Flickr Takes Steps Towards Improvement, and Leaps Towards Stupidity

Yesterday we told you about Yahoo announcing the new Flickr. A completely redesigned layout and interface designed to bring the former king of Image sharing into the modern era of the internet. As I noted in that article I am very happy with the layout and design changes, I feel like they have taken a great step forward for the site – hopefully the first of many.

But Yahoo and Flickr also took a huge – scratch that – a enormous leap towards stupidity with some of the less publicized comments from their CEO Marissa Mayer. In her comments while announcing the new Flickr Mayer said the following:

“There’s no such thing as Flickr Pro today because [with so many people taking photographs] there’s really no such thing as professional photographers anymore,” Mayer said (though she acknowledged that there are “different skill levels”).

Google's Marissa Mayer Named Yahoo CEO

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer

What! Are you serious? I am very sure pretty much every portrait studio, sports shooter, wedding photographer, and fashion/magazine photographer would beg to differ here. I mean really – what a totally ignorant and uninformed thing to say. She single handedly just alienated and insulted the good chunk of her target audience.

I mean I can see what she was trying to say, which is that with cell phones and cameras being so cheap pretty much everyone today is a photographer. I get that, and I do not disagree. But to then say that there are no pro photographers and that the only difference between a cell phone shooter and Peter Hurley or Zack Arias is skill level is insane. (Speaking of Zack, he had his own words about this quote on his instagram)

Aside from the obvious skill difference there is a vast amount of experience (yes I count skill and experience as two different things) and not to mention thousands of dollars of equipment differences between the consumer photographers and pro photographers.

marissa-mayer-fb-post

In the end I think that Marissa Mayer’s comments  just show the growing disregard for the profession of photography by the general public. It’s nothing new, but it’s not a good sign at all when one of the largest (yes, even in its state of disrepair it was still one of the largest photo sharing sites on the web) photo sharing websites makes this sort of statement.

I sent an email to Yahoo seeking comment on this quote, but as of this post I have not heard back. You can watch the actual video of her making the comments below. The comments in question start at about the 46 minute mark.

UPDATE 6:52pm (pst): I have received a response from Yahoo regarding Marissa Mayer’s comments. Yahoo is saying that this was a “misstatement that was taken out of context”. They referred me to this tweet sent out by Marissa on Twitter. See the screen capture below.

yahoo-ceo-responds

 

What do you all think? Am I overreacting or is Marissa Mayer as delusional as this comment makes her out to be? Is this a bad sign for Flickr users? Let us know in a comment below. 

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Anthony Thurston

About

Anthony Thurston is a portrait and sports photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area as well as a senior writer here at SLR Lounge. You can check out some of his work on his Website. You may also connect with him via Email, Google Plus, or Facebook.

257 Comments

  1. Michael Marohnic

    Touchy subject. “Thousands of dollars of equipment” definitely do not make a professional. Also, just because someone has been shooting for 10 years doesn’t mean they’re a professional. It all comes down to how exactly you want to define the word professional, but I’ve seen people get their first DSLR (a cheap D70 or something of the like) and start producing amazing work very quickly.

    Reply 0
    • Ryan Cooper

      By definition professional merely means that someone has achieved a level of expertise at something to a level that they are able to sustain the majority of their income by doing it. In, fact, many pro photogs aren’t actually spectacularily good at what they do, they are merely profficient enough to meet the clients needs while being effective business people.

      1
    • Richard H. Weiner

      Ryan…” while being effective business people. “… well put!
      Amateurs (and Chimpanzese) *CAN* produce outstanding work, but can they do it day in / day out…AND can they sustain themselves from this?
      I am an Amateur and I will readily admit it. I tip my hat to those who take this on as a means of making a living. Perhaps I should say that I … Do Photography … as opposed to saying … I am a Photographer.
      In reality I am a “Senior Mechanical Draftsman/Designer” as that is what I do on a daily basis. That is my Profession. That is what feeds my body.
      The Photography is what feeds my soul.

      5
    • Lee Sadler

      I agree, professional has so many definitions and meanings to different people. She definitely shouldn’t have said it, but I think what she meant is that the lines are more blurred. As you implied, someone in their first year could produce some amazing images and start getting into professional work, and I think in that vein what she might have meant that it’s even more difficult to say whether one is a professional or not.

      0
    • Alban Thomas Vinevel

      there is a lot more to just picking up a camera, and as you put it so eloquently…’produce amazing work’ …it’s hardly a term or a description if your going to argue semantics…I’d say a true professional starts by acquiring their qualification through a recognised degree/or similar, perhaps at a university or equivalent, where they learn more then just camera control and the practical aspects of image making…apply the above logic to let’s say…to a professional home builder and a DIY handyman…perhaps your wife versus a five star chef…yes both can cook, I rest my case… catch my drift?…as for Marriser Mayer…well I hope the case is that she is very ill informed… because no one can be that arrogant, especially in that position….here’s a fact…a professional is a qualified person…qualified being the operative word…hope this helps.

      1
  2. Me

    Two words…. Hose beast !

    Reply 1
  3. Leo Bien Durana

    I’m no PRO, but I totally agree with you.

    Reply 0
  4. Me

    Professional means to be making money at your craft, job etc so she’s full of sh*t !

    Reply 1
  5. Martin Esquives Ramos

    sigh.. Sigh.. and sigh… I don’t know where to start. Well for starters, you are not exaggerating. We meet that a lot as a professional photographer but to hear it from one who is supposed to be supporting and lifting the overall quality of photography is just depressing but not surprising.

    Reply 1
  6. Charles Putnam,

    Blonde…to the roots

    Reply 1
    • jro

      How obnoxious! I think she has made some seriously ignorant comments. More than just this one. Things that have, or will, hurt her company. None of those thing had anything to do with her hair color. if you want to be taken seriously as a person do not demean someone, or an entire group of people, based on something as trivial as that. It comes across as unprofessional. And obnoxious.

      0
  7. Keith Wilson

    If that’s the case I wouldn’t mind knowing who took that first image of her in your article above! I bet it wasn’t “little joey from round the corner” with his f*****g i-Phone!

    Reply 1
  8. Kyle Dillon

    Who cares? People cry and complain about everything these days.

    Reply 1
  9. BigChaz

    Blonde…to the roots

    Reply 0
  10. Mahran Fadlullah

    The main thing that pissed me off is that they are not going to offer Pro services anymore. And to get ad-free service you have to pay 50$ a year which is more than the Pro membership cost. They are basically changing their revenue generation model and I don’t like it at all!

    Reply 0
  11. David Kilabuk

    Not everyone today is a photographer. Most people are just snappers, I call them. People who use cell phones, Ipods to take snapshots with no setup or thought to how the photo may look in the end. A professional to me is someone who makes money from his or her photography.

    Reply 1
  12. Frank

    The world is full of ignorant people. If anything, instead of letting them make you angry, pity them. A phrase that’s gotten me through my 38 career as a professional photographer is, “Consider the source.”
    If someone has no idea what they’re talking about, their opinion is meaningless. Don’t let this person upset you.

    Reply 1
  13. Genesis Imaging

    Her comments are indicative of an even greater problem today. She, like most other people, doesn’t know the difference between a great photograph and a poor or ordinary one. That’s exactly why people who don’t know an f-stop from a hole in the ground are shooting weddings and senior photos, getting paid for it and running real photographers out of business. It is surprising though to hear such a pedestrian, “Bidenesque” comment from the CEO of a web site that exists to display photography.

