Magic Monday: The Industry is DEAD.

“The industry is over-saturated”.

“Everyone is a professional creative”

“How am I to compete?”

If you have ever had any of those thoughts or questions, watch





I’ve mulled over these quandries myself in more than just photography. I play more than one field, dancing in both music and photography, and the similarities are pretty striking.  I’ve even asked myself this week,

“Because of the creative revolution, does that make the artist any less special/talented on an individual level if they are swimming in a sea of ‘everyone’?”

Technology is amazing.  The tools are literally there for anyone for the taking. You can become a photographer, a musician, a film maker, a published writer,… the bar to entrance is nearly gone.  But what does this mean for the progress of art?  Will we see a rise of even more classic creations?  Or will the impact of potentially great works/people be lost admist the hubbub and noise of sifting through everyone else?

Ten years ago I recorded an original music CD with my fabulous friend Sarah. The project required several sessions at a professional recording studio, working with a CD publisher, hiring a photographer/graphic designer, getting a distributor to place our CD in bookstores, and on and on.

Today I could record my own project in my living room and sell a self made album on itunes…

Photography is exactly the same.

According to Seth Godin, “This changes everything. The industry is dead! ”  Now, he’s talking about the publishing industry, but on this FANTASTIC interview this week with Dane Sanders, he gets more narrow in speaking about individual art fields such as photography and music. (HINT… you really should listen. As in, if I were teaching a business course on how to survive, I would require attendance.)

*Lest my intent or tone be construed, I’m not venting. Quite the opposite. I’m actually completely captivated at this issue and the problem and potential solutions it presents.

I could write an entire post just on this interview. Perhaps I will.

In the meantime, what is your perspective?

Brooke Snow is a Lifestyle photographer in Cache Valley, Utah. She recently identified herself as a non-conformist/conservative. The irony.

Brooke teaches private photography lessons , online photography classes, as well as monthly photography classes in Logan, Utah.

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6 Responses

  1. I like to compare this to American Idol… The truth is, once you get to Hollywood week, they are ALL singers. They all can sing better than I can. And they are all pretty dang good. BUT, the reality is that there are few competing slots available and only one American Idol at the end. And when the best of the best are competing, not only natural talent, but individualism, style, and artistry is what has to set them apart. The competition forces them to come into their own and become the best singer that they can possibly be. The process really sets the best ones apart b/c they either thrive or they die out. And the ones who thrive… well then it’s left up to America to decide. The art industry right now is the same. Now, more than ever, if you want to be successful, you have to thrive. You have to become the best artist you can be. You have to focus on what YOU have to offer that is special and unique. And when you have worked hard and developed who you are as an artist and continue to do that, there’s nothing left for you to do except let “America” decide. Even if they don’t win, the ones who thrived gain fans along the way. I like that there is so much competition out there. It forces me to know who I am and be the best me that I can be. I’m never complacent. And my progress is greater and faster than if I had no competition at all. There’s always going to be someone out there who is “better” than you in one way or another. But who you are as an artist will speak to a certain audience. There’s no one winner. There are different audiences out there, and many opportunities to appeal to the crowd of your biggest fans. But if you aren’t striving to be your best, the crowd will find another favorite. I’d say being an artist is harder than ever because there is so much competition and its easier these days for people to compare you to others and be critical. But we also have a greater opportunity for the same reasons to find our niche audience and be successful with those who appreciate you, when we might not have had that chance to reach them before. Wow. Sorry, that was long and a jumble of thoughts. But hopefully it made sense 🙂

  2. Fabulous comment Kassandra! A little competition never hurt anyone… in fact its the element of competition that has brought about much progress in all fields and fuels businesses and creative people to push themselves harder. Excellent point.

  3. Brooke,
    I love your Magic Monday posts (well all your insight really) but its nice to read/view/listen to these interesting topics. I’ve always be grateful for the opportunities I’ve been able to take advantage of and am pleased when others do to. What makes us different is what we do with it, how do we present it, what can we add to it and grow because of it…

    Perhaps I wasn’t brave enough to pursue my artistic side in college (which would become my profession) but now, its theraputic and thrilling…

    I am not well versed in composing my thoughts in writing, but I hope it makes sense. 🙂 You’re inspiring to me and many others!
    Thanks! Juanita

  4. That was the best interview I’ve seen in a long time! Recently I was feeling like my artistic vision is not mainstream enough for public consumption. There are projects I don’t do because I’m not sure if people will get it. Seth Godin’s interview with Dane Sanders has me pumped to to take more of a jump out into the unknown. Thank you for sharing.

  5. I have been reading through your archives and really enjoy the links you throw in. Makes my job of finding good information to read easier!

    Seth’s interview was fabulous! What a wonderful perspective to counter all the other things I hear. Thanks for hooking me up!

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