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Old Dec 5, 2011, 10:14 PM   #11
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There has been talk that other sectors of the photography business will disappear as well : Weddings, Portraiture, etc. Keeping ahead means combining smart business decisions, good marketing skills, and top notch photography. (fortunately, I'm retired and not worried for myself)

brian

I thought about adding wedding and portraiture photography to the endangered list, but when I considered these types of photography being on the endangered list...I did think that customers for wedding and portraits are generally more picky about quality than from the ' This just in...school of broadcasting..'...but I don't know...again with the steadily improving state of cell phone photography...although photographic skill would be generally lacking with cell phone photographers.

In the end, it will be interesting to see what happens to photography in the next 10-15 years and beyond. At this point I'm making no predictions..as the technology turnover seems to continue to accelerate.















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Old Dec 6, 2011, 6:43 AM   #12
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Wedding and portrait photography has its own set of problems. When people buy fancy cameras, call themselves professionals, and turn in mediocre or even crappy products, it brings down the industry, in large part because consumers don't do their due diligence.

That's not what's happening with professional photojournalism.
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Old Dec 6, 2011, 7:51 AM   #13
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Wedding and portrait photography has its own set of problems. When people buy fancy cameras, call themselves professionals, and turn in mediocre or even crappy products, it brings down the industry, in large part because consumers don't do their due diligence.
I'm not sure I agree with the above entirely. The truth of the matter is - photographs are a luxury item. You don't "need" to have them. Times are tough and for a lot of people, it makes no sense to spend $2500 on a wedding photographer. The consumer simply has more options now than they used to. There are now more part-time shooters that do a "good enough" job for a lot less money. Maybe not as good as the high priced pro, but then again - it being a luxury buy the consumer doesn't need that level of quality.

Similarly with portrait work. It's a social media world now and people are more interested in "recent" than having a single photo they display for several years.

For a long time in the film era, there was a tremendous gap between the pros - with their knowledge and gear and the amateur. The digital age has changed that. Now, lots of amateurs and part time pros can produce work that is "good enough". The consumer is no longer willing to pay the exorbitant rate for top quality because they're just going to want another photo in a few days/weeks/months anyway.

So the market has changed - it's not that the consumer doesn't do their homework - it's that their needs have changed from 20 years ago and they have options that consumers 20 years ago didn't have.
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Old Dec 6, 2011, 11:00 AM   #14
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It's still not what's happening with professional photojournalism.

People pick less-than-profgessional photographers to shoot events, and they'll pay for it, regardless of what they get.

News organizations, instead of paying for a professional photographer, are scouring social media networks, picking from among the best free photos, and maybe paying per item for the best.

It's a fundamentally different reaction to the same stimulus. Nobody's building wedding albums from the photos their guests took with cell phones.
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Old Dec 6, 2011, 11:17 AM   #15
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the specifics are different - but essentially whether it is photojournalism or wedding / portrait there is essentially a commonality:
The consumer of those products/services is pinched for money
The consumer for those products/services has a larger supply of those products/services than was available to them 20 years ago (so even if the consumer was pinched for money 20 yrs ago they didn't have other options that were good enough)
The consumer is choosing a product/service that may be of lower quality but it is of a "good enough" quality for a lot less money.

So, for example - one aspect of pj work - sports. 20 years ago when the MLB team went out of town the major paper sent their photographer. Now the newspaper buys a photo from a wire service. That wire service 5 years ago might have paid a photographer $200 for their work. Now there are photographers willing to do it for $50 because they don't need to do it full time. For news events it's worse for the working pro:
News is much more real-time now. There isn't always time to get a pro on the spot. That's where we are seeing the news outlet use an amateur photo - why? Because having something FAST is more important than having a better quality image days later. What is important is HOW FAST you have images on your web site.
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Old Dec 6, 2011, 6:03 PM   #16
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the specifics are different - but essentially whether it is photojournalism or wedding / portrait there is essentially a commonality:
The consumer of those products/services is pinched for money
The consumer for those products/services has a larger supply of those products/services than was available to them 20 years ago (so even if the consumer was pinched for money 20 yrs ago they didn't have other options that were good enough)
The consumer is choosing a product/service that may be of lower quality but it is of a "good enough" quality for a lot less money.

