There’s no doubting that our smartphones can take excellent quality pictures these days, in most cases doing away with the need for a compact digital camera. However, one US newspaper’s decision to lay off its entire team of professional photographers based on the notion that an iPhone can take a decent enough shot, seems rather crazy.
But that’s exactly what the Chicago Sun-Times has recently done. A team of 28 professional photographers no longer work for the paper, which has been running since 1844 and is now one of the largest publications in the entire United States, boasting over 260,000 paid subscribers last year.
A memo from the Sun-Times’ Managing Editor Craig Newman recently leaked online, showing how he planned to work ‘iPhone photography basics’ into photo training for editorial employees. iPhone basics was in fact the first port of call laid out in the training schedule, so it appears that the paper is trying to move with the times in order to get its writers reaching for their pocket for a snap instead of tuning up a DSLR.
Of course, in certain situations the iPhone – or many other smartphones, for that matter – would take a great quality snap with aplomb, and usually in a faster and easier manner than a large DSLR camera would. However, as professional photographers would no doubt argue, a professional camera setup would offer a much higher level of detail and customisation, especially when it comes to large prints and zoomed in shots.
Professional photography isn’t completely gone from the Chicago Sun-Times, and the publication says it will be using freelance photographers from time to time. However, the focus – pardon the pun – will be increasingly on mobile photography going forward.
Good decision or bad? Let us know your thoughts on the Chicago Sun-Times’ odd decision.