The Sky Is Falling. Again.

So this is making the rounds through the Photography community, both pros and amateurs:

It's called A Shrinking Career Path for Pro Photographers.


It's basically a variant on the theme that I've been hearing for as long as I've been a writer and started hearing twice as loud when I founded the press.  You could substitute writing/publishing for photography almost verbatim and be reading an identical story.

It's bollocks.

It's not shrinking, people.  It's changing.  The Internetz has changed EVERYTHING.  Not just publishing.  Not just writing.  Everything.  Ignore the World at your peril.  The status is no longer quo.  Hasn't been for a damn long time.  Change or die, as George Lock Land would say.  You can either embrace the Automobile, or you can mourn the loss of the Buggy Whip. 

That's all.

I happen to be a pro photographer, specializing in fine art.  Am I making what I once was?  Am I showing in galleries like I was? 


That scene is dying.  That doesn't mean that there's no market for fine art photography.  I have friends who are doing damn well as fine artists, doing damn well as photographers.  But they've never followed the "career path" laid out here.  They've forged their own.  They've embraced the Net.  They've gone for crowdfunding and Twitter and Facebook and doing difficult work that isn't mainstream.  The niche is King. 

It's not about trying to be Annie Leibowitz/Bunny Yeager or Stephen King/Dan Brown.

It's about being yourself and loving your audience. 

It's about being nimble, willing to evolve and be flexible.

It may not make you rich.  But it certainly will make you fulfilled. 

- Madam Publisher (and her alter ego, the Madam Photographer)
Hooray! Thanks for saying this. Because it's f***ing true and I am so, so, SO tired of listening to tired old writers singing the same tired old song about how There's No Work Left In Publishing(tm) and that Books/Magazines/Print/Writing/Whatever Are Dying(tm).

'Scuse me, Tired Old Writer, have you ever freakin' seen the Internet? Amazing's got WORDS in it! Lots and lots and LOTS of words!

Yes, things have changed, are changing, and will continue to change in the worlds of writing and of visual arts. And those of us who manage to hang on for the ride will have an awful lot of fun.