Tag Archives: Maggie Steber

Articles | Sunday 17 June 2012

Let’s start with the unexpected news coming from Getty Images: Eugene Richards, the celebrated documentary photographer, has left the Reportage agency. Richards used to be with Magnum Photos but left twice. He was also with VII Photo for a couple of years, and had joined Reportage in 2010.

Reportage by Getty Images: Eugene Richards

BJP: Eugene Richards leaves Reportage by Getty Images

On the subject of Getty Images, they announced a few things these past few weeks.

PetaPixel: Getty Images Changes Watermark from Annoying Logo to Useful Shortlink

PDN Pulse: Getty Images Preps for IPO?

An interesting development in the photographic and multimedia markets, Brian Storm has started charging for some of MediaStorm’s presentation. Rite of Passage by Maggie Steber and A Shadow Remains by Phillip Toledano are the first two pieces to test MediaStorm’s Pay Per Story scheme. Each story can be bought for $1.99.

 

MediaStorm: Why We Switched to a Pay Per Story Model

PDN Pulse: MediaStorm Now Charging to View its Stories

TIME Lightbox: Game Changer – MediaStorm Launches Pay-Per-Story Video Player

Duckrabbit: Maggie Steber responds to critics of MediaStorm’s new pay to view model

VII Photo has been weathering a controversy lately…

VII Photo: Statement

Ron Haviv: Response

Conscientious: Quality journalism, photography and integrity

David Campbell: Photo agencies and ethics: the individual and the collective

And when we’re on the subject of VII Photo, they have also added four young photographers to their mentor programme.

Now, let’s share some business and practical tips:

Justin Mott: Advice to Veteran Photographers

A Photo Editor: How does a photographer land an agent?

A Photo Editor: Pricing & Negotiation: Spokesperson Advertising Shoot

PhotoShelter: A Photographer’s Guide to a Successful Gallery Opening

PhotoShelter: What Buyers and Photo Editors Want

PhotoShelter: Personality Traits & Skills Photo Buyers Don’t Want in Photographers

Salon: How to stop the bleeding

Chris Hondros. Image © Nicole Tung

PetaPixel: US Department of Justice Defends Photographers’ Right to Record Police

Some thoughts about the industry, reviews and round-ups…

The New York Times: Just When You Got Digital Technology, Film is Back

TIME Lightbox: Three War Photographers: Feel Fear, Keep Going

NY Daily News: Iconic ‘napalm girl’ photo from Vietnam War turns 40

Peter Dench: The Dench Diary (December – February 2012)

Conscientious: Review of Unknown Quantities by Olivia Arthur, Dominic Nahr, Moises Saman, and Peter Van Agtmael

PhotoShelter: The Look3 Festival Round-Up

TIME Lightbox: Curators Look Ahead to Look3

PDN Pulse: Look3 – Alex Webb on his Creative Process, Kodachrome, and Magnum

PDN Pulse: Look 3 Report: Donna Ferrato on Philip Jones Griffiths, Don McCullin, and Complicated Relationships

Reuters Blog: The Secret Handshake

The Guardian: Burtynsky: Oil review

Image © Edward Burtynsky.

The Guardian: The Photographers’ Gallery Reopens

NYT Lens Blog: Caught Between the Protests and the Police

NYT Lens Blog: Half Photos, Striving to be More

NYT Lens Blog: A Gift to New York from Gordon Parks

The New Yorker Photo Booth: Great Mistakes: Olivia Arthur

The Guardian: Featured Photojournalist – Joe Raedle

Conscientious Extended: Photography and Place: Appalachia

One Image at a Time: Image #4, Comfort Women 1996

DVAPhoto: Worth a look: Revolution Revisited by Kim Komenich and University of Miami multimedia grad students

Press Association: Jacobs in administration

Verve Photo: Antonio Bolfo

The Guardian: Lawrence Schiller’s best photograph: Marilyn Monroe

TIME Lightbox: Photographs of the ‘Great British Public’ in London

Foam Blog: Ahmet Polat on Instagram

Reuters Blog: Tribute to Danilo Krstanovic

And to finish…

The Marie Colvin Memorial Fund.

apertureWEEK: Online Photography Reading Shortlist

Aperture aggregates the best posts from this past week in the photography blogosphere.

