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Isn’t this inevitable? The number of new things to take photos of is not going to increase that much year over year and digital photos last forever.

The squeeze is going to come simply because at some point there is far more content than buyers.




> digital photos last forever

Lolz. I'm sure you wouldn't mind using pictures of mulleted '80s dude in your advertising. And in 20 years, all these bearded gentlemen being photographed today will look so silly. Fancy a NY skyline with a couple of extra towers?

The problems with professional photography have nothing to do with durability and everything to do with technological advance in the overall process. The easier it gets to take good pics and tout them to the whole world, the more competition there is, the lower prices are inevitably going to get.

Photographers are like recording musicians, their bread is becoming tied to real-life presence - something that remains unique and effectively not scalable.


Stock photography has to catch up with lifestyle, technology, fashion, society, culture and architecture, among others. On top of that, stock sites sell news images as well.

So no, there always will be something to be photographed.


Sure, there will always be a market for hyperlocal and hyper-relevant stuff, but most of it is fairly timeless. Many of those landscape photos will be good 30 years from now.

Add in that an image competes globally and is infinitely scalable and that is essentially perfect competition with the prices to match.


There are trends for what looks good. If you look through some stock photos you can easily spot things uploaded years ago just from the style and quality alone. Just like all UIs are essentially the same thing, but you can tell which era the XP windows decorations came from.


Actually, no. Even the composition of the picture is dictated by fashion. Even pure landscape scenes change over time.


But there is an upper limit to consumption. I know we keep pushing to see how much we can consume, but ultimately some FPS times the number of seconds in a day..


If that’s the case, then we eventually won’t need shutterstock.


Wait, why? Because eventually everything will end up in the public domain? Not arguing for or against anything here but Shutterstock is the distributor not the creator, so they theoretically never "loose importance" in the scenario where stock photography hits a ceiling, right?


Photos get dated extremely quickly. And if you are creating marketing material the very very last thing you want is to look dated.




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