Featured photographer – Jimmy Wixtröm

The award-winning photographer Jimmy Wixtröm has been working as a photojournalist since the age of 17. He started his career at the local newspaper, Karlskoga Kuriren, in Sweden. Since 2007 he has been working as a staff photographer at Scandinavia’s largest newspaper, Aftonbladet. Jimmy mainly concentrates on sports and has used Shootitlive from some of the biggest sport events in the world, including the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and the 2011 IIHF WC in Slovakia.

What are the most challenging aspects of your job?
The sheer volume of work that I have to maintain and the pressure to maintain very high standards are really difficult parts of working for a newspaper. Deadlines are generally the most stressful part of the job.

What are the benefits with live publishing?
It’s simple and smooth. I don’t have to fuss with a computer, instead I can focus on what’s important i.e. to take good pictures at the right moment. Shootitlive makes it possible to quick and easily provide pictures for both the web and the print edition without changing my workflow or jeopardize any deadlines.

What’s your favorite live coverage moment with Shootitlive?
Well, I have a couple of them and my favorite moment is always the one I’m about to capture. But I guess I have to kill my darlings. First, is a shot of the Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic when he played his first match for AC Milan. The second is when Sidney Crossby waving the large Canadian flag after scoring the “Golden Goal” at the Vancouver Olympics. These photos were published seconds after they were captured.


Sidney Crossby

What type of equipment do you use?
I used to be a Canon snapper but I recently switched to Nikon which means a mental conflict most photographers can understand. I shoot with full frame Nikon D3 bodies, with a variety of lenses from 14mm to 600mm. To send and publish live images I’m using the Nikon WT-4 Wi-Fi transmitter together with a Cradlepoint 3G-Router (CTR-500).

How important is live publishing and minute-by-minute coverage for Aftonbladet.se?
It’s essential for our sports coverage. If Sweden plays a World Cup final the visitors expect to get the best pictures instantly. It’s my job to fill that need. With Shootitlive I have the tool to publish pictures at the same moment I captured them. It’s a major competitive advantage for me and it raises the standard of our website.

What tools of the trade does a newbie need to know?
Computers and cameras: live them, love them, know them.

How can our readers contact you in case of queries?
Well, my twitter nick is @jimmywixtrom and my website is www.wixtrom.com. I love to get honest feedback on my work!

Picture of the week s01e05

The head of Sweden’s main centre-left opposition party, Mona Sahlin, resigned after a historic low election result. This weekend at the Social Democrat congress she was honored for her contributions to the party. The newly elected party leader Håkan Juholt described her with one word: courage. Twelve minutes into the tribute speech Sahlin couldn´t hold back her tears and the farewell became very emotional.

After september’s poor election result, the worst since 1914, the Social Democrats hopes for a fresh new start.

2011-03-26 Social Democrat Congress, Photo: Suvad Mrkonjic / Expressen

The resigned party leader Mona Sahlin couldn´t hide her tears at the Social Democratic congress.

This photo was part of Expressen.se ‘s live coverage of the S-Congress. During the weekend you were able to follow the latest updates via live blogging, live TV and a Shootiltive live photo feed. The live photo feed was updated continuously by five photographers on location: Suvad Mrkonjic, Martina Huber, Cornelia Nordström, Christian Örnberg and Stefan Forsell.

Photographers must claim their place

Neil Burgess says in his article “For God’s sake, somebody call it!” that magazines and newspapers are no longer putting any money into photojournalism. They no longer fund photo-reportage. They only fund photo illustration. I’m sad to say that I agree. But does it really stop there?

Last Friday I held a presentation at the Swedish Picture Of The Year Award where I talked about what I believe is the biggest threat to staff photographers. I just put together this blog post that sums up what I was talking about. Happy reading!

Shootitlive workshop Eivind Vogel-Rödin

Are staff photographers really needed?

