July 2, 2008

Photo Future

Filed under: 9 to 5,Photography — alexboerner @ 12:17 am

Vincent Laforet put it on table with a heavy article on yesterday. It’s a good read from an industry heavyweight, and although it comes off as a lot of doom and gloom, it simply lays out the obstacles that many photographers may face in the future, and calls for innovation and creativity to deal with a changing marketplace.


I’ll leave you with this. If I were 22-years old right out of college looking for a job or a career path, I wouldn’t be focusing on working on x newspaper to get to y newspaper and then eventually z magazine with my 20 image portfolio that contains 2 spot news photos, 4 sports pix, 4 feature photos, and a 10 picture story. That model is dead – to put it bluntly. I’d be thinking big – realizing that I have a chance to be a pioneer in this new world of opportunity. Trying to think up of the next big thing.         

The next best way that photography and visual journalism can be shared with others and a way of packaging it and delivering it that has yet to exist. I’d be excited. Perhaps I’d consider creating my own web publication, and finding news ways to promote it and to generate income – as opposed to relying on the media giants that rely on the “old world business models” and rights-grabbing contracts. Because the future has never been this wide open and it has never been this easy to reach out to your audience.

On the flip side…sort of…

Matt Eich, a very talented and inspiring photographer, has a great Q&A on the Photoshelter Blog that shares his viewpoint as an emerging professional on a number of topics including the decline of the newspaper industry. He believes strong community can help us wade through the thick waters that Laforet alludes to in his article.

From Photoshelter… 

Q. We hear about the decline of the photo industry practically every day. What’s it like to be a newly minted professional, and worrying about making a living from photography?       

A. I’m no different than any other student about to be thrust out into this changing world, feeling extremely green and largely unprepared for a life of freelance. For the longest time newspapers have been looked at as a safe-haven for those who want job security. So many of my friends have been laid off from their newspaper jobs in recent months, it is really discouraging. I’m very grateful to be surrounded by a group of folks who have managed to make ends meet as photographers and are willing to share their knowledge of how to make it all work. Hopefully if we all pool our knowledge and are willing to help one another out we can all make it through these rough patches in the industry.  

And hopefully they will just be rough patches. Regardless, both of them hit it on the head. Innovation, creativity and community, hard work and a little luck – and a few weddings to photograph – will get us rolling strong.



  1. You’re so optimistic!! Check out John’s take on all this at

    Comment by Matthew — July 7, 2008 @ 12:16 am | Reply

  2. Optimistic. And naive 😉

    Comment by alexboerner — July 10, 2008 @ 6:20 pm | Reply

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