a photoblog by ben fredman

Friday, February 27, 2009

here we go.

This post has been long overdue. Fitting I write about this on the day one of America's best newspapers, the Rocky Mountain News, published it's final edition. The economy and the newspaper business is in utter turmoil.

Last month, I found myself on the wrong end of an involuntary staff reduction. I've got nothing to hang my head about. I'm happy with the work I did during my time here at the FLS. It came down to decisions and circumstances far out of my control. Sadly, I've witnessed many talented friends, colleagues and scores of people I've never met finding themselves in the same position.

I'm not gonna kvetch and whine. My time in newsrooms across America has been an incredible experience and given me the opportunity to see some spectacular things. When one door closes, another opens. I've come to the conclusion that this is a perfect time for me to explore the world, travel, continue to tell stories, and move into a freelance career. I'm young, have no debts, nothing to tie me down, there are no jobs here and the economy will most likely remain in the gutter for at least one or two years. So I'm planning a trip to China to live with my brother for a few months and work on a project. From there, I'm not really sure. Most likely I'll head to Israel — a nation that since my initial aspirations to be a photojournalist sparked my interest and curiosity.
Oh yeah, here are a bunch of photos from a story I started here and never quite finished. It's found a home on my blog...

Parker's marina is a father and son operation led by Henry Parker Sr., 82, and his fifty-year-old son Henry Jr. Their livelihood depends on operating the marina, crabbing and collecting oysters. They've both been working at the marina their entire lives. However, a floundering economy, rising gas prices, decreasing crab and oyster population and increased county and government regulation have made for the toughest year since the 1936.

Best of luck to everyone out there...strange days indeed.


Michael P. King said...


I'm so sorry to hear this. Nobody deserves to go through that. Please know that I'm thinking about you and I hope you'll let me know if I can do anything.

I was laid off in December and I worked my way back into a position at a different publication nearby. It really sucks to be forced out, especially when it was a place you liked.

I don't have any great answers... I mean, hell it's been three months since the ax came down on me and you could say that I'm still coping with some aspects of it. But I think you have to look at it through this lens: You're one hell of a talented guy. You worked your butt off to get to this point and you did a hell of a job. This experience, however disappointing, will teach you a lot and make you stronger. You'll move on and do many more wonderful things in your life and career.

I hope you're excited about what lies ahead. Damn, dude... I'm excited for you! Just let me know if I can do anything... even if it's phone-time to just talk some shit out. Let me know man.


Mark Johnston said...

It's scary to see great talent such as yourself being laid off making interns/rookies like myself wonder what the future holds. But like so many others, I just can't imagine doing anything else with my life.

andrei said...

Nice work, Ben!

Angela said...

Best of luck!

The beauty of it all is that uncertain as the future may seem, you are as free as one can be.

Great work and looking forward to see more.


Steve Bartel said...

Sorry to hear about this Ben, but I'm glad you're taking it in stride. It's gut-check time for the industry and I hope we'll all see you standing on the other side of this shitstorm.

William DeShazer said...

Godspeed my friend. You're in my thoughts and prayers.

Tully said...

you. will. fail. i learn my words of inspiration from you. just kidding. you're gonna kick ass dude.


I am a freelance photographer and educator specializing in documentary, editorial and travel photography based in St. Petersburg FL.
All Images © Ben Fredman, The Free Lance-Star, The Dallas Morning News, The Star-Ledger, The Muskegon Chronicle and The Post Register.