According to TrendWatch, this winter (2000/2001), 65% of commercial graphics photographers cited "pricing" as a business challenge. As a challenge, it was up--way up--from 45% last Summer. In fact, it was the third biggest business challenge faced by commercial photographers.
Why should you care? Photographers' pricing pressure comes from many places, such as the increased demand for cut-rate royalty-free images over negotiated-fee-usage stock photography. And as photographers adopt digital photography, the reduced expense of shooting digitally (initial equipment costs notwithstanding) leads some clients to say, "Since a digital image didn't cost as much to produce as a film image, why should I have to pay as much for it?" Is a professional photographer's work worth only what it costs to produce, or is it greater than the sum of its parts? Like many of you, we believe good photography is more art than science. The pricing problem will resolve itself only when clients value the content of an image, not the way it was produced.
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