Old 12-29-2007, 01:44 PM
lonestarphotog lonestarphotog is offline
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 1
lonestarphotog is on a distinguished road
Post I just became a Chief!

Hello to all, I'm looking for advice because I just became a Chief Photographer at a new station that just started up a few months ago. And I'm having trouble with the guys that I didnt hire listen to me.
1 Of them is a rookie and thinks he knows more than me which is fine but I dont see it in his shooting or editing but I still take the time to critique his work with him but he dosent seem to listen and makes the same mistakes again the next day.

The other guy is older than I am now that I think about it all the guys are older than me. This guy I give him advice on how to make his shooting and editing better but dosent seem to apply anything we talked about to his work. Which is really frustrating because I want my guys to become photojournalist.

What is really frustrating is that all the other guys from other stations say they know when i shot and edited a story or when the other guys worked on it. Even when the guys from other stations dog my photogs I stick up for them, am I doing right for sticking up for them? I want all of our work to look the same but with their S T Y L E. Its not only in shooting and editing these guys dont put away equipment like I ask them to. They leave cables and lights all over the place leaving cameras at the edge of the tables etc.

Ive read replies to some of the other threads and I like what I have read, so what advice can some of you offer me?

Sorry for the grammer and misspells Im in a hurry.
Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2007, 03:05 PM
Tdomi74's Avatar
Tdomi74 Tdomi74 is offline
Brad Ingram
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 261

First off, you have got to earn the trust and respect from your staff. You sound very gung ho about being Chief and you're doing the things a Chief should do with a staff. But it's a balancing act with each photographer.

With the reguards to your veteran shooter, know that it's hard to break life long habits. Once you get set in the way you do things later in life that's the way it's done. So take it from his side, you got some one younger telling him how he needs to be shooting stories this way instead of his way. Where in his case he has been doing it his way for years and is set in his ways. You're going to have to be more patient with a veteran to come around to the standards you demand.

Also know that not everyone is going to buy in to what you want to accomplish. Sometimes it's good to have a vet on staff that will come in shoot a story(maybe not up to your standards) and then go home to his family. Instead a kid that is out drinking, calling in sick when there not sick. Being a cancer with the rest of the staff for whatever reason.

As the know it all shooter goes, we all where like that when we first started. Remember what knocked you down from your pedistal? I remember talking smack about carry the station one day, boy after that point when I screwed up it was always pointed out to me by the Chief or someone else on staff.

Too many times have I've seen Chiefs let it go to there heads about being a Chief.
Don't be the Chief that demands one thing from his staff and then doesn't practice what he preach's. If you don't put back equipment, why should they put back the equipment? If you leave things a mess, why should they clean up after themselves?

Lead by examaple!

Be patient!

Your goals for the staff isn't going to happen over night or next month. Some things may take years to resolve be it technical or personal. Know what shot term goals needs to be reslove and stick too it with your staff. Then what ever long term goals you have as a staff, pick and choose when to make them drink the kool-aid.

Some people you may have to ride them hard, while others will come around when they come around. Hope this helps!
"Im not gonna say if I won or lost but I showed up" Tie Domi
Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2007, 03:08 PM
thru-the-lens's Avatar
thru-the-lens thru-the-lens is offline
PRO user
George Atkins
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 507
thru-the-lens is on a distinguished road

Don't try to be too over critical. Again use the "Praise in public. Criticize in private." method when dealing with people.

Don't try to correct everything at once. Go for little victories. When you end a critique session "always end on a positive." Point out something they do well.

As for not putting equipment up...Esspecially the "leaving cameras on edge of tables" point out that all it takes is for the table to get bumped and the camera crashes down to the ground. Believe me it is only a matter of time before one crashes down on the ground/floor.

It is kinda like being a soldier without a gun. You can't do your job if your camera doesn't work because you didn't take care of it. Stress the importance of taking care of their equipment.

Is the gear assigned? Assigned gear provides a sense of ownership. And a bigger sense of responsibilty.

When dealing with older photographers consider that they may be burned out. Try to find the spark. Build on what they do well. Chances are its the attention to detail that is being skipped. That few frames of video that moves at the begining and end of each shot that needs tightening up in the edit.

Younger know it all. Ask him why he makes the same mistake day after day? Let him know that you are just trying to build upon the basics and take him to the next level. Realize that it takes time for the beginner to experience all that the job throws at them...changing light conditions at sunset and daybreak. Windows, shade, full sun, rain, snow, cold, fog...multboxes, line level audio, mic level. Just treat it as a reminder when pointing stuff out to them.

Good luck. Remember " Praise in public" is really the best tool to build a staff morale.

"Racing is Life! Anything that happens before or after is just waiting." --Steve McQueen
Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2007, 09:45 PM
Lost in Alaska's Avatar
Lost in Alaska Lost in Alaska is offline
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 861
Lost in Alaska

Originally Posted by thru-the-lens View Post
Don't try to be too over critical. Again use the "Praise in public. Criticize in private." method when dealing with people.


Younger know it all. Ask him why he makes the same mistake day after day? Let him know that you are just trying to build upon the basics and take him to the next level. Realize that it takes time for the beginner to experience all that the job throws at them...changing light conditions at sunset and daybreak. Windows, shade, full sun, rain, snow, cold, fog...multboxes, line level audio, mic level. Just treat it as a reminder when pointing stuff out to them.

Good luck. Remember " Praise in public" is really the best tool to build a staff morale.

First of all, I am not a chief, but I have seen good examples of the good and bad. The first part of this will go a long way. Think back to when people were critiqueing you. The good you wanted everyone to hear, the bad you dodn't want any one to hear.

