Blognotes from a photographer life...

Jul 6, 2010


I did a lot of thinking, waiting, looking (and posting on this blog).. I wanted to be sure, double sure, that my predictions were only a "pessimistic state of mind" consequence.. But now I can say that they were real and realistic, unfortunately.
Professional Travel Photography is gone for good. Or better, the Travel Publications are gone, with a few exceptions. The big international magazines are still there, but with badly reduced number of pages, of readers, of stories. And, what's worst, with confused identities and scopes. Even generic magazines have renounced their travel section after they had produced, or just worsened, the specialized one's crisis.
The reasons are obvious: what is the sense of describing places and destinations in this globalized world? Or even giving practical suggestions when the web is providing very efficient real-time informations?
For photographers like myself, deeply rooted in a geographical culture and background, the problem has two interconnected sides: the artistic and the professional. What to photograph is as important as How to do it. As I repeated several times, identifying interesting stories and giving a personal interpretation is a must. But then comes the Why (which is the same as the professional problem): what are the media that will publish (distribute, show, expose) these works? The photographer has no control of this essential part of the process. I keep seeing many colleagues that join forces in creating new agencies to face the sales vacuum. But it seems obvious to me that the real problem is the absence of the media market to sell to, not the way we try to sell! Maybe we should group to create sensible media, unless we look for selling brand instead of photos.
I keep thinking that the world has a lot of stories worth to be covered photographically. The real task is to modernize our scope, create new ways of distribution (using the new technologies, think of the iPad per example), reach the young reader.
For the Travel Photographer the time has come to drop the "Travel" label. Everybody has a camera in his pocket today. The photographer is somebody able to see in a personal, strong way, and pass the message on..


  1. Maybe you could "reverse" your life:
    6 months in Europe making pictures and then 6 months in Asia selling your works to the "new tourists" that from Asia (not only India and China) will come to us... For sure you know very well what asians like or dislike...

  2. What a great post Andrea,

    for a long time I worked exclusively as a travel photographer mostly doing editorial work and I have watched the market butcher itself over the past few years. Like many others I guess I'm kind of hoping for a white knight to come in and save us all but I think you're right, it's time we stood up and did it for ourselves.

    Thanks for some wonderful insight.

  3. I think i agree, bottom line, with your arguments. Sad ones indeed. Market dictates, we follow... or at least some do. But then the long-term challenge is to revitalise the sector, new models, new ideas... I'm in..