There are many business models being tested by individuals and institutions as the media industry struggles through this period of seismic change. But it's too early yet to predict which will be sustainable and the only certainty is that doing things in the old model will not sustain us moving forward. The old ways aren't dead, far from it, but on their own they're not enough. The shrinking print economy, crumbling prices and over supply are eating the business that we used to know. Still, there's a hugely expanded appetite for photography and with this comes new opportunities. The greatest obstacles to commercial expansion are the limits of our own imaginations and our fear of uncertainty. Brilliant business innovations, often sparked by young entrepreneurs with low overheads and little to lose, are increasingly common. Some of them are experiencing short-term success, some are not and it's still too soon to judge which will survive as the world moves forward.
Stephen Mayes is a strategist advising institutions and individuals about effective creative and commercial approaches to the fast changing media environment. He has worked at the top levels of photography for 25 years in the areas of journalism, art, commercial and fashion. He was Senior Vice President at Getty Images developing and implementing content strategies for the world's largest content supplier and later worked as Senior Vice President at eyestorm.com representing high-end artists in the consumer market. Stephen worked with Art And Commerce as Director of Image Archive representing top fashion and art photographers for commercial licensing. He was CEO of VII Photo Agency for five years managing the careers of world-leading photojournalists. Stephen has chaired the jury of the World Press Photo competition and also served as secretary for nine years. He is currently working in New York and regularly writes and broadcasts on the ethics and realities of photographic practice in the new digital environment.