After a lively “Fireside Chat” together at the 2015 DMLA Conference, Severin Matusek, VP of Community at EyeEm, asks his fellow panelists again how they see technologies will change photography this year.

Stephen Mayes, Executive Director at Tim Hetherington Trust; Anna Dickson, Content and Community Photo Lead at Google;  Taylor Davidson, Entrepreneur and writer specializing in digital media, technology and photography; and Paul Melcher; entrepreneur and founder of Kaptur all offer their insights here.





  1. drobpix

    Unfortunately this skewed vision of photography’s future is derived from conversations with a questionable group of panelists who derive their salaries from undermining the value of photography. It is important to note here that not one of these panelists is, in fact, a professional photographer. To that point, it is no surprise then that a group consisting of a representative of EyeEm—an exploitive startup based in Germany that derives its revenue by under-paying photographers for their images and enabling global corporations they partner with (i.e. Mercedes, Motorola, Huffington Post etc.) to not pay photographers at all, and a representative from Google who’s business model has devolved into one of serial copyright infringement, and Paul Melcher who was VP of Digital Railroad when it went out of business on his watch owing photographers thousand of dollars in licensing fees, would think that the future of “Photography as we know it is over, and that’s an exciting thing”. In their excitement over new technology and hardware, this group fails to mention anything about how exploitive business models such as theirs, have made it harder and harder for photographers, authors and artists to make a living and that the very future of the industry is hanging by a thread. Nor does their myopic take on the future of photography mention anything about the game-changing Copyright Reform Act now being written by Congress which is looking to protect the rights of photographers, authors and creators against the exploitation by the likes of Google, Facebook, Instagram and their ilk and is supported by every trade organization representing creators. Perhaps if Severin Matusek, Anna Dickson and their colleagues who profess their support for photographers spent more time actually ensuring photographers are paid equitably for their work and less time pleasing their investors while pitching their latest exploitive products, their press releases and pronouncements would seem slightly less disingenuous and self-serving.

  2. drobpix

    Here is a telling briefing on the backgrounds of the panelists consulted for this skewed post on the future of photography:

    Severin Matusek-VP, EyeEm
    EyeEm business model: Undercutting established photo pricing and enabling global corporate partners (i.e. Mercedes, Motorola, Huffington Post etc.) to not pay photographers at all through their “Missions” product offering.

    Anna Dickson-Photo Lead, Google
    Google business model: Knowingly allows copyright infringement through Google Image and search engine “framing”.
    Prior Employer-Huffington Post
    Huffington Post business model: Corporate policy prohibits paying photographers (or other contributors).

    Paul Melcher-Former VP, Digital Railroad
    Of note: Digital Railroad went out of business owing photographers thousands of dollars in collected licensing fees

    Steven Mayes-Former SVP, Getty Images (original management team)
    Getty Images business model: Through monopolizing the market and other questionable practices, GI has systematically undermined fees paid to photographers for stock imagery. Many in the industry consider Getty Images the single most destructive force to the photo industry in the last twenty years.

    Taylor Davidson-Venture Capitalist
    Of note: At DMLA conference Taylor defended attribution in lieu of paying photographers for there work.

  3. ellenboughn

    Hello Drobpix,
    I generally don’t respond to irrational rants but in this case, I take exception. You have attempted to smear the names of some of the most respected people involved in photography today and I take your remarks personally as the Chair of the DMLA Program Committee

    I hardly need to defend the reputation of the four people that you have denigrated above as they are, as a collective, a brain trust of what the world of image licensing is up to. That you can’t recognize this sadly reflects on your ignorance of those you wish to demean.

    I dismiss your introductive paragraph as a rambling inaccurate spew that is obviously coming from the mouth of someone who is not able to figure out how to make a living in a new world of photography. The reason for the panel was to expose the changing world of photography so that wise professionals could be informed about both the exciting new ways to monetize photographs as well as the lack of sustainability of some older models so that they could plan accordingly.

    You should be especially embarrassed that you have attempted to insult Stephen Mayes, Taylor Davidson, and Paul Melcher. What? Mention Digital Railroad’s failure in the same sentence with Paul Melcher? Guess what they didn’t pay him either. Taylor Davidson is not only a photographer but a brilliant strategist and financial guru. And Mayes? Read his bio and then attempt to understand his thoughtful and erudite writings on photography and learn something.

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