Three Friday Quickies to Take You Into The Weekend

McNally is #1!
First, a hearty congratulations and a big high five to my buddy Joe McNally for being named the #1 Most Inspiring Photographer in PhotoShelter’s 2nd annual “Photographers Outlook” survey of more than 5,700 photographers. I didn’t get to vote in this survey, but I would have voted for Joe myself because I look to him and his work first when I need inspiration. Way to go big Joe!!! :-)

Photographer’s State of the Union (hint: it ain’t pretty)
This past Wednesday on “The Grid” we took a frank look at where the industry is today, what photographers are struggling with, and how to make the most of it, and you’ve got a break and want to check it out, it’s right here (above).

If you’re a landscape photographer, man do we have a book for you!
So many Photographers have been asking Matt to share his complete landscape post-processing workflow that Matt has now put it all together in this one short (68 page), clear, concise eBook and he totally killed it! H spills all the beans of his whole process using Lightroom and Photoshop. Here’s the link to it on Amazon and Apple’s iBooks Store (it’s only $9.99). Congrats Matt on the launch!  NOTE: the book currently has a 1-star rating on Amazon but that’s only because of an old font/text flow issue that has since been resolved  — the content and what he shares is definitely 5-star stuff! 

That’s it for this Friday. Got some big news coming on Monday so I’ll hope we’ll see you here then. :)



  1. Thanks for the update on Matt’s book! I’m glad to hear that the Kindle version is working now. I’ll definitely be picking that up.

    Can’t wait to hear what’s happening on Monday! Any sneak peak?

  2. I sometimes have to take the Amazon rating systems with a grain of salt. A one star rating for one of Matt’s books is ridiculous. That man knows his stuff!
    The Grid show was well worth watching. Really insightful opinions.
    Have a great weekend, Scott. I’m looking forward to Monday (for once! :-) )

  3. Good gravy. I just love it (not) when people leave one star reviews for products because of stupid stuff that is out of the content creators control.

    “This pink, rhinestone studded iPhone case is really cool, but I’m giving it one star because I broke my nail opening the blister pack.”

    1. Lol Bill! While I’m not crazy about the 1-star review because of the formatting, to each their own. The one review that gets me, is the one that gives the book a 1-star review and he even states that he hasn’t actually even purchased it :-)

  4. Bottom line: making it as a pro photographer is much, MUCH harder than it once was. Most of the money now being made is in education (of the growing numbers of aspiring photogs) and equipment. These markets are growing in direct proportion with the numbers of photographers (thus growing like crazy), whereas the demand for images is lagging way behind (and in addition, the compensation for producing images is shrinking) . One need only notice that virtually every prominent pro is doing training, books, and gear. Their success as a photographer mostly (?) serves to market their training and gear. It’s like with the gold rush. The real money was in selling equipment, not prospecting. Yes, one can still “make it.” But it’s like trying to be a rock star or movie star. There’s only room for a microscopic fraction of the aspirant pool.

    That said, as long as you aren’t trying to make your living doing it, its a great time to be a photographer!

  5. Surprise, Scott takes down the post asking you to do something for the industry and calling you on your lack of helping the community but the post where you tell how badly the industry is doing is still up. So easy to set on your throne and complain but hard to actually do something about it

    1. You need to read the book “Who Moved My Cheese.” As Jeffrey Friedl put it a few years ago, “If your business model is based on getting paid to do what others will do for free, then you need to re-think your business model.” The photography world has changed and it isn’t changing back—any more than the airline industry will return to the days when air travel was a luxury experience and pilots were rockstars (see “Catch Me If You Can”). Scott (et al) has a very successful training business (and works his ass off, from what I can see, and makes available a lot of stuff for free). It’s not really his job to fix this problem, though if he could, I’m sure we’d see a new course “How to Survive in the New Photography World.” The answer probably is that you can still make it if you are better and work harder than the other 99.99%. Maybe harder than McNally when he was first starting out (though maybe not—there’s a reason he is who he is). If you can’t or won’t do this, then you need to do something else.

      Photography is being commoditized. The gap between what a random amateur and a high grade pro can produce is shrinking. For the bulk of photography consumers, commodity-grade is good enough. For example, a newspaper doesn’t need a staff photog any more because a bunch of amateurs will upload stuff for free. It won’t be what David Hobby would produce, but it will be good enough. And anyway, there will be another paper tomorrow. Trying to get all these people to stop giving their photos away for free is fruitless. It is what it is. You need to adapt (see”Who Moved My Cheese”).

      1. Steve,
        Thanks for the lecture. I’ve made a living as an ad photographer in NYC for 20+ years so pretty sure I understand what you are saying(and yes, I’ve read the book). What I have also seen is a whole lot of young guys who work their butts off and can’t afford to feed their family as no one has taught them that there is a whole lot more to this “art” than taking pictures.
        What annoys me though is this, when a leader stands up and stays,”whoa, things are bad, the world is coming to an end but you really need to buy a speedlight.”
        I respect Scott a lot. What he has done is amazing but what he also does is becomes someone who people model their hopeul careers after. And because of that I wish he would have a siminar so people would learn things like, who’s libel on your shoot if a light stand falls and hits someone, do you pay unemployment on a freelance asst, how does one save for retirement. There are very few people who can reach a large audience in our profession so it would be great if the one person who could, did.

      2. Sorry, didn’t mean to lecture. My “you” was mostly the general you. Regarding the business side (insurance, liability, etc.), John Harrington has been beating that drum on his blog for years (he did a guest spot on Scott’s blog not too long ago). Zack Arias also had a great interview on Photoshelter last year on what he would tell someone just starting out. And many people have been repeating the maxim “being a pro is 20% photography and 80% business”. So it shouldn’t be a surprise to someone who’s done their research. Supporting a family? Honestly, if they already have a family to support, they should probably choose an easier way to make a living. Leave pro photography to those who just can’t do anything else. Like the way a true artist does their art not because they want to but because they have to (and even they may make their living another way).

        It’s a bummer when your world changes out from under you. I feel your pain. My real gig is in technology and I’ve seen it many times—telecom gear going from Cisco and Lucent to China, PCs getting replaced by iPads and smartphones, Microsoft switching places with Apple (inconceivable back in the 90s), Photoshop getting replaced by Lightroom (mostly), etc. I’ve been laid off and had to change areas more than once. I was depressed, pissed off, etc. But eventually you have to re-group and move on.

    2. I took down your post because you were being a jerk about it. You need to go and re-read Steve’s comment below — he’s right on the money, and he make his case without being a troll — something you need serious work on.

      1. Wow, you missed the point, it isn’t how things use to be, it’s about how they are. No one is bitter here, it’s about educating the younger group of photographers how to succeed, feed their families, have a decent career and not just buy gear.

      2. And there are entire organizations dedicated to that, like the PPA who a great job teaching the business side — in fact, they’re excellent at it. Our company’s business direction is to teach the tools. You believe people need the business side more than they need to tools and techniques — that’s fine, but don’t blame us for not doing something that is not in our business charter.

      3. You are right, it’s not your customer. For that I am sorry, wrong market. What you do is great and you are an amazing teacher. Good luck.

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