The most interesting claims made about Corbis's new microstock photo agency, SnapVillaage, is that it will serve as a "farm system" for up-and-coming photographers. "It is our intent to continually scout SnapVillage photographers to look for emerging talent," is what the new company's vice president of Networks, Adam Brotman, told me when I spoke with him recently. Those new talents, says Brotman, would have their work featured on corbis.com, where rights-managed images command higher prices.
Whether such a photo farm system ever really comes about, the whole idea is another clear sign that the standard notion of professional photography is dead. Long live photography.