    Reply 1
  14. Kerry Loudenback

    This doesn’t surprise me. She doesn’t value the difference between someone who picks up a camera and takes a snapshot vs someone who understands composition, qualities of light, depth of field, etc, etc. If the viewer of an image can’t understand the value and the thought and skill that goes into making a professional photograph should she really be at the helm of a large tech company that has in its portfolio an image publishing app?

    Reply 0
  15. Pia

    I’ve seen some professional photographers that don’t really have much skills. I have also seen people with a simple camera that take great photos. A pro photographer is one that makes a living out of photography. Skills or dedication are not intrinsic. But for Marissa to make such a statement, I agree it’s just plain stupid. Denying a profession exists when all of us (including her, I assume) have paid a photographer at some point. Plain stupid…

    Reply 1
  16. Hillary Rettig

    So I’m sure the next time Ms. Mayer needs a head shot for her professional portfolio or for publication, she’ll just get a friend or neighbor to snap one.

    Reply 1
    • BDWT

      It looks like she already did! That headshot at the top of the article is terrible, there’s hot spots on her face and unflattering shadows; it looks like one of her co-workers owns a Rebel of some kind and knows how to use their kit lens to its fullest potential!

      0
  17. jayleeds

    when she had her corporate headshot done, did sshe employ a professional photographer – or go grab a guy off the street with his cell phone – what a chump!
    total disregard for the community which make her money!! shame on her

    Reply 0
  18. Sachin Myneni

    The difference between flickr Pro and flickr (regular) is that filckr Pro costs $. The reason why there is no longer a flickr Pro is because flickr failed to hold on the people who paid for what was once a good service (and has now been beat by many others). It’s not the professional photographer who lost to people with cell phones. Flickr lost to other services for the $ they charged.

    Reply 0
  19. AJ

    I would disagree with her comments about the existence of professional photographers as well as your own comments around what it means to be a professional photographer. There are plenty of amateur photographers out there with skill and experience levels far exceeding many pros. There are plenty of amateurs with more gear than some pros will ever have. A professional photographer, however, approaches their time behind the camera as a job, as a means of earning. That’s really the only difference. You may think photography is under attack or, perhaps more accurately, in danger of being ignored as a respected skillset and job, but it is in no way unique. Graphic designers have felt this way for quite some time–I mean my grandma can download a font and make a fancy flyer for her yard sale. Is she a graphic designer. I don’t know. She’s not a professional graphic designer, though. I could start a new Tumblr and rack up millions of pageviews. Am I an author. Perhaps by definition I am, but I’m not a professional author. To me, the idea that there are no professional photographers, while wildly inaccurate, may serve Flickr well with the mainstream. Nearly everyone can and does take photographs regularly now, some dozens a day in between doing whatever it is they do professionally. These people need more storage for them and they want to be able to view and share them in a streamlined way. What Flickr will definitely miss out on (whether or not their bottom line will feel it) is the opportunity to recognize that professional photographers may not differ from others greatly in terms of storage size or the ability to share photos, but that these photos are their jobs, their livelihoods. The website could have made all of these changes, and included a new “Pro” that better addressed the specific needs of someone who is taking and sharing (hopefully selling) their photos. Offer options to make a portfolio page from your account (possibly using a custom URL), to sell prints directly through Flickr, to provide a single solution for professionals looking to simplify their lives and keep everything in one place online rather than scattered about various sites and services. Flickr could have done that and leveraged the rest of Yahoo’s family of businesses but it didn’t and I think that may be the biggest loss here.

    Reply 2
  20. Lee Sadler

    And for what it’s worth I don’t think that protogs should be all up in arms about this. Like Arias said, “Really? Seriously? Thanks. Just throw years of dedication, commitment, and toil under the bus. Now it’s just ‘skill level.’ Thanks.” – I put 100 times more value in someone’s skill level than their title as a professional. I understand where the fuss is coming from, absolutely, but I think it’s fairly obvious that all of us, whether we’re looking for a professional photographer for our event or we’re looking at someone else’s work for inspiration, it’s more about the vision and experience (and consistency) than it is the title. I couldn’t care less whether people considered me or anyone else pro or not, what I do care about is that I’m progressing as a photographer and producing worth-while images.

    Reply 0
  21. Stephanie Tandhasett

    Whatever is pleasing to her BOD is what she will spew. Yesterday’s Flickr news is pretty much bittersweet. She obviously needs some education on public speaking.

    Reply 0
  22. Kathy

    Ignorant and unprofessional. I wish someone would tell her there’s no need for a CEO anyway.. we all know you really don’t do anything but, let others slave for your paycheck. Now I would sound super dumb wouldn’t I! Idiot!

    Reply 0
  23. MC

    Please people consider the source. It explaines a lot. Not the first dumb statement to come from the lips of the CEO of Yahoo.

    Reply 0
  24. Bill Taylor

    while i agree what she said was wrong, i don’t believe it is what she meant.
    at least i hope not!

    Reply 0
    • Kevin Baert

      Agree, but on that level (CEO) you should be able to express what you mean and not how you could, should or would’ve meant it. You should be very carefull about your words and unfortunetaly she didn’t choose the best ones…

      0
  25. Soraya

    I think it hurts the photography industry when someone says something insensitive and thoughtless that devalues the hard work and training that professional photographers and serious amateurs put into their craft. I just co-wrote an article on the topic: http://www.hillaryrettig.com/2013/05/19/six-things-you-should-never-to-say-to-a-photographer-or-if-youre-a-photographer-never-say-to-yourself/

    Reply 1
  26. Matt

    Im an amateur surgeon and will willingly try and correct here eyes – though she may going to see a professional surgeon… silly woman

    Reply 0
  27. molly

    I guess I don’t exist

    Reply 0
  28. Happy_Tinfoil_Cat

    When you want to make an issue about a quote, I don’t think it’s right to add in a bunch of text between square brackets. That’s putting words in their mouths, and then bitching about those words. Most likely, you have clarified what she said exactly but she didn’t actually say it either.

    Reply 0
  29. Rafael Marquez

    Apparently, there also aren’t any more professional CEOs either. Just managers of different skill levels.

    Reply 0
    • Kevin Baert

      and even in the managerial area question marks arise…

      0
    • Stan Mah

      “Just managers of different skill levels.” that get paid CEO salaries.

      0
    • Tim Vechik

      Much in the same way that photographers of higher skill levels… that run businesses… and get published… get paid Professional salaries or command Professional fees.

      0
  30. northwest0161

    Being a pro is also about captioning and archiving, dealing with customers and running a successful business.

    As Tumblr seems to be full of stolen pro content she may be in for a surprise when the copyright complaints and invoices arrrive.

    Reply 0
    • Frank Flavin Photographer

      There needs to many more © Infringement cases made public so that people get it.

      1
  31. Yep yep

    Well “professional” means you’re doing it as a career. I guess what she means is that anyone can achieve professional looking pictures without getting into the business side of it, so there should be no distinction in the wonderful world of the internet. I can dig it.

    Reply 0
    • Tod Gomes

      “anyone can achieve professional looking pictures ” No, they (anyone) can’t.

      1
  32. Mackenzie Brunson

    Does she want to refund me the money I pay for my “pro” account? There’s the difference. Free vs. paid. If we’re all the same, then I want my money back. What a fool hearted thing to say!

    Reply 1
  33. kenyee

    I always thought being a CEO isn’t that tough a job either…seriously. Seems like all they do travel a lot and boss people around and I can do that ;-)

    Reply 1
  34. PsYcHo

    She is an idiot.

    Reply 0
  35. Guest

    Well Ms. Mayer…it also happens that there are many ignorant and idiotic people making stupid statements in the world today. And judging by your excellent example, any one of them could serve as CEO of Yahoo. So kindly step aside and by the way…”here’s your sign!”

