Death of the Photographer / by Simeon Smith

I’ve been thinking about the death of the photographer for a while. In a world where everyone has a great camera, editing suite, marketing team and publication house inside their smartphone, the photographer is good as buried.

Nothing reminded me of this more than last week, when my camera review got more views by far than any other blog post I’ve written. People aren’t too interested in my creative process. And no one really cares about my photos, or yours for that matter. They want to be part of the creative process. They’re interested in their own creative potential.

Welcome to the western world, c.2017, where everyone is a photographer, everyone is a musician, everyone has a brand.

The most popular thing I’ve ever made was a sample-pack. For the non-musicians out there, it’s a collection of sounds for other musicians to use in their own tracks. And this is the current situation in creative industries. While Soundcloud lays of staff, and Apple Music is presumed to be a loss leader for the wider brand, the people growing their business are those catering to creatives.

Here’s my plan for creative and financial survival:

·       Brain Eno has spoken a lot about the concept of Scenius. A genius held not within one person, but within a community, a scene. I try to be a part of as many of these communities as possible. The Presence Creatives, Lines Community and Lomography site are great examples of this, where we collectively make truly great art.

·       The people that spend money on art are usually artists. I try to serve artists and creatives as much as possible. Sure, I’d hope anyone could enjoy this blog, but chances are, if you’re reading this, you consider yourself a “creative”, whether professionally or as a hobby. That’s what this blog is; sharing knowledge and experiences with creatives. On August 5th I’m doing my first pilot film workshop, the book I published earlier this year… all catering mainly to creatives.

·       The other people spending money on art? Creative brands. Whether a company is able to make a profit or not, they invest, and often they invest in artists. I’ve had a lot of free gear and some good contracts in the past couple of years, so working with creative brands is definitely on my to-do list.