Rethinking Photographers Part 2

Week 3 Position and Practice

What you are up against in developing a fulfilling career?

Wedding Photograph – Andre Nagel

As a aspiring full time photographic practitioner I constantly need to understand my relevance in the world I live in, find ways to provide value to the community, find a way to sell a unique offering and provide add-on services that will differentiate me from the competition. The following are the current challenges to my photographic practice.

Perception The low cost of distributing a digital image and the high level of automation and marketing of camera equipment based on this of the has changed the perception professional photographer.

Economy The economic down turn has had it impact on what people can afford to pay for photographic work and they resort to taking their own photographs. A number of amateur photographers that lose their jobs resort to Photography to find a stop gap and are embarking in short term careers. Government and museum grants for the arts are also severely curtailed as money is channeled to more important agendas.

Lack of business skills. Even a Artist needs to build a business system to make their practice sustainable. Most practitioners believe that their skill will sustain them. I was working as a part-time wedding photographer for many years before embarking on a full time career. Your ordinary work life and amateur approach does not teach you how to market yourself, build business relationships and partnership, to business planning and just effectively manage their business. This results in unsustainable en-devours.

High pressure sales techniques Some photographic practitioners are bringing the industry in disrepute through hard sales and “free service” advertising in the hope to get sales making the photography practice a commodity

Stock photo libraries are overstocked. Supply and demand drives the economy. An oversupply of photographic content by stock libraries has reduced the price of photographs

The abundance,free supply and illicit copying of low resolution images. The internet has always been a source of “free” low res images and this floods the market

The over saturation and noise created by the number of images. Social media taught viewers to scan photographs. My experience is that the time a person spends on an image is approximately 2 seconds.

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