    Reply 1
  36. JosengSisiw

    Since we have a lot of CEO’s there’s no such thing as good, better & exceptional CEO’s….is this right Marissa?

    Reply 0
  37. Tusker

    Hmm I for one will switch completely to 500px! Idiotic comment…

    Reply 0
  38. Guest

    What a dolt

    Reply 0
  39. Guest

    Well Ms. Mayer, it happens that there are also many ignorant people in the world capable of making stupid and idiotic statements, certainly though, not with your skill level. Therefore, there is little need for you to run Yahoo as any idiot can do it.

    Reply 1
  40. Josh Copeland

    If you need a CEO to validate your status as a photographer or your place in the photography world, you give her (and her position) way too much credit. Marissa has to please millions of people, a board of shareholders and directors and try to float a sinking ship. The actions they’ve taken with Flickr updates lately (to me) speak louder than the words. Flickr has gotten a decent number of upgrades (web & app) and I think they finally recognize that they can’t just blow it off as a “photo site.” But if what she says bruises your ego, I’d have to wonder why you’d even want validation from her. And I say this having been a Flickr pro member since 2005. (flame on)

    Reply 0
    • Jim Colton

      To say that there are no professional photographers anymore because of the volume of images on line is tantamount to saying that there are no more doctors because of WebMD and the proliferation of medical information on-line. Just a really stupid thing to say.

      1
  41. Ellis Vener

    Has this quote been validated yet? What is the original source for it?

    Reply 0
  42. Ted

    this is like saying “anyone can be a CEO”

    Reply 0
  43. scott

    just because you can write an e-mail doesn’t make you a professional author or journalist, same thing with photography,

    Reply 1
  44. Javi

    Now, millions of people can write then let’s forget the professional copywriters… She doesn’t know at all what being a professional means!!

    Reply 0
  45. jimparker

    Pretty much anybody can be a CEO, too. Takes no skill at all, evidently.

    Reply 0
  46. Jim Colton

    Wot an idjit!

    Reply 0
  47. Susan Botticelli Lockhart

    I’d like to see her shoot a wedding. She obviously doesn’t appreciate art. I own a pair of scissors, but I go to a professional to have my hair cut
    . I hope she’s happy with all of her crappy photos.

    Reply 1
  48. Bebekashmir

    Another example of corporate America telling us exactly what they think of us.

    Reply 0
  49. Jakeu1701

    The quote by itself is incorrect. There are professionals. What I think she may have meant is that everyone has a camera, everyone is a photographer, there may not be the need to have a pro anymore because people will be fine with poorly framed cellphone pics rather than quality photos. There are countless numbers of very good non-pros out there, but there are just as many that buy an SLR to use as a point and shoot.

    Good pictures can be taken by anyone with any camera, pros use the equipment they do for reliability and performance and a level of control you cannot most other cameras.

    Reply 0
    • Katie

      I agree. Of course Mayer is incorrect in that there are still photographers that make money from photography. However, in this day and age where cameras are (relatively) inexpensive and plentiful many amateurs do have the talents to produce professional looking photos. The gap between amateur and pro is closing.

      And let’s be honest, having a FlickrPro account was never exactly the mark of a pro. It basically gave you more space and let you see some stats on where the people viewing your photos came from. It didn’t provide ways to sell photos or extra ways to network or market. In fact, you couldn’t even use Flickr to promote photos for sales (at least last time I looked). Flickr has always been more for fun and critiques and less as a business tool.

      0
  50. Mandie Haberman

    What I find hilarious is that as soon as I signed into the new Flickr, my feed was taken up by recommended people to follow: almost all of them are beautifully talented professional photographers.

    Reply 0
  51. Crystal Dickerson-Hancock

    Where she went aery is that anyone can take a photo but not everyone is a professional

    Reply 0
  52. rhaphazard

    I feel the quote has been taken out of context.
    I read the statement as encouragement for non-professionals to start using flickr rather than a generalization of a lack of professional photographers.

    Reply 0
    • RandleMcMurphy

      Although I find her remarks puzzling and at the same time insulting, I too get what she meant to say. At least what I think she meant to say. I think she meant the line is getting blurred in some ways. There are some great photos taken by people who have no idea about composition, etc;. This is especially true on Flickr. I see photos there daily that are indeed just stunning. However, there are also those that are at another level. That make (or try to make) a living taking photographs and capturing moments.

      Somehow she managed to not differentiate the two. Yes, most everyone thinks they are a photographer these days. It’s become an odd world when I get paid to shoot a live event with the stipulation that I not use flash. I instead utilize the flash of the hundreds of people at stage edge/pit with their cellphones and small digitals. They provide the necessary light I am forbidden to use! Go figure!

      My advice to her is to get back out there and clarify her remarks. Perhaps even throw in a discount too. It’s a shame she undermined the unveiling of a very much improved and beautiful site with her bonehead remarks. A lot of hard workers that created that just did a collective slap to the forehead when they heard her speak.

      Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and now Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer compete for the Bonehead CEO Comments award.

      0
  53. Mark Wetherbee Jr

    I get what she’s trying to say but, for someone in such a position of power and influence, I’m surprised she gaffs so well.

    I confess this is a touchy subject for photographers. Personally, I’ve worked in elementary education and feel like the (quality) tools for art and business should be available to all (which conversely desaturates pro-photographers), but I recognize the bitter taste in my mouth when people say the photo pros are not needed in light of the DIY crowd.

    When the Nokia Lumia’s high ISO range was marketed just recently, my heart skipped a beat. And then I saw an ad with Rankin studios holding a Nokia up in front of a model surrounded by softboxes and $3K lighting rigs. It was shameless. The outdoor photos at night still looked pixelated and like garbage. When Mayer talks about this sort of effect, she’s only half-speaking. The thought hasn’t completed stewing.

    At the end of the day, technology is neutral; you still need a PERSON behind the controls. A person with skill, talent, training, workflow, understanding, foresight, and follow-through to make a shoot work. The microwave didn’t put restaurants out of business, nor did the backyard swingset replace Disney World.

    Reply 0
  54. Tom Jelen

    CEO, Marissa Mayer, you need to know when to keep your mouth shut you’re talking to the people whom butter your bread .

    After shooting thousands of portraits I will be looking for a new photo sharing site after your stupid and mindless remark.

    Yes if you need a portrait shot don’t call my studio I will refuse your business have your lame friends shoot it with an iPhone

    Reply 1
  55. Catherine Lacey Dodd

    This stinks. I loved the new layout yesterday and wrote about it on my site. What a gorgeous fresh breathe of air, going guerrilla with 500px (on that, I don’t go to photography sites for beauty contests thank you). I have a beautiful set of Le Creuseut cookware. Doesn’t make me a chef. In fact, I can’t cook to save my life. One of the definitions of “professional photographer” is the earning of 51% of your income through photography. That doesn’t take into account talent, business acumen and skill set. It’s based on economics. But her comments don’t even take that into account. Moving on…

    Reply 0
  56. Herb Syufy

    The “growing disregard” you mention was exactly Marissa’s point. It doesn’t matter if pros are “up in arms”, or if Zack is pissed off. All that matters are the clients’ perceptions.

    You can be the best typewriter salesman in the WORLD, but in this day and age, nobody’s going to buy a typewriter from you. Sad but true. Marissa is onto something. As pros, we need to take ACTION, or find ways to adapt. Whining about the comments of a CEO isn’t going to change anything. Denial won’t help either.

