Last month, the Post sent around an email to all its freelance photogs, telling them that they'd basically have to re-audition for the photo editors at the paper if they wanted to continue to be considered for work. Lots of photographers were understandably upset; it's a bit of a slap in the face for someone who's a working professional to be called in and asked to try out for a job they've been doing for years. Nonetheless, the paper insisted, and now reports have started circulating about what they're being made to do. And really, it all sounds a bit odd.
Freelancers check in at Post HQ in Manhattan, where someone logs the serial numbers of their camera equipment. This is to make sure they have their own pro gear and aren't just borrowing it from other freelancers.
Then the photographers are put in a car and driven up to the Post printing plant in the Bronx. Once there, they must complete three mock assignments:
* Photograph someone through the window of a car.
* Photograph someone leaving a building (as if on a perp walk).
* Photograph a piece of artwork (as if capturing a family photo or other document out in the field).
It sounds like all they really care about is the equipment, and the fake assignment is just a ruse, but still. It seems like an awful lot of trouble to go to. And embarrassing. For everyone.