On Flickr Stigma
A letter to Aphotoeditor
Very interesting thread.
I agree that the right marketing materials are needed for the segment you are looking to get work in, as in Rome, well you know the saying …. I think from the reaction here this is experiment you are running is something that “pros” feel for most part valuable and certainly they respect your leadership.
However, I get the feeling in this line “It’s not that difficult to see why I would think you’re an amateur if you put your images on Flickr. That’s what it was created for and that’s who primarily uses it.” that you may be missing something of value. I would argue that by focusing on the “amateurs” and not the audience we will be overlooking a valuable and sustainable marketing opportunity. You own an audience.
This audience of “amateurs” are the same people who consume a photographer’s images in mass magazines. They are the audience. They are the consumers. The photo editors are gate keepers and curators. They are powerful filters but they are not in the case of mass magazines the audience. By perpetuating the stigma, we are keeping photographers from an audience, from the audience.
I think by not encouraging some kind of long term involvement in a photographer’s body of work that a site like Flickr can offer through the mass audience platform it provides, we diminish a fantastic opportunity to connect with the very people who consume the photographs. I am not sure if magazines can make it happen themselves they have a vested interest in their brand - not in establishing a long term connection with broadest possible audience and enhancing the value of the photographer as recognizable.
By dismissing the vernacular aesthetic of Flickr with the audience we dismiss “the audience”. I think photographers coming into the business over the next few years will have this in their DNA. A few top tier photographer’s will have other methods of direct to audience marketing. The more intimate an audience is with a photographer, the more valuable the photographer becomes to the properties that hire them.
I am not an editorial photographer but have learned much form the readers contribution here over the last few months. Thanks for this valuable resource.