+++ Market Panic +++ Ship Sinking Fast +++ Photographers Affected +++ Future Uncertain +++

With stock markets around the globe panicing, I thought it would be okay to dig up a photo of the Titanic ship’s bell I recently took (a replica BTW).

I guess we have hit the iceberg already -economy wise-, but what’s coming up next?

  1. How will this global market downturn affect us as photographers and how will it affect our business?
  2. In a tightening economy and ad market, will the migration towards a new photographic business eco system happen even faster?
  3. Will marketing departments try to further save money for professional photo productions by utilizing “user generated content”?
  4. Are there ways for photographers to bypass this crisis?
  5. Is there possibly an opportunity for photographers? Which?

Questions, questions, questions.

I provided some of my thoughts earlier this year in the post Photographers are like typesetters – bound for extinction. Today, I very much stick to the view expressed in that article, but I think the “evolution” will happen faster, mostly due to the economical crisis. The need for enterprises to reduce cost will certainly affect many pro photographers in 2009. High-value photo agencies like Getty Images or Corbis will be affected, too.

In addition, photography as a consumer service (e.g. for weddings and private venues) may become a luxury for many in 2009. Therefor, I expect that part of the business to go down as well. If you have significantly less money than you had a year ago, you won’t be spending it on a wedding photographer. You’ll be asking a friend of the family to do the shooting for free. The amount of photos (prints) will probably remain the same, but the percentage of professional photographers being part of the value chain will decrease.

Interesting times, but not in a positive sense.

Mark Zanzig/zettpress

Titanic survivors on way to rescue-ship Carpathia (1912)
Bain News Service/Library of Congress

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