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  1. #26
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    Re: Why I think professional photography (as a business) is about to die...

    I'm teasing you. Artists have it difficult, because they need to produce creative content AND be creative business people. I am sure that the traditional means of making money in photography are under a lot of pressure. Customers are fickle.

  2. #27
    drg
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    la recherche de trolls drg's Avatar
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    Re: Why I think professional photography (as a business) is about to die...

    I couldn't disagree more. There's potential here for a long diatribe. In fact I started on two and deleted them but I'll say at the moment that what was pro photography is already 'dead' for the most part. But there are new avenues open.

    One example I've mentioned and written about a number of times is that most of my deliverables are now not only all digital, but will never be printed, ever. Print itself is contracting so rapidly that it may be dead and that 'type' of photography with it.

    For the time being specialization is the killer. I've watched studio after studio go out of business over the past 5 years. Too many and too little demand at any cost level. I had a big turnover in the past two years and have less than around 20% of the same clients that I did have. I know most of these are short term so am changing or evaluating what I'll be doing in another five years.

    Sports photography has always been fickle and low profit for all but a handful of photographers. Sports journalists are not very highly paid and its a scramble even for big time pro work like the NFL or NASCAR. Either the shooter hooks up with an employer or it is feast or famine at every event.

    Luckily I also can consult in areas of imaging and photography that are not just me behind the camera. New digital media has opened lots of potential venues; how they are going to be monetized isn't clear to anyone. But content is King, and the King always gets paid.

    Professional photography dead, no. What is was yesterday? Also no. Still money in traditional facets of it but those are changing to something new.

    More at another time.
    CDPrice 'drg'
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  3. #28
    project forum co-moderator Frog's Avatar
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    Re: Why I think professional photography (as a business) is about to die...

    Quote Originally Posted by bfletch
    I agree that photography as a profession is starting to die off. With the professional equipment readily availible to anyone who can afford it, now anyone can take professional pictures. Also without professional equipment, and with just a computer and some software you can make even terrible pictures look professional. So it sadens me to agree with you, but you are correct.

    That's like saying that if I go buy a really good hammer, then I can build nice houses.
    Keep Shooting!

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  4. #29
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Re: Why I think professional photography (as a business) is about to die...

    Quote Originally Posted by Frog
    That's like saying that if I go buy a really good hammer, then I can build nice houses.
    Just make sure you buy the same one that guy on TV has...

    I bought the same guitar that Carlos Santana has. You should hear me play!
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  5. #30
    Sports photo junkie jorgemonkey's Avatar
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    Re: Why I think professional photography (as a business) is about to die...

    I may not be a professional photography, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn last night!
    Nikon Samurai #21



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  6. #31
    Moderator Skyman's Avatar
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    Re: Why I think professional photography (as a business) is about to die...

    wow, this thread is nuts and I am probably nuts for wading in, but I after reading it all I wanted to throw in my thoughts anyway...

    It comes down to one very simple idea:
    work out what the customer wants and provide it for them.

    If you are having trouble with web content creators posting your images in ways that aren't likely to infringe on your ability to profit, then offer to do the work for them. That is create web pages of your photos that they can integrate into their site, less work for them and still allows you to not only protect your own copyright but potentialy add online sales into the mix.

    reading between the lines though it sounds like when the money was good you didn't pay attention to the business as it took care of itself and you allowed yourself to fall into a place where your customers were abusing your work. As the market tightened, looking to fix the revenue streams you are at a disadvantage as the power you unknowingly transfered to the track managers is preventing you from protecting your own bottom line.

    That is where the business comes in. There should have been a contract all along that stipulated you were providing images of X to be used for Y. If that was the case then when X images turned up being used for Z you can contact the purchaser of Y usage for failing to ensure they upheld the terms of the contract.

    I am guessing that when you first got this gig, the tracks used the carrot of access and the title of track photographer to gain usage of the pics you shot. Win win as long as you are free to generate revenue from them elsewhere, but since that market is dwindling partially because of the tracks themselves, you are caught between a rock and a hard place. The tracks know there is always another talented fan who would be more than happy to give up their photos for access to the track and the name track photographer. In fact for a student that would probably be a mutually beneficial trade.

    If motorsport is going to remain your thing I would be looking to identify as many other motorsport markets as you can, and working out exactly what they might want, then take a look at your work and see if you can't make them an offer, or maybe make a few small changes in what you shoot and why and see if they are interested. There are always markets and some of them are actually lucrative we just need to spend more time identifying and servicing them.
    Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum videtur


  7. #32
    Senior Member dbutler's Avatar
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    Re: Why I think professional photography (as a business) is about to die...

    I agree with PJ. It doesn't matter how good your stuff is, if you don't understand how to shoot. I recently spoke to someone who insisted that the equipment was what made you or broke you. But I am one who truly believes in the saying that it's the person behind the camera that makes a good photo. I've seen people who shoot with Mamiya's whose work just plain sucks and those with P&S cameras that really take some great shots.

    The U.S. underwent tons of changes that were supposed to doom us but instead made us greater. We went from an agricultural nation to an industrial. From industrial to technological. From here, I don't know where we're going but we'll find our footing. As have most industrialized nations before us. The difference is whether you are buying into fatalism hook, line, and sinker or are looking forward enough to see what may be coming and adapting yourself to beat the wave.

    Photography is NOT doomed. You just need to find where you fit in, OR re-create yourself altogether. If racing is the only thing that sparks passion, then you need to figure out how to make yourself more prominent, and if you can't get driven to do that (no pun intended) then hang it up. But it's all up to you whether you do or whether you don't.

    I HATE portraiture, but it's where my money is, so I do it. I still do what I love (funky, abstract, weirdo stuff that makes ME happy, if not anyone else).

    I also moved to where there was a more affluent market. Because one of the excuses I hate the most from my friends who are unemployed is "I can't move! This is where my friends are and I am not selling my house!" Then stay unemployed. For myself, I will do what I have to do to succeed.

    But I'm not writing this to Strader. He's not listening. I'm writing this to anyone reading the post and thinking it's a death knell and deciding not to pursue their dream. If you want it badly enough, you can do it! Even if it has to be an aside for the time being. Because things will turn around. And those folks who want a 24x36 professionally mounted image, on quality paper, done by a professional who understands profiles, and color spaces, and composition, and exposure and...Well, I'll be ready for 'em!
    Dee
    www.amomentisforever.com

    I'm leaving my husband for my D3X! I'm in love!!!

    Please, feel free to edit the images I submit for critique. I'm a visual kind of gal!

  8. #33
    Senior Member dbutler's Avatar
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    Re: Why I think professional photography (as a business) is about to die...

    oh, and right click disabling isn't going to stop someone who wants to grab your picture. Even I know how to get around right click disabled images, and I'm not the best at figuring out stuff like that. You're best protection is low rez images and watermarks that are a pain to get rid of. Just a tiny blurb about copyright and your name on the lower right corner is too easy to crop out or clone out. Make it large enough to create a lot of trouble for anyone wanting to take the image to get rid of, but not so obtrusive that the image serves as a background for the watermark. Juts an aside. Back to the show.
    Dee
    www.amomentisforever.com

    I'm leaving my husband for my D3X! I'm in love!!!

    Please, feel free to edit the images I submit for critique. I'm a visual kind of gal!

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