With an increased focus on the web the staff photographer’s role on a newspaper has dramatically changed. A web editor often need the content as quickly as possible. When the staff photographer can’t fill that need the web editor is forced to find other ways. A photo illustration can easily be obtained by using stock-photos, reader images or screenshots. If you visit any of the biggest news sites in the world you will see that they are bursting with stock images. Even worse is the publication of screen shots from televised broadcasts wich isn’t a new phenomenon. Even though the newspaper have a photographer on location taking great shoots, the photos are simply not used in the online edition. Total waste of time, resources and money.

The online edition of a newspaper have always fought in the backwater of the paper edition. As staff photographers generaly works for the paper edition the web editor has to settle with leftover pictures. When editors have become used to get photos in other ways, they’ll ask themselves whether they really need staff photographers at all.

I recently met an online manager at one of Europe’s biggest news sites. I asked him how many photographers they had. He looked at me and said:

“Photographers? We don’t need photographers”

Note. This newspaper has a photo department but they dont work for the online edition.

This is a big problem as we all know that the future is online. If this trend continues, it means that news photographers will no longer be a part of the editorial work inside the news room. The cold truth is that staff photographers must claim their place in order to prove their existence.

Make photographers profitable

The photo department is often seen as a unnecessary cost, which has resulted in cut backs and little or no investments in new employees. But hey, wait a second! How about creating new revenue streams for the newspapers?

Real-time reporting is becoming more common and something that readers expect. The next step for real-time reporting is to add real-time photos. A live photo feed in a minute by minute coverage is an attractive advertising opportunity. This transforms the photographer on location to an untapped resource.

With the ability to provide content filled updates faster, better and cheaper then ever you can create a live photo feed where on-the-field photographers publish photos and video clips of current events live as they unfold, from any location with 3G coverage. This is done without changing the photographers or the editors workflow and with existing resources.

This is a brilliant opportunity to monetize and show the strength of a powerful photo department. By using new technologies we are able to directly measure the revenues generated by the photo department. We have to embrace and accept that the craft for news photographers isn’t what it used to be. Those of us who don’t see these opportunities and are willing to change does not only dig his own grave but for all photojournalists.

The photojournalism “golden age” was between 1920 to 1950 and was based on technological breakthroughs such as the first compact camera, electronic flash units and light sensitive films. In the 21st century, photojournalism is on a down fall but the possibilities are so much greater. All these possibilities are open to all, but are they explored by the photo departments?

Who holds back, is it the executives or the photographers?

Even in the 1940s, it was important to transfer photos quickly

I found this 1940s industrial film that shows what it took to produce a modern newspaper at that time. The Minneapolis Star Journal describes production gadgets along with the explanation of how a press photographer transfered a photo from the field in only 8 minutes (1:03 into the movie). They proudly declared wirephotos as one of our modern miracles. Even in the 1940s, it was important for a press photographer to transfer photos quickly to speed up the publication.

Today it is more important than ever. With the ability to minimize deadlines and compress the process from the moment of exposure to the moment for publishing it is a huge competitive advantage to be able to send photos quicker and cheaper than the competition. We are proud to push the boundaries even further for the press photographers of the 21st century. We are confident that live publishing will become an important part of photojournalism around the globe and we are ready to serve the worlds publishers and professional photographers with the best live publishing platform possible!

The International Festival of Photojournalism

Hang out with Shoot it live in Southern France!
Tomorrow I’ll be taking off to the International Festival of Photojournalism to experience photojournalism in it’s finest form and to enjoy exhibitions with some of the greatest work in photography from around the world. Together with thousands of like minded people who share a love and passion for photography I´m about to wander the streets of Perpignan. Personally, I’m really looking forward to listen to Brian Storm and his presentation about Multimedia Storytelling and new ways for photographers to report and distribute stories to reach a global audience. It seems like a really promising week and If you are there and would like to socialize or talk about live publishing and the new era of digital photojournalism feel free to contact me!


Besides that it´s realy nice to extend the summer with the heat from the French sun!