    Reply 0
    • Mandie Haberman

      Interesting comparison, but nobody USES typewriters these days. People still hire professional photographers- all the time, every day. Yes the industry has changed and the cheapo photographers outnumber the higher end studios or boutique photographers, but we’re still here. She has some learning to do about this industry.

      1
    • Herb Syufy

      Exactly, just as fewer and fewer people are USING “professional” photographers. And honestly, it doesn’t really matter whether one agrees or disagrees with Marissa. All that matters is: are you making more or less money this year… and next year… as a “professional” photographer? Which direction is this “industry” (or more accurately, “career choice”) headed: up or down?

      0
    • Michael Palmer

      Totally agree with you on this. My uncle has always been able to do things with Photography that are amazing, and sometimes I have been able to duplicate by sheer luck or accident. The difference is, he can do it EVERY TIME, and I only by sheer fortune.

      Also right with the comment about typewriters. though we DO still use typewriters, they are just digital and come in ALL shapes and sizes. . . . Typewriter salesmen have adapted and sell computers now. . . Film photographers have switched to digital. . . . The problem isn’t the adaptation of the photographers nearly as much as it is the perception of those who think that having a camera makes them a photographer.

      0
  57. Dragonflight Photography

    so not using flickr, ever. Just saying.

    Reply 0
  58. Suzanne Feliciano

    No professional photographers? James Nachtwey, Eugene Richards, Sebastio Salgado, William Albert Allard, the Turnley brothers and others with their “skill sets” are not to be found in your genre of photography. The professional photographers at the Boston marathon were running TOWARD the bombs as those “citizen journalists” were running AWAY. I don’t believe you would risk your life for a story telling photograph nor would those you call “photographers.” These pros are the people you and your ilk are putting out of work because your mediocre work can be gotten for “free” by those who value a dollar more than the work. That is their attraction, not their content. Society is so much the worse for the lack of story telling, witness to the moment photographs that you do not know how to make. When you can make photographs that evoke the emotions of Joe Rosenthal, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Sarah Hoskins, Horst Faas, Tyler Hicks, Dorothea Lange, and others then you might be a photographer. “Pretty pictures” don’t cover that.

    Reply 0
  59. Richard

    Having a cell phone does not make you any more of a photographer than a pencil makes you a writer

    Reply 1
  60. Sarah Rudy

    Yahoo CEO, Marissa Mayer has announced the death of the professional photographer.

    If you are one of us professional photographers, who are alive and kicking, you will find this highly irritating.

    With the cost of a good camera with auto features
    coming down fast, the online community is currently being flooded with
    lackluster and cookie cutter photographs and camera owners calling
    themselves pro. It seems anyone who has figured out how to auto focus on
    their subject (and even some who haven’t) can be a “professional
    photographer.” It may be difficult to find the “professionals” among the
    scores of identical pictures.. if that’s solely what one is basing the
    definition on. But the pros are still there. They always will be.

    Professional Photography is not getting a year’s worth of shooting and
    running Photoshop actions under your belt.. Professional Photography is
    not marketing to your competition so they pay their hard earned money
    for your class..

    Professionals do not undercut and undermine
    the industry. Professionals charge a living wage and pay taxes. And 90%
    of the people with cameras calling themselves “professional
    photographers” are anything but.

    Reply 0
  61. Curtis Butturff

    A simple litmus test. Do you earn part or all of your income from photography? If yes then you are a professional. If you prefer not to take orders and work off your own schedule etcetera maybe you choose not to be.

    I guess there is no such thing as a professional CEO anymore either by her standards.

    Who cares if she makes her living as a CEO that doesn’t mean she’s a Pro or anything.

    Reply 0
  62. Curtis B

    A simple litmus test. Do you earn part or all of your income from photography? If yes then you are a professional. If you prefer not to take orders and work off your own schedule etcetera maybe you choose not to be.

    I guess there is no such thing as a professional CEO anymore either by her standards.

    Who cares if she makes her living as a CEO that doesn’t mean she’s a Pro or anything.

    Reply 0
  63. AMH

    I find it ironic that the above photo of her is very obviously the work of a professional photographer…

    Reply 0
  64. Michelle Gilbert

    Regardless of what she MEANT to say, that statement was really offensive and incredibly ignorant.

    Reply 1
  65. Michael Palmer

    Having a grandfather and uncle who are both PROFESSIONAL photographers, and me being a HOBBYIST photographer, there IS a lot of difference. Anyone can buy all the fancy equipment, but there is something to be said for natural skill in framing a picture, editing those pictures, and then a LOT to be said for things you learn over the years. If you don’t believe me, try shooting a wedding by yourself. . . MANY photographers won’t go NEAR them because they are a handful, and if you haven’t learned a few tips and tricks over the year, they can be horrendous. I helped my grandfather with a few weddings, and then shot some myself. It always looked so much easier when he did it. He was a professional. . . .

    This woman’s comments are exactly WHY professional photographers have a harder and harder time making a living. Because everyone THINKS they are as good as a pro. Just to be blunt, they are not. I know a number of photographers with their Masters Degree (not something they get at a college. It takes recognition of their work, and a lot of effort to get), and I would aspire to be like them, if I had nothing else to do but practice my photography, and someone would actually pay me to do it. . . . They are talented, and have put the hard work in to improve their skills. They are so much more than some guy on the street shooting with the same camera. A true professional can take a cheap, low MP camera and still make amazing art with it, where most of these people that THINK they are as good as professionals will buy all the expensive gear, and STILL not know what they are doing.

    Reply 1
  66. Pissed Pro Photographer

    what she said was completely offensive. your average photographer (hobbyist) might be able to take a stunning photo now and again…but do they do so EVERY time? Do they know how to adjust for lighting and DoF? Mostly…no. Whatever respect I had for that woman is completely gone now…she’s just another asshat CEO.

    Reply 1
  67. LDMartin1959

    I wonder if she grabs some kid from down the street who has a smart-phone to do her family portraits? No, I’ll bet that if someone offered to do that she’d say, “No, I want a professional.”

    Oh, and since anyone can use GeoCities to create a website, there is no such thing as a web professional, either… (Yes, I know Yahoo killed GeoCities…in part because it was crap and the “no such thing as a web professional” users that flocked to it created websites that looked like, operated like, and were, crap).

    Reply 0
  68. Cy Cyr

    I find it wild that most users of Flickr probably want to be professional photographers, and she claims that’s not possible anymore. Where have all the professional CEO’s gone? Cy (professional photographer) http://www.cycyr.com

    Reply 0
  69. Travis Williams

    Wow. Foot in mouth.

    Reply 1
  70. Lightster361

    Too many CEO’s in my opinion stuff that in your I phone app

    Reply 1
  71. noprohere

    Lovin the new flickr and I don’t care what she said.

    Reply 0
    • LDMartin1959

      If you like Flickr, check out 500px. Flickr is not nearly as nice.

      0
  72. Reality Check

    Let’s get serious…being a professional myself, even I know that the world today is saturated with cameras and people claiming to be professionals. Go on Google and type in the words “Professional Photographer” for your area…you’ll find that you can get a wedding done for $495!!! WTF??? Yup…someone carrying a Coolpix or Rebel can claim to be a pro, and shoot your wedding for nothing. Photoshop, or any one of a million other programs will do the rest of the work today, and make anything they do look like a pro.

    With so many zillions of photographs being posted every day, 99% of the population can’t tell the difference anymore. It’s ridiculous these days, and the market is so inundated with photographers(the few that are actually professional, and the MILLIONS of amateurs that claim to be) Marissa’s comments make perfect sense. Canon, Nikon and Adobe have pretty much made the Professional obsolete in today’s world by saturating the market with affordable/do-all cameras and software. Just look at CNN for example…they let go of 50 photographers just because they can get the pictures they need from everyone else posting on the internet.

