My response to the post will be brief, I have better things to do than to waste my time reading all of your comments and then going back and forth with a bunch of closed minded individuals.
As far as the workshops go, if you think it is too expensive, dont go! This is the least expensive workshop I have ever offered and I have never had an unhappy student. I have never gone to a workshop myself, but some people like to learn this way, and I am happy to provide them with that experience and do it to the very best of my ability. Making money in this way saves me from having to deal with editors, photo agencies and other people in this business who I just cant stand. It allows me to produce work that I believe in and not what is selling to corporate media and advertisers. I remain proud of what I do and stand firm in my choices and beliefs. For an industry that prides itself on awareness and education and enlightenment, you sure are set in your ways and closed to the idea of anything being done differently.
So, I am egocentric because I charge $4000 for a workshop?…or maybe I am NOT because I did not advertise the fact that half of all of the money made from this workshop is going to my friends at Hospice Saint Joseph in Port au Prince, who lost all of their facilities. I added that fact to the post so you can all be happy and know that I will not get rich.
Comforts?? Well, students will sleep in the same refugee camp I was in the week of the earthquake and experience what that is like. I sleep with, eat with and live with the people I photograph, always have and always will, and so will my students for this workshop. Although I am sure that the Haitian people would love to see me and my students having a BBQ and open bar as Alan suggested, I think I would rather eat the food I pack in and leave the limited resources to those who need them.
The next time any of you go to a war zone or disaster and sell a photo, why dont you beat yourself up about it. And while you are at it, why dont you go yell at a doctor, or firefighter or hospice worker, they all make money off of peoples suffering (and substantially more than I do!) If I was someone who wanted to get rich, would I actually have chosen this path in life? Come on!
The next time your editors tell you to go out and shoot a story, or you go on an assignment and have to document something that the corporate media thinks is important, when you can see with your own eyes what really is important, just remember that my choices allow me to follow my heart. I document what I believe in and in the way I think is best and I am quite happy that pisses some people off. If more people were pissed of this industry might not be as shameful and pathetic as it actually is.
Think what you want about me. Write and complain until you all have it out of your system, I really could not care less. I have things to do in life and they do not include complaining about others on the internet. When I see something that bothers me or is not done well, I go out and try to do it better myself.
If any of you actually care about Haiti, then go (or you could just stay on your computer a bit longer and complain about me!) There is so much to be documented in Haiti and most if it is far away from the packs of photographers I saw chasing the looters around for eight hours each day. If I can run a workshop that will teach people how to go into situations and document independently, follow their hearts and make a difference, I sure as hell will try to do it!
“As far as the workshops go, if you think it is too expensive, dont go! This is the least expensive workshop I have ever offered and I have never had an unhappy student.”
Well, i’d contend that the people who are qualified to judge the value of what you have to offer are the people who will not go to your workshop, and that our collective responsibility is to warn them off. What you are doing is akin to the people who sell high-end speaker wire. Of course, there’s a market for $4k interconnects for a stereo. There are many, vague promises made as to how they will improve your audio experience. But the fact is that, at the end of the day, they would be as well served by a $25 interconnect, or, in the current case, better served by someone with actual credibility, experience, and knowledge of the country – all for a third of what you’re asking. Someone like Andy Levin. Don’t get me wrong here : I don’t think that what you’re offering is bad. I just think it’s overpriced junk, and that seems to be the consensus among the people who have posted in the other thread. The “controversy”, my friend, is not your greed. It is your mediocrity.
Matthias, I think we actually we saw Miller a few times yesterday walking around looking a bit lost on La Lue. I was tempted to offer him a ride, but you know, but then I thought $4000 for a student he is charging, maybe he should be offering us a ride up the hill.
The medical situation is still a big problem— there are not enough beds, and I myself had to help a young man get his wife, with a shattered leg, into a refugee camp bed in a flimsy tent on the outskirts of the capitol. The family gathered around almost in tears. She was in terrible pain. For the most part things are much calmer since I left 7 days ago, but the medical needs are large even with more and more relief groups setting up.
With a chance to drive around more, as you saw I know, the extent of the damage is staggering….and the loss of lives, overwhelming. Even if accepting deaths at a conservative 1/30, that is 150,000 lives lost of 3 million. But little sign of the dead here now, except in the vacant faces of the citizens.
Our interpreter lost 150 friends in ten seconds, and then wandered through the death zone looking for his fiancee the next morning. So although it seems as though the emergency is going into a second phase, for Haitians, mental recovery will be a long time.
I am here until March 1st, or for those who need info to go themselves I am happy to help….I actually have a ZUMA photographer with me for this week, I think in one day yesterday he had a number of images to send out to Ron….some eye opening and unusual work. Also with me is a veteran and very large DOD guy who has worked in Iraq, another ex-military who insists on only eating MREs, a immigration rights lawyer, and a veteran of three Ernesto Bazan workshops in South America who is a mother of three.
So its a very diverse team and so far they have behaved very professionally and respectfully, and worked without drawing any un-necessary attention…..so far everyone is pleased, and of course saddened, by what they are seeing here. So far OK, as much as one can say OK in a tragedy….
“The next time your editors tell you to go out and shoot a story, or you go on an assignment and have to document something that the corporate media thinks is important, when you can see with your own eyes what really is important, just remember that my choices allow me to follow my heart”
as are other parts of your post….
you have just essentially attempted to justify your independence (thereby knocking down any photographer who does work on assignment) through a rather cretinous and horrid logic:
to be independent, follow one’s heart, one must first make as much cash as possible, no matter the way or consequence, even if at the expense using or rather torquing the vehicle of suffering to drum up biz, no matter where/when/why in order to pursue the work and the manner that best drives their ambition. in other words: what matters is YOU nothing else, as long as what you do realizes your ideas, dreams, pictures. full stop?
as i wrote under the other post, none of us is sinless and each of us, in one way or another, has earned both material comfort and status-recognition off the suffering of others: sadly it is how the world is most often defined: the materialization of things as the apogee of good (wealth, fame, achievement, etc). the entire industry has earned it’s livelihood and it’s recognition, often, off the suffering of others, and often through the waxwork prism of ‘reporting.’ as i said, on bad days i have no respect for photographers who hope that the photographing of suffering will be a vehicle to either their material enhancement or their professional climb (submitting disaster pics for awards as one nefarious example), but i generally try to see all of us as equally in need of some deep breath awareness. …most of us live in glass houses and photographers, editors, publishers, bloggers make their living and their juice from this kind of stuff.
however, the profound profoundly troubling disconnect that you’ve failed to recognize is that offering expensive workshops is one thing (if your students are willing to pay that, more power to them and you, whatever) but using other people’s suffering, using people as ‘props’ (yes, here you AREUSINGTHEPEOPLE OF HAITIS AS PROPS, ‘learning tools’) while calling yourself a journalist or a witness is just beyond hubris, it is just down right contemptible….
let me offer you an alternative: if helping the people of haiti is SO important do you, take some of the time you’d spend with your workshop students and fuck the picture taking thing and get those people on the ground helping, donate all, and i mean all, the proceeds of the workshop to the group you wish to help, and do fucking good.
then go back to your expensive workshops elsewhere and teach your students about independence and commitment to subjects beyond the importance of your career.
you think Philip Jones Griffiths and Don McCullin weren’t independent? You think they’d suffer this idea lightly….
homework Zoriah, homework…isnt that the first good lesson of a teacher:
Bravo, at least you have the courage of your convictions, that’s something I like. Being a contrarian myself, I can’t help but be amused and perversely comforted by your attempt to defend yourself here. But you’re still dead wrong, though, and I’ll tell you why:
1) You say you didn’t want to advertise the fact that you want to donate half of all proceeds to Hospice Saint Joseph. Now, I’m going to take you at your word and believe that you intended to do this all along, and not as an afterthought once the firestorm broke out over your $4K price tag. Why would you not have wanted to advertise this? Don’t your potential students have a right to know where their money is going? Being an anonymous donor is a fine, humble desire. But you’re not donating your own money in this case, but rather your students’. $4K is way more than what ANYBODY charges for what you’re offering; you should explain up front WHY, and not wait until you are universally criticized. You come off exactly like the corporate interests that you claim to be against; as if Exxon belatedly donates money to Greenpeace after an oil spill. You could and should have seen this coming — that your credibility drops to zero.
