Another one is gone

Until the end of 2009 we were under contract with the photo agency GRAZIA NERI.

Its sudden closure, last October, left us with a bitter taste, not only for our cooperation for many years that was suddenly interrupted and not only for good human relationships created over the years with several people working there.

Also because Grazia (Neri – “the Lady of Photography”) had built over decades the most important Italian (and not only) photo agency, a real historical memory of all the most important and decisive events of the last century (and of the beginning of the current one).
But it’s not our duty to remember or describe its importance.
We write these lines instead driven by the news arrived from across the Alps: the closure of another important and historic photographic agency, Sygma.
From the information we could find on the net it seems that the main motivation was a ruling in favor of a photographer (ex-Sygma) millionaire who requested compensation for losing the negatives (which seems to have happened with other colleagues).
Although it had been bought by Corbis group, it seems that this was the final blow to the battered finances of the noble French agency.

These two episodes within a few months make us thinking.

Photography is suffering. It is agonizing indeed.Who should valorize it (from every point of view) tend to choke it and the time we are living certainly doesn’t help.
Many magazines are sinking (or so they want us to believe ….), they don’t invest in production and photographers tend to compete not on quality but on prize.
And many of them give up, unfortunately.
“Organizations of photographers for photographers”? Nope. Magnum age stopped a long time ago and the new generations of photographers don’t understand that selling their work out for few money is a loss for everyone, themselves included.
Nowadays if you don’t tie to a global colossus (as Corbis or Getty Images) it’s very hard to survive in the competitive world of publishing.
Hard times.