    Some people say we need to make a stand. Um, just how would you do that? Try to educate a world of people that don’t have the time, nor patience to even care??? Face it, everyone is trying to save a dime now, and no one cares about the quality as much as they do the price. And in most cases, they all seem to think they can just as good of job as a professional because Canon and Nikon tell them everyday in commercials that their cameras make it so. If you can’t face the reality of it, you need to find a new profession…

    Reply 0
    • Reality Check

      And prime example, check out the Lightroom 4 ad atop this page…doesn’t matter how you screw up the picture, our program will make it right! Yup…’nuf said.

      0
    • Mike Jones

      Exactly Mr. Check! I have been taking professional quality photos with my iPhone for quite some time now. I am starting to advertise my services now and at one point even considered moving up to a pro dslr like the Canon Rebel, but it just didn’t make sense. I can take my iPhone and get 8mp or I can pay lots of money for a big outdated piece of equipment that only has a couple more megapixel. I can fit my professional camera in my pocket. No dinosaur dslr user can say that!

      0
    • upzmtn

      Share them Mike!

      0
    • Mike Jones

      I’m not sharing my iPhone. You can go buy your own. They are pretty cheap if you sign up for a new plan with your local provider.

      0
    • upzmtn

      OK – now I know you’re trolling.:-)

      0
    • Mike Jones

      I tried to post links three times here and they were deleted. Apparently I can’t post links. Do a search for iphoneography and you’ll see the flickr page and lifeinlofi

      slrlounge doesn’t allow hard links for some reason.

      0
    • Vien

      Post like this:
      https:// bitly . com/‎ xxxxxxxxxxxx
      (Use bitly to make a short link to your url, then post like above, with spaces)

      0
  73. Mike Jones

    I really think she’s in tune with the current photography world. I can shoot professional quality images on my iPhone. There are lots of people who are starting to see the potential in becoming an iPhoneographer. Really there isn’t much need now for more than 8mp anyways. People with a capable cell phone can make beautiful photos even for weddings, or graduations; you don’t need to spend thousands on a bulky piece of hardware or expensive software that does the same thing Instagram does. DSLR users are practically dinosaurs in the industry now.

    Reply 0
    • Mike Zimmerman

      That has to be one of the most absurd, stupid, un-informed and ignorant statements I’ve ever heard from an adult…

      0
    • upzmtn

      That’s insane, Mike. As if the equipment makes the professional? I think the issue is that only professionals and the ones who need professional photography will know a professional when they see one. So many people with little skill or experience (and iPhones) are calling themselves professionals and redefining the term in the same way “natural” in foods no longer means anything remotely healthful about it. However, for people who care, there is organic. And for people who care about truly stunning imagery, there will always be talented people who can reliably deliver it, and get paid for it.

      1
    • MikeJonesisdelusional

      You’re a complete idiot. Your iphone takes crap photo’s compared to a SKILLED, EXPERIENCED, PROFESSIONAL photographer who actually one KNOWS what they’re doing. You keep using that iphone and telling yourself your pictures are just as good as those who invest thousands into their camera and various equipment and software, who actually KNOW what they’re doing, have taken the time to learn about their camera, about lighting, composition, etc…..No Mike Jones, there’s no comparison to your crappy camera pictures and the stunning professional ones.
      I’m an amateur, the difference is that I have a grasp on reality and that my skills are in no way comparable to those who have trained for years, taken classes, have that natural skill, etc.

      People are so completely delusional, just because your picture isn’t blurry doesn’t mean it’s even on the same level and if you actually printed those pictures off, you’d immediately see the difference. It’s like saying Instagram is comparable to Photoshop, there is none. You get what you pay for when it comes to photography.

      1
    • Mike Jones

      Mr. Delusional, people don’t print photos anymore. You’re dumb if you think they run over to walmart these days with film and ask the film professional to print them. People these days use tablets and digital photo frames. My local walmart has digital photo frames for like $40. You should check them out. I bet you have spent thousands of dollars on your bulky equipment and someone showed you a picture they took on their phone and you are jealous. Don’t be so hate filled. The industry is changing. Either adapt or watch the rest of us pass you by.

      0
    • Vien

      What industry is changing? Are you even in the industry? Try to get a
      wedding gig yourself (as a “pro-iPhonographer”) and do a professional
      printed album as most of wedding couples request. From the beginning, I
      was thinking Mike Jones was just joking. He turns out to be a joker.
      What’s
      the point of this whole conversation, arguing back and forth? Just
      prove us wrong with real gig, Mike. Don’t tell us to google
      “iphonography”.
      I do look at them and love them too, they are a lomography.
      I
      know, with all the cool effects (that once a photographer had to work
      hard to achieve), it’s understandable that you’re mistaking iphonography
      as professional photography.
      I do, however, agree that some people
      really have talent and could capture great pictures with their iphone,
      but the pictures will still be categorized as (insta)gram, at its best.

      0
    • Vien

      And I didn’t even mention about your pictures get widely recognized as professional, anyone buying them… ?

      0
    • R. Marie

      You don’t seriously think you on your iPhone takes photographs as good as professionals with professional equipment do you? Use your eyes man!

      3
    • Spotlight Fotos

      Dare you to blow that 8mp Instagram photo into a decent 20×30 print for someone’s wall. Or to make it presentable for even a small display piece. When you don’t know what you’re talking about, you should just shut up.

      2
    • Mike Jones

      I said in a previous reply, people don’t do “prints” anymore. Things are digital. That is a dinosaur mentality. They invented these neat things called digital photo frames and tablets where you can look at your photos in a slide show. You don’t have to print anything at walmart anymore hillbilly.

      0
    • Joel Meaders

      I hope that’s a trolling statement and not your actual views lmao!

      0
    • Doug Gibbons

      Hmm… I guess since I have new car & so many people have cars too that
      makes us all professional racing drivers… right ?

      Let’s see your wonderful professional work or website!

      1
    • Mike Jones

      I already tried to post a link in another comment. You can’t post hard links to photos. Do an “iphoneography” search and you will be directed to flickr photo pool and lifeinlofi.

      What kind of new car do you have? If it’s a chevy malibu like I think it is, then no, you aren’t a professional race driver.

      0
    • Doug Gibbons

      HA Ha good guess, but you missed the point overall….move on.

      0
    • Mike Jones

      Don’t be sad Doug :( At one point or another everyone has to come to terms with rapid growth in technology. I am sure when progress moved out of the typewriter age it was shocking for you then as well. Just remember, today’s technology is much more accessible to the elderly. It’s not something to be scared of. We all want to see you succeed! Mazel Tov.

      0
    • thq55

      Seriously. More of this shit? Lol. Okay, so what if he has a McLaren MP4-12C? So then he’s a professional race car driver, thus utterly destroying your assertion? Do you actively try to appear stupid?

      0
    • Cool dude!

      pick up a book my friend

      0
    • Mike Jones

      This is another outdated practice. People use tablets now and electronic reading devices. I bet you have an overpriced hunk of plastic camera too don’t you?

      0
    • chido

      You obviously know nothing about photography, or you’re just stubborn. Try enrolling in a photography class and see if you can pass day one with your iphone. Or just go to a museum and try to imitate what a master photographer can do with your cell. There is absolutely no way that you can have the same control and quality that you have with a phone that with an slr. Much less a medium or large format camera. Just the fact that you see the same quality in both shows how ignorant and how untrained your eye is. I also read your comment about printing. I own an art gallery and people are still printing photos and selling them around the world. But forget about art. Have you ever seen a billboard or a magazine. Printing is still a huge part of photography.

