Creative: Dispatches, Stuart Isett

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I met Stuart Isett in 1999 while attending the Visa Pour L’Image photojournalism festival in Southern France. Still friends to this day and it’s been a joy and wonder watching his career. Drop him anywhere and he will get pictures. This might seem simple but it is far from it and to get to this stage it takes a lot of work, trial, error, dedication, professionalism, and luck. We talk early education, family, travel, Asian studies, community, competition, getting work, keeping work, and many, many things in between. Many thanks to Stuart for running power to the van while squatting in front of his house and for the endless stream of coffee.

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  1. Good stuff. I checked out his website, glad to see there’s a blog. Also glad I scrolled down to see the audio section. Haven’t listened to all of it, but I’m guessing it’s the full version of the extract played in the video?

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    2. Let’s say that I’m better photographer than engineer hahaha. Working with forestry in my counry is more like biology than calculus

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  2. Great podcast (thank you both). It was most interesting to hear how Stuart got a toe-hold in the Japanese market and eventually became known to potential clients. I wonder what the model is now? To a great degree the publishing route (newspapers, magazines) has contracted significantly, and I’m presuming that freelance photojournalists are now required to submit completed stories (photos and text) if they are to stand a chance of publication? If this is the case the photojournalist would have to bear the cost of producing the work with no guarantee of return for their labours. How do up-and-coming photographers cope, if this is the reality.

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      Mike,
      Great questions. The salad days are over. 100-day guarantee contracts, real-time to shoot, legit day rates plus expenses all seem to be things of the past. And high-level, top-notch pubs paying rates from the 1970s. I’m not sure how anyone does editorial these days. I think most of these folks would literally be better off, and more financially successful NOT working for these clients. And I can’t imagine anyone paying enough to recoup initial cost for completing a story.

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