Stephen A. Masker

Crowdsourcing and the End of Careers

In Uncategorized on October 1, 2009 at 10:59 AM

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Relating crowdsourcing to the profession of photography, it is a major concern for professional photographers. One  professional photographer in specific, Scott Young from Flower Mound Texas, has a business that is suffering in this current economy due largely in-part to crowdsourcing.

In Young’s specific example, he is a photographer who makes the majority of his income through photography but more specifically through photographing weddings, as they tend to pay the most.

However more recently than in past years, younger and less professional photographers are now able to afford cheaper and more accessible, easier to use DSLR’s (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras to achieve professional quality photography and for a friction of the cost of a professional photographer, achieving “average” results.

There are two sides to this truth: One is that Young is loosing business because of this situation thus creating more difficulty and stress on his already difficult career while on the other ‘side’ brides and grooms are accepting ‘average’ quality images from the family photographer who has little or no technical knowledge on the operation of their DSLR, posing, lighting, etc, and are saving hundreds – if not thousands – of dollars.

The NY Times online article “The Newspaper of the Future” helped highlight – but not so specifically – the example discussed above, and really helps alert the reader the struggle we’re in today.

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  1. You make a good point about high end professional photographers’ losing business to less-experienced photographers, but the need for quality photography is still in demand. Yes, media will seek out images from “citizen photographers”, but the need for professionals who know how to effectively capture events, portraits and breaking news is more needed than ever. The increased use of multimedia, slideshows, is going to require photographers who know how to write and shoot, on deadline, accurately and precisely. Your armchair photographer will not be able to do that well. For the wedding photographer, he’s going to adapt his pricing and marketing strategy to add more value to bride and groom to convince them he/she is worth the investment.

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