You are 18 years old. You just got a point and shoot digital camera from Mom as a high school graduation present. You are super excited, as you never had a camera before. A lot of exciting things will happen in your life surrounding photography. I wanted to write this letter to you and give you some advice I wish I knew. This is coming from your 26-year-old-self.
It’s how images are sourced, the process, that the industry needs to be vigilant over.
A Tumblr site called Who Pays Photographers? helps bridge the information gap with a wiki-inspired spreadsheet listing fees paid by numerous publications, both online and in print. The site also provides information about whether the client pays expenses, how long they take to pay, and what photographers like and dislike about the client. All the information is uploaded anonymously by photographers who have shot assignments for the clients.
Many of the blogs I read and the message boards that I visit all seem to be repeating the same message: There’s no work, there’s no money, and the competition is too intense to succeed. To quote one frustrated photographer, “How do you f’ing make a living shooting pictures anymore?”
There’s nothing wrong per se with lifting images off Instagram and using them elsewhere, the editorial and/news contexts being prime examples. But the moment you put such images on the wall of an art exhibition as a curator you better realize there’s a higher bar. Those images better be able to hold their own weight. Sadly, most if the work in Goin’ Mobile failed almost spectacularly to do that. Just like in the case of probably 99% of all Instagram images, the maxim might just be: what is on Instagram should stay on Instagram
is No Cameras Allowed real or just a faked story to get some money out of kids who believe this is how the music photography business works?
As you can see, nearly everyone who visited my site came for the original image, maybe scrolled once or twice through others in that set, then left. The shop page didn’t even make it into the top ten most-visited