There’s No Such Thing As Professional Photographers Anymore… On Flickr

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Flickr Pro, which had allowed users to pay for more storage space, is going away. “There’s no such thing as Flickr Pro today because [with so many people taking photographs] there’s really no such thing as professional photographers anymore,” Mayer said (though she acknowledged that there are “different skill levels”).

via @zarias more: Tech News and Analysis.

There Are 37 Comments On This Article.

  1. Cliff Etzel

    IMO, Mayer is clueless about what it TRULY takes to be a professional photographer. That kind of blanket statement is a slap to shooters like myself who have been doing what we do for over a quarter century and sets a perspective that diminishes an already struggling profession even further. She just lost this “PROFESSIONAL” from EVER using Flickr

    • I completely agree with you, Cliff.

      The ignorance of the author and many other digital fans have made our life harder. If this perspective becomes a trend, we will lose more and more artists who can find out the invisible beauty in the world.

      I am worried.

  2. more than 30 years ago, I started getting payed for making photos, I thought by definition this meant professional , working mostly in a studio helped reinforce this idea , wearing a suit and tie , even as a teenager I got any number of jobs. but after over 20 years in NYC I think that gives you a work ethic on a level that is not comparable to many over places .
    now , experience and understanding of a situation, Reliability , and of consistency make the different .
    but now people are just happy with their own iphone photos , in ignorance bliss that they can’t make the bill broad for their company from it

  3. I agree with Cliff. Not only have I never used Flickr, but never will. I guess there’s no more professional CEO’s anymore, just different skill levels. Great, now I have to change my website info to reflect this breaking news.

  4. The statement makes sense from a Flickr marketing perspective. But let’s see who the Yahoo marketing department hires for their next print campaign, or their next executive retreat, or even their executive bio photos.

    • I love this response. I would love for all photographers to respond to a quest for photos for Yahoo to say “well, you can just use your iPhone can’t you?”

    • I think yahoo’s model is to buy properties at a certain critical mass, put ads on them where they charge by exposure, and to keep overhead low – let them sit there with few updates.

      It works because of inertia. People tend to continue to use things that worked for them before. Especially when its a hard to transfer thing like e-mail, your blog, your photo roll, etc.

      It is sort of a loathsome model, as they’re not really driving innovation.

  5. What a way to insult photographers… maybe she should hire a fauxtographer to do her next CEO portrait.

  6. This mindset might explain the lax copyright protections of users’ photos on Flickr…. perhaps because in embracing their “no more professionals anymore” philosophy, they have opted to fire competent editors, lawyers, and staff in general, with people who have similarly strongly voiced opinions.

    WTH!? I’ve been a Pro member of Flickr for several years. I got a notice the other day saying, “Good News! Big change!” which basically told me that Pro is going away, the free account basically is an all you can eat at 1TB, but with slow xfer, and if one wanted to be free from ads, they would need to pay $49/year, which is about what I paid for 2 years of Pro service. $499 for 2TB of storage. WTH?

    Guess what? this basically made Flickr a no go, especially given, what appears to be, for me, various attempts at royalty free rights grabbing and sub-licensing agreements. Thanks, but no thanks.

    I’ve taken my CC info off of my account and switched my account to the “Free” account. Will most likely not use Flickr as anything else other than a way to tell people where my site/galleries really are.

    Wow. Serious policy and communication fail.

  7. It’s like the ice age I tell ya!!!

    They’ve all DISAPPEARED magically off the planet. Like dinosaurs.

    Not ONE left on the planet.

    Yikes!!!

    Thx Ms. Mayer

    • So what you are saying is she isn’t a CEO. I do agree if that is your point. What I have read in the past is Mayer typically marginalizes any talent that has worth they can’t afford.

  8. James Pittman

    This is why media is often useless as a source of information. Mayer’s absurd comment was intended to do several things. First, she was trolling. She just wanted to create attention for Flickr and find more new users so she could sell advertising. Pro accounts don’t have advertising hence no change to them. It probably worked because a million blogs picked up on it and she got a lot of free attention. Push a few hot buttons and you get attention. It is sad so many people fall for this. It is the same thing the NRA does pretending to defend the Second Amendment. What they are really doing is trying to get people to buy guns and ammunition. It is a very successful ploy that any knowledgable PR person knows. Second, she wanted users and new users to feel equivalent to professionals. Another old PR ploy. Software is sold on this premiss all the time. Remember Kodak? “You push the button, we do the rest”. Anyone who produces photography professionally knows that competence as a photographer is only a small part of running a successful business.

    I like Flickr. I use it as a professional because it works well for some of my clients and I appreciate the make over. And, I am not offended by her statement because I understand what she is trying to do even if she is being ridiculous. No serious business owner is going to publish photographic media to promote their business using amateur photography. And even though is seems like the whole world is trying to dilute our market, I am work harder than ever.