2) You rail against traditional media, editors, advertisers, etc. No argument there, there’s not a single photographer amongst us who doesn’t feel the same way. Wanting to be a maverick, striking your own, independent way, all admirable. But you forget what mainstream media does do if I’m on assignment, which is, my pictures get seen by thousands/millions of people, not just a niche partisan corner. Not only does that NOT contradict following your own heart, it allows you to do it more effectively, even when your work might get “spun” or edited in ways you don’t want. The industry is shameful and dying, but YOUR model isn’t going to replace it. Because you’re saying we should all suscribe to your website, donate money to you, all so you can just go out and do as you please, without your pictures appearing anywhere to be actually seen by more than a few people. You’re a one man show, and no matter how brilliant or insightful you are, that’s not going to cut it.
3) I mentioned BBQs and an open bar because I was taking the piss out of you. If you read what I wrote, you’ll see that I wasn’t saying you should do this in Haiti. I was saying, if I’m going to pay $4K, I should get more than sleeping on the floor. Now, you say, we all have to sleep on the floor in Haiti. Absolutely right. So why charge $4K???? How about charging $400 or $800 — you provide no actual services, only your time and knowledge — for 4 students that would get you $1600-3200 for a week’s work. Sounds pretty fair to me. If you’re going to start charging thousands, you better have food, lodging, transport, and equipment arrangements set up. Even for the $2K you plan on getting now, your students deserve more than…nothing. I wasn’t offering a comment on whether or not it’s appropriate to do this workshop, I was giving an assessment of what it should cost.
You think we’re all wrong, that you’re a brave, honest man in a world of whores and muppets. Get off your high horse. You’re no different than anybody else. You may despise the “old boys’ network” and conventional wisdom. But when you cover the same stories and wish for your pictures to be seen, you’re automatically part of the club, because you don’t live or work in a vacuum. As Bruno said, Haiti is not a zoo.
Zoriah … you cite yourself as being an expert in Humanitarianism but on the workshop post you state that the hospital you are supporting are ‘staging a small refugee camp on their property.’
There is absolutely no way that anyone who has a background in humanitarianism would call the people displaced by the earthquake ‘refugees’ which is legal term to define people who have been forced out of their country into another country. It’s such a basic error.
“Making money in this way saves me from having to deal with editors, photo agencies and other people in this business who I just cant stand. It allows me to produce work that I believe in and not what is selling to corporate media and advertisers.”
But those stories are selling!! Just about every story you have done has been covered by a whole host of talented photographers, and they are able to sell them to “corporate media.” I am sure editors get tired of more pitches about Palestine or tsunami refugees or aids. They say, “Haven’t I seen then this story before? Oh yeah, Nachtwey, and my grandmother, shot it… and we ran it then.”
Granted, almost everyone has shot something that has already been done- “There’s nothing new under the sun”- so that just means you need to do it differently, with your own vision. Then you can separate yourself from the pack. But I guess it’s easier to blame “corporate media.”
You’ve always been a tool and always will be. You’ll never be a photojournalist because you don’t understand what it means and i doubt you ever will. You are a self appointed single-name-rock-star and many other retarded adjectives i could think of, but mostly, you’re a moron and a disgrace to our profession.
i always thought photo workshops were meant to hone a photographers’ skills before going into a situation like this (Haiti). i’m not sure how effective the workshop can be as a teaching vehicle when students are thrown directly into the fire.
also, with mainstream media’s emphasis on current events, crisis and whatever story is the flavor-of-the-week, wouldn’t Zoriah better serve his students, and the people of Haiti, by conducting the workshop in a few months? then students have an easier time getting in/out/around and can focus on a long-story, which (i think) should be the aim of every aspiring photographer.
Thankfully, Google has a good memory (http://bit.ly/dc9RU6 )… i mean, we could, but for Zoriah’s ability to have his site indexed, be loosing such insightful comments as this one…
I think you are a model human Zoriah, a one of a kind. Nobody else puts themselves in the face of the truth like you do. You are the only TRUE photojournalist the world has. Thank you for risking your identity for the sake of truth, change, and graciousness. You are a the BEST there is. All these negative comments above, and I’m sure below after mine, come from ignorant uneducated people. Keep following your heart, it will always bring you joy. Your heart is the only voice you need to be listening to.
Posted by: Betheny | February 04, 2010 at 16:20
Come on guys, show some respect. I mean, we’re talking about a legend of photography here. I think “Zoriah” himself put it best when he wrote that “his name and work have been seen alongside of master photographers such as Robert Capa, James Nachtwey, Phillip Jones-Griffith, Sabastiao Salgado, Don McCullen, Larry Burrows and many others.”
“As far as the workshops go, if you think it is too expensive, dont go!”
The expense is only one of the disturbing things about it. The very concept of taking a bunch of wealthy amateurs into a disaster zone to take pictures is what really makes people sick to their stomachs.
“Making money in this way saves me from having to deal with editors, photo agencies and other people in this business who I just cant stand.”
There are other, more respectable, ways to make money. Giving blow jobs in Time Square would be one.
Photogs are leeches by definition. Whether you take a picture of a dead body and sell it to a tabloid or teach a wannabe how to do it and not get killed by mobs of desperate people, it’s all parasitic. The intensity of the response to Zoriah’s workshop is telling.
The irksome aspect of this workshop is that for 4000 dollars you can learn how to take pictures that will hopefully (falsely, though) help the people you are photographing. Well, that 4000 dollars can directly help the same group of people that it’s claimed the photographs will help. If each student truly wanted to help these beleaguered people, give the $4000 to a charity they believe in. And Zoriah doesn’t count as a charity (even though his Nachtwey-knockoff warphotographer is a .org and he seeks donations). I think people call this “putting your money where your mouth is.”
For people that really want to take a workshop, there are many many workshops by uber-talented, scarf-wearing photographers for far far less money. They’re the real deal. They did they same stories Zoriah has tried to do but got them published for people to see, and learn from, in the “corporate media” that Zoriah claims aren’t interested.
I stand firm in convictions that offering workshops in these types of situations is not only beneficial, but essential. I find all of your ranting and raving to be quite pathetic. The fact that the pricetag is your main opposition speaks to how silly this whole argument is in the first place. I am immoral and unethical at 4k but it would be just fine at 2k…do any of you listen to yourselves.
I find it interesting that this thread was started by someone who hosts their own photojournalism workshops, someone who takes 100 students at $1,000 each. And that is great, I am sure it is well worth it and am happy it exists, but I question Eric’s intentions in posting this in the first place. What I do not question is how much money Eric takes home. If he takes home 75% of that nearly $100,000 that is fine with me, as long as his students learn and appreciate the experience.
So why question me, who has a 100% satisfaction rate with my workshop program. My workshops rely on good references, so if I obviously find it essential to make sure that students will be very happy with what they get from my workshops vs what they pay for them. I am sure no one would question a student who puts $6000 into equipment then puts themselves in the middle of a situation such as the aftermath of the Haitian earhquake to shoot. But if that same student decided instead to buy some used gear for $2000 and then spend $4000 on a workshop (which means they are donating $2000 to Haitians and paying $2000 to me) you go mental. Come on people, are you all really that daft?
Here is an interview I just did, it says about all I have left to say on this subject:
How did the workshop idea form?
I originally started offering workshops for two reasons: 1) When I began shooting I wanted nothing more than to be able to learn photojournalism from someone I respected, in the field and not in a classroom. I really wanted a one-on-one experience or at the very least a small group experience, but could not find anything like that being offered. As my career developed I began to consider the idea of taking students into the field to learn one-on-one in an intimate environment.
2) I had been in the process of moving away from being funded by the mainstream media for several years and saw workshops as a way to both give something back in the form of teaching new students how to do this kind of work, while at the same time funding my own projects overseas.
