Mike Gunter said:
The conundrum I see that continues to play out for a photographer's career is that he/she wants to be seen as a creditable artist and shoots a lot of film (now digital shots), but has always - for those who miss the mark - fail to give the darkroom, or post software, sufficient drift, which goes directly to improving the shooting skills.
This is a good point Mike. Tao was going down a similar path, others too ... Production value.
I taught recently a small workshop with a couple of stay at home moms who wanted to 'take better photos'. In it I covered the basics of shooting and their cameras. But I didn't get anywhere near covering post production. And I know that when the session was over, they didn't get that there is, in this day and age, as much or more knowledge and effort required for post production than shooting alone.
I've been working with photoshop since it launched, and now lightroom. Every image I take and publish, for fun or otherwise, is edited in post. I can take a photo and make it look radically different, yet palatable, from its original form. And while I've seen my technique improve over the years, I view my skills as that of a beginner.
So high end fashion/beauty/portrait/landscape/macro/other(?) photos have higher post production value, and their corresponding markets grow to expect that higher production value, creating separation from pro and not-pro photographers.
Meanwhile, editorial photos, traditionally 'unedited', become the province of anyone with a camera phone pointed in the right direction at the right moment. The exception here is as stated in the interview - when the image can only be taken with gear typically owned by pros, like a 600mm f/4, etc.
Successful pros will be those photographers who consistently produce high production value photos on demand, to outlets with the highest production standards. And, as Mike says, those who successfully market themselves as such.
Facebookinstagram is not a significant threat because it is not a high production value outlet. I say this because 'good' photos that wind up on Facebook or Instagram are mostly luck and generic post production. Any high production value outlet would shy away from those kinds of images because they don't differentiate the outlet in the market.
Change is opportunity, and there is a TON of change in the photography business.
Chase Jarvis and his remote controlled helicopter shoots (amongst many other things).
Emily Soto (a fashion photog who's work I like) BTS marketing videos from her shoots.
Joe McNally, Dave Hobby, and the army of strobists doing their thing in the field.
All photographers taking the tech and doing things to differentiate themselves with it.
And that's four people in a growing worldwide industry - who knows what the thought leaders of tomorrow will bring to the table?
Very exciting times!