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Hobby photographers eroding value of professional work?
  
 
Mikehit
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · Hobby photographers eroding value of professional work?


glort wrote:
I'm sure it would be very educational and inspiring to a lot of people here to read of a first hand account or 3 of what a professional did to overcome this and how they applied their position of letting their clients know why they were better off and how you justified the much higher price. Don't forget to let us know what your price was and what the flybynighter was charging and how you addressed that specifically.



The other problem in photography is one of perception: either 'photos are free - after all there are no development costs so charging upwards of 500 pounds for a days work you must be screwing us'. Or 'my Uncle Bert's got a camera with a thingy that comes off so you can put a new one on. He took great pictures of our holiday in Skegness and they turned out pretty well'.
Then they get the photographs back and the day was a bit variable, cloud cover interspersed with brilliant sunshine and the exposures are screwed. And then they realise how a professional earns their money but it is too late....



Jul 11, 2017 at 07:24 AM
glort
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · Hobby photographers eroding value of professional work?


gipper53 wrote:
The industry's demise has been a perfect storm; a combination of technology where image making is easier than ever (I didn't say 'quality' image making), and a shift in cultural mindset to settling for lesser quality at the cheapest price. Let's face it, photography is nothing special any more to average consumers, and we can thank digital imaging for that.


I agree but also thing we can think professional photographers for cutting their own throat as well.
Every day on these boards they are going on wanting some new butt wiping feature or complaining about something and wanting it better/ different/ more/ easier/ Lighter/ faster/ do more of their job for them. Of course this filters down to the amateur models and makes things easier for them too.

If a Pro could not go out and do most work with an $700 camera these days and compensate and make up for it's shortfalls, then they are not photographers, they are try hard button pushers.
Look back to what there was even 10 years ago let alone 20 or 30 when i got into full time shooting and you wonder how the hell people can complain about anything these days.
Everyone back then took beautiful pics just the same as they did then and before anyone chimes in, NO, photos are not better now than then, just somewhat different but in so many ways just the same.

There is also the issue that there may be no other profession with a lower barrier-to-entry than "professional photographer". No licensing, no certifications, no education requirements. Buy a camera and anybody can call themselves a "pro". Doesn't mean you are one, but the real pros have to compete against these posers

That has been the same since I have been shooting but the saturation level of tryhards has increased exponentially since digital. Before even at the end days of Film, you had to have bit of a clue. Now there is ZERO technical skill required. Auto camera, auto flash, you can produce images that in the phone snapfacegramtwit era, will please a lot of people.

I often wonder if you gave 100 photographers of different ages and levels, maybe gauged by price, How many could use a 35mm semi auto camera that had no auto focus, only semi auto exposure, 36 shots per roll and all the things shooters dealt with and never bitched about back then. I wonder how many could handle a medium format with no auto exposure, focus and 12- 30 frames per roll. I'd give them a light meter to be fair but I'll bet most of these heros of today wouldn't have a clue.

Not so long ago, handing over the files was seen as the cardinal sin and something the scabs and $100 shooters would do. Now all the poor princess pro shooters charging thousands go on like little childeren how hard and time consuming it is to do an album. Shit, they can't even be bothered to burn a USB disk now and whine about how much a presentation box costs to pit it in.
they don't even hand the files over these days, they upload them!
If that's not shortchanging your customer by not even giving them a tangible product or taking the time to personally hand it over or even have it delivered to them, I don't know what the hell is.

Almost every other profession has standards that must be met before you can call yourself a professional, and if you don't meet them while calling yourself a "pro" it's swiftly met with legal action.

This has been a 40+ yo argument and in essence one I support. It's always been too difficult but I really think that gubbermints and authorities have never seen enough money in it or ways to police it.

Years ago the local professional photographers association tried to bring something in about being a member as an assurance of quality. Unfortunately like a lot of things, it turned into a mothers club of power trippers that went way overboard on their stipulations, their membership fees and their self serving position. I was in it before they brought this in and dropped out because I was damned if I was going to have anyone tell me how to run my business or what I could and couldn't do nor was I Going to spend the equivelent of the average weekly age on membership fees that really did me no good at all.

They did an ad campaign that amounted to only an AAP shooter can be trusted to take your wedding Pics. People would come in, ask are you a Member, I'd point to the awards from them on the wall and say I was but I'm not any longer and explain why and it built a rapport with people! Don't know how many times people told me what profession they were in and their association was exactly the same. It certainly didn't hurt me, helped if anything.
the idea was good, the execution and practice thereof was terrible.

