So Flickr this week unveiled their new look, but with it came some critisisms - largely from Professional Photographers.
Well, aside from the finer technical modifications, idiotically (owners of Flickr) Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer decided to commit the cardinal sin of showing a lack of respect towards the thousands of Pro Photographers who already use Flickr. Describing the Photography market and the old 'Flickr Pro' as . . . "There are no longer any Professional Photographers out there".
Now there are two ways to read this. The first is to overreact and treat her comments at face value. Are the Professionals out there going to suddenly realise that they aren't as good as they thought? No, because let's face it, your viewers and buyers of your images, aren't going to think any differently about what they're looking at.
My view of Marissa Mayer's comment, was to look at WHERE Photography has come from and WHERE photography is going?
Nearly everyone has a camera, camera phone or photography App. Millions upload their own photos to Facebook, Flickr, 500px, Twitter etc etc. - the downside of course are those annoying everyday shots people take of their Coffee :(
On top of this, how many photojournalism images do we see, which aren't from Professional Photographers, but from the everyday person who just so happens to be carrying their camera phone and decides to capture & document the scene unfolding before their eyes.
In hindsight, Marissa Mayer's comments were probably meant to SUM up the Photography world as a whole, that Photography is something everyone does and that those very people are capable of producing amazing images - partly down to technology - but largely down to being in the right place at the right time with some form of camera.
In these terms, it's hard not to agree with her comments. It's just that Professionals want to be seen as just that - Professional.
Marissa Mayer has since apologised for her comments, with hopefully a lesson learned? And with more to come from Yahoo and Flickr, the future of photography is only going to get more pixelated. I'm looking forward to it!
Even in my own early beginnings as a togger, I probably captured an amazing image purely by chance or luck and stuck it straight on Flickr, proclaiming it to be a masterpiece that never was.
Paul Anthony Tully