Is architectural photography dead?
In an interview with Sergio Pirrone, Spanish photographer Duccio Malagamba says his piece about the recent developments in the field of architectural photography. Here is an excerpt from the text:
Online publications have become a phenomenon that’s unavoidable in architecture. What kind of relationship do you have with them?
DM: A very bad one. They don’t have any respect for photographers and I find it an insult to our profession that photos are only published if they don’t cost anything. My photos have always been expensive because of the dedication I devote to my work. I can’t give them away for free. I have my principles, though I’m also frustrated. Pursuing my profession had a deep impact on my lifestyle.
And what do you think of photographers who constantly use online platforms instead?
DM: I am outraged when professional photographers have their photos published on architecture blogs just a few weeks after a new building has been inaugurated. They’re killing the projects, their work and their colleagues. Magazines suffer too, because they have no reason to publish a project that has already been seen by so many surfers.
Are you saying that the crisis of print magazines is due to photographers who give away their photos free of charge to online publications?
DM: They definitely have their part of the responsibility. Many professional architectural photographers have contributed to killing architecture magazines. Now they can get recognition faster, while before you had to work your ass off. But what do they need such recognition for if nobody will pay for their photos? This means hunger for everybody! I have always tried to keep my photos off of the internet, but in the last years I couldn’t do anything against the blackmail by the architects. They demand the right to hand out your photos to everyone. I have lost clients when I refused to accept that.
Read the full interview with photographer Duccio Malagamba – along with interviews from his colleagues Thomas Mayer, Brigida Gonzalez and Bruce Damonte – in Mark magazine issue #64