    No serious person with a modicum knowledge of “horse trading” considers her statement to be true. We see it for what it is. The shame is that so many news outlets and bloggers pick up on it just to sell something, usually advertising, when they would be better served in the long run to ignore such silly statements and give those to make them short shrift.

    My time is valuable and giving time to such ridiculous statements is a waste and lowers the credibility of those who need credibility the most. I kind of feel like I am wasting my time know, but at least I have a clear conscience for pointing out what is really going on.

    • A. Noninoni

      I just wonder if Yahoo is going to give a prize to the first person to upload a terabyte of blurry cat photos to Flickr. I think you’re giving Marissa Mayer way too much credit — there’s a good chance she really is that clueless.

    • <>

      And yet adblocking plugins/addons for browsers are free. There’s virtually no point in paying $50 USD/year — twice as much as a yearly Pro account used to cost — to get rid of ads, as there are no additional perks for buying a Pro/Ad-Free account anymore. Similarly, there’s no point for paying $500 USD/year for an extra terabyte of space when you can get a domain name and unlimited hosting and bandwidth for much less. On the business side, this makes absolutely no sense.

  9. A. Noninoni

    “On an investor call on Monday morning, Mayer had noted that there are “obvious synergies between Flickr and Tumblr,” but that it’s too early to say what those opportunities will be.”

    Yeah, lets spend a billion bucks first, then worry about whether the products fit together. It’s hard to get upset about Flickr Pro because it’s pretty obvious Marissa Mayer has no clue where Yahoo is headed with these products. I think the refresh of Flickr was done more to blunt criticism that Yahoo buys companies then lets them die. It would not surprise me that after Yahoo drives away all the Flickr Pro customers, they’ll decide they need a product aimed at professional photographers and then act like they just invented a brilliant new idea. I don’t see this so much as a slight against professional photographers as mindless M&A by a CEO who appears to be following the “there has to be a pony in there somewhere” school of business strategy.

    • The answer is very simple. Yahoo bought a social network with one of the biggest growth on the market. For 1 billion dollars, they just got a massive database of users and a service that has lots of potential. How about using a Yahoo email address to access Tumblr?

      • A. Noninoni

        Flickr had “lots of potential” too. That big database of users can evaporate pretty quickly if Yahoo neglects or alienates them. Yahoo had an opportunity to announce the Tumblr deal along with at least a vision for how it planned to build a great site for images. Instead, we got a dis of professional photographers and a “duh” response from Mayer on how Flickr and Tumblr might work together. So, sure, I see the value Yahoo thinks it’s getting for $1B, but unless they can execute it’s going to be another wasted opportunity. Honestly, I haven’t seem much in the execution department from Yahoo.

  10. There’s no point in being outraged by what the CEO of Yahoo, of all places, thinks. It is amazing they still manage to exist. What does Yahoo even do? Show ads on old properties that live on due to inertia?

    I can’t say their purchase of tumblr made me want to resurrect my old yahoo e-mail address, or update my now ancient flickr that seems to have turned into a 500px knockoff.

  11. Donnor Party

    Yahoo alientates all 28 professional shooters on Flickr but gives a huge ego boost to the 200,000,000 cat pic guys and gals by telling them they are special, they just need to up their skillz? And this isn’t a smart move?

  12. Please forgive Ms. Mayer. She’s not aware of the existence of professional photographers because none of them want to have anything to do with Flickur…

  13. Just killed my flicker account, clear sign from her that she is completely ignorant of the profession and that free stuff driven by quantity, poor quality, over processed pictures is fueling the already fake world that they created..

  14. Ronald Augusto

    I would respond to that statement with: Maybe there are not enough proffesional photographer that have a use for flicker pro… a place where you you had to pay and anything you uploaded there became public domain, by the way I´m a proffesional photographer and never used and never will use flicker and personally feel insulted by this woman´s comments

  15. Clueless. She switches feet frequently getting a glimpse of reality yet her head typically remains in the warm gushy darkness of her posterior. Her words are a direct reflection of the targeted generation she would l

    • I hate not finishing my thought:

      Meyer would like to garner as much emotional clout with a generation that looks to get everything they want without working for it. Her words are a cheap tactic.

  16. I’ve been a professional photographer for ten years (full time for 8.5), and as long as Flickr has been around I’ve always seen it as a consumer or hobbyist/enthusiastic amateur platform, with the word ‘pro’ merely being used as a distinction of paid accounts, as opposed to a description of the type of photographer using it. Was I wrong in thinking this? Do full time professional career photographers actually use Flickr for their businesses?