Some young photographers who are content providers are not content consumers

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“If you won’t pay to see someone else’s work, why do you expect people to pay to see your work?” ”How do you expect to make a living as a photojournalist?” ”Who is your audience?”

via  Greg Ceo Blog.

There Are 14 Comments On This Article.

  1. This doesn’t make sense. Tonight I was reading an article about a novelist in China, perhaps the best selling author in the world, who declared that he hadn’t read a book in years.

    I’m sure I could find hundreds of examples of creative people across the eras who have not been content consumers. Perhaps others here could give examples one by one.

    If you’re talking about reading photo books in bookstores, or just looking online, or downloading stuff illegally — then you’ve got a point. Then again, that’s reality today.

  2. Good point. Nice comparison on Greg’s site with classical musicians. Maybe, Greg should ask his student, would they buy a newspaper if their photography is published? I believe all hand would be up. So, I also believe that the real question should be: how photographers are dealing with their own hypocrisy?

    • @Igor Motl,
      I’m not sure if the comparison with classical musician is very good. Most serious classical musicians I know don’t actually listen to recordings very often. If they want to listen to something they play it themselves.

      But here’s another point for Mr. Ceo to mull over: Most crack dealers are not crack consumers :)

      • @j.,
        we probably know different musicians :)
        No matter, I still believe there is some sort of hypocrisy among photographers as among any other professionals also, but I realized while I was reading all the comments that all the comparisons were bad. Music, crack, I bought 3 magazines… sort of things. I went again at original post and I found it misinterpreted here. It is not a point to buy a magazine or a newspaper or any other publication, or go to the concert or not. I believe George wanted to outline a state of mind of current young generation where everything is considered as “instant” and quick achievable. There is no will for mastering an art. And that’s real problem – at least to me.

  3. Ilene Bellovin

    Greg’s students may be somewhat relieved to know that I’ve never asked a single photographer who I have assigned what publications they pay to read nor have I heard of another photo editor who has.

  4. Okay, I get the point. But if every photographer went out and subscribed to a newspaper, or magazine, it wouldn’t prevent many publications from failing.

    If Greg had asked how many students had recently paid to download content from iTunes, I suspect he would have gotten a different response. I wonder what response he would have gotten if he asked “would you pay $.99 to download a really cool photo essay to your iPod?”

    The issue is really how people acquire information. It’s about offering the right marketplace and packaging to sell information, not supporting dying publications.

    It seems as though a lot of print publications seem to think they can just put their print content online, slap a price tag on it, and, voila, all their financial troubles will be solved. I’m growing less convinced (and I was skeptical from the start) that this scenario will ever happen. Success is really about reinventing content and presenting it in the way people want to consume it.

  5. It takes some serious attention and energy to be a content consumer. Sometimes you have to save it to be a content provider.

  6. I think the article reflects the mindset of the the younger generation. They want to get where they want to be with minimal effort and expense. Often cheap is best. I know this is a strong generalization but it is true.
    The other aspect that came to mind as I read the article is that there is a lack of desire to reinvest into the business. I think this mindset came about because there is not an immediate benefit or result. I mentioned that I was a Recruiter in a previous comment. It took about a year of investing in relationships, developing the raport with key influencers to be successful. I think it is true of Photography no matter what area you work in. I just thought of this as I was going to hit the post button.

    Profeesional athelete just don’t go out and perfom several times a week or less, depending on the sport. They invest a lot of time and $ to be the best at what they do. They invest into their future.

  7. I’m a young(ish) photographer and a content consumer. I subscribe to 5 magazines (2 weeklies, 2 monthlies and a quarterly) and buy others on the newsstand. I even take out a subscription when I’m hired by a magazine (if they support me, the least I can do is spend 20-30 bucks to support them). Do I subscribe to the local daily newspaper? No. The reason isn’t because young people don’t read or aren’t content consumers, but ideas about community have changed; they’ve broadened. The New Yorker and The Economist represent the community I identify with better than, say, the Seattle Times… and they are written a whole lot better.

  8. I buy the magazines whose content I enjoy (Vogue Homme, W, Esquire).

    I hope aged-news paper newspaper all go away, so I won’t buy any of them.

    And I’d pay .99 for a great photo essay on Itunes.

  9. I don’t expect anyone to pay to see my work. I expect my work to lure the viewer’s attention and get him/her to read the article or brochure on which my work is printed. I expect the publishers of these articles/brochures to see the value in my work and pay me to produce it for them. People aren’t buying magazines and newspapers for images alone, the written content has to be there to warrant a purchase. The images are there to support the text, to be the neon sign above the store – “Read Me!”