The second part, I am assuming this person is male, 22-25 years old. It is VERY hard to make them change their ways. How do I know? I was one of them. It was pointed out to me by one of my former chiefs, and he has seen it with many people in the same age range. Keep working with them, showing them what is worng, how to fix it and why.

Good luck and congradulations on the job.
Chris Werner
Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end.
Closing Time - Semisonic
Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2008, 05:47 PM
Piratenews Piratenews is offline
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 8
Piratenews is on a distinguished road

A long time ago, in a market far far away, I was a Chief Photog. And, I faced some of these challenges as well. My staff was made up of very experienced photogs (who had been there since the dawn of time rubbing 2 sticks together to make a fire) and the young ones that I hired (who simply pulled out a lighter).

Here's what I did.

1.Thru-the-lens' pointed this one out, "Praise in public. Criticize in private." Great tool.

2.After that,I pulled the older guys off to the side and let them know that I needed their experience to help train the younger guys. Then, I took the younger ones off to the side and told them that I needed their help to fire up the older guys. (Not telling each side what I had done of course) It made them both feel like they were a part of the process and as such part of the team. Over time, the talent and experience of one would wear off on the other. But, I think I learned more from watching them than they ever learned from me. Both have something to offer.

3.As for an arrogant photog... don't feed the monster. Their own pride will be their downfall. Sometimes, that is the best lesson. But as Chief, you can't let that cancer spread into the staff. You may have to take them to the side and set them straight. I used to have an assignment editor that did it for me. When someone got alittle high on themselves, he saw to it they got city hall duty untill the high wore off. If they complained, he would say "hey, it's a visually poor story. I need to put my best on it or it will look like hell."

Remember, in this buisness, there are 3 kinds of Managers.

1. There are those who lead by example.
2. There are those who lead by intimidation.
3. And then there are those who are so bad they can't do either.

So far, I have worked for all the above. Category #2 and #3 will never be remembered for being a great Chief nor will his staff ever achieve its potential. But #1 and his staff will always rise to the top.

Good Luck
Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2008, 09:40 PM
AJ Willen
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 1,473
Lightbulb Congratulations!


1) Don't become an A$$hole!

2) Don't forget where you came from!

3) Educate the next generation of "photojournalists"! ... unquote...

"Yeah. I Shoot lucky."
Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2008, 02:10 PM
villagevidiot's Avatar
villagevidiot villagevidiot is offline
Billy Dry
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 207
villagevidiot is on a distinguished road

All good information, above...I spent 6 years in managment and learned one thing...being the manager is never a fun job. I am currently a staff photog, not a chief, but I aspire to be one someday. As a matter of fact, my chief calls me the the "chief wanna be" Your attitude is critical, if you are apathetic, so is your team, if you are negative so is your team. This is a marathon you are in. The veteran, I would leave him alone, until he comes to you with a question, keep him status quo. As for your newguy, stay consistent. Also remember that you have the opportunity to evaluate him once a year. If he is not staying up to speed and shooting up to snuff, document it. Document everything you do with him. He probably has an ego the size of Texas! It is important though to show all your guys respect in public, DO NOT BE CRITICAL OF ANY ONE PHOTOG TO ANOTHER PHOTOG EVER!!!! If you need to vent, grab a member of management and go vent! You have to consistently chip away and this mentality that you are a young gun and know nothing, show them that you do through your lens and mouse, and most importantly your attitude. You are the chief for a reason show it silently, but stay on your team, know whats going on in their lives and also know whats going on with their shooting!
These are the ramblings of the villagevidiot...so let it be edited so let it be rendered!
Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2008, 12:45 PM
Freddie Mercury's Avatar
Freddie Mercury Freddie Mercury is offline
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 960
Freddie Mercury is on a distinguished road

If your guys are falling short of your expectations, you need to define what those are and then make sure they know what you want. For example, if you want them to us lav mics instead of stick mics, tell them so and tell them why, and make sure you are doing it yourself. Also, be sure to let them know circumstances can make some stories exceptions.

It sounds like you already lead by example. The next step is to show them what it is that you do that you want them to do. Eventually this can be something you require, but that should be down the road for guys who refuse to come around. For now, some well-placed praise when you see it being done should go a long way.
"Any way the wind blows..."

If you're indifferent how can I reach you?
Just 'cause you're angry don't assume I'm weak - Pete Townsend
Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2008, 11:30 AM
Imachief Imachief is offline
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 108

Congratulations! Previous posters have imparted great advice. I have just a couple of thoughts for you from a staff morale perspective.

1) Never ask the staff to anythng you haven't done/won't do. Need someone to work the morning show on a very short turnaround? Do it yourself. Without complaint. The rest of the team will find out soon enough if you're really their leader.

2) New gear is fun for everyone. Don't take all the new toys for yourself & pass out your hand me downs. If someone needs new mics, but 'em & give 'em to the folks that need 'em. Same with lights, cars, tripods, or anything else. This can be a wonderful tool to motivate folks needing an attitude adjustment. Yeah, you can take the new stuff...you're the boss...but is it the right thing to do in a team situation?

3) You MUST be the team's advocate to the rest of the station. There will be times you have conflicts with producers/reporters, even the ND, or GM. Those can be dicey situations, but if your staff is right, then they are right, even of other managers disagree.

Good luck! If I can be of assistance, feel free to PM.
" I shoot EVERYTHING with available light. There's all kinds of lights in my gear available to me on a moments notice."
Reply With Quote


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
© 1996-2009 b-roll.net

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:53 AM.