New Rules: Inspiring creatives at a difficult time

We’ve launched a guide to help photographers navigate an industry in flux

As any of our WeTransfer users will know, this is not an easy time to be a creative. Whether you’re working in the visual arts like videographers and photographers or the literary and performance world like writers and musicians, there’s constant pressure to keep the jobs coming in, set against the backdrop of an ongoing cost-of-living crisis. The established media industries have near-enough crumbled and social media and media streaming companies have weakened the financial (and perhaps broader social) value of the art itself. And that’s before we consider the specter of AI looming over all of this. It’s safe to say that the creative industry is in a very definite state of flux.

The old rules don’t apply anymore, so it’s time to work out what the guidelines and parameters for success are.

Holly Fraser

This understanding of the state of the industry that we all inhabit is what has led us to our latest project. We feel that right now our audience needs a thorough guide to their specific industry. Not something outdated and traditional, or something stuffed with marketing language and jargon, but something well-researched and realistic; a guide that speaks to the very real concerns of the creators trying to navigate the landscape. Some no bullshit, straight talking, if you will.

This is how the WePresent team came up with “New Rules,” an inspiring, practical series of guides to help creatives through this difficult time. The old rules don’t apply anymore, so it’s time to work out what the guidelines and parameters for success look like now.

“New Rules” says that nothing creatives face is insurmountable when armed with drive, imagination, ingenuity—and, of course, a solid community to continue learning from and collaborating with. Each guide looks at the different possible questions and areas of concern unique to that industry, and is full of insight from both the creatives succeeding now, and the industry experts commissioning their work. We want readers to leave our guides feeling excited about their career possibilities once again. As technology hurtles forward we don’t know exactly what the future holds, but we can approach our work with a fresh perspective knowing that creativity has always been an intrinsic human trait, and that isn’t going anywhere soon.

The first of our guides explores the photography industry now, hot on the heels of the unsettling news that 2023 was the worst year financially for many photographers, regardless of their level of experience. To ensure the guide got right to the heart of the issues on photographers’ minds today we enlisted the help of Gem Fletcher to co-create the guide. She is the photo director at Riposte Magazine, and a contributor to such publications as The Guardian, Creative Review, and the British Journal of Photography; and as of 2019, she’s been the host of “The Messy Truth,” a podcast that highlights emerging image-makers to discuss the future of visual culture and what it means to be a photographer today.

In “New Rules: Navigating photography’s unfixed future,” Fletcher creates a group portrait of the world of photography, made up of photographers, curators, tastemakers and editors like Emily Keegin, Charlie Engman, Rhiannon Adam, Quil Lemons, Campbell Addy and Antwaun Sargent, many of whom stepped away from the traditional trajectory to find a different path. They have crafted alternative routes forward, embraced marginalized voices and built new infrastructure for coming together to share work and life.

Later this year we’ll be diving into both the filmmaking and design industries, but for now get your free downloadable copy of “New Rules: Navigating photography’s unfixed future”:

Download the guide