Mi Do wrote:
I deleted an earlier post that touched on that as well.
The point that Star and others are clearly missing is something very simple:
a great image will become a meme, iconic, and go viral. A great image will NOT always have the photographers name attached. A photographer has to let go a little if they want to succeed.
Star is pitching (another) one of her fits but should step back and look at the real world. Not the way the laws have been set up, but how real PEOPLE live in the real world.
She's seeing the world just the same way Romney saw the world... and look how that worked out for him. It has less to do with the physical rules, and more to do with how people (real live human beings with faults and all!) interact.
The best thing that happens to me time and time again:
I show up to a meeting with a client. I open my portfolio and they see an image and say "YOU shot that?! No way! I've seen that before! It's one of my favorite images!" Then they move to the next image and say "you shot that too?!" There are SO many images in my portfolio that have become viral and/or iconic of something where my name isn't attached. I have images with 50k, 100k, and even 180k notes on tumblr where I have no links to me... but the people who matter eventually find out that I shot the image.
Sure, it's something that people are cropping, lifting, filtering etc... but what's their intended purpose? Is it to further enjoy the art with their own touch? What's wrong with that if it's not really ruining the original work and it's not taking money away from the author? If people are not allowed to reproduce our work, then Star should take down all the images she stole... you know, the replicated shot of Jim Morrison... the ripped off shot of The Graduate... or the lifted image of the "We Can Do It" poster. I didn't see any credit given to the original authors before she traced it with her team, filtered it with her equipment and brushed up the edges with her post work... so how can she expect to have people honor her if she isn't being social enough to let her images go from time to time?
As artists, it's OUR responsibility to get our names out and make recognizable work that the public can enjoy. But part of the enjoyment process is knowing that the citizens in our community WILL make bad art with our work! We can request photo credits and that no one ever fucks with our images in order to retain integrity and bring work to our door, but those credits wash away pretty quickly. So it's our responsibility to keep producing hits, get them in places where people can relink them, and keep it moving. No one will get rich off a photo credit but they will get rich from being a good member of the creative community, even when the "creative" person is just throwing up a shitty filter to share with their 120 followers.
I think what people are really missing is that the business of being paid to make the photo is over. Technically it's on life support, but it's terminal. Technology will completely replace the photographer. There will be art directors with cameras, professional retouchers and unemployed photographers.
If you work in a field that has anything digital as a final output, you are in the branding business. For a band, and album is the equivalent of a Ford Taurus TV commercial. It's what makes them popular. When they're lucky they gross 10% of 90% of wholesale. They then use that to payback all of the production and marketing costs. If there's anything leftover, they split the 10% of 90% between their manager and their producer and whatever is left is insignificant. It's all moot because they never recoup.
Let's leave top level fashion photographers out for a moment. They've always been the exceptions.
Let's take an MM photographer who wants to make income shooting models. My guess is that the ones who try really hard have a couple of $50-100 shoots/year.
Let's take Jamie Ibarra. He get's paid because he shoots models, but that's not what he gets paid for. He gets paid by photographers who want to learn what he does.
Look at the strobist guy. I think someone posted that he's making $100k/month in advertising? Even if it's $100k/year, that's better than most photographers. He's making that by being a brand.
A photographer's largest market now is other photographers. I'm sure there are a million photographers who'd pay $1 for the Mi Do LR preset, but they're not going to do that until they've seen images over and over and become a fan of the style. You could spend a lot of money advertising the preset, or let your images and tumblr fans do the work for you. (I have no doubt you get this.)
It's not profound to point out that we are in the Technology Revolution or Digital Revolution. iEli Whitney and eHenry Ford 2015 are going to put photographers who sell their labor or photos out of business permanently. They will not put photographers who sell their ideas out of business.
The cliche around here is that everything has been done. That's great, because if one day you trip and bang your head and can't think straight and accidentally come up with something new, that's going to be extremely valuable. Reselling that idea to everyone who owns a camera - which is everyone who owns a phone - is a far better business to be in than selling photos to magazines one or two or six or twelve at a time.
You need to be an Instagram star and then you can license your name via a new filter. Mi Do 2012 filter. Star 2013 filter. GWC Vintage 1973 filter which cross processes and adds bush to nude and non-nude photos. For $1 you can put a pubic hair beard on your friend's face and then Instagram/Tweek/Tumble/FB the guys face to everyone you know.
But only the people who are known for their photos will be in the position to do that. You don't get know for your photos by restricting their circulation.
Back to big time fashion photographers - they're going to be replaced by CGI, just like car photographers.
CGI car photographers are going to be replaced by car designers and marketing teams who skip the prototype process and just design a CAD commercial. If it goes viral, they'll hit "print" and make the car. If it doesn't, they'll make a new design.
The only way to make income is to establish a brand.
Converse built a recording studio in Brooklyn where all they do is give away free time. I got to see their annual report for the first year. They valued the marketing far, far, far higher than even twice what you'd guess.
Giving things away to build your brand is unbeatable. You just have to model your business to capitalize on your brand not your labor.
That's really what it is that people don't get.