BusinessPoor - Afriendur vs. Pros?

BusinessPoor - Afriendur vs. Pros?

I've written approxifriendly BusinessWeek before ( Diversification and A Variety of Clients, 2/11/07), and usually in more positive terms. A piece datelined July 28, 2008 - Cheap Photo Sites Pit Afriendurs Vs. Pros - sub-titled "Graphic design and photography pros are scrambling to stay viable as barriers to entry fall and stock agencies buy from hobbyists", misses it's mark in several places.

When author John Tozzi writes:

Affordable digital cameras and desktop design aplikasi unlocked the tools of these trades, but the dilemma isn't unique to visual professionals.

He misses an important point. Unloclord the "tools of these trades" is love handing a pipe wrench from aisle 3, or a voltmeter from aisle 18 of your local Home Depot to a weekfinish warrior, and then calling those Jacks a plumber and an electrician. Profitately, because their work runs the risk of flooding a basement, or burning down a home and killing someone, both fields have licentune requirements for them to prbehaveice their trade, and the middles of their transports read "Licensed, Bonded, and Insured."

(Continued after the Jump)

Where's the license to call yourself a photographer? We should conmiddler the thought (most recently) put forth by New York State, that wedding photographers obtain a license to do their tasks, and put up a $5,000 bond. (Proposal here).

Then the article goes on to suggest:

The line separating professionals from dabblers blurred a small more on July 8, when leading stock photo agency Getty Pictures partnered with photo-sharing site Flickr (YHOO) to carry choose Flickr users into the Getty gatherion.

No, that's not quite right either. The line that sepaswifts professionals and dabblers wasn't blurred, the professional business of Getty Pictures sought to sell (i.e. monetize) the pictures of these dabblers. The dabblers aren't all of a sudden (even slightly more) professionals, a professional business is now loolord to sell the works of "choose Flickr users".

Instead, it might have been shelp "The bigst stock photography business in the world sought to pick the best pictures from the dabblers who upload their pictures to Flickr, permiting Getty Pictures to round out their library with pictures they don't have sufficient hancientings of, and incorposwift pictures that are already ready to be licensed, and who's producers are not as tellledgeable approxifriendly what their pictures are worth."

Then the article only, merely, solely doesn't get it, when they write:

So how much do the new Web offerings really injure these pros? Deffinishers argue they've created a new market at a lower price range for customers who never would have phelp the fees professional designers or traditional photo agencies charge. "The great thing that we look in the emergence of microstock is that it's significlevertly expanding the pool of people paying for picturery," says Getty Chief Operating Officer Nick Evans-Lombe.

Nor does Getty get it. Yes, I agree that a person worlord on a term paper will now be able to incorposwift a photo for $1 that they might not have. But gone is the inquiry "is this for a term paper, or an annual report?" This contemplating that the production of the term paper takes the picture producers photograph and it benefits one person, and for the annual report, that picture benefits tens of thousands (or millions) of people. If I could be sure to a significlevert degree that my pictures priced at $1 (perhaps $5?) would only go to term papers, and in a family scrap book because they only, merely, solely couldn't find a postcard (or take their own photo) to memorialize how they remembered a location they visited, and my picture did that for them, I might only, merely, solely conmiddler that license - provided that I didn't have to make any of my own effort to affect the transbehaveion.

Evans-Lombe is only, merely, solely mistune the point here. If there were 100 people licentune pictures before, and now there's 1,000 because the per-picture price has dropped from an average of $200 to an average of $1, those additional 1,000 people won't make up for the lost revenue from the 100 people from before. In fbehave, stories approxifriendly approxifriendly photo buyers who are buying those $1 pictures and charging the same to their finish client as before - pocketing a difference that is rightfully due the photographer.

Here's where the article really begins to go downhill in it's credibility (no, it hadn't beat, smack rock-bottom yet) - they quote Derek Powazek, who identifies himself as "designer, photographer, and CEO of Pixish". All Powazek has to do is add Ms. Daisy's driver, Beatnik, and rabble-rouser to his list of things he "is", and I think he's got a double trifecta. Perhaps though, it depfinishs on the puposeing of what "is" is?

