Wasn't it you, Rob, who first used the phrase "nobody ows you a living," though in the context of other social and economic issues we discussed here?
And I still believe it. However, I do also believe in a level playing field, which means that you put your money where your friggin' mouth is, screw your courage up to breaking point and take the plunge to be a real, full-time photographer. Or, alternatively, get the hell out of the pond and stop depositing piss in it for the other swimmers to get in their mouths.
As you must know, I have the same belief regarding the economy at large: I have never believed that any manufacturer
should have different prices for different shops. It's madness. In the UK we used to have a system of retail price maintenance, and as we've discussed here before, you could buy your camera at the same price everywhere, and so local dealers could stock stuff, demonstrate it, and you could buy with confidence and, should anything go wrong, they were there to take it off your hands and deal with the supplier on your behalf. That way, you both built up mutual respect and appreciation. And saved a lot of time.
People (on LuLa) have decried this belief as some sort of totalitarian/communist notion from a bygone age. Thatís a mistake. Large companies always got richer than the smaller, but they got richer on their own merits, by economies of internal scale
, not by outbuying the competition. And as far as brand/maker competition goes, it isnít affected at all, in fact, if anything, it has a base on which to survive and grow. Consider how many small camera makers have gone, and no, they were not all producers of rubbish, they just became victims of the giants.
Extending the philosophy of the-monster-take all has brought us to where we are today; empty high streets, nobody able to stock anything locally, and disgruntled buyers (read LuLa) who, at the end of the day, have saved a few bucks but lost a helluva lot more. You never win when you surrender to the bully, and thatís what it has turned into today.
But hell, many seem to be oblivious to this fact and, if anything, would much prefer to stone the messenger instead.
However, as I still have the option, if limited, I remain loyal to the independents every time.