As I approach the age of 50, I’ve come to one of those many epiphanies as one gets older regarding what I’ve done in the past and what I’m doing presently.
The idea of shooting visual content only is an outdated paradigm – one that you can either fight – and perish, or adapt and survive.
We are in a “Photography Surplus”.
The term came via an OpEd on LPV Magazines website.
And I have to agree with the assessment presented in the piece.
In my opinion – and taking it as such, we can no longer sit by and think that we are going to compete is what has turned out to be an “extremely” competitive market and think that we’re going to make any sort of a decent income from it. There are exceptions, but for the most part, we are slowly starving to death due mostly to the sheer amount of “acceptable” images being produced.
I’ve lost sleep for days pondering how am I going to make it in this new photographic/filmmaking economy versus my somewhat old school thinking in how I use to do it.
I get the hype all the time – market, market, market.
But potential clients have become desensitized to email, filtering large amounts of their email as spam – and that includes initial email inquiries about ones work – something I’ve experienced firsthand. In addition, it has been my experience customers based their decisions the majority of the time on cost, not quality.
So I’ve been left feeling defeated, disillusioned about ever doing what I’ve loved since the age of 15.
Until a tweet showed up in tweetdeck about a site that has become a niche publication online formatted for the ipad.
Then I knew what I was the missing puzzle piece that I had been looking for – I’m not a photographer, multimedia journalist, etc.
I’m a content creator for online publication.
And a part of that realization is collaboration with other like minded people. I can no longer do it all myself. Start working smarter – not harder.
So now the paradigm shift is taking place. I’m an online publisher, and can use my storytelling skills as part of an online niche market publication – which can be brought to market for little cost.
So now it comes down to knowing that what I produce visually is a part of something larger – and not forgetting that in the process.