Thursday, 16 July 2009

Snobbism & The Photography Industry

Kochi (Kerala)-Photo © Tewfic El-Sawy -All Rights Reserved

"Photography has its social classes, almost like a feudal society. It has its kings and knights ( in shinning armor, no less), its jesters and courtesans, and of course, a huge amounts of peasants. If you want to play in the court of the respected and approved, you have to follow some well established rules."

And so writes Paul Melcher in his inimitable Thoughts of A Bohemian blog.

As way of background, Paul Melcher brings more than 17 years of experience in technology breakthrough and leadership roles for world-renowned photography agencies and was named by American Photo as one of the "50 most influential individuals in American photography."

Firstly, I'm pleased that this post seems to be spreading quickly in photo industry circles, and is extremely popular. It probably will deservedly ruffle some feathers, and, through humor, make the self-appointed industry luminaries look at themselves, and perhaps laugh.

Secondly, I'm rather miffed that travel photographers are not mentioned on the list. It appears that the top photo "royalty" are conflict photographers, and the bigger the scarf, the higher they are in the hierarchy, while the "low lifers" are amateurs and microstock photographers.

I really don't want to be royalty nor do I want to be a low-lifer...so what about a knight? Yes, that's a good place to be.