"..Let's just accept that the world changes.." - A JamesNYC RANT

by JamesNYCSeptember 13. 2011 12:12

Sorry I can't hold beck on this one.

I saw the following text, which was a portion of something posted to a LinkedIn group.

"..Let's just accept that the world changes.."


My Reply:


I'm sorry but I for one, am not one of the sheep that just follows the: "Assumed trends"

Photographers need to grow a pair and start acting like business professionals; and not a bunch of whinny little boys wondering why they didn't get picked for basketball.


When I began back in the early 90's I watched as photographers gave up control and allowed the models and model agencies to dictate there businesses.
When I asked why the the photographer replied: "Well that's just the way it is"

Later we saw the arrival of the: "Photographer as Rock-star personality"  wholly lacking any technical or lighting  skills or any photographic abilities and relying entirely on their: photo assistants, production people and reps.
When I asked why the the photographer replied: "Well that's just the way it is. They have money, they have connections, they can buy what and whom ever they need in order to take a photo."

"Now a days you don't need a Rep as much as you need a PR person."


Gradually the market became saturated because everyone wanted to be a Rock-star Photographer.

In order to survive photographers and their reps began low balling day rates until a photographer previously making $10,000 a day for 8-12 great shots was now getting $1500 a day for 35-40 crappy ones

because the new young art directors did not know any better, and the photographers were too afraid to educate them.

The art directors not producing great work were let go by the agencies, and the photographers then had to spend more time marketing to new clients rather than being able to cultivate existing relationships.

Next came Digital.

And I heard: "OH this technology is so slow to evolve that film will be around for at least another decade."

4 years later 85% of the commercial photographers were shooting Digital and learning the new technology as fast as they could.

Which was follow by: " Oh this technology is so expensive and involved that it will really weed out the bad photographers."

Well as we have seen any idiot can now buy a camera that will take a properly exposed and in focus image,

and they now call themselves "Professional Photographers" because they sold an image for $50 that someone found posted on Flicker.


The photo industry is now over saturated with 'Working photographers' and there are very few "Professional photographers" left any more.

Proof of that is the quality of images we are and have been seeing all over the Internet, on TV and in magazines, at least those magazines still in existence.

What photographers of all levels need to come to realize is that:
"You are content creators and sales people. You are not artists"

YOU hold the key to the continued,.. No the very existence of commercial photography as some of us have known it for the past 40+ years.

YOU control the RATES.

YOU control the USAGE.

YOU control the QUALITY.

Web sites, Blogs, Magazines ONLY exist if they can display content.
IF that content is consistently of poor quality the magazine loses readers, losses advertising and dies.
DO we need to post examples here?

Despite what many company's think, most people know the difference between 'shi t and Shine-O-La' and also when the 'emperor has no clothes'.

FEAR alone is what drives this industry these days.
Fear of not getting the next job, paying the mortgage, the private school, and on and on.
But photographers only have themselves to blame.

Over the years I continually hear photographers saying:
"Oh the client doesn't have the money"

Well you know what?
The clients do have the money to spend, and I've seen it.
"They are just not willing to spend it on you!"

Photographers that are worth top dollar, get top dollar because the clients are well aware of what great imagery costs to produce.
The benefit to the companies is that their sales increase.
The return benefit to the photographer is that he gets hired again because no one in there right mind moves away from using a photographer or content producer that helps to generate or improve sales.

This all applies to every type of photographer: Weddings, events, portraits, advertising, commercial, fashion, editorial, it's just simple business sense.

Photographers, you want to make more money?
Than stopping selling yourselves short, stop low balling, stop giving away your usage rights & copyright,

step away from the computers and Photo shop and the dozens of plug-ins we see people playing with,

stop wasting time posting to linked in groups or others and get out and make images and become better photographers and sales people.

Because the real Pros don't post to Face book or Twitter or Linked-In; THEY ARE too busy making money.

This has been a JamesNYC rant
Copyright 2011 James Sullivan

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