you don't want to do it there's a dozen J School grads in the hall that'll pay ME to shoot this assignment."

What They Say: "We can give you $500 for the worldwide rights to that photo of the airplane crash, it's the best offer you're going to see."
What They Mean: "Let's see. We can get $10,000 from one of the tabloids and another $50,000 in overseas sales without too much trouble."

What They Say: "It's a standard contract. Don't worry about it."
What They Mean: "Did he cross out "work for hire? No? Good."

DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed are barely my own much less my employer's so don't blame Time Magazine, Time Inc. or Time-Warner for anything written here. Blame the recession.

Jim Colburn


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