Participants of the workshop pay a $4000 fee which does not include amenities or
travel. 50% of these profits are slated for donation— what is the
price breakdown for the remaining $2000?
As far as the idea for a Haiti workshop, I actually held a workshop in Haiti just weeks before the earthquake. I returned on my own after the earthquake to document and when I came back I had several emails from individuals who requested going to Haiti for a workshop. People’s hearts were attached to this issue, but they did not know what to do with their desires to go there and document and did not feel safe going out to do it on their own. There are so many people who want to do this kind of work but have no idea how to start. Is it less responsible to offer to teach these people how to go about this dangerous and difficult job or is it possibly less responsible to just let them go out and give it a shot and fend for themselves.
So far everyone that has taken a workshop with me has left with valuable experiences and with devotion to helping others through continuing their documentary photography. Haiti will be in need of documentation for years to come, especially as media attention begins to fade, while the needs of the Haitians will continue. I would be proud to help students gain some of the tools they need to document this situation and bring their stories into the public’s eye.
Participants of the workshop pay a $4000 fee which does not include amenities or
travel. 50% of these profits are slated for donation— what is the
price breakdown for the remaining $2000?
My travel and living expenses as well as expenses on the ground (local fixers, transportation etc) would come from the remaining 50% of the workshop tuition that is not donated to the hospice. Whatever is left after expenses is used to continue my documentary work around the world. Everything I make goes back into my work and towards new projects, I dont even keep an apartment or a car.
Several people have mentioned the possible psychological effects which
can develop from working in a crisis zone. Has there been any vetting
process of applicants? Are they expected to sign any legal waivers?
Absolutely. Each student must fill out an application detailing their experience level, needs and goals. If an application is approved, the student spends one hour on the phone with me to discuss the situation, potential dangers, mental effects of covering human crisis etc. If the student appears to be competent and mentally sound they are approved for the experience. Several more phone and internet sessions before the workshop brief students on what to expect and what to be aware of. On the ground during the workshop subjects such as dealing with witnessing trauma, PTSD, the effects of this job on a photojournalists personal life etc are discussed in detail (and are in all of my workshops, not just this one.)
Students must sign a release waiver as well as a medical waiver which I keep in case of emergencies. They must also have health and evacuation insurance to participate.
This workshop would introduce people into a chaotic situation where
aid organizations have already suffered logistical nightmares. Is
there concern about exacerbating an already unstable situation? What
safe-guards are in place to preserve the safety of
No. I would never bring myself or anyone else into a situation if I believed I would be exacerbating an already difficult situation or draining any of the already limited resources. In depth preparation before the workshop will insure that each student is prepared to be completely self reliant while they are there, just like I am when I respond to such situations. Students will be given detailed instructions on what to pack and what to prepare for. Food, water purification, medicines and other equipment is required. In addition I always bring extra resources in case a student is not prepared or there is an emergency. Each student is also required to have medical and evacuation insurance in case of any medical issues which may arise.
People are currently suffering unbelievable hardship, lack of
resources, unimaginable loss and no real idea of what is to come. What
will bringing in a group of photography students for a week
long workshop look like to Haitians?
You can make the same argument about what people think of just one white, western photojournalist going into a situation such as this. Photojournalism is all about personal relationships and connecting with those you shoot. Showing those I photograph that I truly care about them and their situation is something I always make sure is done and is something I put great stress on during workshops. I believe the Haitian people will find comfort in the fact that we are there to tell their stories to the world.
Haitians need to know that the world cares. It is one thing to send money and resources (this is very important) but it is also important to go and connect and be there as another human being. Photographing people is showing them that you care. It is showing them that not only you care about their situation, but you want others to also. If I ever had a student that did not show the utmost of respect and consideration for those they photograph, I would hand them their money and a plane ticket. However I have never had anything but wonderful human beings attend my workshops and I am proud to know that each and every one of them is off in the world now, documenting their own stories an making personal connections with all kinds of people in all different situations.
Is there any intention
of arranging anything with Haitian photojournalists or other media
No. I work with local drivers and fixers but do not work with other media groups. My intention is to teach my students to work on their own with local contacts and to network with Non Governmental Organizations, communities and individuals to produce accurate and high quality documentation of a difficult subject matter. I believe in working independent of other media outlets and train my students to do the same.
My final thoughts:
I stand by my decision to offer this workshop 100%. The photojournalism community should be ashamed of itself for being so blind and having such a pathetic group mentality. In the time my critics have spent complaining about me and my offerings of workshops they could have done something productive and maybe even helped the people they are so worried about me offending. It is wonderful that so many photojournalists got started by just going out into the field and learning by the seat of their pants, but not everyone can do that and we should not forget about those who learn in different ways. Yes, if we offer to teach people how to do what we do then our little private club will get bigger and we may even have some different ideas and opinions bouncing around, but is that really a bad thing?
As far as how much money I make from my work, why dont we all go out and yell at Nachtwey and McCurry for what they charge for prints of images that were shot in difficult situations. Lets also go out and slap around some staff and assignment shooters for their hazard pay and day rates. Why not also yell at a doctor or firefighter for making money from people’s suffering?
I stand up for what I believe in and I stand firm in my position that offering workshops to train individuals to document the aftermath of disasters, if they are done with respect and dignity and great thought is put into them, it is absolutely the right thing to do. Period!!
Now you’re throwing in local fixers and transportation…
Again, not what you originally stated with “students will be required to pay their own expenses” — that, to me, would have seemed to imply that students are responsible for that stuff themselves.
Good, Mr. Miller, now you’re getting closer. I still think a BBQ and open bar are in order, but we’ll negotiate that….
(there is still the fact that $4K is a LOT of money even if $2K are going to be donated, limiting your workshop only to the wealthy, but that’s another issue…)
Seriously, it is YOU who are getting shamed into realizing how bad it all looked, realizing how you have to let people know where their money is going rather than trust you implicitly. You also seem to equate or favorably compare what you’re charging with print sales, traditional assignments, etc. What you keep forgetting is that a buyer of a Nachtwey print…gets a print. Initially you were offering nothing other than your doubtless charming company.
So, YES, “immoral and unethical at 4k but it would be just fine at 2k” (or less) — is ABSOLUTELYCORRECT! If I charge you $100 for a cup of coffee, that IS immoral and unethical; if I charge you $2, it is NOT. There is a difference, and if you don’t understand that difference, then you are either insane, ignorant, or simply possessed of WAY too high an opinion of yourself. Try a thousand or fifteen hundred and while you may still have gotten heat, it would have been a lot less.
The reaction against you has been so strong even compared to the reaction against Andy Levin or Eric Beecroft of any other “workshop providers” because, a) they’re NOT charging as much as you, and b) they were upfront about what they were providing from the beginning, which is more than you.
I am sympathetic to you, kind of, I really am. I haven’t called you a “fucking donkey” nor do I question the appropriateness of running a workshop in a catastrophe. But the way you’re going about this is so arrogant, or APPEARS so arrogant, that it really does get your colleagues angry. You may not respect or agree with anything anyone says, nor do you have to. Like I said, good for you for not wanting to be like everybody else.
But step back just one tiny inch, and try to see that most of your critics are NOT the enemy. Photographers like Eros Hoagland, Michael Robinson Chavez, Bruno Stevens, and myself, to name just a few people who have posted, have covered the same terrible situations you have, and know them as well or better as you do. Again, you may have legitimate differences in how you work and who you choose to be your friends. But you cannot expect to be respected, carrying on like this, as if you and ONLY you have all the answers and everybody else is a fool. That would be insulting, and wrong.
“The little private club” is as big as anyone who does this kind of work, for all kinds of good and bad reasons. Your reasons, at this moment, seem incredibly bad. Maybe everybody is wrong and you are right, poor misunderstood victim of the “establishment” that you claim to be, but even if you are, ultimately, I hope you learn some real lessons of humility and collegiality from this entire “pathetic ranting and raving.” I doubt it, though, because you have said nothing so far that even grasps WHY you might be misunderstood.
