Our Plan to Help Laid Off Chicago Sun-Times Photographers

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In case you haven’t heard the news, the Chicago Sun-Times laid off its entire photography staff. The photography staff received no warning of the layoff; they were simply called into the office on May 30 and told that they no longer had jobs. This news hit me personally: I met John White years ago as a student at the Eddie Adams Workshop and he inspired me like no other. To learn more about the situation, our friends over at Photo Brigade produced a video podcast about the situation:

http://thephotobrigade.com/2013/06/photo-brigade-podcast-8-with-rob-hart-brian-powers/

Firing your entire publications photography staff is like cutting off the hand that feeds you. I have little doubt the executives who made this decision have mistakenly sealed that fate of their newspaper company.

Why we care

We care because, first and formost, we are creative professionals. We know the cold hard sting of rejection. We know how hard it can be to make a decent living creating images. We know the sweat and tears that go into gaining credibility and recognition. We’ve been there.

Before founding Graph Paper Press, I worked for newspapers (USA Today and Lawrence Journal-World) as a photographer and multimedia producer. Some of my closest friends are photographers. It’s a demanding, taxing and rewarding profession all at the same time. You are likely a creative professional yourself and it’s our mission to help people like you to succeed.

We’re here to help

To help these photographers land on their feet, we’re giving all laid off photographers from Chicago Sun-Times free forever plans and Sell Media extensions. Most of the older staffers never thought they’d need their own sites. We’re committed to helping them get rolling.

If you know anybody looking for experienced photojournalists or if you just want to give a word of encouragement or relate a a similar personal story leave it in the comments. Any little bit helps.

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Thad is the founder of Theme.Works and Graph Paper Press. Previously, he produced online multimedia and documentary projects for USA Today including the inauguration of President Barack Obama and many others. He lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife Abby.

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9 thoughts on “Our Plan to Help Laid Off Chicago Sun-Times Photographers”

  1. Thad this is great thanks so much. The Photojournalism community is so amazing. I’ve been looking at templates for 2 days now and can’t decide. Good place to be at.

      1. When the creative services community sticks together (which we tend to) we win and the people who don’t value us lose bigger than they already have. Graph Paper Press is going in the right direction with this!

  2. Sorry to hear the sad news. But well done GPP for hooking these guys up with awesome websites.
    I’m a professional photographer with a studio. I’ve been professionally working as a photographer for 11 years. These last few have been really hard. Unfortunately most magazines and news papers these days think a credit is good enough payment.
    The problem is these days everyone thinks they are a photographer. If you look around, mags, adverts, billboards etc the quality is slipping at a rapid rate. Rubbish everywhere. What can we do to keep this industry alive? I’m starting to wonder if we can.
    Richard P Walton

  3. I was just trying to decide whether to sign up with Graph Paper Press for a single theme, a yearly subscription or continue looking elsewhere. You blog post makes my decision easy. Thanks for supporting these photojournalists as they tackle a major life change. As staff photographer who was laid off at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer in 2009, I know it’s scary…but there IS life after newspapers. Best of luck Sun-Times photographers!

  4. Wow. I cannot believe that a publication would make such an unreasonable and unintelligent decision. But I guess it just one more example of why businesses in our great nation are going downhill. They like to believe everyone can be replaced, and they don’t value creative professionals. Which is really interesting considering the highest valued brands in the world do value them. I think these Photo Journalist deserve better and I’m glade Graph Paper Press is stepping up to help them.

    If anyone from the Chicago Sun is reading this, I wish you the best and I would love to talk to you or interview you for my blog over at http://robertoblake.com/blog

  5. I am not a professional photographer but I am a professional in the construction industry and fully relate to the “no advance warning” mentality of bean counters in charge ie. If you are not billable you are expendable. You have made my decision very simple as to who I will purchase my theme from and spend my money with. Great gift to those who will take it and run with it.

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