Under threat

I’ve been hearing that times are hard for professional photographers, as so many amateurs with digital cameras have been cutting into their territory.

It seems there are plenty of eager shooters who upload their pictures to photo-sharing sites like Flickr. Magazines, ad agencies and other interested parties then buy the right to use them … and the pay is much less than a professional photographer would get.

There’s also been plenty of chatter on a freelance writers’ e-list about poor pay rates for writers at certain publications. Some have criticized the writers who agree to these rates, while others have pointed out that in tough times, some money is better than no money. Traditionally, it was mostly newcomers who agreed to peon wages, the theory being that once they had some clips and experience, they’d move on.

Both professional writers and professional photographers are under threat. The economy and new technology have changed the playing field, and that train has already left the station.

What’s not clear is where the professionals will find a home. Or even if we will.

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