Irish Photography Blog Roundup

Todays Guardian Protest

Tuesday, Sep 1st, 2009 | Source: Pete Jenkins Photo Thoughts

Photographers are very proud of their contribution to their industry, not least of these, those who contribute to the Guardian and Observer newspapers (Guardian News Media).Outside the Guardian today were a number of contributors to the Guardian. Noticeable in his support of his colleagues was former Observer Sports Photographer and multiple award winner Eamonn McCabe, who went on to become the Picture Editor of the Guardian, and cartoonist Steve Bell.The ...

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Brian Lenihan, Minister for Finance officially opened DPD Ireland’s Dublin Northwest depot

Saturday, Aug 29th, 2009 | Source: Dublin Photographer Angela Halpin

Brian Lenihan, Minister for Finance officially opened DPD Ireland’s Dublin Northwest depot today, Thursday August 27th. The depot is one of 38 in DPD Ireland’s (formerly Interlink Ireland) parcel delivery network and is operated by Jason and Caroline Tuthill….

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Absolut Original

Thursday, Aug 27th, 2009 | Source: Cliona O'Flaherty Photography

Absolut is doing an Absolut Original Exhibition here in Dublin during the Fringe Festival. It is being curated by The Small Print. I was fortunate enough to be invited to submit a piece which is very exciting.The brief was pretty loose and the only sti…

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High society – Claire O’Connor at The Design Centre, Dublin. Sunday Independent – Fashion

Monday, Aug 24th, 2009 | Source: Dublin Photographer Angela Halpin

Photographed for "Life Magazine"Model: Ewa Warzycha – Compton Model AgencyHair & Make up: Brown SugarLocation: La Catedral Studios – DublinIt’s been my experience that most young designers are somewhat premature in launching themselves onto the marketplace. But not Claire O’Connor.She…

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Art and Soul 2009-08-24 20:55:00

Monday, Aug 24th, 2009 | Source: Art and Soul

We’ve just updated our wedding portfolio to include lots of recent images as well as some of our favourites from the past! Based between Dublin in Ireland and Waterloo in Canada, we also travel to many other locations to capture weddings for our clien…

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Restaurant Awards

Sunday, Aug 23rd, 2009 | Source: Paul Sherwood Photographer

Food & Wine Magazine Restaurant of the Year AwardsThe Food & Wine Restaurant of the Year Awards were held in the Mansion House, Dublin today – the winning chef was Sunil Ghai from Ananda Restaurant in Dundrum – who was congratulated with a kiss…

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Wedding In Longford

Saturday, Aug 22nd, 2009 | Source: Paul Sherwood Photographer

Images From A Recent Wedding In LongfordFollowing The Marriage In Longford Register Office There Was A Civil Ceremony And Reception In Viewmount House, Longford Townwww.viewmounthouse.comSo That’s What Spoilers Are For…

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National Union of Journalists

Wednesday, Aug 19th, 2009 | Source: Pete Jenkins Photo Thoughts

The Union (National Union of Journalists) at large is a strange beast. Where like minded members communicate, like this blogging thing; usually some constructive stuff is done. Did you know that the Guardian petition is now up to 730 names? Slowly but surely, there are more names every time I look. It would be a great achievement to get this above 1000 in time for the demonstration outside the Guardian on the 1st September.

So whereas photographers are fairly active and organise different events, protests, campaigns, some areas of the union need Union organisers holding their hands and doing it all for them, and even then occasionally no one else turns up. I have attended a number of events where I have been asked to become involved because I am a regional representative, or the NEC member, I give up my time, make the effort, and find that it is just me and the organiser that turn up.

I am travelling down from Nottingham on 1st September to demonstrate outside
the Guardian and I know that there will be a large number of photographers in attendance, and some (many) will have travelled further than me. That is because so many of us care about what we do, and are passionate about our work.

I have been very lucky in my life. Most of it I have worked in newspapers, and most of that in sport. It has been fantastic. I have met people, seen events, and been a part of things happening that I could never have, had I just been an ordinary member of the public. And yes I have also got huge kicks out of seeing my pictures in double page spreads and stuff, and bigger kicks out of some of the cheques I have had (in the distant past). But I have really enjoyed my job, and I hate to see how so many publishers are making it all turn sour.

Back to NUJ stuff.
Most of the staffers in the union have their chapels, and so many of them are going through difficult times, with redundancies etc, that the members seem little interested in the wider picture, or often in many cases freelances, even those working close to chapel members. A classic example of that was at Drogheda, where the freelance contract photographer was frozen out of chapel publisher discussions and meetings and ended up being forced out of her job and replaced with someone working for 20% less.

Branches with very few exceptions are made up of chapel members who feel no need to attend branch meetings. The exception here is the freelances. The most vibrant well-attended branches in the union are often the freelance branches – London Freelance is a good example, or largely attended by Freelances (Nottingham). But even with LFB, the turn out is still only around 1% of membership on average (so I am told).

There are branches that do better. My own branch Nottingham has just over 150 members, but regularly has in excess of 15 members turning up at meetings. Few union branches can boast a regular 10%+ turnout. But there are other branches that do as well. In Nottingham there is a good support network for members, and it is rare for a week to go by without my helping some member out in some way, even if on occasion it is only to direct them elsewhere :-)

The Union is only its members. Members, who do stuff. All the photo initiatives that we have seen over the past year have all been initiated and done largely by ordinary members. Yes, of course, there has been a lot of help in certain areas by the Organisers, and Pam and John at the Freelance Office are invaluable and punch well over their own weight, and work tirelessly, but never the less without the members doing things few of our initiatives that fall under the NUJ umbrella would get off the ground.

Nottingham is a vibrant branch because we make it so, same for LFB.

EPUK, that most excellent of resources, came as a result of NUJ photographer
members motivating themselves and doing it, same with Alan Murphy’s ‘Irish Photographers’ list – he did that himself – he didn’t have to. Going back in the past, 1988 Copyright Act, UK Press Card all came about because members got up off their

Nobody does it for us – we do it. The union is simply the organisation that
binds us together and on occasion assists with knowledge and expertise in
certain areas.

We do need to support those who are shouting on our behalf, because if they
stop, who will do it for us?

Things we can support today:

Guardian Rights Grabbing petition

Guardian protest‘ on
1st September

I am a Photographer not a
‘ – I sense a bit of Jess Hurd there :-)

So sign the petition, write to the Guardian, take that picture and send it

Our industry is on its arse, maybe, just maybe, we can get it back onto its
knees… :-)

Kind regards

Pete Jenkins

Member of: The National Union of Journalists

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