      1
    • Victor Velez

      Respectfully, you don’t know what you’re talking about. Try getting someone to trust one of their most precious days in their life to an “iPhoneographer,” to put it in your word. You’ll just get laughed at (I would pay to see that interaction!), insulted even. Please, just because your photos look good in your iPhone doesn’t mean you’re a photographer…

      2
    • photochick

      An iPhone is a phone with a camera app. 8MP vs 24 MP or more–sorry, no, your phone is not equivalent. Maybe your skill is great, but you will only get the best your equipment can offer & compared to real cameras & real editing software, iPhones & Instagram are not pro-level. Keep kidding yourself.

      1
    • Vien

      You gotta mention 8 MP on a pin size sensor
      vs. 24 MP on a full frame sensor
      :)

      0
    • Fred Barns

      Really Mike Jones, you are no only obnoxious, you are an idiot about photography. I am a pro photographer because I make my living sell the pictures I take. I print them and sell them in my gallery. People buy them at sizes from 12×18 to 48×96 and happily show them off in their homes and offices. When you can do that with your phone, let me know. Until then you really outta STFU because you have no clue or you are merely a troll.

      0
    • Andrea Shorey

      The professional is not their camera – the camera is merely a tool used to create works of art. The professional is an experienced, often educated individual who has sacrificed to learn and hone their craft, in combination with their innate skill—what we call talent. We reward these people who took such pains, with the title of professional, and treat them with the respect they earned, and pay them accordingly for their time and efforts. Not just in the 20 minutes they spent to take your photograph, but in the lifetime they spent developing their talent.
      No iPhone or Hasselblad can ever make such a claim to effort.

      0
    • JLJ Photographer

      I totally dis-agree. You can totally tell the difference between a 8mp verses a 21mp. The photo is going to be cleaner and clearer. And if you want to make a big print you can do that with a 21mp. with an 8mp it will not look as good. Anyone can shoot with an I-phone, a point and shoot or a DSLR but that does not mean you have an eye for Photography Your Photos may turn out blurry and look dull. Your DOF (depth of field) will be off. I am a Photographer I don’t consider my self as a professional as my Work has not been published yet. I do Portraits, Nature, Flowers and such. I have taken like over 30 thousand photos. And I do have a side business where I am a Portrait Photographer. And my Clients pay for my Work and diffidently they are not going to pay for me to do shots of them on a I-Phone. Yes there are a level of skilled Photographers. Your comment “DSLR users are practically dinosaurs in the industry now.” Is so not true DSLR Cameras are always evolving and are getting better and better. Do you as an I-phone Photographer have any Idea of what ISO to use? what f stop to put your Camera on? Or what shutter speed your Camera needs to be on for the shot you are going to take? No you probable don’t? Because you are not a professional Photographer. Thees are things that Professional Photographers pride them self’s on knowing. So know not everyone is a Professional Photographer..

      0
    • John

      Your ignorance is second only to your arrogance.

      0
    • thq55

      Lol, wow – what an obvious troll. Because your pinhead-sized sensor can take images in an unlit church without flash and not look like an absolute pile of noisy dogshit. You must have one of those new magical iPhones that break the laws of physics in terms of signal-to-noise ratio.

      How about this. Stop being a moron. Since it is painfully apparent that it is impossible for you to do so, you can stop the hemorrhaging by simply not posting anymore. That way you can at least maintain the illusion of not being a woefully uninformed peon. Embarrassing.

      0
  74. lisacng @ expandng.com

    I think the “pro” membership level of Flickr is misleading and should be discarded. As for her saying there’s no pro photographers, that is stupid.

    Reply 0
  75. Adam

    If there is no such thing as pro photographers, then who took the environmental portrait up top that probably came straight out of her press kit?

    Reply 0
  76. TheBassKnows

    I hope she is taking some major heat over this. What a stupid comment to make.

    Reply 0
  77. JBD

    There is a big difference between a photographer, and someone who takes pictures. Photography is an art form. Taking pictures and posting them to Flickr, instagram, whatever, is fauxtography.

    Reply 1
  78. francotron

    her opinion is invalid to me as she herself is not a photographer.

    Reply 1
  79. sodiumgoldfish

    Isn’t this like saying there are no pro-athletes anymore cause everyone can buy sports equipment,etc?

    Reply 0
    • Mike Jones

      This is an idiotic analogy. I actually feel bad that I have to educate you on the difference. Maybe this will help; go out, buy sports equipment and sit your dumb ass on the couch like you’re used to doing. Do you feel like a professional? You have the equipment but your ability and aptitude are still at a pathetic low. Now read what Marissa Mayer said again, SLOWLY, and try to comprehend. Don’t make me come back here and embarrass you beyond what you’ve already done for yourself.

      0
    • John

      Wow. You have some real issues, there, chief.

      0
    • sodiumgoldfish

      Lol wow , yeah you may need to read over what I said. You pointed out the exact point I was trying to make…wow…

      0
  80. garru

    having a “pro” account doesn’t make someone a pro. that’s what I get out of her comment, and she is correct. I’d wager that the vast majority of pro’s have their own web site and are not using flcker to show their best work

    Reply 0
  81. Denise Walker

    Snap shot vs. photograph: there’s a world of difference. Clearly she places herself in the shapshot category.

    Reply 0
  82. Scott

    Here’s my response to Ms. Mayer: http://on.fb.me/18g6uxP

    Reply 0
    • Mike Jones

      So just to be clear, you are offended because you think you are a professional and removing your account will somehow neglect us from your 20 photos of badly composed and noisy quality sky snap shots? ohhh Okay. Will you be moving to Instagram?

      0
    • Scott

      No, Mike; I’m offended because I am a professional.

      0
    • Kruug

      Then why don’t you have your own website? Using a service such as flickr for your professional photography should be a stepping stone, not an end result…

      0
  83. Joe Wood

    I myself wonders where she comes up with stupidity like this, and how she stays employed..A Tn Bristol based nature and wedding photographer that likes many different lines of photography, you can also check out my website here….

    http://bigjozphotoz.weebly.com

    Reply 0
  84. FL Photographer

    Wonder if this photo was taken with a cell phone camera?! I bet I could do some things to her photo posted here that flckr cannot do…just saying.

    Reply 0
  85. Cindy Hicks

    Having been an agency art producer for 16 years, a studio manager before that & a art photographer, I can not believe this quote. Anyone with a camera does not a photographer make, photographers invest in their education, equipment, producers, assistants, insurance just to name a few things. Yes, as an art producer I purchased images from filckr photographers, but most had to be educated on usage fees (most wanted to charge too little). This is a very ignorant statement, if there are not more professional photographers who is shooting Pulitzer winning images?.

    Reply 1
  86. Giuseppe Oliverio

    Professional Photography does not exist?

    Have a look here: http://www.photographicmuseum.com/photos

    Reply 0
    • Mike Jones

      There are some absolutely terrible photos in that gallery. Most of them are just shocking because of the political nature and the fact that there are so many third world heathens caught in the moment. I hope you don’t have any work posted in there, it’s not something to be proud of. Hardly the work of any true professional.

      0
    • John

      Where can we view your work, Mike?

      0
    • R.S.

      I love seeing everybody feeding the troll (Mike Jones). Popcorn anyone!

      0
  87. Michael

    I’m sorry, I guess I’m just a hobbyist with bills to pay. Oh, when do I get my refund from earlier this year when I renewed my Flickr Pro account?

