Photographers or business analysts?

Started 11 months ago | Discussions
v1fan
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Photographers or business analysts?
11 months ago

Are we photographers or business analysts?

With all these industry news articles and blogers forecasting and pretending to be some sort of authority on photography market, it makes one wonder... What does all of this have to do with photography?

Richard Weisgrau
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Re: Photographers or business analysts?
In reply to v1fan, 11 months ago

v1fan wrote:

Are we photographers or business analysts?

With all these industry news articles and blogers forecasting and pretending to be some sort of authority on photography market, it makes one wonder... What does all of this have to do with photography?

I don't know about others, but I am a photographer. I have been in the business for 48 years. I have heard the predictions of the demise of the profession over and over again throughout that time. All those predictions were wrong. Unfortunately, the Internet has given voice to a huge number of opinionated people who have no credentials to back up their opinions. Now there are some business analysts out there, but much of the analysis I read is speculation developed without proper research. Fortunately, I have learned to disregard that stuff.

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Richard Weisgrau
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v1fan
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Re: Photographers or business analysts?
In reply to Richard Weisgrau, 11 months ago

Richard Weisgrau wrote:

v1fan wrote:

Are we photographers or business analysts?

With all these industry news articles and blogers forecasting and pretending to be some sort of authority on photography market, it makes one wonder... What does all of this have to do with photography?

I don't know about others, but I am a photographer. I have been in the business for 48 years. I have heard the predictions of the demise of the profession over and over again throughout that time. All those predictions were wrong. Unfortunately, the Internet has given voice to a huge number of opinionated people who have no credentials to back up their opinions. Now there are some business analysts out there, but much of the analysis I read is speculation developed without proper research. Fortunately, I have learned to disregard that stuff.

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Richard Weisgrau
www.drawnwithlight.com

People who take photos ought to know that they'll be able to take photos with their current cameras or the new cameras that are always going to be there in one form or another, so who cares what happens to camera sales?

The bloggers like Reichmann and Thom and others are basically themselves irrelevant, and that is the cause for their doom-and-gloom articles. People no longer read, people who want camera gear review go on to youtube.

If only a fraction of this business talk was dedicated to pushing forward the medium of photography, and not photography gear fetishism, which all these forecasting of camera market is actually all about.

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Dennis
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Re: Photographers or business analysts?
In reply to v1fan, 11 months ago

v1fan wrote:

If only a fraction of this business talk was dedicated to pushing forward the medium of photography, and not photography gear fetishism, which all these forecasting of camera market is actually all about.

There's plenty out there if you look.  And people interested, find it.  The "problem" (if it's a problem) is that a lot of people are more interested in talking about gear than talking about art.  Note that it doesn't mean they're not photographers.  It must means they're more comfortable talking about gear and find more fun in it.  I love taking pictures and love looking through books containing great pictures.  I don't have much interest in talking about taking pictures.

- Dennis

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RhysM
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Re: Photographers or business analysts?
In reply to v1fan, 11 months ago

v1fan wrote:

Are we photographers or business analysts?

With all these industry news articles and blogers forecasting and pretending to be some sort of authority on photography market, it makes one wonder... What does all of this have to do with photography?

Some of the smarter photographers are realising the professional photography market is overcrowded and potentially dying, certainly shrinking.  They have realised to get out of the rat race, the future of their revenue stream will ideally transition to being photography commentators giving a professional opinion on cameras for consumers to buy, doing promotional videos for manufacturers, running workshops, publishing books, getting commission through "click to buy" referrals on their blogs, etc.

A bit like football players turning commentators when they retire, but in the case of photography it's the "game" that's approaching retirement, not the players.

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RhysM
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Re: Photographers or business analysts?
In reply to RhysM, 11 months ago

RhysM wrote:

v1fan wrote:

Are we photographers or business analysts?

With all these industry news articles and blogers forecasting and pretending to be some sort of authority on photography market, it makes one wonder... What does all of this have to do with photography?

Some of the smarter photographers are realising the professional photography market is overcrowded and potentially dying, certainly shrinking. They have realised to get out of the rat race, the future of their revenue stream will ideally transition to being photography commentators giving a professional opinion on cameras for consumers to buy, doing promotional videos for manufacturers, running workshops, publishing books, getting commission through "click to buy" referrals on their blogs, etc.

A bit like football players turning commentators when they retire, but in the case of photography it's the "game" that's approaching retirement, not the players.

And the smartest part is, even if they are wrong they will have a bigger reputation in the industry as a pseudo celeb and will be able to transition back in to actual photography work and charge more than they did before.