Now, about that open bar, let’s make sure that even the “well” drinks are decent, no need for 28-year single malt, but at least Jim Beam and Dewar’s. I don’t want any of that generic label alcohol…
Hey Zoriah, just wanted to say thanks for explaining your intentions. I contacted you privately earlier and after reading your post my initial thoughts about your workshop were in fact correct. I’d have happily paid $4,000 when I was starting out to learn the hazards of covering conflict from a pro who’s been there and not some armchair quarterback in a clasroom. Your resume speaks for itself. You’ve been there and you came away with a job well done. Although you may have a lot of critics I’m pretty sure everyone of them would be tickled pink to score a $16,000 pay day for a photo taken while covering a disaster. In that I see absolutely no difference than charging people that have the money and who want to learn the how’s and how not’s in situations that can get you killed and selling a photo for profit. We all benefit from the misery of others when we cover conflict and disaster and to sit around and critisize each other for our different approaches is self defeating to the entier industry. There are dozens of photographers I would pay to follow around and learn certain traits that put them where they are. You just had the balls to put it into play. Eric Beecroft is also one whom I have a tremendous amount of respect for and consider a great friend who also put it into play and has been very successful. Now for those of you that are chomping at the bit to throw me under the bus for my personal views on this just remember I didn’t personally attack you, call you petty ass names from the safety of my computer or trash you in any way. I simply stated my own personal opinion on this and kindly ask you to keep it civil. Thank you and good luck to you Zoriah I have always respected you for what you do and have done as I do EVERYONE regardless in this industry.
1- I posted it as a public service announcement. this is a public forum. I thought youd want the publicity.
2- I dont take home ANY money. I make nothing; indeed, Ive paid out of pocket to put on the workshops.
3- our instructors make nothing. no one does. Foundry isnt about that. Our staff volunteer because they believe in teaching visual storytelling to students who otherwise wouldnt get the opportunity. And thats it. Our instructors, while as human as all of us, are some of the kindest, most compassionate, most talented, and most giving people Ive ever met. And they keep giving to students- well after the workshop is over.
4- I dont make 100,000 G per workshop. hardly . close to half pay reduced tuition since they are local photogs, plus about 10 to 15 on scholarships.
5- We have more costs since we have more teachers- up to 15. Thats airfare, lodging, food, transport, etc. For alot of people. We run on volunteer power- sweat equity. Last years tuition was $500. We have kept it under $1000, despite the fact that our costs have doubled- flying to Delhi and Istanbul is alot more than Df, as are other costs.
6- You can offer whatever workshops ya like for whatever costs you can get- thats capitalism and thats great, we all need to make money to live. Most of our instructors do for profit workshops as well, of some sort or another. But please dont try comparing what I do, or what Foundry does, to a for profit workshop. They arent the same thing, We arent better or worse, both fulfill a needed niche.
7 Your haiti workshop may be on the fringe of for profit workshops. I guess no more than McCurry makes for taking studnets to Pushkars camel fair he charged 7G for that, per person.But that included costs. So in that vein you are still offeing a cheap class here. Maybe not. Alan hit it right on- making some money isnt a problem. Trying to cash in is.
8-But Im a fucking socialist, I believe in salary caps. i dirve a 12 year old car. I live in a small condo.
9-Oh, and Im also a hippy.
We wear scarves.
So now you interview yourself too? what an enormous ego you have for someone who should have none! Don’t compare yourself to Nachtwey and McCurry, you’re a speck of dust on my lens that will soon be wiped away.
Are you really this dumb? Or do you just chose to react to what you think you can deal with? “the pricetag is your main opposition”, no it’s not. It’s the fact that you even call yourself a photojournalist while you have absolutely no idea what that means. The fact that you’re planning to do a photo safari through a disaster zone with a group of newbies who will count on you for resources and safety. That you can’t teach yourself anything, let alone anyone else. And the fact that you will be putting these people’s life in danger through your lack of experience.
Fortunately, I’m a big believer in a little something called “Karma”, so you’ll probably have your anus looted. Unfortunately, since i doubt anyone will sign up, they won’t be anyone to document that. Personally, i don’t care how much you charge, if you can scam people for 1$ or 4000$, you’re still scamming people into believing you can actually teach something. “are there landmines here?”, sure, you really know your stuff…
Don’t confuse someone who doesn’t want to get published with someone who is too crap to get published. Zoriah Miller is, without a doubt, the latter.
I think the reason that so many people pile on is because you are a hilarious character. I mean, you have a donation button on your website. So while you promote yourself as the only independent photojournalist in the world, you are apparently dependent upon the charity of others. You say that your name – which I might say has a very marketable ring to it- is mentioned among such masters as Nachtway and Salgado. You see you can’t script this stuff. It’s some funny shit.
Hundreds of professional photographers are against you. At some point you have to ask yourself if perhaps you’re the ignorant one.
nothing wrong with a donations button…………..it may keep a person in business. Other than that he has his own brand of pixies and faries
05 Feb 2010 06:02
(ed. Feb 5 2010)
| The Boneyard 017º,,
I am with Jim Colburn on this one; which is the fee is the only one of the disturbing things about this workshop. And honestly i’m surprised that so much space is being wasted on this aspect of it. It is disturbing at any price.
Eric: Dont get my wrong, I was not criticizing you in any way, I think what you do is wonderful. My guess was that you probably made little profit, if any at all. The point was if you DID make money, it would still be the same to me and I have no problem with it.
Guilad: That interview was for a publication actually. As for your other comments, they deserve no answers. Oh, and by the way, live and let live, you will be a happier person if you can learn to believe that.
James: Thanks, I dont mind being a hilarious character. We should all have better senses of humor, it would keep the alcoholism rate in the industry down a bit. Oh, I was never promoted as the only independent journalist in the world, but you are right, we all have some boss, someone who pays us. I prefer the way I am doing things now, with the donation button, workshops and fine art shooting to the editorial world. I find I can shoot what I like instead of what someone else wants me to shoot, and that works for me.
Ok, so hundreds of photographers are against me, I really have no problem with that. And just because hundreds of people are against me does not mean I am wrong, it just means my opinions are not popular in this group. Just like my decision to photograph dead Marines in Iraq and to let the Warner Bros crew follow me, you all hated those decisions too and I still stand by them 100%.
Alan: No, actually the deal is still the same, all costs on the ground are shared, so I have not changed anything or thrown anything else in, sorry to disappoint. And no, I dont limit my workshops to the wealthy. I have had two students who saved up for over a year to take workshops and they both felt that it was money well spent. I put every bit of myself into those workshops so that people do get something special from them. I also do tutoring, training and in field experiences for free and do lectures for free and many other such “pro bono” projects. As far as not being upfront, the only thing that was not “upfront” was the fact that half the money was going to be donated, and there were reasons for this.
I know that you all are not my enemies, and it would be nice if others here would recognize that I am also not their enemy. I have HUGE amounts of respect for many of you. Your work inspires me and I respect whatever paths you choose to take. As a matter of fact I would like to thank every single photographer who has ever covered any kind of difficult subject matter, even if you have called me a donkey on this post (and in others :) This is an important job, hugely important, and I respect anyone who does it. The fact that I do things differently does not mean I dont respect others, or the way you do things, it just means I have a different way. I think some people here could do with recognizing this.
Of course I understand why I am misunderstood, and honestly I am ok with it. Yeah, I am sure you all hate to see the things on my site “Zoriah’s work has been seen next to..” “award winning” blah, blah, blah. I understand that these things rub people the wrong way. But once again, I choose to do things differently. I choose to work with business managers who suggest different ways of doing things, and I am all for it. It does not mean that I consider myself some kind of god, it just means my work is marketed to a different audience and I would rather have my work appeal to people outside of this industry than people inside. Most of us know what goes on in the world, a lot of others dont…so I focus my efforts on them.
Thats it from me. I dont think this is going to go anywhere, so I will leave all of you to your discussion.
Donkey? tool? Tooldonkey? Donkeytool! You have been re-baptized, Donkeytool.
