In terms of the industry, I think what will happen is that it is going to be harder and harder for a photographer to get published. I think a lot of people want to shoot pictures and I think people expect it of themselves and want it in print. As long as that is the case then I think they will continue to be published. A lot of the older photographers are not necessarily in their 20s anymore. They are in their mid to late 30s and that is not a bad thing; it is just that it takes a longer time to get published.
The younger photographers who are starting now, are just starting for the first time and it is quite a jump from being published 10 years ago. There are just a lot more publishers with more time, much more access to good content and a lot more of the photographers are now able to publish. If people are not going to be published now and they become a regular contributor and they see an uptick in their traffic and they are able to sell images to a publisher it will probably happen. It’s hard to say because there will always be more publishers, but it seems like it will happen.
Do you think the industry will continue to stay as it is or will it shift to a more photo-focused format and perhaps even a more creative one?
The future definitely remains photo-centric. That is the way we grew the industry, you have to get published and publish well before you are really ready to shoot. I think in the long-term that is the way that people will be publishing pictures and that business will work itself out. The big challenge will be to figure out how to do that fast while maintaining the quality that people enjoy.
It may happen that the more popular photographers will produce photographs that will be shot with more skill and not as fast – that would be great. If everyone could shoot the photographs that they want, wouldn’t that be awesome? We have photographers going as far as taking pictures and making pictures themselves using things other than a Canon or Nikon body if all they needed was an external flash and a big zoom lens. I think it is cool that technology allows for that. That is a wonderful thing.
Where are your photographic influences?
I grew up in the South, so I grew up with the black-and-white photography, you know, the black and white, just the simplicity of black and white. The most basic elements of what we do in photography come from different places in different cultures,
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