A couple hours ago I received an email and this link from a dear photographer friend. Like many struggling professional photographers I get it why he is upset.
Back in the days, when we developed a relationship with a client many of them also became our friends and when a potential art buyer would say "I love your work and will call you" or "we will keep you busy here" at least, most of them, meant it and the phone would ring and newer art directors/pho ed would be added to our list. Today the word LOYALTY sounds so foreign and if a new client reaches out to us may even feel like a prank call.
The reality is that the writing has been on our viewfinder for years sending us warnings that proper changes were needed and that the intrinsic way of doing photography, as we knew it, was happening fast and ready to take off aboard the last train.
We can point the fingers to different targets ranging from digital cameras, photoshop, mobile phones, to 911 or to the passive careless way of how poorly we kept running our studio.
When chrome and analogue film ruled if you didn't have the talent and the will to learn proper negotiating skills then you would have never made it. Then to go along with that talent a full liter of patient with a half glass of luck was needed. For plenty of photographers, including myself, the waiting for the film to be processed and to know that the shoot was nailed, at times, was like walking a tight rope while crossing the African Nile.
But my GOSH now you can browse and discover, here and there, art students who are creating perfectly glossy digital images which would have been on the cover of any top magazine or for a national billboard adv in the 90s.
Today everybody is a photographer and sadly, just like before, most of them lack the knowledge of how a photo business should be run and don't know or give much thoughts about © or how little they are been pay for its licensing as long as they get a photo credit line.
And surely it doesn't hurt if the photographer's parents happen to be David & Victoria Beckhams and with millions of followers on SM then shooting a campaign for Burberry or any well known top designer is a cinch.