Bravo Donkeytool, as expected, you didn’t understand a word that’s been said to you.
“just because hundreds of people are against me does not mean I am wrong”. You got it again, Donkeytool.
I am going to surprise the LS community as a whole, but I am going to quote Guilad, who is dead right on this one:
“the pricetag is your main opposition”, no it’s not. It’s the fact that you even call yourself a photojournalist while you have absolutely no idea what that means. The fact that you’re planning to do a photo safari through a disaster zone with a group of newbies who will count on you for resources and safety. That you can’t teach yourself anything, let alone anyone else. And the fact that you will be putting these people’s life in danger through your lack of experience."
THAT is the problem. The fact that aspiring photographers would be led to think that this profession is a cow-boy circus.
““are there landmines here?”, sure, you really know your stuff…” Guilad is right.
It just shows that most of the community you are so easily dismissing ( “First of all, let me say what a pleasure it is to piss all of you off”) can at times (such as now) be remarkably healthy in its reactions, and go over its own (numerous and deep) differences.
I think James nails it beautifully:
“I think the reason that so many people pile on is because you are a hilarious character …/… Hundreds of professional photographers are against you. At some point you have to ask yourself if perhaps you’re the ignorant one.
p.s. either way you’re still a genius."
My gut feeling is that you should perhaps start by doing a reportage on yourself, and publish it at the next STOP (Shrinks Talking Over Photography) convention.
But please, keep the result of that introspective research for science and leave us mere mortals out of it.
“Doriah”, Michael Weinhardt says in his blog (thanks Preston Merchant for the link) about the workshop he took with you: “What Happened?
We were unable to successfully shoot any of the stories we’d wanted.”
Would you mind sharing with us what DID he learn (besides photographing you while you’re photographing)?
About your Available Workshops: "India: Beggars life. Spend one week documenting the life of homeless or “untouchable” man or woman". Do you have some kind of agreements with some “homeless or untouchables” that they will be happy to remain poor and despised forever so that your students can go and photograph them?
@ Laura Larmo: Wait a moment! This guy can be a lot of things and he took enough crap from everybody around here but please do read the links you provide:
“The workshop was as educational as it was challenging, particularly in the face of a difficult environment for finding and shooting stories. It was exactly what I needed and clearly had a positive effect on the quality of my work in a short period of time. 100% recommended.”
“We were unable to successfully shoot any of the stories we’d wanted. As best as I can work out, the political and social climate in Cuba made it difficult for Cubans to share their stories without fear of reprisal…”
“Would I Recommend a Workshop with Zoriah?
Absolutely. The workshop was the most rewarding experience I’d had and justified not attending school. Fundamentally, I learned how to enter a country and be able to leave it with a story no matter what and I could not have learned how in a school. Given the situation, we drew on Zoriah’s experiences to cope and he had plenty. He was available 24/7 once in country, is a natural teacher, was focused on making me a better me rather than a Zoriah-clone, was vastly experienced, and a really nice guy to boot. I came away with more confidence in my ability to find a story, engage with subjects, shoot, and process. Overall, the quality of my work improved noticeably over the ten day workshop.
Honestly, I have no criticism of Zoriah or the workshop. What I would say is that you are paying for the workshop so make sure you will get what you need – drive the worksohp for your needs."
Just a few simple questions…
Has anybody ever met Zoriah? Does anyone here know him personally, or ever had any dealings with him? Aside from the link provided by Laura, and by Z.’s self-aggrandisement, what else do we know?
“Making money in this way saves me from having to deal with editors, photo agencies and other people in this business who I just cant stand.”
Now I understand why you feel the need to charge 4 g’s. Who the fuck would hire you after that kind of statement? You need to talk with your lawyer, uh, I mean PR person before you talk that kind of shit about about a whole group of people in our industry who are getting the shaft themselves these days. You’d be better off selling crack cocaine to fund your personal mission. You could photograph the whole thing and sell it Dateline.
Now just for the record, I love MY editors and agents. They dont always give me work, but that is another discussion.
And I second the soundness of Eric Beecrofts Foundry Workshop. Foundry is true love for the students and instructors. We make 0 money. We teach, 10 hours a day for a week. We build community, and long lasting friendships.
I think I tried very hard to be nice here, with a little humor, and I hope, a little logic. It seems to fall on deaf ears. Well, you can’t say I didn’t try. A friend of mine in Beijing writes that “fucking donkey” is a compliment in some cultures. Eros, Bruno, I’m with you 100% on this one.
Yes, Zoriah is real. I haven’t met him in person but I know that he is a real person, full name: Zoriah Miller.
Eros, Tyler and I once saw and photographed two donkeys screwing in an abandoned refugee camp on the Kosovo-Macedonian border. We filed the photos, but sadly they were not published by the evil establishment media outlets we were on assignment for. I will find the scans and email them to you…
Hopefully, ‘Something good will come out of something bad’. I think we ALL better wish that this happens. Lets try and be positive, not just about photojournalism, but life in general. We ALL struggle, except a chosen few. I would like to see some positive photography coming out of Haiti as soon as possible. Is anyone taking pics of the lucky Haitians who survived and are trying to get their lives back together. We were not responsible for the natural disaster that took place. We can not bring back the dead. We should help the living in any way we can. I state the obvious.
I was also a little shocked at Zoriah’s workshop posting, however I would like to reserve judgment until he has completed his project. I think his biggest mistake was to make his efforts so public. It’s not what you do, it’s the way you do it.
Now you can have a go at me for trying to be nice.
They told us that in capitalism if you want someone out of market enough you provide same-same service but cheaper. That what it boils down to, no?
Otherwise, to put it gently, dog barks but caravan goes by..
It´s a real pitty that the visual quality of the body of work shown within your portfolio got overcastted due to your arrogance, and self EGO
One of the things necessary in life, both as a photojournalist, but merely as a human being who has chosen challenging duty to teach something of value to others, is to have a little humility as well as self-criticism. This is something that obviously has not learned, nor your “students”, neither at home nor within the different environments you’ve visited, and many of those here who have criticized or advised you that you yourself have said that respect … otherwise you would realize how pretentious is talk about yourself in 3rd person, whether in headlines that relate to your work, as along as the text of a resume, without unnecessary dimensions (not mistake, the dimensions of your CV is not the problem but nothing as modest as you pretending that you speak of has been written by another).
Another problem about how you project yourself on what you offer is that you can not teach what you do not know .. and in the case of Cuba specifically, where I was born and lived uninterruptedly for 34 years….I tell you that it’s absolutely ridiculous and pretentious considering that a photographic work done in some areas of Havana, including: “The Alley Hamlet” (A place with a structure designed to please and take money from tourists by showing a tiny portion of the culture of African origin); or in a ceremony of sacrifice of the Yoruba culture (Zoriah care if people give you “access” to photograph a ceremony in which any trainee who is respected not let you go even as an observer if are not initiated into the religion do not explain the difference between Santeria and Voodoo …. I will not tell you .. is easy, using 5 minutes of your “precious time” to read and learn books or internet, before you assume that you can talk about something you do not know .. that’s Naive and irresponsible for someone who is trying to teach how to work in the information world .. because that is what .. Zoriah INFORMATIONCOMMUNICATION). And the least you MUST learn before going somewhere is a bit of the HISTORY of the place, and MAYBE..just MAYBE you have a tiny idea of what you´re going to do in the field, then when you learn yourself on the field how to find a way to not ripped of by your “ subject”, MAYBE, just MAYBE you´re able to LEARN a story AND teach something to others.
But Zoriah, being humble HELPS, to not destroy you head when you find obstacles in the way, especially when the ego has reached such a high height as yours.
Ah, so I see I’ve been dragged into this thread too :)
A little background: At the start of 2009, I decided to become a photojournalist, primarily to convey the stories of those less fortunate to those who may be able to help them. As such, and because I learn better by doing, I committed to two years of on-the-job training, which I am currently in the middle of. Each year consists almost entirely of covering stories and learning as I go. At the end of each year, I planned to evaluate where I’m at by doing a workshop with a working photojournalist. At the end of last year, I did a workshop with Zoriah that I enjoyed and benefited from – it was a good choice for me at the end of my first year and I wouldn’t change it. This year, I haven’t thought far enough ahead to consider a workshop yet. Either way, this is my learning plan and it works for me, and I hope to eventually get work either for news media, or as an independent, or whatever way allows me to use photography to help those in need.
