PetaPixel reported on Tuesday that the New York Times—doubtless understanding its increased importance as a "survivor" traditional news source in a contracting and consolidating market—will "more than double" its day rate for original photography, basically from $200 to $450 with some exceptions and special conditions.
The Times itself has not confirmed this yet, but PetaPixel has indicated it will follow up on the story. If true, this is some rare good news in a field that has seen far too much bad news in recent years.
(Thanks to Aaron Greenman)
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Featured Comments from:
Michael Perini: "If true, I think it was the right thing to do, and I'm happy for the photographers who work for them. (They have some great ones.) But given that they probably rarely get a full week of full day rates, it's still a tough way to make a living if you aspire to have a normal life with a family and a house, and maybe send the kids to college. I admire the folks who do it."
glenn brown: "Robbery. A plumber gets more than that."
Mike replies: Hmm, maybe, but it doesn't seem that bad to me. Standard full-time work is 250 days a year, which at $450 a day amounts to a gross salary of $112,500. Considering that only about 20% of American households earn more than $100,000 (according to Census Bureau figures via Bankrate.com), that's far from horrible.
I know that many photographers have to supply their own equipment and have additional overhead costs—the necessity of paying for some of their travel, perhaps—and many do not work every day. But even working two days a week, that's still $45,000 a year gross pay, which isn't shabby considering half of all working Americans earn less than $30k a year. No, it wouldn't make you rich, but you'd have three days free per week by definition, and if you could find other ways to augment your income in your free time (as many photojournalists and indeed freelancers and sole proprietors of all sorts do), then it seems like a reasonable living.