This was my “comment” to the article in the New York Times with the same title as this post. [snip-it above]
For the record: photography isn’t in trouble, it’s thriving, however, many professionals are enduring a shift in their business models. Some will deal, some won’t make that choice.
I’m a 30 year professional with a broad experience range mostly in advertising. The real question is can professional photographers with at least 10,000 hours of experience compete with 1000 amateurs with 1000 hours each? The answer: Probably not, not with the everyday “good enough” commoditized imagery – the standard business model doesn’t support a decent lifestyle for a professional in that space. Soon video capture will provide editing tools that will make it easy to grab a hi-res frame from pro-sumer gear. What then?
My feeling is that once the “good enough” market is saturated, photographers with the skills to “make” images will find new business models that return a decent lifestyle. We are in transition. The current angst is mostly fear of change but also about the heartbreak of all those career photographers watching their greatest love walk away. I hold grief for my profession but also excitement about possibilities since imagery is gaining importance in the marketplace.
It’s a time of disruption but disruption means high creativity – watch this space – good stuff is bound to happen.
Here’s a link to the NYT article that preceded the one that received my comment. For Photographers, the Image of a Shrinking Path