Two weeks later Pino published here "The Bill Gates Mystery: An Open Letter From Pino Granata To The Founder Of Corbis".
Pino has written an update on his thoughts, entitled A New Photographic Renaissance:
A NEW PHOTOGRAPHIC RENAISSANCE
by Pino Granata
"I think time has come to talk again about Photography, and I mean about real Photography with a capital letter.
Somebody might claim that this is what we do. Come on guys, you don't talk about Photography, you talk about photography that gets bought and sold by the ton like potatoes and tomatoes.
I wish to talk about Mark Seliger, Timothy White, Richard Avedon, Firooz Zahedi, Don McCullin, Gian Paolo Barbieri, James Nachtwey, Marc Riboud and many more.
I don't want to hear anymore about pictures sold for a dollar each or subscriptions which will save the market. This trend started years back in a PACA meeting in New York when the famous words were pronounced. The famous words: we don't owe anything to photographers, we owe to our clients.
When these words were pronounced I was in the hall and it's difficult to describe the reaction of the audience, I dare say we were bewildered. Jim Pickerell and Susan Turnau sang a song on the notes of "I got you babe" (Sonny and Cher tune).
But there was very little to joke about. In the long term this new philosophy won and now here we are, talking about subscriptions, microsales, pictures on cell phones (thank you Bill) and so on.
This is a clients oriented market which wants to do without photographers which are considered something of a nuisance. The trend for the big agencies is to own all the pictures on their websites in order to please their shareholders.
I've been in this business for 42 years and I happen, believe it or not, to love Photography.
Stan Kenney, this is a name that very few might remember, but I do remember him when he started Image Bank. At that time I was maybe 28 and I was a salesman for an italian photo agency. Well, he visited that agency and he tried to make an agreement. The pictures Stan showed us were beautiful.
I remember there were great photographers such as Pete Turner, Larry Dale Gordon and many others. All great photographers. The agreement was not made because Stan wanted a very high price for his pictures and a minimum guarantee.
Stan knew that he was selling premium photography and he wanted this to be acknowledged. When looking for an agent, the first concern of all photo agency owners was their ability to sell for high prices and that used to make sense.
When in 1986 I started representing The Stock Market in Italy, I spent two weeks editing all the files, at least half million pictures, and I remember the thrill and the excitement when editing the works of photographers like Gabe Palmer, Tony Edgeworth, Art Kane, Richard Steedman, Luis Villota, Barry O'Rourke and many others.
In these days, I don't know if it is only my impression, but I see pictures I consider meaningless, fake and lacking depth both in editorial and in advertising and anyway I don't hear anymore anyone talking about photographers, only marketing and that's all.
Today's password is saving money and that's true for all, advertising agencies as well as magazines. I doubt that the kind of market we have today will give opportunities to the making of new talents and this is an issue that needs to be considered.
But I'm sure that the demand for high quality photography at the end will prevail and we will see again quality pictures with a cultural value."
- "Just fly in a different direction" (Oct. 10, 2006)
- The Bill Gates Mystery: An Open Letter From Pino Granata To The Founder Of Corbis (Oct. 03, 2006)
- "Is There A Future For Stock Agents?" (Sept. 20, 2006, by Jim Pickerell, Story 873, subscription required).
- Pino Granata: "Is there any future for photographers and agents?" (Sept. 16, 2006)