Stab Magazine | "Instagram Didn't Kill Photography—It Killed Old People," Says Morgan Maassen On The Stab MIC

“Instagram Didn’t Kill Photography—It Killed Old People,” Says Morgan Maassen On The Stab MIC

Also included: a list of the top-five surf photography earners in the world. 

stabfm // Nov 11, 2019
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Morgan Maassen is 29 years old, hails from Santa Barbara, California, and is currently at the top of his photography game. 

Morgan’s clients range from American Express, Chanel, Mercedes, and Corona. He’s tall, trim, and has an endearing smile. He’s cleverer than most.  

In this podcast, Stab‘s founder, Sam McIntosh, and Morgan discussed a multitude of topics and waffled on for almost two hours; we culled the boyish pandering and knocked the final product down to a manageable 40 minutes. The main themes were around the past generation of photographers and those who have successfully made the transition to our supremely Instagrammed age. 

On October 6, 2010, Instagram launched and almost instantaneously killed a generation of photographers and media. This sounds dramatic, but it’s evident when you see the photographic heavyweights of yesteryear who are no longer at the top of the food chain.

Says Morgan: “Instagram has tons of blood on its hands, but the difference is that it didn’t kill photographers… it killed old people. Close-minded people who weren’t able to adapt their work, their communication skills, their business. It definitely helped deconstruct magazines too.” 


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Our protagonist with a rare self portrait.


Other topics covered: 

How the one-percenters are doing better than ever
In a trend that is parallel in many industries, there are far less middle-class earners in surf photography, however, the big earners have reached heights unseen in the past. The annual salaries of the five or six photographers with roots in surfing will blow your mind. And, yes, Morgs made us beep out his annual salary but we dive into the habits and narrow skillset of the big earners from Chris Burkard, Ryan Miller, Eugene Tan, Clark Little, and Zak Noyle.

What does a new young surf photographer have to do to make it in the game? 
While the limitations are larger than ever, there are still opportunities for an up and coming photographer. The democratization of photography means there are many different paths to success. 

 Plus, Morgs discusses the merits of building a “brand”, the importance of professionalism, and traversing a new type of media.


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