So, for example - one aspect of pj work - sports. 20 years ago when the MLB team went out of town the major paper sent their photographer. Now the newspaper buys a photo from a wire service. That wire service 5 years ago might have paid a photographer $200 for their work. Now there are photographers willing to do it for $50 because they don't need to do it full time. For news events it's worse for the working pro:
News is much more real-time now. There isn't always time to get a pro on the spot. That's where we are seeing the news outlet use an amateur photo - why? Because having something FAST is more important than having a better quality image days later. What is important is HOW FAST you have images on your web site.
I agree about the HOW FAST aspect of news media these days. There is so much competition...print, radio, TV, websites, Twitter, Texting, Citizen journalism...it is quite changed from say 70 years ago...when news was either newspapers or radio.

I think news/ news photography has suffered as a result. Sometimes it seems everyone carries a camera...mostly the Cell Phone camera...but many others carry small P+S cameras...some of which are quite competent picture takers. I'm thinking of something like a Canon 95 (can't recall exact nomenclature)...small, handy, quality sensor...not bad pictures.

Cell phone cameras also have another advantage...you don't have to download the pix to a computer...you can send to a news agency...direct and quickly from the cell phone.

Who would of thought all this technology would be available...15-20 years ago ?

I would assume some who post pix on public websites have had their photo's picked up by news services and run on broadcasting stations...newspapers...just from my observations of stuff papers and TV stations seem to have.

It's so easy to find...just search ....(name of disaster/ protest) ...and voila...something ...pix wise...is bound to surface quickly.

One of our local papers asks for people to submit information/photo's to the news editor of things they think are 'news worthy'.

I don't think they get paid much, but many like the idea of being 'published' more than any remunerative compensation.

Now to some extent, I think this has always gone on...but I wonder if the degree of this practice has increased by a significant amount.

I'm guessing this maybe the case.

But, I agree with other posters, it must have an affect on those who are working photographers.
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Old Dec 7, 2011, 9:38 AM   #17
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There's a huge affect. Professional PJs are being squeezed on both fronts - the place they work for are more often than not now owned by a big corporation. Those corporations are in dire straits. And like most corporations the quick fix is often personnel. They're being squeezed on the other side by people willing to work for pennies or nothing at all. Which makes it easier for media corporations to cut photographers. Gannett has announced a forced furlough - the 5th in 3 years:
http://gannettblog.blogspot.com/2011...ughs-just.html
Journalists aren't happy as you might expect.
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Old Dec 7, 2011, 11:21 AM   #18
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I see it as more of a cost issue than simply speed. A pro can use a wi-fi card to upload pics in the same time frame as a camera phone, but newspapers don't need high quality photos as the print quality isn't that good anyway. Magazines are not as constrained by time, and need the higher quality images, though not as many as they are not published as often.
I am reminded of the old postulate that an infinite number of monkeys banging away at an infinite number of typewriters will eventually produce the works of Shakespeare.(as well as an infinite amount of garbage ((see internet)) ) With as many cameras and picture taking phones as are in use, we are approaching the same thing with photography.

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Old Dec 7, 2011, 12:28 PM   #19
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I like that.
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Old Dec 7, 2011, 3:47 PM   #20
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I think that JohnG is right that the economics are driving the downturn in photojournalism.

There's another aspect to this that's more bothersome to me, as an amateur photographer, and that's the lack of quality. It seems that the more people who get cameras of some sort, the more they are used to seeing poor quality photos (either because their equipment lets them down or because they let their equipment down). The website of a major newspaper in my area is using more and more reader photos, and while some are really good, most aren't. I think that's becoming the new standard and fewer people notice the difference (or try to attain that higher level).
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