A bunch of photography associations recently banded together and issued a joint statement. Called “Save photography !”, it is looking to garner enough signatures from photo professionals to make an impact. The country is France and the associations are Freelens (a photojournalist association), the UPC ( Union des Photographes Createurs) and the Saif ( An association for creators of visuals).
In a nutshell, the statement says that photography is under the multiple attacks of “royalty Free”, microstock pricing and images credited under the all encompassing “DR” , which stands for Droits Reserves, meaning Rights Reserved, which is a corny way to say “we do not who owns this image but it is certainly not yours and we will not pay anyone”. Falling prices, the “commoditisation” of photography and the legal definition of an original are also issues being raised. Mass-owned affordable technology also contributes. You can read the full statement here ( in French).
There is a certain legitimacy to their complains, albeit it seems what they want to save is the business side of photography, not really photography itself. As all things French, the petition doesn’t offer any other solution than asking the government to do something about it.
What I suggest they do, is ask Getty Images to stop giving $20,000 grants to TV photographer Alex Majoli.To see what I mean, please see his latest production on Magnum in Motion:
Maybe he needs the money to purchase a better tv set for his next project ( in color, maybe ?).
Regardless people, who are you kidding? I see great work from pro photographers who could actually use the money to achieve great work. What is wrong with you ? is this the kind of photography you really want to promote ? Henri Cartier Bresson must be having a tsunami in his grave as I can assure you, that was NOT the reason he created Magnum. Not for that kind of nombrilistic, uber self-absorded, hyper reflective intello photography.
The only way photography can be saved, besides asking the French government, of course, is to stop promoting this “salon photography “whose serves no other purpose than…heck, I don’t even know what purpose it has.