Tuesday, 12 January 2010

POV: To Pay or Not To Pay?

I've read a post on the Lightstalkers forum that a popular photo blog featuring documentary photographers will start charging photographers a review/publishing fee. The $50 fee is said to help cover the editing and administrative time involved.

The photo blog features an emerging documentary photographer every 2-3 days, and claims that as a result, a number of photographers have received assignments or made sales.

The reaction from the handful of photographers in the post's thread to this announcement has been understandably negative, especially in the current environment.

I can't really pass judgment on decisions of others, except to say that in the (very) hypothetical event that I decide to monetize The Travel Photographer blog, and need to defray administrative time et al, I'd do so by adopting the route many bloggers have done...either by using AdSense, or becoming an affiliate to the large number of online stores (Amazon, B&H, etc) rather than charging a fee to the already struggling photographers.

However, I will not monetize The Travel Photographer blog. I reject affiliations and commercial linkages of any type. I've said as much in an earlier post last year, and I will continue to welcome submissions from travel and documentary photographers whose work fit the DNA of this blog, without strings attached.

So is my blog totally altruistic? Not entirely. It serves to publicize my own work and my Photo~Expeditions™, but it also provides one more platform for the work of new, emerging and established photographers, adding a sliver of exposure for those photographers who want and need to showcase their work as widely as possible.

The formula has been working for the past two years, and my blog's readership and followers, as well as my mailing list membership, continue to grow exponentially. Why should anything change?