Tag Archive: new york
Have you ever been stiffed by a client? There isn’t a lot of recourse for freelancers beyond sending in invoice after invoice after invoice. A New York state law has now been proposed which would hold deadbeat clients responsible for money owed to freelancers. The Freelancer Payment Protection Act (S4129/A6698) aims to help out freelancers who haven’t paid.
The legislation is gaining traction: it’s passed through the New York State Assembly and has gotten support from both Democrat and Republican state legislators. If the act becomes a law, freelancers will be able to file complaints with the New York Department of Labor about clients who have not paid their bills and allow them to collect 100% of the fees owed to them in addition to legal fees and interest. It’s a small step, and would only apply to freelancers in New York, but it isn’t a small matter. According to the Freelancers Union, “in 2009, New York State’s self-employed lost $4.7 billion due to client nonpayment, and the state lost $323 million in tax revenue.”
You can help in a few ways. Sign your name in support of the Freelancer Payment Protection Act; if you’re in New York, contact your state legislators and tell them to support the Freelancer Payment Protection Act; if you’re anywhere else, contact your legislators and suggest a similar law.
Related required viewing: Fuck you, Pay me – a discussion of adventures in contracts, negotiation, and payment
I didn’t expect to be back in New York so quickly after dvafoto’s visit last week, but this is especially exciting for me. I’m pleased to announce my work, China Everbright, will be shown as part of the New York Photo Festival in Slideluck Potshow XVI on May 14, 2011, in Brooklyn, New York. The slideshows for the evening–from a breathtaking assortment of photographers–were curated by Whitney Johnson, who has just recently been named Director of Photography for the New Yorker. The event is at St. Ann’s Warehouse at 38 Water Street in DUMBO, Brooklyn, New York, from 5:30p-10:30p.
The photographers selected for the evening are: Alex Fradkin, Alex Webb, Benjamin Sklar, Bruce Gilden, Carolyn Drake, Chris Hondros, Dominic Bracco, Dominic Nahr, Elena Dorfman, James Pomerantz, JR, Krisanne Johnson, Iwan Baan, Landon Nordeman, Luca Zanier, Luis Ladron de Guevara, Lyle Owerko, M. Scott Brauer, M. Wesley Ham, Mari Bastashevski, Mark Peterson, Martin Usborne, Matt Eich, Melanie Burford, Michael Christopher Brown, Natasja Fourie, Peter DiCampo, Phillip Toledano, Platon, Rinko Kawauchi, Stefano de Luigi, Steve Pyke, Steven Brahms, and Tim Hetherington. I’m excited to have my work shown in the company of so many talented and inspiring photographers; if you asked me for a list of my photographic idols, that list would be a goood start.
I also have one image in a slideshow presented by PDN at the New York Photo Festival, but I’m a little unsure on when and where that will be shown.
I hope you can make it to the event. If you’re there, please say hello. Here’s what I look like.
“…unlike traditional employees, [freelancers] lack any labor protections to ensure that [they] get paid for the work [they] do. Freelancers Union found that 77% of independent workers have experienced nonpayment at one point, and in the last year alone, more than 40% of New York’s freelancers had trouble getting paid.” -Freelancers Union campaign letter to support NY Bill S8084
For anyone who remembers the Digital Railroad debacle or who has been stiffed by a deadbeat client, the Freelancers Union has started a campaign to draw up support for New York State Legislature bill S8084. The proposed law, sponsored by New York State Senator Daniel L. Squadron, would: grant freelancers the same wage protection as traditional employees, require the Department of Labor to pursue freelancers’ unpaid wages, and holds deadbeat executives personally liable for up to $20,000 and jail time. If you’re in New York, you can join the campaign by emailing your state senator through the Freelancers Union website. And for balance, here’s a New York City lawyer’s opinion that the law is misguided or, at least, won’t help freelancers who are already at the mercy of a patchwork of confusing laws.
Incredibly last minute announcement but I will be in New York City next week, December 21st through 23rd, for a quick visit with publications, editors and friends and to continue my project I See A Darkness. I will have new work and portfolios to share, including an under-wraps book project that will begin immediately upon my return to Serbia in January. (Did I even mention that I’m back in Seattle for the holidays? It’s been busy.)
If you are in the City and feel like meeting up to see work, see an exhibition (I’ve got Ballen, Frank, and Mosse on my schedule right now) or grab a beer, be in touch! It’ll be a crazy quick visit but it might be my only one this year.
At the helm this year of New York magazine’s annual New York Look fashion week special issue, photographed in the past by Paolo Pellegrin (or here) and Christopher Anderson, was VII Network’s Benjamin Lowy. The pictures are worth a look, even if you’re getting a bit tired, as I am, of the behind-the-scenes fashion show genre of photography. Regardless, be sure to check out the short interview with Benjamin Lowy on the NYT Lens Blog. It’s a behind-the-scenes of the behind-the-scenes look at Fashion Week, and covers topics from Lowy’s connection to Iraq to the disconnect between witnessing a suicide bombing and then getting a call from a photo editor to shoot fashion pictures to the changing nature of the photographer’s job to Lowy’s tendency to bring shoot in different styles depending on the assignment.
