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”).
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.
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.
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.