A photographer from a well know national magazine was assigned to cover the fires at Yellowstone National Park. The magazine wanted to show some of the heroic work of the fire fighters as they battled the blaze. When the photographer arrived, he realized that the smoke was so thick that it would seriously impede or make it impossible for him to photograph anything from ground level. He requested permission to rent a plane and take photos from the air. His request was approved and arrangements were made. He was told to report to a nearby airport where a plane would be waiting for him. He arrived at the airport and saw a plane warming up near the gate. He jumped in with his bag and shouted, "Let's go!'' The pilot swung the little plane into the wind, and within minutes they were in the air. The photographer said, "Fly over the park and make two or three low passes so I can take some pictures." "Why?" asked the pilot. "Because I am a photographer," he responded, "and photographers take photographs." The pilot was silent for a moment; finally he stammered, "You mean you're not the flight instructor?"
In the 1930’s – 40’s commercial photographers were considered the artists of their times. The scene shifted in the 1950’s – 60’s and the photojournalists who worked for Life and Look magazines were the most celebrated photographic artists. Today photojournalists are no longer in demand to tell us about the world, because TV does it with the evening news. Mass media magazines now use photographers to illustrate stories on movie stars, sports and newsmakers and are no longer the creative galleries for commercial and editorial photography.