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Aberaeron
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Re: Photographers or business analysts?
In reply to v1fan, 11 months ago

This is a sign of the times. You can do your own analysis.

http://www.professionalphotographer.co.uk/News-and-Reviews/2013/6/US-Newspaper-replaces-photographers-with-iPhones

START

An American newspaper has fired all its photographers and is planning to replace their work with iphone photography produced by its staff reporters.

According to tech media company CNET, the Chicago Sun-Times has let go of 28 photographers and will be training editorial employees in 'iPhone Photography Basics' as well as 'Video and Basic Editing'.

END

28 professional photographers given their marching orders from just one newspaper apparently.

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Cailean Gallimore
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Re: Photographers or business analysts?
In reply to v1fan, 11 months ago

v1fan wrote:

Are we photographers or business analysts?

With all these industry news articles and blogers forecasting and pretending to be some sort of authority on photography market, it makes one wonder... What does all of this have to do with photography?

Beta testers, more like.

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jkoch2
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Times do change, and all should be aware
In reply to Richard Weisgrau, 11 months ago

Richard Weisgrau wrote:

I don't know about others, but I am a photographer.

Nikon would prefer to you be less generic.

We can all claim some sort of existential identity, tribal totem, wear a T-shirt with a slogan, chose a headstone epitaph, be a fan of this or that, or opine about winged pigs, but what we "are" economically is whatever enables us to pay rent. That, believe it or not, evolves continuously and is subject to "creative destruction" or impersonal winds of fate.

I have been in the business for 48 years. I have heard the predictions of the demise of the profession over and over again throughout that time.

Kodak is a live, well, and living in Rochester? Decline in camera manufacturer profits a myth? The Argus C3 still a best seller?

All those predictions were wrong.

Film alive and well? Photogs for daily papers thriving. Wedding photographers earning more than ever from hefty print albums?

Unfortunately, the Internet has given voice to a huge number of opinionated people who have no credentials to back up their opinions.

And there are people with credentials without any useful opinion they can support by evidence, but

Now there are some business analysts out there, but much of the analysis I read is speculation developed without proper research.

Canon, Nikon, Ricoh-Pentax, Sony, Olympus, Samsung, Apple, Nokia, and many other makers of devices with image-capture are public corporations with investor relations sites that publish quarterly financial information.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes annual data that surveys occupations and salaries by year, region, and percentile.

And then there are people with all kinds of opinions about high ISO photos blown up to pixel level, or love their camera.

I'll agree that people whose views derive only from pixel peeping or GAS aren't necessarily savvy about business, but a few may be.

Fortunately, I have learned to disregard that stuff.

Though you may not believe it, the camera industry derives from sales and profits. Photography business hitched to real estate certainly its ups and downs.

Any codger with laurels and home equity to sit on can be serenely different about pretty much anything.

Anyone starting out, on the other hand, might consider a less penurous field than photography, and be wary of stocks too, but also not be afraid to judge whether an emperor wears robes or rags.

Times do change.

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Aberaeron
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Re: Photographers or business analysts?
In reply to Aberaeron, 11 months ago

Linked to my previous post, because it is too late to edit it, from CNET at the link previously provided

START

Here in Blighty, the Guardian recently partnered with mobile network EE to launch itsGuardianWitness app, encouraging us Average Joes to send in snaps and video we're taken with our phones to make the news. It also included guides to help you improve your snaps.

END

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jkoch2
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Photography IS business
In reply to v1fan, 11 months ago

Photography is not any different than businesses related to tires, tooth paste, pizza, or any other consumer product.

Cameras exist, or develop, mainly as a function of market demand, returns on capital, and research that is dependent on the other variables.  Otherwise, there would be only home-made pin-holes with primitive film or sensors.

Right now, cameras in general are more at risk than some products or services due to the massive shift in market deman in favor of smart phones.

Many traditional niches in photography (film development, photo journalism) have been decimated by ditigal technology.  People with established franchises or reputations might be able to hang on, but barely, and the field can't be very welcoming to newcomers.

Honestly, there is little about all the pixel-peeping techno-babble that has any more merit than what people argue (with good information or bad) about the business side of photography.  The main difference is that there is no objective way to settle opinions about the merits of camera X or lens Y, and plenty of people have only sour things to say about pictures they see, but money really can be counted.

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Ron Poelman
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Because paranoia is contagious.
In reply to v1fan, 11 months ago

and while forums provide a lazy-man's platform for justifying buying habits,
don't look for it to go away any time soon.

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