This topic comes up a lot these days. You could apply “new business models” to just about any business – not just photography and video. Photography and video, in and of themselves are not business models at all, but rather they are mediums that are used commercially, non-commercially and personally. The business end of photography and video comes when you determine how you want to apply them in terms of today’s markets.
Today’s markets are global. That’s good news and bad news, depending on the type of work you do. If you are a stock photographer or even if you have expanded that into also shooting stock motion footage – your inventory or your content must be unique in some way in order to sustain that type of business model in our global economy. You will need to stand out and offer something unique, if you pursue this type of market.
If you are a commissioned commercial or editorial photographer, cinematographer, or director, the competition is fierce and once again, if you don’t have a unique style or vision, most likely you will end up playing by others’ rules or signing “their” lopsided contracts. It comes down to supply and demand of talent and work, and you will either compete with price or offer something that you do better than your competition.
The good news is, if you are willing to do the work, the world is your stage. The portals for distribution of your “content” are open to all and as “creatives” we are no longer dependent on middlemen. When I get asked to talk about “new business models”, I always look for where the new opportunities are. Where will I be able to carve out my own “new business model”, rather than having to adapt others’ ideas of what that may be. There is a big difference in those two approaches.
I am carving out a business model for who I am creatively, and where I see the most opportunities for what I do well. When I am authentic to who I am and apply this to my work, I am able to deliver my own unique vision and reach the right audience, while maintaining ownership and control over the licensing of my work. I am able to do that not only because technology has enabled me to do that, but more importantly because I have set myself apart from everyone else who has a camera.
Think about it. What are your strengths? What are your passions? Now imagine a business model based on your answers. The world is our stage.