The future of photography lies in education | Ming Thein

Over the course of the last few months, I’ve had a number of interesting conversations with quite a number of people involved in various areas of the photographic industry – from the corporate juggernauts that make the hardware, to the niche manufacturers, to professional photographers, to amateurs, clients/ image buyers and everything in-between. I suspect the nature of my work and involvement with the greater photographic community means that I have a little more insight into the big picture than most, and what I’m seeing honestly concerns me. For the longest time, most of the money circulating in the industry was from selling film and supplies, then hardware; and finally closely followed by selling images. Digital has eliminated the first cash cow, upped the average revenue per sale/ item/ buyer (pick your metric) of the second, and I think it’s difficult to gague what’s happened to the third: on one hand, the average ticket price of a job has fallen, but on the other, there are a lot more small jobs, more photographers who perhaps are not full time pros, and more people still who’ve found a new passion thanks to overall lowered costs of entry*.

*Hardware has gone up, come down again, image quality potential has shot through the roof, but pros no longer have to burn through hundreds or thousands of dollars of film and processing on each job. The per job cost has definitely fallen……..