I’m sure my response opens me up to flaming. But since I was invited to comment, and since I haven’t flamed anyone, and since I’m basically training, I hope you take my response in good faith and leave it at that. And I would agree that this thread has gone on too long and apologize for contributing to its perpetuation, although I was asked to comment.
Ok Zoriah, if you want someone to admit here that they are not your enemy, I will do that. I am not your enemy. I do not even know you. I can say that I have seen some of your pictures now and then, and thought that they were good. But I must admit, after reading about this workshop and your attempts to defend it, I doubt I’d like you if we met. You see, I can’t stand arrogant, self-aggrandizing muppets that rant about their own righteous when they obviously don’t have a leg to stand on. It’s just the way I am. A lot of the comments on here aren’t personal, and perhaps that should tell you something, that numerous people who don’t even know you are on here calling you out regarding this workshop, because honestly, its just not ethical, man. Tell yourself whatever you want, but there’s just no way to justify it. I think perhaps at some point you will realize that your intent regarding this Haiti workshop is 95% parasitic. Hopefully this realization will make you feel ill, but I somehow doubt it. You just don’t seem the type. As far as I know, muppets like yourself are not known to have a wide range of emotions.
I’m just a student who’s greatly respectful of every photojournalist here, and I have great respect for Zoriah and his work. I’m alarmed by the hostility shown towards Zoriah. I also do not see how Zoriah comes across as an arrogant person. I’ve been following his website and blog for months and there is nothing I’ve seen or heard from him that has made him look arrogant. And Guilad Kahn your posts are the ones which come across as arrogant, offensive and downright disrespectful. I had a look at your website Guilad and you have some great work and credibility, but I must say that you clearly have no kind of control over your vocabulary, which includes fantastic words like ‘tool’,‘moron’,‘disgrace’,‘anus’ etc. just to name a few. Furthermore you didn’t make any sense by saying ‘too crap to be published’ because Zoriah’s pictures speak for themselves. Even if you say that there are hundreds, even maybe thousands of ‘better’ photojournalists out there, Zoriah’s work is his own and he has a definite style.
Krishna and Michael,
If your answers to these posts indeed come from yourself (and not directly from Zoriah), you are in fact the very reason why we are writing all this. Until 2 days ago, most of us had never heard of Zoriah, so this couldn’t have been orchestrated, or premeditated in any way; the criticisms to his project came fast strong and furious from all corners of our profession, often from people who usually strongly disagree (understatement) from each other.
As aspiring photojournalists, you are extremely unaware of the true realities of the job and what it really encompasses; as aspiring photojournalists, as good, talented, intelligent, dedicated as you may be, you simply don’t possess the keys to decide what is or what isn’t proper photojournalism: this is actually what you are out to learn. I have taught dozens of photography workshops around the world; as an ‘experienced’ teacher I can tell you that what is meaningful for the students in such workshops goes way beyond the ‘technicalities’ of taking good pictures; it is most of time a questioning of motivation, self assessment, and human qualities. My point being that as almost no one from this ‘community’ knew of Zoriah before this episode, while at the same time Zoriah writes:
" I have never gone to a workshop myself, but some people like to learn this way, and I am happy to provide them with that experience and do it to the very best of my ability. Making money in this way saves me from having to deal with editors, photo agencies and other people in this business who I just cant stand."
As aspiring photojournalists, my (educated) guess is that you wish to become part of the community, not to be ‘taught’ how to stay out of it. My guess is that you want to improve your skills and personalities so that your work can become meaningful to the public at large and be a vector of hope for the people you are documenting the fate of. Following somebody who, by his own will and actions, declares himself a ‘pariah’ from this community surely can’t be the most efficient way to become part of it.
I’m just disgusted by the way Zoriah is using persons (as also others, like Bob Black, have pointed out); for example describing his workshop in India he talks about it as if it was a leisure activity on a cruiser or on a package trip. John Robert Fulton Jr. had a good point when making a comparison to 9/11 and the same could be applied for example to New Orleans/Katrina. What if someone had offered a workshop in New Orleans (or in Haiti) in this way: “Natural disaster victim’s life. Spend one week documenting the life of a person who has just lost everything. Remember to bring your rubber boots.” How come extreme poverty (India, Nicaragua – spelled Nicaraqua on Zoriah’s page by the way –, Philippines…) is not seen as a Tragedy – which it is – that needs people’s effort to help but is introduced as if it was a natural order of things and can be promoted as a permanent set for workshops for aspirant photojournalists?
So, for reasons that many have already stated before and for the small example above I, among others, have my doubts about Zoriah’s workshop in Cuba with you, about his capability to teach photojournalism in general, and about his intentions in holding his workshops.
And I don’t think this thread has gone on too long; I think this discussion has to go on until persons like Zoriah change or are weeded out from photojournalism.
I hope you read carefully this and the previous thread on the subject (you can skip the swearwords).
Please one, thought, the situation here still needs attention and it needs open eyes. The five students that I have with me have performed more respectfully and shown more empathy that many “professionals.” Far from gawking, they are involved in an insightful dialog that goes way beyond what is being reported in the news—and there is a lot of miss-information going all around—the story has been miss-reported in many ways. Also the inspiration of working wih children, I wish you could have heard the thunderous applause about our delivery of paint.
On their return I think that the students (and one professional with me) will be more than happy to share what we do and are doing here. I am proud of them, I am proud that we have gone forward with this, and I can only say to the moralists and those who want to decide ethics, that since they are not here, and obviously have little knowledge about conditions on the ground, maybe they be better served to ask a few questions here and there.
Finally, before the quake I begged for cameras for the kids, I needed donations of all kinds— for months I asked.
We still need cameras and batteries for Zanmi Lakay, we need everything….paints, cameras, printers etc. Thanks.
[for the record, I am not Zoriah – I am a balding Aussie who does like vegemite and does not ride around on kangaroos :)]
Bruno and Laura,
Although I was somewhat taken aback by the tone of these threads, I do appreciate the concern, and I promise you that I am taking these threads under advisement.
I can also assure you that I intend to learn as much as I can from as many of you as possible – a lot of folks have a lot of experience and skill that seem both foolhardy and arrogant for an aspiring photojournalist to ignore. In part, this should help keep me on the path to being a responsible, respectful photojournalist in the eyes of my peers. I primarily care about the people I photograph and really just want to be better at it for them. Bruno guessed right with respect to that.
James, you must be one of the suckers that paid Zoriah 4 grand.
For the record my ego only extends through North America, single use, and I keep my copyright….. for the ego that is.
It is true that I have sinned a bit, but I also have pretty good aim with a stone.
James, it’s too easy to stand for a relativism ethic posture. Sometimes it’s necessary to take firm position and judge, in the name of the community and its order. talibanism? as you want, proud to be.
Sorry, Dana. I misunderstood which post by James you were referring to. But, in his defense he did make an absolute judgement. He told everyone to, “Get a fucking life.” I fucking mean if you fucking read his fucking post he is not being fucking relative there. Fuck, isn’t it fucking obvious?
Community ? I just spit out my cereal laughing so hard. I see very little community in any of these networking sites. Just a bunch on pompous, self righteous assholes bragging and showing their scars off, the fact is that if you are on this site on a constant basis like Guilad, one thing is clear, you aren’t working. You are sitting behind a computer masturbating to your own self righteousness.
Community ? good god, get a grip.. Judge if you feel you must, critics are the people who stand around judging, while artists go out and produce work on a constant basis. They don’t stand around judging each other, because they are to busy actually producing work to do so.
Let me tell you Barry, your work is riveting, absolutely riveting …… I see now why you feel that you have the authority to dictate what is and isn’t ethical in the field of documentary photography….. let me tell you, I am humbled after seeing what work you produce. I hope to aspire to take pictures of people sitting on benches one day….
