For Photographers, the Image of a Shrinking Path

The digital photography course that SHU’s journalism students are supposed to take typically fills up, so that students can’t take the course until they are seniors.  That rather defeats the purpose of requiring the course — I was hoping that students who take the course will be able to take photos for the student paper for a couple years before they graduate.  That hasn’t really been happening, and right now photos are not a strong part of the student paper.

So I have been thinking of taking on a photojournalism theme in the one-credit “Media Lab” course that students take when they want to get credit for working on the student paper.  We’ll see… at any rate, this story shows that the digital revolution (or, more specifically, the amateur revolution) has affected professional photographers as much as it has writers.

Amateurs, happy to accept small checks for snapshots of children and
sunsets, have increasing opportunities to make money on photos but are
underpricing professional photographers and leaving them with limited
career options. Professionals are also being hurt because magazines and
newspapers are cutting pages or shutting altogether.

“There are very few professional photographers who, right now, are not
hurting,” said Holly Stuart Hughes, editor of the magazine Photo
District News.

That has left professional photographers with a bit of an identity
crisis. —NYTimes