is there anything better than a childhood dream? 9 year old Gracie Johnson dreams of becoming a photographer….she lives now in the Virginia town where i also dreamed of being a photographer at about the same age…Gracie and her family are part of my American family series Off For A Family Drive…Gracies’ father, U.S.Navy Capt. Andrew Johnson was the Director of Medical Operations on the first wave of Haitian relief after the earthquake serving on the military’s largest hospital ship Comfort…
so here at Burn we are creating Circus Magazine for photographers 18 and under…young Gracie will of course be a candidate photographer…. with less than 6 degrees of separation, we are also working in the kindred spirit of her physician father Capt. Johnson and will be using the fee many of you contributed as part of the EPF grant award for Burn to send approximately $6,000. to Doctors Without Borders specifically to be used for Haitian relief efforts….
this year the Emerging Photographer Fund grant will be given to one of 25 finalists…more than double the number of finalists as last year…this will be a very tough call for the jury that i will name next week….while i am very proud that the tenor of Burn has made it so that generous donors have made it possible to give out a $15,000. grant for 2010 for the completion of one photographer’s project, i still want to be on the leading edge of a wave that will help as many of the talented unknown as possible…
after allotting first for Haitian relief, then paying our fee to Slideroom for making the whole entry and judging process easy, Burn is left with a small profit from your entry fees…we had approximately 1000 entries…..so what to do with the profit?
Anton and i figured we had three choices: Do we?
(a) take a vacation in the Bahamas
(b) throw a helluva party in my loft in New York
(c) give the money back to the readers of Burn
those who know me, know the answer….and Anton is of like mind…yup (c), we are giving the money back to you….
starting on July 1, 2010 Burn Magazine will start paying for every essay and single published online in our magazine….
we will have to start with a token payment of $500. per essay for one time use rights on work that comes to us through submissions…more for a first time exclusive….we are confident this number will rise significantly as we seek outside support….now we are doing this with your money….a big circle….the right thing to do in this nebulous time in the world of publishing…
Burn will not last forever…Burn will always be small….we only care about one thing at Burn and it matches the way i feel about everything i do…i just want Burn to set high standards and live by example…and in this case hopefully stimulate the “big guys” to follow suit…the large media companies , even with advertising for support , are thinking of every way possible to keep from paying photographers for online content, and we at Burn are thinking of every way possible to make sure the young photojournalists and artists of our time are compensated for their work….so, this is our brick in the wall…and oh yes, i am still working on assignments for Burn readers and icons as well…be patient, this is part of it…this is how it will happen….
photography has never been a professional choice either craft or art where people were expecting to become wealthy…photographers work from their deepest passions, either artistic or journalistic…yet, compensation so that they may continue their passion and yet feed their families seems to me to be fair enough….
i want to take this time to thank Andrew and Melissa Johnson and their beautiful children Critt, Cole, and sweet Gracie for allowing me into their lives….yes, i have made a few pictures with medium format film for my personal project, but what will be even better is if Burn gives Gracie a good digital camera so that she will have the opportunity to photograph her family from the real inside….soon to be published on Circus….