There is only one certitude in the photography business : If you don’t spend money, you will not make money. Everything else is educated guess that some confuse with a lottery game.
As much as we never know for sure if an image will sell, and how many times, as well as for how much, one thing is certain : if you do not shoot it, it will never sell.
Even before the downturn of the world economy, photographers and photo agencies alike, seeing prices falling and competition eating at their market shares, took the approach of saving money. Cut any excessive spending. The first to go ? financing photo shoots.
We see it in both the editorial and commercial world. The attempt to try and keep status, market share, branding, while saving on the cost of shooting.
If a photograph doesn’t exist, it will never, ever be published. On the commercial side, seeing the crowd succeeding in making fortunes on a tight budget has pushed many pro stockers to beleive they shouldn’t spend in production so much anymore. They are now copying the copiers would initially copied them.
On the editorial side, while not affected so much by the same crowd, it has been the rising cost of travel that has been the main factor. But if you do not send a photographer to shoot an event, there will be no images . And as we have seen, crowdsourcing just doesn’t work in that space. So, a lot of revenue is being lost. Even so much more, as everyone seem to focus on events that are easy and cheap to cover, increasing the coverage and the offer. The result is also affecting pricing.
The smart agency or photographer should be spending more today. Taking some risks that could offer returns even the wall street stock market can not match. This is the perfect time to separate oneself from the pack of the scared and conservatives. This is the time to create unbelievable images at whatever the cost. This is the time to shoot more of the unseen and reach for the deserted air of original creativity.
Those who ignore this will be soon swallowed quickly by the crowd tsunami that is well on its way.