For commercial freelance photographers working in the industry in Scotland and the UK, there are many challenges facing us. Some of these challenges are new and the landscape for photographers is totally different now than it was when I started out as a commercial corporate photographer in Edinburgh 15 years ago.
I have listed a few of the fresh issues for our profession. I am sure there are many more you can think of:
- The market is very crowded, due to the digital revolution and also the general increase in interest because of camera phones.
- There are more agencies offering work, usually at lower rates, this usually means working harder for less, or applying for work through a bid site.
- The scope for creativity is even greater due to the technology. Take one of my specialisms for instance – Infrared Photography. Previously this could only be achieved with special film, using tripods and long exposures. Now you can have your camera converted to take hand held infrared images.
- For most of us, the rates paid have gone down due to the competition.
- The photographer of today needs a wider range of skills than before, not only in photography, but also in IT, social media, website building and other marketing issues.
- The industry is changing rapidly on a daily basis. it is very important to keep up to date with technology, marketing trends, and the ever changing needs and expectations of the consumer.
- Although we are told that websites are less important, due to social media pages etc, a good professional website with high ISO ranking is still crucial for success.
Anyway, hope that helps. Next time I will look at areas that haven’t changed that are just as important today as they were 20 years ago.