Continuing on my post from yesterday where I wrote about photography as a commodity (Mark points out in the comments that a better term is fungible product) several of the panelest from the ASMP symposium on sustainable business models have posts up on the strictly business blog that I want to highlight. If you cannot attend in person there will be a live video feed (here) starting at 9am EST Thursday the 27th.
Richard Dale Kelly on organizing the event:
In organizing the Symposium, Sustainable Business Models: Issues & Trends Facing Visual Artists, ASMP’s Education Director, the late Susan Carr, and I focused on three key areas. We decided to start the day with working professionals who, through their own practices, have discovered sustainable solutions they are using today. Next, we wanted a conversation with users and distributors of visual content who are working at the highest levels of the publishing, advertising and technology sectors who could give us a glimpse of the opportunities behind the curtain. Finally, we brought in industry observers to discuss the challenges facing the professional in creating a sustainable career.
Liz Miller-Gershfeld, VP, Sr. Art Producer at Energy BBDO talks about the “new normal” at an agency meeting:
At the table were creatives and account people from the agency side and a team from the digital end of things. On the phone were teams from the promotional agency, the PR agency and international marketing counterparts. There were a few more voices on the phone. I’m still not clear who they were, perhaps a wrong number, probably not… Today clients have multi-channel marketing plans and multiple agencies to accomplish them…and we all have to play nicely.
I need a photographer who has deep human resources…
I need a photographer who can ask good questions…
I need a photographer who can simplify complexity …
I need a photographer whose producer can, at any given time quantify (in terms of time and money) what the inevitable changes and additions mean…
A photographer who is always thinking of the most efficient way to solve any problem and is able to articulate it from that perspective…
But perhaps most importantly, I need a photographer who can hold the idea that we brought to them – the one the creatives have spent the last few months and weekends developing, presenting, refining, presenting, selling, testing, presenting, resuscitating, presenting, refining and reselling… A photographer who can hold it like a torch, amidst all the chaos and needs, in their unique style; the reason we came to them.
Fiunally, Stephen Mayes CEO of VII Photo talks about the many business models being tested now:
But there’s a hugely expanded appetite for photography and with this comes new opportunities; the greatest obstacles to commercial expansion are the limits of our own imaginations and our fear of uncertainty. I see more and more brilliant business innovations, often sparked by young entrepreneurs with low overheads and little to lose. Some of them are experiencing short-term success, some are not and it’s still too soon to judge which will sustain as the world moves forward.
Right now we’re experiencing the best of times and the worst of times. There will be winners, some by chance and some by vision and sheer hard work, but there will be no rewards for the faint of heart. We can’t step backwards, only forwards, even if it means letting go of some dearly held ways of thinking.