  • “MediaStorm broke new ground in digital publishing on Tuesday,” writes Jonathan D. Woods for Time‘s Lightbox, “with the launch of a pay-per-story video player, one of the industry’s most exciting attempts to capitalize on the strength of multimedia productions.” The company’s founder Brian Storm explains the decision to start charging viewers $1.99 for their latest premium multimedia content.  Maggie Steber, whose piece “Rite of Passage,” is one of the first offered under this arrangement, responds to early critics of the new publishing model.
  • Kathy Ryan, for The New York Times‘ 6th Floor blog, covers the Alex Webb interview with Geoff Dyer at last weekend’s Look3 Festival, offers some choice quotes and a selection of images that appeared in the photographer’s retrospective monograph The Suffering of Light (Aperture 2011). PhotoShelter Blog offers a more extensive “Look3 Festival Round-Up,” in journal format with images of some of the exhibition spaces.
  • Joerg Colberg publishes a piece on Conscientious called “Photography After Photography (A Provocation)” which addresses the question, “Now that we’ve done all that stuff that you can see in history-of-photography books, now that we’ve become obsessed with re-creating that past over and over again – how can we turn around, to look at and move into the future?” It garnered a bit of attention and a response from Fototazo titled “What Is Progress in Photography Today?
  • PetaPixel posts this video of a talk that Lytro founder Ren Ng gave at TEDxSanJoseCA last month on the future of photography, exploring how his company’s revolutionary camera which allows users to “shoot now, focus later,” will change the art form.  They also shared a nice info-graphic this week, “A Shapshot of the Photography Industry” which illustrates just how rapidly technology has revolutionized the field. In 2000, 99% of photography was analog. Today, that number is more like 1%.
  • LIFE publishes “Father’s Day Special: Life with Famous Dads,” featuring a slideshow of images from their archive, NYTimes’ LENS Blog takes a look at work by Zun Lee, “Exploring African American Fatherhood,” and NPR’s The Picture Show profiles the highly compelling photographs by Timothy Archibald–”Frustrated By Autism, A Father Turns To Photos“–which explore not his son’s diagnosis, but their ensuing relationship.

Game Changer: MediaStorm Launches Pay-Per-Story Video Player

MediaStorm broke new ground in digital publishing on Tuesday with the launch of a pay-per-story video player, one of the industry’s most exciting attempts to capitalize on the strength of multimedia productions. Now in its seventh year, the Brooklyn-based multimedia studio has developed an industry-wide reputation for producing strong online documentary multimedia. Before the launch of their new player, which was two years in the making, all content on their site was available free of charge. Now users have to pay $1.99 to watch full stories. As has been MediaStorm’s tradition, half of all revenue generated is shared with the photographers whose work is featured.

Users can watch the trailer for free, but then are prompted to pay to watch the full video. Registration and payment takes about two minutes to complete. “Everyone was initially against it,” says Brian Storm, MediaStorm’s founder and executive producer, of the staff’s resistance to charge for content. “Everyone wants people to see their work, but the reality is if a million people watch our story, it costs a ton of money…we have got to diversify our revenue and say, ‘This is worth your money.’”

By charging for its videos, MediaStorm is sending a message to its viewers that their content is worth more than just their time. Storm’s ultimate goal in launching the player is to advance the way the organization is telling stories—to do more of it, and do it better.

More importantly, Storm feels strongly that this player could be an integral part of how visual journalism is viewed and shared on the Web. MediaStorm has already licensed the player to the Guggenheim Museum and NGOs, and has further plans to make it available to others.

“If we figure this out and share it with others, that’s what success looks like,” Storm says of the player. “Helping the industry get better at what we do.”

Beyond that, the success of the player stands to have big implications for the cadre of visual journalists who could use it to get their stories out there. “That’s Yahtzee. That’s the Holy Grail. This is one step in the process of building that solution,” Storm says.

What it really comes down to for Storm is promoting visual journalism – regardless of whether that originates in or outside of the walls of his company. “The playback of our content is central to who we are, so to take ownership of that and innovate around it was a critical move,” Storm said. MediaStorm Developer Shameel Arafin and Interactive Designer Tim Klimowicz crafted a player that allows full control for branding and video playlists among other functions.

