It’s no secret that professional photographers – people that make their living exclusively from photography – are on the decline. There are countless reasons, but the decline of the magazine industry has traditionally been cited as the big one. Now, it seems, amateur photographers may be to blame.
An article in The New York Times details the journey of two different photographers. One, Matt Eich, went to school for photojournalism, and is now trying to make a living by supplementing his photo work with advertising and art projects. “The sentiment,” he says, “is that this is not a sustainable thing.”
The other is Sharon Pruitt, whose Flickr account netted her a stock-photo contract with Getty Images. She says the extra income is usually enough to take the family out for dinner, and won’t end up becoming a regular source of income. “It’s just great to have extra money,” she says.
And there’s the rub. Pruitt is happy to get her monthly checks for photographs she’s taken, but the increase in stock photography use and decrease in price means it’s no longer a place for the pros to make money.