And this is why photographers need to learn video right now.

Last week I attended the Silver & Ink event at the Savannah College of Art and Design. I was invited to see the graduate students’ work, teach a video class, speak at a “business of photography” panel discussion, review undergraduate and graduate portfolios, discuss technology trends with faculty, exchange my views about the future of photography with career advisors, and attend a stunning art opening. Among the many questions I received, there were two particular questions that were asked many times over—and I could sense a mix of fear and excitement in those who asked these questions.

Question #1: As a photographer, why should I learn video?

The answer is really simple: access to more future opportunities. According to there is a better than average annual growth in job openings for photographers, yet video editors, as well as audio and video technicians make significantly more money—either through an hourly wage (freelance) or yearly salary (part- and full-time employment).

I compared national averages with New York state averages, and the results are pretty clear.

average salary for photographers in New York

average salary for audio technicians in New Yorkaverage salary for video editors in New York

In New York, video editors can make from $35,000 to $102,000 per year. Photographers make from $18,000 up to $81,000. As you can see, salaries for audio and video equipment technicians fall right in between the salaries of photographers and video editors

I personally know very few photographers at the high-end of the spectrum, but I know of several video editors who make a lot more than $100K.

What about employment growth?



The Business of Photography. Upcoming SCAD’s Silver & Ink events.

The Savannah School of Art and Design (SCAD) recently held a Photo Exhibition open to all undergraduate and graduate photography majors or minors who are/were enrolled as full-time or part-time students during the 2011-12 academic year at any SCAD location (Savannah, Atlanta, Hong Kong or eLearning). Each student submitted up to three entries from all different genres: fine art, commercial, product, editorial, documentary, alternative processes, new media/experimental, and 2D/3D mixed media. Over 750 entries were received!

Digital Flyer for SCAD's silver and ink event

Later this month, we have been invited to join the reviewer’s panel at the opening reception, and be part of the photographic review taking place April 26th through the 28th. Lauren Wendle, VP and Publisher of PDN Photo District News will also be there to share her always relevant views on the photo industry. Other speakers include Chicago artist photographer Terry Evans, Michael Itkoff, founding editor of Daylight Magazine, and  Finnish-American photographer Arno Rafael Minkkinen.

On Friday April 27th, we will be talking about “The Business of Photography” covering topics like marketing and self-promotion, building a client base, and working on assignment. The panelists featured in PDN’s 30th issue, will share how they got to where they are today, what they learned in school, what they wish they had been taught, and will provide advice for students who are heading into the professional photographic industry.

I am always excited to see such a variety of new student work.  We see so many different trends in photography whether in commercial advertisements, editorial magazines, fine art, or documentary work.  Students are aware of those trends, but they are still experimenting and finding out who they truly are as photographers. Their body of work shows a progression and gives us a brief view of where contemporary photographic imagery is heading.  This panel discussion will help the students answer questions about their future career as artists and professional photographers. Creativity and technical skills are always required, but business skills are paramount in order to be successful in our  extremely competitive industry.

More information is provided on Scad’s Photo Blog.