Recently, I was talking to a very experienced assignment photographer who has been in the business for more than 20 years. He told me, “One of the hardest things for photographers with some experience to come to terms with is that what we produce is not worth as much as it used to be.”
This is something photographers don’t want to believe – but it’s true. Here are a few reasons why:
1. There is huge oversupply of imagery easily available as stock. This not only hurts the market for stock, but makes it easier for many customers to buy stock rather than making an assignment.
2. Digital equipment has made it much easier for customers to produce many of the images they need on their own rather than hiring a photographer.
3. Graphic designers with the artistic skills to understand what makes a good picture now have the capabilities, through technological advances, to produce many of the pictures they need themselves.
4. Many people have learned how to use Photoshop to start with a less than perfect image and turn it into something that is ideal for their needs.
5. The biggest users of professional still photos has always been print publications, but the proliferation of new marketing channels has diminished the importance of print marketing.
6. The use of photos on the Internet is growing, but photos of lesser quality are often more than acceptable for Internet use. In addition, Internet customers have lower budgets.
7. The Internet has enabled amateurs to participate in the professional market, further diluting the chances of professionals generating revenue.
8. The Web has changed everything for advertisers, because it is now possible to make much more precise measurements of the results of any ad spend.
Some things to think about.
[tags]jim pickerell, stock photography, Photoshop[/tags]