Photography as commodity

Photography as commodity

We happen to find ourselves in a time when really great photography is available everywhere, accessible to all, for very low price or even free, right click.

You certainly can’t beat free. What to do?

Has photography become a commodity? Many seem to agree on that images has gone the same way as rice, cotton or copper.  

A commodity is a product that has the same characteristics no matter who produces it and if your photography  has become a commodity the only way to different yourself from the rest is by lowering your price, the famous race to the bottom.

The only way out of that dilemma is to change the value proposition that you offer  your clients. We used to offer photography, we now have to offer something else, preferably with a higher value to the client...

Here an example of the process of change. A few years ago the venerable NYTimes, realised that they were no longer in the newspaper business but rather in the news business. With  print sales dropping they had to change. They took a deep look at themselves , made major changes and among a thousand other major changes started to produce long form pieces like the famous Snow Fall piece.

I say photographers have to do the same thing. We have to start taking more responsibility for the whole process. We don’t want to be in the photography business anymore but rather in the image/storytelling business. On a sidenote, Fotoskolan STHLM, where I sometimes  lecture and teach, is no longer a photoschool. They are now teaching Visual Communication.

When I try to tell people what I do I usually say that I'm a fashion photographer and  the next thing I say is usually that I'm exploring the edges of photography.

Well, this is what it actually looks like.

I started to look around on the edges of photography and I got hooked on all the hybrid forms of moving image, be it gifs, cinemagraphs, 3D  or full fledged video or film.

In this particular example I revisited my archive and found this image of a girl, painted red,  against a golden disk. I picked this image because the elements were easy to separate from each other. Once I had done that I simply imported all the images into After Effects and started to experiment with 3D space, camera movement and lighting.

Click here for a breakdown of the most important elements of a Fashion Shooting

photography commodity


commodity photography

Photography fashion | Modefotografie Berlin