The coding that MediaStorm used to build the player allows the company incredible control – like knowing where their content is being used and viewed, and retaining the ability to turn it off remotely if the player is being misused.

The launch of the player coincides with the publication of two gripping stories in which award-winning photographers Phillip Toledano and Maggie Steber documented the death of one of their parents.

“We’ve been able to reach millions of viewers by distributing our stories for free,” Storm said. “But the reality is, no company or industry can sustain itself for long without producing a product for which people are willing to pay. Our industry is in need of a sustainable business model that will allow us to continue to report and produce compelling stories.”

Ultimately, Storm’s goal is that people will continue to log in, watch the story and learn.

Brian Storm is the founder and executive producer of MediaStorm.

Maggie Steber’s ‘Rite of Passage’ and the Gift of Memory

It was almost a decade ago that photographer Maggie Steber realized that her mother, Madje Steber, was not going to get better. Although her mother had always lived independently, her dementia had gotten to the point where that would no longer be possible.

“I started photographing my mother as soon as I realized I was going to have to move her out of her home in Austin,” says Steber. “She would never let me photograph her before. When her defenses were down—and I’m sure some people will say that’s not right—I started photographing her.”

The project was originally intended as purely personal, a way for Steber to cope during her mother’s illness and a way for her to remember her mother in later days. There was also video, filmed as Madje Steber’s condition deteriorated, which would allow the photographer to remember how her mother moved and sounded. But along the way, says Steber, she realized that the project could be more than something she would dust off and look at when she wanted to remember. After a shorter project created for AARP and then a period of time away from the work after her mother’s death in 2009, Maggie Steber (in collaboration with MediaStorm) made a film, Rite of Passage, which will premiere June 11 at Galapagos Art Space in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Steber’s film involves photos and video taken at difficult moments and at beautiful ones—moments when Steber says her mother came out of herself and lost her shyness. Her mother’s reluctance to be photographed was, she thinks, a result of her youth and beauty passing; “it was so lovely to have these pictures where she was happy and beautiful again,” she says. The photographer hopes that those transcendent moments will teach viewers that illness comes in waves, that stages will pass and—perhaps most of all—that if you are willing to be a “warrior” on behalf of your loved one, they can have a positive end-of-life experience. Nobody told her how to navigate doctors and medications, and part of her goal is to help others with the research that accompanies a loved one’s death. “If you can stick with it,” she says, “there’s this rather remarkable gift at the end.”

Maggie Steber

Madje Steber naps with her favorite toy, a stuffed kitty, in her room at Midtown Manor, an assisted living facility, in Hollywood, FL. in 2007.

Part of that gift is knowing that you’ve done what you could. Steber says that she was aware from a young age that her mother, the single mother of a single child, would die one day and that she had a responsibility to be there for it. And she was: “I was able to hold my mother while she took her last breath,” she says.

The other part is meeting your parent all over again, with all the barriers down. Steber says that, as her mother lost touch with the past, they lost touch with the mother-daughter relationship. “They don’t recognize you anymore. They fall in love with somebody else. They think the caregiver is their daughter,” she explains. “That’s a little startling, it hurts a little bit, but I started to see her as Madje.” It’s difficult for children to see their parents as individuals separate from themselves, but Madje became a whole woman to Maggie, someone who told marvelous stories, someone who had been a scientist and would have wanted her last days to help ease medical confusion, someone who could have become a friend if they had started out as strangers. “I just fell in love with her,” says Steber. “I know I would have just really enjoyed knowing this woman.”

Steber’s photographs and videos were made in order to preserve just one woman’s memory of a mother, but she says she hopes that her decision to share will help other people decide to look for those gifts of memory. “It doesn’t come easily, but it’s worth it,” she says. “You have to live with that for the rest of your life and I just think if you can live with the happier memories, the discovery and seeing somebody blossom even as they’re disappearing right in front of you, you have that to hold onto. And maybe it is the best thing you’ll ever do.”

Maggie Steber’s Rite of Passage premieres June 11 at Galapagos Art Space, along with Phillip Toledano’s A Shadow Passes, another film from MediaStorm about the loss of a loved one. More information about the event is available here.