I think a basic competency test of some kind with say 3 year refresher testing could be OK as well as a set of minimum standards to follow. Of course the minute you do that the mob mentality will kick in saying you have to have a FF, dual card or Mirrorless body no more than 1 model old and you have to have these lenses, 8 flashguns, take a minimum of 2000 shots on a wedding... Blah blah.

Education, training, and certification...all things photography as a profession lacks. This industry has done nothing to protect itself from the bottom feeders...not sure what it could have done anyway.

I think there is plenty of training and education about, maybe too much even with all the internet legends that make money from talking rather than doing but certification has only ever been there for the associations and in my experience, that was a good idea that went over the top.

You are right with doing nothing to protect itself. I'd say it's pretty much done a Kodak and been it's own worst enemy. When you look at what the great grandaddy of the industry did to itself, little wonder everything else has followed suit.




Jul 11, 2017 at 08:17 AM
chez
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · Hobby photographers eroding value of professional work?


Mikehit wrote:
I read an interview with a wildlife pro where he said there is no money in photographs any more, my sales and my website are a way to get people on my courses and photography holidays.
One door closes, another opens.


Yep and it's those pros that have the door closed on their faces and are too ignorant to open another door but instead whine all day that I get tired of. Move on as you can do beans about someone giving away their photos. Or you can continue to whine about it.



Jul 11, 2017 at 12:19 PM
secondclaw
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · Hobby photographers eroding value of professional work?


gipper53 wrote:
Education, training, and certification...all things photography as a profession lacks. This industry has done nothing to protect itself from the bottom feeders...not sure what it could have done anyway.


At times, even with those things, its not enough. One good example is Taxi vs Uber.
Taxi drivers had all the special training (depending on location), special certification, whole infrastructures dedicated to support of the work (dispatch, repair shops, etc). Even had protection of a government-controlled monopoly via taxi medallion and city-controlled taxi stands.

But now, anyone can be a 'taxi' driver - no need for the infrastructure like radios and taxi dispatch - there is an app for that. There is no need to know how to get somewhere - google maps/etc - will show the way. One no longer needs to work 14 hours a day and eat/sleep in their car to be a taxi driver - one can work 8 hours at a bank during the day, and drive for 2 hours to get a bit more money in. And at half price, too. There are professional Uber drivers (like many who moved away from taxi business) and there are plenty of amateurs, who simply need a bit more spending cash and have time to waste.

In this case, all the knowledge and certification and support infrastructure and protection wasn't enough. Technology cancelled out that advantage. Now any amateur can be a taxi driver, having nothing but a regular car they drive to work to and a cell phone. I guess Uber also did a few other things that weren't necessarily legal at the time, but still, due to convenience and money savings people looked away.

Don't think its any different in photography. 30 years ago I learned how to develop photos in a dark room, how to focus manually, how to expose via a light meter. These required some skill. Now, arguably, there is little advantage in knowing these things - the benefits at best are marginal. Technology caught up and allowed anyone to be almost as good as old masters. The only thing that still differentiates skills is composition and maybe skills with digital post-processing - and I'm sure with advances in AI and machine learning that will become accessible to anyone too.

So is this inevitability of progress then? Or that art of photography was really never about those things in the first place?



Jul 11, 2017 at 12:27 PM
Trevorma
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · Hobby photographers eroding value of professional work?


secondclaw wrote:
At times, even with those things, its not enough. One good example is Taxi vs Uber.
Taxi drivers had all the special training (depending on location), special certification, whole infrastructures dedicated to support of the work (dispatch, repair shops, etc). Even had protection of a government-controlled monopoly via taxi medallion and city-controlled taxi stands.

But now, anyone can be a 'taxi' driver - no need for the infrastructure like radios and taxi dispatch - there is an app for that. There is no need to know how to get somewhere - google maps/etc - will show the way. One no longer needs
...Show more

You do realize that an UBER does charge for the service right? You just undercut your own argument

The professional Taxi driver gets paid.... the UBER gets paid......

Your example is that the Pro Photog tries to charge but can't because folks are getting the images for free.

Turn your example above around and have the UBER NOT CHARGE, that fits your model.



Jul 11, 2017 at 12:45 PM
Trevorma
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · Hobby photographers eroding value of professional work?


There are a lot of people offering opinions.