“However I personally feel the obligation to use my abilities photographically to help others and bring attention to issues that affect us on the human level, hit us at the very core of our humanity. I feel it is important to keep my lens on history as it unfolds in front of me.”
I suppose that this sort of statement is another spit out of your mouth and thinking … you’d better washing it before words as “humanity”, “history”, “human”.
about fucking time, you got fucking out in the fucking snow to fucking take some fucking photo-fucking-graphs. Make fucking sure to fucking photo-fucking-graph some fucking people fucking on fucking benches.
Keep your eye’s peeled you may find one of Zoriah’s past workshopees destitute on one of those benches probably next to a Haitian who made it to the promise land but the promise was just a load of bullshit.
Fuck Mark, maybe I should fucking go back to uni-fucking-versity, and fucking take some fucking english fucking classes, and fucking expand my vo-fucking-cabulary. Like the fucking people who fucking comment on this fucking thread, like they fucking know what fucking is and fucking isn’t fucking ethi-fucking-cal.
You fucking told me to fucking save my fucking money so that I could fucking pay for Zoriah’s work-fucking-shop. You fucking mentioned getting fucked, and it fucking seems to me that you fucking paid for one of Zoriah’s work-fucking-shops, and must have got a fucking. I was just wondering if it was a good fuck or a bad fuck ? Because Zoriah is one handsome fucker, I would pay $4k just for a romp with Zoriah…..
Hi Mark, I was just about to fucking congratulate you again and ask you if this was the way you intended Lightstalkers should be used?
And it was you who complained about hijacking the posts.
And while we’re at it, when you said “Then there are the nasty ones who bait others for a reaction or over-reaction so they can add them to their shitty little blogs.”, who were you talking about? Can we see your blog?
All fucking morning?
As I am practically slap bang on the Greenwich Meridian it would be all fucking afternoon.
and I was listening to the football on the fucking BBC at the same time as F-Bombing fucking Lightstalkers…
+ my kids are on their allocated 1 afternoon on the fucking playstation so I can’t fucking watch the fucking TV and their Mum has gone fucking shopping which means I can’t leave the fucking house to take pictures of fucking benches, otherwise I fucking would be.
Is it true that when these discussions occurred in the past, they were in a bar in some balmy backwater and usually concluded with a bar brawl and a round of whiskey and beers? The internet has sucked the life and community right out of the swash-buckling adventurers of photojournalism. Now anybody can sit in his bedroom in front of his PC and pretend. The life is ruined.
Hi Zoriah…. I totally agree with what you say. I posted something on here once and I felt like I had been set upon by a pack of wolves. There seem to be a whole bunch of idiots on here who spend the whole day just complaining…and yet the ones that complain dont seem to have enough work between them to produce a portfolio for a photo club gallery… Infact some of the same people that attacked me ( verbally ) are in the list above…funny that?
The point is you are the one out there working hard and making the difference while they sit around like old men/women nagging. Anyway it’s high time that photographers were proud of the work they produce and put a value to it…we are the only profession that seems to give it away and when someone does make any money they are said to be selling out…WHY ? Why cant we do good photography and make a living from it? Anyway carry on the good work and dont get distracted… Can Sengunes
Hi All. Back from a jolly good walk in the snow. Good for the spirits, all that invigorating cold air, hey what? Anyway, Mark you are right— the American Dream does not always work out but this guy can dream, can’t he? Hope he doesn’t freeze to death.
James Rhodes, be careful.
A lot of people read this stuff you know. I assume as you are an “Aspiring Conflict/ Crisis/ Disaster Photographer,” you might want a job at some time. So go head, talk some more shit. I’ll tell every editor I know how great you are. And I know quite a few.
It will come back to bite you, I promise.
For someone telling other people to go get a life and go photograph, you sure have a lot of posts on this thread. I just got back from a 2 month assignment. I got paid every day. For two months. What about you?
Your all giving this too much attention.
If I link my blog to a positive article it gets a very small number of hits.
If I link to a controversial issue it gets thousands more hits a day.
I did this as an experiment recently by making a negative comment on ‘Duckrabbit’ to see what happens.
Well you’ve all succeeded in spreading Zoriah’s name all over the internet. Positive or negative he’ll do well by it. Congrats. AND Eros is correct. Be careful what you say. Lots of eyes see this forum and some of them really like Zoriah.
I think that the first ting that photo-journalists are taught is that we are to report the news and not make or be a part of the news…ls is a specified “inter-proffessional” site but this is too much, i am on assignment for 3 months starting on monday see you a the end of april…
I fucking bet you were on fucking assignment for 2 fucking months, and I bet you wore that fucking scarf every fucking day. I fucking mean, after fucking all whats the fucking point of capturing fucking conflict if you can’t look fashionable doing it, right fucktard ?
I hear the way to tell is someone is a real fucking photojournalist, is if they wear the arabic style scarves around their necks, because how can you possibly cover conflict without wearing a scarf to say to the people that see you. “Hey, I’m a real fucking badass, I wear a arabic style scarf around my neck like all the pros see ?”
After those locals see that scarf they know they are being photographed by one of the gods of photojournalism. Not to mention THE authority on ethics and professional practice in documentary photography.
Where do I find one of those scarves Eros ?? Bloomingdales ? Macys ? Brooks Brothers ? One day I want to look like a fashionable douche nozzle just like you….
Eros, forget it. We’ve taken the bait too many times. Let the muppets run amok. (sorry, Erin!)
Those who can understand, already do, or are on the right track. Those who don’t, and don’t want to, well there’s an old Cantonese proverb:
(“For sick people there is medicine, but for stupid people there is no cure.”)
i just wish he had just held this “workshop” a few months from now, at a time when most of the world has (likely) forgotten about Haiti and his “students” could focus on a long-form story that does the country, and it’s people, justice. i guess that doesn’t fix the problem with his profiteering, but it’s a start.
btw, this thread is like a drug. i want to stop checking it, but can’t. something tells me by Monday i’ll be cured.
Allow me to translate for John: “Is the equestrian skill performs the comedian clown study group.” Well, OK, not the best translation but it makes about as much sense as anything else said here. Time for another walk in the snow.
You know, I don’t think that that rodeo clown thing really works. I’ve seen a lot of rodeos over the years and I’ve yet to see one of those bulls crack a smile, much less laugh out loud. Do rodeo clowns just enjoy playing to a tough crowd? Is rodeo clowning just another weird sort of masochism? It seems like a lot of trouble for people to go through just to keep morose bovines entertained in the few short years they have before they pass beneath the golden arches and make the miraculous metamorphosis into Big Macs.
As for the original point of this thread, and as Ellen DeGeneres says, it did have one, Mr. Miller did not cause the earthquake in Haiti, he is not taking the bread out of the mouths of destitute Haitians, and he is not machine-gunning crowds of Haitians for fun and profit. Given these facts, I don’t see what the moral dilemma is. Does taking a group of Western pj wannabes through the devastation of a Third World disaster harm the people enduring the devastation? Not really; the Haitian people would still be enduring this disaster even if Mr. Miller and his group went on the rodeo clown workshop instead. Does it look like Mr. Miller is profiteering from this disaster? Yeah, it does, but remember he isn’t taking any money from the Haitians; he’s taking the money from rich Westerners who can presumably afford to blow several grand on such a workshop, so who’s being exploited here, the Haitians or the dopes actually shelling out the money? Would I do such a thing? Probably not, but then that’s just me; given my druthers, I prefer to photograph nice looking blondes wearing rubber hooters full of beer, but then I am easily amused.
As to your question, Laura, I suppose that rodeos could use Untouchables instead of bulls, but that would sort of negate the whole point of having a clown in the arena, if I understand the logic of rodeo clowning correctly. Using an Untouchable rather than a bull would make the whole rodeo spectacle look curiously like a group of schoolkids running away from the dopiest kid in class because he’s got the cooties, which, while certainly entertaining in its own right, is not nearly as impressive as watching a really pissed off bull chase a man dressed in silly clothing around a ring and cheering as you see the man dive headfirst into a barrel and hear the bull snort in maddened frustration because you know that the bull really, really wants to ram a horn right into the clown’s guts and out the other side.
