Is the Classic Photograph Dead???

In the last weeks I have been having the same conversation over and over. The conversation has been about the cost of a photograph. This conversation has been with entrepreneurs, innovators and start-up companies; people who need high quality images that deliver a message to the world about their products and ideas.

This is how the conversation goes:

Them: "Photography is dead...well not photography, but the need for a photographer."

Me: "Why do you say that?"

Them: "If I need a photo for web or an ad I get a staffer with a DSLR and let him go at it."

Me: "OK, are your images delivering"

Them: "Not sure, I think so, no complaints."

Me: "How much post production are you doing?"

Them: "A couple of hours in photohop."

Me: "Ok, your staffer goes out and shoots product for a day and then spends day two working in photoshop finishing the images. What is the cost you have in lost wages and production from that staffer?

Them: "Probably two days wages and labor are lost."

I ask you this: Is the classics photograph dead, or just forgotten about?

What I have discovered by having this same dialogue over the past weeks is that photography is dead and the photographers kill it. A good photograph has become too expensive to produce. Too time consuming for companies to even consider hiring an outside professional photographer.


Back to the conversation:

Me: "I could do that same job in two hrs and have it print ready."

Them: "How and how much?"

Me: "The how is easy...I take photographs. I have been doing that for the past twenty years. It is my job to problem solve, see light and understand perspective. How much...starting at $55 to $75 per hour."

Them: "That is a saving."

The point of this post is not to run a commercial about myself as a professional photographer (or to set a standard price as to what a photographers should charge) but to shed light on the idea that the classical photograph is dead. During these conversations, the same topic kept reoccurring.

Professional images are too expensive to go out of house.

This is an opportunity for the photographer to learn. Let's file this under "insanely useful photography tips". Classic photography is timeless.

I ask again:

Is the classic photograph dead?

Did the photographer kill it?

Let the conversation begin....