World Press Photo, Pulitzer-Winning Photographer Struggles to Find Work

I have just been the reading on 'Editor and Publisher' a challenging tale of the times we are all living at the moment.

Winner of 'World Press Photo' Anthony Suau recounts his unsuccessful battle to get his excellent photo essay on the economic crisis in Cleveland ,Ohio, published in 'Time' magazine.

Any regular readers of 'The Dark Art' will know that I have considerable sympathy with this situation.

What I find truly disturbing though are the comments attributed to Suau in the 'Editor and publisher' story

The last two months have been especially bad, Suau says. He hasn't had a single assignment except for covering the presidential inauguration for a Japanese book publisher.

"If the situation continues like it has in the last two months, down the road I would be in danger," Suau says. "Do I have to get another job to do something? I don't know. I may have to do something else besides photography."

Anthony, who has won a total of two World Press awards and the 1984 Pulitzer Prize for feature photography,is a seasoned pro with 20 years experience,covering conflicts and human crises around the world.

Judging from the experience of many of my peers, Anthony is not alone in these particularly trying times.

It brought to mind an experience I had in 1993 when I won the 'Nikon Feature Photographer of the year award'

I really thought I had arrived, lots of Picture Editors came up to me at the awards and complimented me on my work.

So I waited for the phone to ring......waiting for that call for some big gig or another.

Waiting for the magic wand to be waved by someone, anyone, but myself

I was to wait for some time, as 'The' phone call which I waited for never actually came.

I never did quite work it out

But I do have a theory..................

I reckon that when one wins a prize or an award, be it big or small, it may be best to consider it as a tool with which to promote oneself with, nothing more, nothing less

I wonder what would have happened if I had been more proactive after my small piece of success?

What I do know when I have had success subsequently I have used it as a license to be a right royal persistent pain in the backside to any art director or commissioning editor who will open the door to me.

I wish Anthony all the best with his career and hope he gets the work he so richly deserves.

The photographic world would be a poorer place without him.