Photo shoots are like war zones. There aren’t any bullets, but there are moments of chaos and unpredictability. And there’s exhaustion. Lots of it.

I’m a wedding photographer in practice, but a photojournalist by training. Many of my friends have been embedded journalists, so the term “dispatch” is a familiar reminder of their lives in the photographic trenches. This prompts me to consider what The Photo Life means to professional photographers, from wedding to portrait to lifestyle.

We’re all in the line of fire. It doesn’t matter what genre of photography we pursue; we’re in the field shooting. But the terrain has changed. The way we create, share, promote, buy and sell photographs has changed. Content is cheap; context is expensive. The balance of power has shifted from creators of content to creators of context. To succeed, we can’t just sell the photo; we must sell everything around the photo.

We need to get busy channeling creativity into the art of business as much as into the art of photography. Dispatches are designed to be our guide. They explore topics that are important to us as business owners, while recognizing that our desire to create is as vital as our desire to learn. Dispatches help us navigate an industry that’s changing at warp-speed.

Rachel LaCour Niesen
Vice President, Pictage Community
Co-Founder, ShootQ