Today, Sean Hayes, a leading Creative Director who has recently joined RooM as a contributor, shares his thoughts on mobile photography and our RooM concept.
"We're exposed to an overload of images nowadays." So said Eric Kessels, Dutch advertising creative and all-round renaissance man, as he launched his art installation at an Amsterdam gallery in 2011. The gallery space was filled with a sea of random photos that had been uploaded to the photo hosting service Flickr, over a 24-hour period. Kessels had printed them out and filled the gallery with the images to give an impression of an overflowing landfill.
We are drowning in a tsunami of photographs. As of March 2013, it was calculated that 27,800 photos were uploaded to Instagram every minute and 300 million to Facebook every day. But this pales in comparison to Flickr, who have gone on record as saying that, since its inception in 2014, eight billion photos have been uploaded to their site. It doesn't stop there - industry reports indicate that in 2012, about ten percent of all photos ever taken have been shot in the past 12 months. That's a lot of 'Kodak moments'. Where does this leave creative professionals who have made photography their passion and vocation? While the popularity of photography has exploded thanks to the ubiquity of digital technology, companies like Kodak, who have long and esteemed reputations as purveyors of quality photographic products and services, have imploded. Contradictions abound.
There has never been a greater demand for commercial photography products, yet quality suffers as the industry increasingly attempts to stay afloat in a sea of sameness.
Adding to the misery, long-standing commissioners and buyers of photography, like advertising agencies, editorial publishers and the broadcast media, have put pressure on quality suppliers of photographic services to enter into a price war. This has had the unfortunate effect of turning a once valuable and personalised product into an impersonal commodity. A 'Ryanairesque' race to the bottom, as it were. While this is not necessarily bad news for business people who can only quantify the world through cold mathematical calculation - it has had a detrimental effect on professionals seeking to create and supply quality products and services. The old adage - knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing - is a maxim that has unfortunately overtaken the world of commercial photography today. But demand for photographic products and services has not only held steady, but has dramatically increased. Again, contradictions abound. Photographic stock houses have proliferated to meet this insatiable demand, but price is calculated in terms of volume rather than value - but all is not lost.
Media clients, their agents and art buyers, are increasingly recognising, that while prices have plummeted, so has value. Value in this particular case meaning imagery that has a distinctive quality; photographs that help create original and memorable brand, communication and design campaigns. The overriding question today is: How to be different in an undifferentiated insta-everything world? This is why RooM the Agency is a game changer, in my opinion.
RooM the Agency is simply a mobile community for serious stock shooters. It brings together street and commercial mobile photography visionaries, with a traditional stock photography platform and mobile connectivity. In other words - the best of both worlds. The best photographs from the world?s up and coming and established mobile photography community; combined with the know-how and best practice of an industry renowned stock house.
There is a freshness and an unexpected quality to the work being produced by mobile shooters today. A freshness that existing clients and potential buyers will instantly recognise and appreciate. RooM meticulously curates all submissions from shooters to guarantee, not only technical standards, but also a distinctiveness and creative flair that can bring any communications brief to life. RooM also adopts a personal touch when dealing with clients and shooters - campaign insights, extensive research and support are all part of the service that breathes new life into a jaded industry.
If you are a buyer or seller of the new dynamic creative imagery of mobile photography – as I am - then there is always RooM at the top.