    Reply 0
  88. Darren

    There are no CEOs anymore. Just varying levels of stoopid!

    Reply 0
  89. John

    Well, so those are the things you say when you major in artificial intelligence.

    Reply 0
  90. Herb Syufy

    We should ask all of the stock photographers and CNN photojournalists for THEIR opinions.

    Reply 0
    • R.S.

      Screw CNN, what about real press agencies like AP, Reuters, Pars, Keystone and heck even Nat’l Geographic.

      I’ll bet she did hire a pro photog to shoot her wedding.

      0
  91. LDMartin1959

    Now she claims her statements were out of context? Let see:

    “…there’s no such thing as Flickr Pro, because today, with cameras as pervasive as they are, there is no such thing really as professional photographers, when there’s everything is professional photographers. Certainly there is varying levels of skills…”

    Nope, doesn’t look like it was out of context to me.

    Reply 0
    • Anthony Thurston

      Where did you see that she made a statement? Id love to add it to the article but I cant find a statement from her regarding this.

      0
    • Andrea Shorey

      Here on twitter: https://twitter.com/marissamayer/status/336895796161175552

      0
    • LDMartin1959

      I don’t find the original, but two sources which have essentially identical quotes (save some punctuation differences):

      http://www.thephoblographer.com/2013/05/21/marissa-mayer-there-is-no-such-thing-as-a-professional-photographer-anymore/

      http://petapixel.com/2013/05/21/rip-professional-photographers/

      0
    • R.S.

      Why are you so biaised towards the new Flickr? She promised you a free membership? Maybe defending the whole thing isn’t such a good idea at the moment. Oh wait you must be of the iPod, iPad, iPhone generation and you want it all to look the same.

      0
    • Anthony Thurston

      How is anything I have written biased towards Flickr?

      0
  92. Linda Tran

    wowow i’m speechless…dislike!

    Reply 0
  93. warpsix

    I Just wish i was good enough to be offended .

    Reply 0
  94. GuruFlower

    And with the financial blogs as pervasive as they are, there’s no such thing as a CEO anymore because we all know as much as they do and, hey anyone can say something as stupid as Marissa Mayer. Presumably she just told her ad agency to get their cell phones out and start snappin’.

    Reply 0
  95. photochick

    Yeah, Yahoo of a CEO, way to diss the entire PRO photography community. To say that anyone with a camera is equivalent to a pro is to say that anyone who drives is equivalent to a NASCAR racer or that anyone who plays basketball is equivalent to the NBA players. An iPHONE is NOT really a camera– hate to break it to you!

    Reply 0
    • Mike Jones

      It’s not SOLELY a camera, but it has a built in camera ability just like plenty of other smart phones. Unless your definition differs from the Dictionary or any other intelligent understanding of what a camera specifically does then you might want to just delete your post. Educate yourself before you come here spouting nonsensical information that makes you look dumber than you actually are.

      0
    • John

      You mean in the same way your attitude makes you look *just* as dumb? What’s with some of you people that you can’t make a point without name calling?

      0
    • Don

      So Mike, what do you do for a living?

      0
  96. Jmilphoto

    Well sh*t, I guess with the amount of time I’ve spent perusing WebMD lately that’d pretty much makes me a doctor! I mean, I don’t have the “skills and experience” of some of those other “doctors”, but hey Medical school is overrated anyway. So who’s ready to operate! LOL – I foresee a karmic explosion of poorly lit photographs of Ms. Mayer populating the Internet to her demise…mu-ha ha!

    Reply 0
    • Mike Jones

      This is another stupid analogy. People go to school and train specifically to be a doctor. It’s a profession with designated requirements. There is no such criteria to being referred to as a professional photographer. Momtographers and housewives everywhere consider themselves professional photographers and they get paid as much or more as the individuals posting here. Get real.

      0
    • tk

      Are you seriously implying that those who specifically study and obtain degrees in photography are to be discredited? It didn’t used to be a matter of shooting then checking/relying on what pops up on the back of the screen instantly- there is a lot of technical knowledge/training that goes into the making of a proper and seasoned photographer, one who knows before shooting exactly what to expect or how to achieve a desired result.

      Sure, comparing it to the training doctors go through is a bit of a stretch, but saying there’s no criteria that designates being a true photographer is the result of this thinking that everyone is a photographer. I’m pretty sure clients have some designated requirements/expectations when hiring someone. I also highly doubt most of these “momtographers” are earning anywhere near as much as a professional photographer- don’t assume you know who’s posting here. The day everyone can create imagery like Avedon, Meisel, Crewdson, Demarchelier, etc is the day professional photographers don’t exist. You’re being just as ridiculous as this woman.

      0
  97. Ian

    When did any CEO of any company know enough about applied arts to make any kind of qualified judgement. She should stick to bean counting and shrinking the middle class.

    Reply 0
  98. Ecaterina Pareja

    As much as i was surprised by the silly ( and i am being nice) Marissa’s statement…i am super frustrated with this Mike Jones character!

    Reply 0
    • Mike Jones

      Don’t be frustrated sweet pea. I’m an internet pirate! Arrrrrrrrrrrr

      0
    • Ecaterina Pareja

      not funny

      0
  99. Nick Li

    Hehe. <—– the ultimate conclusion of this article.

    Reply 0
  100. Janettwokay

    You didn’t overreact. You were simply passionate. I’m not a professional photographer but I do know there is a vast difference between an amateur and a pro. With that being said, her remarks probably came out of her mouth wrong. I know I’m guilty of that at times so I’ll cut her some slack.

    Reply 0
  101. Andrea Shorey

    I’m going to guess she didn’t think about what she was going to say before she said it.

    Reply 0
  102. Kurt Wall

    No, you did not overreact. She’s not delusional, though. Marissa Mayer is a very smart woman executing a business strategy without understanding her target audience. Even in context, it is, _a priori_, a stupid remark. She’s conceded it’s a mis-statement, which is a good start. Further remarks which indicate a genuine appreciation of professional photographers would be helpful, too.

    Reply 0
  103. pixelgecko

    Mike Jones – please tell me you’re a young kid. Believe me, it’d go a long way towards redeeming yourself.

    Reply 0
  104. Ralph Berrett

    You can’t fix stupid. There’s not a pill you can take; there’s not a class you can go to. Stupid is forever. -Ron White

    Reply 0
  105. FullMetalPhotog

    You can’t fix stupid. There’s not a pill you can take; there’s not a class you can go to. Stupid is forever. -Ron White

    Reply 0
  106. Jason Walker

    I see about 50 times more stupidity in this comment section than I do her comment..

    Reply 0
  107. John

    I see about 50 times more stupidity in this comment section than I do her comment..

    Reply 0
  108. Ian W

    How does she not realise that the “pros” she believes don’t exist were the only ones who were willing to pay for the “pro” accounts in the first place?

    Reply 0
  109. Kyle

    Mike Jones, please post a link to your portfolio. We’d all like to see it.

    Reply 0
  110. Andrew Plath

    I wish that Marissa Mayer would do better to pull more for her home state of Wisconsin and the great middle of the country! By the way, I do use Tumbler.

    Reply 0
  111. Allan Winchester

    Holy Moses… What an ignorant, arrogant thing for this woman to say! Hope it comes ’round to bite her on the arse. An old axiom comes to mind:
    “Life is hard. It’s a lot more hard when you are stupid.”

    Reply 0
  112. JB

    If you don’t like her statement/attitude towards professional photographers, don’t use Flickr. Simple.

