Recession means beginning of new media era

(Last Updated On: October 14, 2008)

I’m excited about this recession. Great opportunities always result after a strong downturn. Please don’t misrepresent my enthusiasm for a lack of concern. There is plenty to be concerned about.

But, I’ve noticed that after each economic meltdown, the boom technology preceding the fall seems to become standard and those who have embraced the current technologies with good business sense and innovation survive. This is certainly true with photography.

For photographers, the 2002 recession was the beginning of the standardization of digital photography. I can’t tell you how many ex-photographers I’ve talked to who said they quit the business around that time because of the digital revolution.

Some photographers didn’t want to learn digital while others couldn’t deal with the change in the business model. Digital and interactive media — also known as new media as well as social media —  will become the norm for the next generation of photographers.

Print media is dying at a rapid rate. Future photo careers will depend on the innovation of photographers willing to let go of what does not work and embrace advancements and new consumers of the craft.

What needs to be let go? It’s too early to tell. What needs to be embraced? The only answer I can offer are the platforms that survive this current technology shift.

Photographers will once again need to adapt to another business model shift. Social media and Web 2.0 will not be the new rage in technology for early adapters; social marketing will be a standard operating procedure.

If a photographer wishes to do business in the modern world, he will need to understand that the web is not where the free images are placed. Below is a list of 15 things the new media photographer must understand if he is to survive.

1) Clients’ web site traffic is a factor in pricing
2) How to secure images and protect image copyright
3) The blog is now as basic as the web site
4) Print and the web have traded places in terms of importance 
5) What are and how to use analytics
6) How to build a community
7) Everyone consumes media differently
8 ) Good content is about giving or sharing
9) Unethical people can’t hide anymore
10) Images will often be seen on screens smaller than three inches
11) Images will often be seen on screens larger than 60 inches
12) The internet never forgets
13) Video is important
14) Service still matters
15) Point and shoot for dollars is dead

What additional items do you think need to be listed in this new media photographers’ survival guide list?

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