Sorry about the distinct slacking of posting here on Dva in the last week or two by both M. Scott and myself. He is on the road in China without easy access to the internet (not to mention he is better out shooting rather than blogging anyways) and I am in full-on crisis mode getting ready for a major change in my life. On January 16 I am leaving Seattle for New York and DC, to cover the inauguration and field meetings with all of the fine editors in the City, before heading to my new home of Belgrade in the first week of February. I have much more to share about this trip and this relocation, and I’ll be sure to write more here in the coming weeks, but first I must take care of all the massive to-do lists I have lying around… I’m sure you can understand.
Also stressful: Why is January 15th the deadline for all of the photo contests, grant and proposals I have on my calendar? As you can see on our Dvafoto Deadline Calendar (helpfully listed on the bottom-right corner of the site and available as a feed to go straight in to your calendar software) there is a lot coming due including POYi, World Press Photo, Days Japan and Px3 Paris. Get on your contest horse everyone and good luck! We’ll chat soon again.
(Oh, and if you are in New York or DC, or Belgrade/Prishtina, and want to meet up when I swing through I’d love to meet some of our readers. Especially if you’re an editor! Get in touch via email or the comments.)
On Wednesday I was the daily featured photographer on the Verve Photo: A New Breed of Documentary Photographers blog. I was interviewed some months ago so the info is a bit out of date, but it is still a nice honor.
They chose to feature an image from my project I See A Darkness, from the streets of New York. Read this piece I wrote for some background and philosophy behind the work. Or even the introduction to my as-yet-unpublished book written by my friend Claire.
Asked to describe the photo, this is what I had to say then:
“This picture was shot in November 2007 as part of my ongoing three-year project in New York City, called ‘I See A Darkness’, which is inspired by the music of Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy and the book ‘The Master and Margarita’ by Mikhail Bulgakov. The first pictures were shot in 2005 when I was an intern at Black Star photo agency. After that summer I realized I had a set of photos that I wanted to grow and have since made four trips back to work on this project. It’s about my reactions to the city and imaginary narratives between all the characters and places there. This photo was taken on the Staten Island ferry looking out at the Statue of Liberty. There has been a lot of reaction to this picture for political overtones, but I see it in the context of the alienation, distance and ‘mystery’ that I feel in so much of New York. While I do lots of documentary and photojournalism work, this project of street photography has some of my favorite pictures and is always a joy to work on.”
[editor's note: this is the first in a series of interviews with photographers DVA loves]
I had the pleasure of meeting Basque photographer Jon Cazenave at the Paolo Pellegrin’s class and we ended up spending a lot of time together helping each other with our projects and edits, as well as recovering from the pace and stress with food (I recall a nice, exhausted meal at a McDonalds, where I had a bigmac meal for $17) and the occasional beer (about $10).
One of the projects he brought to show in Oslo was about the ‘underground’, life in subways in Spain and around the world. He recently wrapped up a new segment of this project and published a multimedia version of the piece titled SUBLIFE.
I’ve always adored this project and I was blown away by the new presentation. Instead of just posting the link here I thought it would be a great opportunity to ask him a few questions and have him explain his work, this project and his future plans. Jon is a fantastic guy with a huge heart and passion for documentary photography. (And, I found out today, an equally deep and historic love of Paul Simon’s Graceland as me! If that doesn’t make us brothers I don’t know what does..) Enjoy this and support him in the future.
What brought you into photography? What else have you been doing in life and work, and what has changed now that you are taking pictures more seriously?
I studied economics in Deusto University and when I got my degree in 2001 I started working in a multinational company based in the Basque Country as an accountant. I started taking photos in that period of my life to hide from the boring days spent in the office and since then, everything went so quick that in 2006 I decided to quit and go to Barcelona to specialize in documentary photography.
Do you consider yourself to be a photojournalist?
I always tell to people that “I am a man that takes photographs…” I take photographs to document the world we live in but also the world I see with my eyes and I want this personal view to be shown in the photographs I make.
How did you start this project? What was your idea? What was your plan (a story for a workshop, a book, a multimedia piece?)
I started this story in a workshop I made with Pep Bonet. He gave us a subject, “obsession”, and I thought about a very good friend I have. He is not able to enter any closed space and he feels terrified when he is forced to go down the stairs of the subway.
(please click below to jump to the rest of the interview)
Read on »
In some better news, I’m happy to share a link to a piece of work I’m pretty proud of. The music/literary blog This Recording approached me some weeks ago to write an essay about New York for their series on the city. The editor in chief, Alex Carnevale, had seen my New York project “I See A Darkness”, and wanted me to share my views about the city and how it comes through in the pictures.
This project was started in 2005 when M. Scott and I were both living in New York as (unpaid) interns for the Black Star agency. As this essay says, I had no aims of creating a long-term project when I started shooting the streets as I went about my life in the city, but soon after leaving the city and looking at the work I had started I realized that I had started something that I had to continue working on. Over three years later I have this version of ‘I See A Darkness’, which is still growing and will hopefully be a book in the near-future. Please check back here (or, better, be in touch with me
Enough about it here, please go a see my essay In Which Thrust To The Fore New York Casts Its Own Shadow at This Recording. You’ll have a chance to learn more about my process as a photographer, my deep influences from Mikhail Bulgakov and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy and even listen to some of the music from BpB’s album ‘I See a Darkness’.