    Reply 0
  113. NJ Pro

    Hey Melissa, thanks for your comments about no such thing as Professional Photographers anymore. And just so we are clear, I no longer see the reason for paying for a “Professional” Flickr account anymore, since I’m no longer “Professional”.

    Luv and kisses!

    Mark

    Reply 0
  114. Jesamin Califf

    Why my original comment was deleted, I’m not sure, but I still stand by the fact that this statement was a mole hill turned into a mountain. Seriously!! Who cares what other people say about who you are? At the end of the day does it really matter? And why was it so important to you???!! This entire article was a waste of time and energy!! I thought this was a site for teaching, learning, and community. Come on, SLR Lounge!! Can’t we be bigger than this?!!

    Reply 0
  115. Coco Phanel

    I understood it to mean that everyone (anyone) considers themselves a pro once they have a dslr. And now they can filter with Instagram, etc., they REALLY think they’re hot stuff. I just think it was a poor choice of words from someone who doesn’t know what she’s talking about.

    Reply 0
  116. David Birch

    there’s a word that describes ms. mayer that i can’t use in public…

    Reply 1
  117. abernardin

    Overreacting. She’s a business person, completely out of the photo industry. She only got to make the announcement cause Yahoo owns the product. Their emphasis is not on pro photographers, they want the mainstream market. So it was either written for her or said off the cuff, but really, you’re expecting way more of her than you should.

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  118. Stuart Parkinson

    Ok, it was a somewhat ill-thought remark that was meant to communicate a certain concept and actually got taken by everybody to mean what it said instead of what was probably meant. We’ve all done it. Big deal. If anyone is petty enough to now go “Oh, she has so insulted me that now I will never use her product again!” then more fool them. Surely everyone has more constructive projects to devote their creative energy to than arguing about a stupid faux pas. (including me ;)

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  119. Bisnis Uang

    pros using Flickr instead of Vimeo aren’t really pros and all professional photographers cinematographers etc never use Flickr for their projects.

    Reply 0
  120. Memes

    There is a general mis-conception of what the word Professional means… a professional is not always skillful (though he/she should be), a professional is the one making a living out of photography, in that regard, there are still thousands of photography professionals. In that regard, you over-react a bit, though her statement is not accurate.

    Then, with the tweet, I agree with her, as now, with the amount of photo every one take, there is no difference between professional and others, therefore, no need to have different FlickR account types.

    Reply 0
    • Edgar_W

      Agreed! If I can generalize “Pro” basically means YOU GET PAID TO DO A JOB FOR SOMEONE ELSE OR SELLING YOURSELF. So get over it you elitist “Pros” out there. “Pro” Football, “Pro” Cyclist, “Pro” [insert academic]. No matter how you claim it a “Pro” means you get sponsored or paid. Or maybe you teach and train? True, some are considered “Pros” because the love of the craft. Just tell me how they make a living? Side jobs? Or regular jobs? You either invest of get paid for your craft. You can not prove me wrong with that statement.

      So you can not fault Marissa for her statement. You can use flickr as you see fit and prove Marissa wrong or use another service. Either way all you elitist “Pros” need to use an online service to showcase you work. We are photographers. We capture moments in time that escapes us save for memories. Photography is a personal art. Screw your “Professional” titles and just love the craft!

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  121. Jennifer Johnson

    I deleted my Flickr account and moved to 500px. The new design was slipshod and half-finished, and these comments were just the proverbial icing on the cake.

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  122. Leo Edwards

    Who took her corporate headshot shot shown above ? not the same photographer who took the Pinterest photo below it I’d wager ;-)

    Reply 0
  123. David

    Her audience, the audience she wants to grab, e.g. her purchase of Tumblr, shows that the younger generation de-values quality photography. Hence, the ‘younger generation’ thinks that a smart phone ‘snap-shot’ is quality.
    She destroyed, in a few words, what it took dozens of decades to develop and perfect, a Photography Profession.
    Her audience, and the audience she is trying to capture (and buy) will no longer look for the Pro-Photog to document the subject … anything from head shots, product shots, fashion, architecture, etc. etc. etc.
    However, that said, I believe the creative and professional capabilities of our profession is bigger than Marissa and we will prevail.

    Reply 0
  124. Vertigo

    Well by looking at her CEO picture I can see that she probably didin’t ask a Pro to take the shot because the shade under her nose is not very flattering. This said there’s always different level of expertise in anythings. In pro photography it’s the same thing but there always be professional photographer as their always be photographer being paid to do the job whatever the Level they’re at.

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  125. theGuest

    I find her statement a very honest assessment. With cameras everywhere and the result instantaneous, paying someone for the traditional family photo is pure folly. It will soon be replaced by what it replaced , commissioned paintings. Now that almost everyone can afford the medium. There are so many posting free pictures the paparazzi will soon find itself a dinosaur, replaced by celebrity staff photos. Magazines will still hire a few, but need them less, and expect the pay to go down. Hiring a Photographer now is like saying none of my friend will press this button for me. Pro Photography is an Edsol of sorts. Jo public will send pictures of whatever , nice shots of strong quality for nothing magazines will be getting the content shots provided for dirt cheap from now on, if not free from readers.

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  126. Rachael

    Since the comments are slightly out of context, after watching the video I do think a lot of people are being over-sensitive.

    And, while I hate to side with an instigator, I think Mike is right that there are a lot of decent camera phones that can compete with dSLR users. It’s funny that so many people got stirred up over his remark, taking offense because their 26mp dSLR is so superior to 8mp phone, but aren’t those riled up photographers the same ones who hate when bored housewives get the $1k dSLR and call themselves “photographer”?

    American Photo magazine had an article a few months back on iPhone photographer:

    http://www.americanphotomag.com/photo-gallery/2013/03/iphoneonly showing just how far iphone/instagram photography on a professional & journalistic level has come.

    A truly knowledgeable, competent photographer can take a professional picture with whatever piece of equipment they have at their disposal.

    If you’re going to complain about the evolving technology, why not shoot film? Most “professional” photographers can really work Light Room, but how many can work the darkroom?

    Reply 0
    • Don

      Photographers make the photograph, not the camera. If you don’t have the eye for light, composition and subject and the training, it really doesn’t matter what you spend.

      As far as shooting film, the availability of film and competent processing labs has become very limited and the cost adds into the mix. I really don’t think most folks are complaining about evolving technology, that is not the point. Photographic technology has been evolving since the days of pinhole cameras and glass negatives.

      Her comment was ‘there is no such thing as professional photographers anymore’ and that is what is offensive. I didn’t spend forty years of my life studying, learning and practicing my trade to be compared to a high school kid with an I phone.

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    You are making a big deal out of something small.
    Get out and be productive instead of talking non sense

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  128. Keith

    Haven’t seen all the thread so this may have been said before, but here is a (slightly changed) quote I use when people say, as I make great images, my camera must be fantastic………
    ‘YEAH, AND WITH SO MANY OVENS AROUND THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A PROFESSIONAL CHEF’!

    Reply 2
  129. kevin fitzmaurice-brown

    Like many CEO’s this woman has an ego over intelligence/knowledge mentality. She knows NOTHING about photography let alone professional photography. Just ask her about the Scheimpflug rule, the inverse square law of perhaps the hyperfocal distance within the context of depth of field. Technical waffle ? No just basic professional knowledge required in order to work. This twerp should not be in such a position of fantasy power.

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    Reply 0
  131. PhotoPro

    Who care what this person said, I don’t even use Flickr or any other of the Yahoo stuff. Anyone can call themselves a professional photographer. I took pictures at a wedding, now I’m going to have card printed up stating that I am a Pro Photographer.

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