Sustainability in the Digital Age

With photography becoming far easier to come by, it is becoming harder and harder for photographers to make a living from it. Social media has created the idea that everyone is a photographer, with platforms like Instagram acting as everyone's own personal portfolio and website to display their 'work'. Whether it is a photo of someone's slippers, or of what they ate for lunch, everyone thinks that they have what it takes to be a photographer. The amount that photographers can charge for shoots is, therefore decreasing, with most people being ignorant in thinking that now that we are out of the digital age, photography is far easier and less expensive as we don't have to continuously spend money on rolls of film and chemicals to develop them.


If anything, the digital age has made photography a far more expensive occupation to have. DSLRs are now reaching tens of thousands of pounds, with upgrades of bodies and lenses becoming necessary, if not vital, in order to remain competitive. With the rise in photographers, it is hard enough to find work, but with people willing to do it for so little makes it so difficult to compete price-wise and still make a living. Companies like Groupon and Wowcher are making it impossible as they create offers where family photo shoots can be completed for as little as £20. And no matter how hard you try, living off of that £20, if not less after the company takes their cut, is impossible.

This is not the only reason why it has become more difficult for us photographers. Most companies and customers don't fully understand the copyright laws behind photographs, and if contracts are not made, it can become very difficult to keep copyright over your own photos. By law, the copyright of an image always goes to he/she who created the photo, unless rights are transferred to someone else. However, it is very difficult to enforce this as with the internet being as large as it is, there is no saying who is using your images without permission.