07 Feb 2010 17:02
(ed. Feb 7 2010)
| New York ,
Akaky, who cares about the Haïtians ? they’re fucked anyway. Isn’t the overriding concern expressed here the fragile minds of the gullible white people who could be thinking of giving that crook money ?
Matthias, you may be right about that, but remember, Mr. Miller is advertising a service and will then follow through and provide the service advertised. As he is not taking the money under false pretences nor pulling some sort of bait and switch on his potential clients, then the gullible white people who are thinking of giving Mr. Miller money have no one to blame but themselves if Mr. Miller’s workshop is not what they expected.
Will, there’s the problem of the legend-in-his-own-mind’s self promotional bent, which does make him a crook as much as a parasite. Parasitic crook ?
Akaky, Mr Miller can be doing multiple things wrong at the same time : promoting himself as a credible professional, as a worthwhile educator, and organizing a photo safari to Ebony Island Zoo for his rich fans. And we get to bash him for all of them, all while doing the responsible thing and warning his potential clients away.
If you read the whole post Guilad you would know that you were already on the Insane list. You all are.
Would you and Bruno like to join the Rodeo Clown workshop? It appears Eros will not be joing me, Barry, Laura and Will because James was going but I have told James that he is no longer a partner because he refuses to wear a "Combat"scarf on the workshop. If John Vink signs up at least there will be a Father figure to guide us all.
Now I’m sure you would agree that is one fucking awesome line-up.
Out the goodness of my heart I have reduced the workshop fee to $2000 and the case of bud will be available regardless if you survive or not. If Bruno and Guilad decide to join us and get through the first day without killing each other and getting mauled by a bull I will post some pictures of them sharing a Bud Light.
with regard to that ‘top 10 photojournalist list of all time’…that has to be the best joke i’ve ever read…. i mean,
let’s see, just a quick sampling, off the top of my head, of the photographers/journalists (going by your use of the work to describe your top 10) that you’ve overlooked….all of which have produced a substantial, iconic and important body of work over the long haul of their lives….Zoriah is still very much a young young photographer and it is with dismay that I can only imagine how he ended up on your list….
i am wondering: that guy has to be either a former student or….
and i havent even listened the important work done by russian photographers, japanese photographers, african photographers, german photographers and south/central american photographers….
and from our generation:
Kuwayama, moises saman, blenkisop, Chris Anderson, my friend Sergie Maximishin, Pellegrin, Subotzky, Bendiksen, Chang, Majoli, Parke, Boulat, Bleasdale, Berman, lowenstein, bonet, kozyrev, and on and on and on and on……
i can only imagine that this is a funny, very funny joke…..
I wouldn’t want it to clash with Andy’s workshop and if Guilad joins us and we bump into Zoriah and his attenders all hell would break loose. The Rodeo Clown workshop is intended to be fun,fun,fun and I don’t want anyone or anything to spoil the ambience.
As long as we are negotiating Mark, can I get a case of Samuel Smith Nut Brown Ale? I really can’t drink Bud. Laura, if all you have ever tasted was Bud or Peroni you might discover you like beer if you try the Samuel Smith.
I will be just next voice against Zoriah. This is unethical. But also I think Zoriah is only the beginning. There is always a danger if you call your job “very important” that it will shield your ignorance for human disaster and pain.
John I got your Miller joke only this morning! Perhaps it wouldn’t even be available; it might be that, being a clever businessman, Zoriah is taking all the Miller to Haiti to make people remember him better?
Ah, it looks like our controversial friend’s cowardly nature is coming out. Someone just sent me this, which he posted to his facebook profile, since it looks like he’d rather preach to his choir than teach them anything. I’ll give him one, though : the guy is to the evolution of photojournalism what intelligent design is to the advancement of science. TEACHTHECONTROVERSY !
p.s : there’s another name for what you do. it is “disaster profiteering”. Doesn’t look as good on a business card or when trying to con the gullible, though.
“100% satisfaction on his workshops”, it’s mean that all participants will see suffer of some people and will have opportunity to take some unforgettable pictures, and it is very possible that someone will die before their eyes and lenses what will push the satisfaction out of limit.
Are there any requirements from the states to have of accreditation to teach workshops?
I spent three years as an assistant chef at a culinary institute. I had to be accredited by the State of NY to be able to teach on any level. I attended a class that covered everything from creating a curriculum to standing in front of a classroom and teaching a course. I was given a test before being accredited by CUNY to teach in a private institution. I believe this was required by the State of NY and for insurance purposes.
And that brings up insurance… Surely you would have to be insured to offer programs such as Z. is offering. Wouldn’t you leave yourself open to all manners of law suits if you weren’t?
Ok, no problem.
Its so weird to read those critics.
Im trying to have a living of photojournalism, Im not interested in workshops, to much money, better to spent it on equipment,..
I try to improve myself by searching for stories in my own “backyard” and so I learn how to get close and how to understand people and creating my own style,…
And ofcourse looking to other stories. Also at your nice works John.
I just made my first book, it was interoduced in serveral newspapers in Belgium last week, about the “best” 3 months of a terminal patient.
I mean by “photojournalist”: I try to be a photojournalist.. here in my area in Belgium, they have never heard of the word photojournalist… but I try to let them understand the different between a photographer and a photojournalist.
By “Barry” I mean I have tried to be Barry. My mother wanted me to become a doctor. Picasso said, “My mother wanted me to become a general but I didn’t want to be a general so I became Picasso.” I guess I became Milyovsky.
without getting political (if possible), i think zoriah is the new sarah palin:
someone of little substance but lots of razzle dazzle (see him in the “In Harms Way” nonsense on YouTube). further, he is a self-declared “outsider,” willing to rail against the system (read his comments about calling ALL of us sheep) if it means a few bucks.
Tom, seriously now: there are plenty of photojournalists in Belgium and plenty of people who know there are. Belgium is not really any different from other countries. There is quality and mediocrity. Like anywhere else. But Belgians have a tendency to downplay their country. It is because we’re small and lack self confidence.
Yes John, Belgium has a lack self confidence!!
What to think about this photo.. why the photojournalists standing in a row next to each other, taking the same picture? To me, this photo of the photojournalists in action tells me more then one of the pictures they are taking at the moment?
Yes, indeed, read John’s link and especially Damon Winter’s part, he is absolutely right, I couldn’t agree more with him…Feel free to get in touch with me if you want further discussion of the Haiti coverage.
To go back to the topic at hand, I think that a simple comparison between say Damon Winter’s comments and Zoriah’s attitude and posts do bring forward the best and the worse in the matter.
Matthias we may not agree on anything but we may share the same taste in Music.
That Darkness rendition of that classic is worse than Zoriah on the all time greats list.
Incidentally this is quite poignant I think:
When Radiohead refused to meet Miley Cyrus the starlet threatened to “ruin” them.
Cyrus kicked off the feudin’ during an appearance on the Johnjay and Rich radio show and rambled on for more than six minutes about how the band dissed her after she begged her manager to set up an introduction at the Grammy awards show.
“I’m like, these are the people I really want to meet,” she said. "I’d freak out. They’re my rock gods. These are the only people that I would cry over…My manager asked and said, ’Miley’s really obsessed. Radiohead replied ‘We don’t really do that.’ "
She continued on in disbelief about the band’s lack of interest in meeting the Hannah Montana star, admitting she was so disappointed about the diss, she left the show early.
“I left ’cause I was so upset,” she said. “I wasn’t going to watch Stinkin’ Radiohead! I’m gonna ruin them, I’m going to tell everyone about them.”
Radiohead responded by putting the teen in her place…
“When Miley grows up, she’ll learn not to have such a sense of entitlement,” the quintet said in a statement.
Zoriah take heed.
So here is my second and final musical contribution.
09 Feb 2010 11:02