Digital has Democratised the (Stock) Photography Industry

The digital photography (r)evolution may have increased competition for photographers but in a significant way it has also leveled the playing field for those of underrepresented ethnic communities.

Excerpts from the Red Box interview with Paul Foster, Director of Content for Europe, Getty Images

PF: The Internet has made it easier for us to find talented photographers or to find imagery.

RB: What exactly do you mean by that?

The option that everybody can upload pictures whether it be my mother or someone in Vietnam has democratised the industry. For us at Getty it means we have millions of photographers based all around the world. And it is the logic of crowd sourcing that some of these photographers are very talented. And their material is extremely commercially viable. We have now photographers in 95 countries, from Antigua to Vietnam. Whereas before you had a predominance of professional photographers based in Europe and the US.


RB: What about the developing markets like China, India or Russia? Is that a topic for you as well?

PF: Yes, it is in those markets where we have always struggled to fulfil the demand. We have a big client basis there. We were of course always actively recruiting photographers in those countries. We go into partnerships with specialized stock agencies that may be based in Japan or somewhere else. But Flickr again offers the opportunity to fulfil the regional needs. This is really exciting. We now have a photographer base that is no longer Eurocentric or US-centric but truly global.

Read the full interview on Red Box.


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