Imaging over the past few years has been opened up to just about anyone with an iPhone and a reasonably good eye, leading to a flood of talent onto the market, both commercial and that just for the fun market. Photographer s and the general public have all enjoyed looking at the landslide of killer images that seem to pour out of our IG feeds on a daily basis. Yet for the purely commercial shooter, this “landslide” of talent holds some not so hidden dangers.
The danger is that with so much talent and laughably low barriers to entry into the photo market, the industry has become hyper-saturated with “competitors”. This is leading as it did in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis to falling rates, lower expectations for image quality and an almost daily shifting of the business routine.
We have seen over the past few years among other things photo rates in the industry essentially collapse. In my industry architecture and my market South Florida, I am seeing rates falling as low as 25% of what they were in 2010. Yet just like in 2008 and maybe even more, we will see great flushing out of the market by photographers either over-leveraged or simply in the photo business for the money.
Although I would never wish a recession or in this case a never before seen economic calamity, it, in the long run, will be good for business. Once the dust settles the photography market will be less saturated with talent, bringing with less competition and hopefully higher rates. Those creatives who are still around will by default be those who are 100% committed to the process of image creation.