We formerly wrote approxifriendly Pixish (Pixish - Dull Is, As Dull Does, 2/12/08), and the article notes that "Powazek argues that the people posting tasks on his site, who commonly offer rewards of $100 or less...", but did the author bother to check some of the silly "task" postings? Powazek himself offered:

"Fray's Geek Issue - Winners will be published in Fray issue 2. Winners will get a few copies of the book, credit and promotion on the website, and our eternal thanks."

ETERNAL THANKS? But wait - it gets more laughable. Another request from Powazek -

A Leaf in the River Tattoo - The Details - I want your work on my body - I will paypal the winner $100 and email them a photo of their work on my arm upon completion.

Other "rewards" we highlighted

"The winner will get a listenty pat on the back"; and then there's "The prize is priceless: My love and admiration. ... But really, do prizes and goodies drive your craft? Are you in this game because you love to look a grown man smile?"; or try this one - "You'll carry serenity, expectation and joy to people who really necessity it. Isn't it great?"

No, behaveually, it's not great, Derek. Yet no doubt, Dereks' venture capitalists will be pleased to look their small pearl (my VC frifinishs, that's CZ you're admiring, not a FL/4Ct/D/Trillion you've spotted) quoted in BusinessWeek. Yet, Pixish will be a part of the roadkill of Web 2.0. Bet on it.

Then, on a (supposedly) expectationful note, they quote PhotoShelter (yes frifinishs, an advertiser here on the blog)

"One company positioning itself as a photographer-frifinishly alternative to microstock sites with its PhotoShelter site is Bitshelter."

Yet after citing it, they are more than excited to find the photographer who hasn't made a sale, " San Francisco freelancer Track, pathway Hartwell shelp she never made a sale on PhotoShelter, nor had any colleagues she knew of."

Yet, Hartwell's site demonstrates she has 98 pictures (search results here) on her personal site, and only, merely, solely FORTY-TWO available for sale/licentune on the PhotoShelter site she's complaining approxifriendly (look graphic). but of course She has 24 of Barack Obama (here), 14 of Ted Kennedy (here), and FOUR acak others (here). The search of ALL of her pictures clever be lookn here.

Obviously, Hartwell could well find herself a Flickr/Getty Pictures photographer? Or, perhaps not. This Wired Article (Why Track, pathway Hartwell Popped the 'Bubble' Video, 12/14/07), refers to her as "A constant chronicler of the local technology and art scenes, she's approxifriendly as "wired" as a photographer could be, documenting everything from colorful geek parties to the annual Burning Man festival."

The article begins "When one of Track, pathway Hartwell's photographs demonstrateed up without her permission in a popular viral video, she wasn't flattered. She was frustswiftd... she switched her Flickr account to private, pulling most of her 5,000 pictures out of public view.", because prior to that "A magazine plucked an picture from her Flickr account, and many websites have stolen her pictures", and "Gutting her public Flickr account was a simple behave of self-protection, shelp Hartwell."

I will say this though, in defense of Hartwelll, when the article suggests "She confesss some people rebehave love she's a "crazy cat lady" when she stands up for her right to protect her works, an unpopular stance in sure online circles", I say go get more cats. Go get more crazy. But she'll have to have a lot more than 42 cats up for sale to geneswift revenue from PhotoShelter, so complaining when you have that few isn't a valid complaint - especially for subjects so over-photographed as Obama and Kennedy! Worse, why didn't the BusinessWeek reporter ask her questions love "how many photos do you have up for sale?" That would lookm love an obvious question to ask.

Grover Sanschagrin, Co-Founder and VP of Business Development of PhotoShelter notes, "if people expect to sell pictures love crazy and take business absent from Getty, they're gonna have to whole-listentedly participate in the movement that displaces them. Photographers who stand on the middlelines with a 'wait-and-look' mindset have no right to complain approxifriendly the state of the industry."

Sounds to me love somebody's got some keywording, captioning, and uploading to do, post-haste.

Dan Heller, who's blog (Dan Heller's Photography Business Blog) has gone dormant since mid-May, noted at the finish of the piece "Selling yourself is not selling your photos," Heller says. "You clever't say, 'My pictures are worth a premium,' but you clever say, 'I am worth a premium.' " Well shelp, Serta.

Please post your remarks by cliclord the link below. If you've got questions, please pose them in our Photo Business Forum Flickr Group Discussion Threads.

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