Is professional photography dying out?

Started Mar 27, 2013 | Discussions thread
cptrios Senior Member • Posts: 1,352
Re: Is professional photography dying out?

I think it's hard to argue against the idea that professional photography is dying out. Will it ever completely die? No...but it'll come close. Eventually, only a handful of folks are going to be able to actually make money off of photography:

1. A select few who are truly, inspiringly talented and who are at least passable marketers.

2. A slightly larger group who are at least "decent" photographers but very good, very hard-working marketers.

3. A few people who have gotten into profitable niches such as the ones discussed earlier in the thread. (And I imagine that many of those will be fading out too.)

4. A much larger group of people with wildly varying levels of skill who sell their services at prices too low to qualify as anything but a "little side job."

ultimitsu wrote:

3, People in general have become more wealthy and have more disposable income. there are many situations where people would not have hired a photographer 30 years ago that they would now. But you have to be the top 10% that really makes them want your photo.

Heh, how bad is it that I agree more with the guy upthread spouting Glenn-Beckian doomsday warnings and telling us to buy precious metals than the generally reasonable ultimitsu? Some people are becoming more wealthy. For most people, the exact opposite is happening. The average American has very little money for luxuries, and in most cases that luxury money is already spent on more "important" things than photography...a smartphone, a computer, cable/ISP, the occasional dinner out. (Yes, we're still insanely opulent compared to pretty much anywhere in the developing world...that's not the issue here.)

It's therefore entirely possible that almost all of the OP's problem is that he very genuinely lives in an area in which there's no market for decently-paying professional photography. If everyone within a 100-mile radius of you has an average income of $25k/year, you are not going to be doing a whole lot of $2500 weddings. And when even those areas have hundreds of people trying to be professional photographers, the outlook for someone like the OP isn't exactly sunny.

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