One way to look at this:

What are you going to do when an app replaces you at your day job? Robots replace autoworkers all the time. sell your own homes has forced out a lot of real estate agents....online news sources have all but killed new papers.

I could go on and on..... at the end of the day each and every one of us doesn't see this as an issue until it hits you.

Plain and simple. My day job is Civil Engineering. The minute there is an app that replaces what I do I am out on the street. Or better yet my company switches to all interns, cheaper co-op students ect......

Look at the issue from both sides for a minute then ask what you would do if someone undercut you at your day job. I bet a lot of whining would ensue



Jul 11, 2017 at 12:50 PM
Mikehit
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · Hobby photographers eroding value of professional work?


chez wrote:
Yep and it's those pros that have the door closed on their faces and are too ignorant to open another door but instead whine all day that I get tired of. Move on as you can do beans about someone giving away their photos. Or you can continue to whine about it.


er....no. It is those pros who are not whining and are adapting....they are running photo workshops etc Maybe I used the word 'my' confusingly as it was their quote.




Jul 11, 2017 at 01:03 PM
secondclaw
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · Hobby photographers eroding value of professional work?


Trevorma wrote:
You do realize that an UBER does charge for the service right? You just undercut your own argument

The professional Taxi driver gets paid.... the UBER gets paid......

Your example is that the Pro Photog tries to charge but can't because folks are getting the images for free.

Turn your example above around and have the UBER NOT CHARGE, that fits your model.


I probably wasn't clear in my original post. The discussion with the Pro that started all this wasn't related to me giving away a photo for free. My friend was discussing selling a print to a magazine for a nominal fee - because his works have never been published before, and the Pro blew up about it, complaining that this erodes his ability to make a living. My example - giving away a photo - was just what got me thinking on this topic. Also, if you'd read prior posts on thread, some have complained of amateurs undercutting pros - not just giving stuff away for free.
So in that regard, Taxi vs Uber still stands - an amateur can be a driver now, for half price of what a professional taxi driver can charge. That DOES erode ability for taxi drivers to make a living.



Jul 11, 2017 at 01:16 PM
Mikehit
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · Hobby photographers eroding value of professional work?


secondclaw wrote:
So in that regard, Taxi vs Uber still stands - an amateur can be a driver now, for half price of what a professional taxi driver can charge. That DOES erode ability for taxi drivers to make a living.


When an amateur takes money, they are professional. They may call themselves 'semi professional' but note the word 'professional' is in there in relation to what they are doing at the time.

I see little difference to a photographer becoming a Uber taxi driver (or whatever it is they do) when times are tough, and a taxi driver who sells pictures to make a bit of pocket money.



Jul 11, 2017 at 01:41 PM
glort
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · Hobby photographers eroding value of professional work?



Actually ( and unfortunately as I support the premise of the comparison) Ubers and taxi drivers is in fact a very good analogy

Uber drivers do not make a wage they can live on. I looked at this a while back and the numbers do not add up, world wide. If you take all the real costs into account, Ubers are making about $2 an hour in reality. You may do it a while and think you are cashing in but if you look at it in real business terms, You'd do better working behind the counter at 7/11.

This is very similar to a lot of the people undercutting shooters in order to get the work in theory and definitely in practice. These people go in thinking that they just made $x for the day but they don't take into account the real costs and lets face it, they don't want to know them. They are frequently undercutting the professional dis-positioned shooter because " they like taking Pictures" or they like to kid themselves they are making a real buck.

The fact is if you take into account the real costs, they are subsidizing their hobby out of their own pocket. Of course their pride, ego or ignorance will never let them admit that to themselves let alone anyone else.

For the photo market I have seen the end result for myself several times now.
Scab shooter comes along and has regular shooter ejected through promises of superior quality at a fraction of the price. Scab shooter may actually produce a decent result, it's naive to think they are all hopeless, or they may provide something passable. In the case of event work which I have seen first hand, one of 2 things in the first instance happens.

Their work is lacking but because it's cheap, maybe they sweet talk the clients whom don't know good from bad, the officialdom gets no complaints but may get a good backhander so shooter carrys on. Opportunity for a real shooter to make money is removed while egotistical scab plays tiddly winks.

In the second scenario, shooters screws up, people do complain, shooter looses gig.

From there the end result is similar.
Shooter either grows tired of playing tiddly winks ( unless they are into the sport and do it completely for fun) and gets bored when they realise their Hobby as a job turns into work. They realise it's one thing to do something because you want to and something else to do it because you have to and there are demands and expectations placed on you. Maybe they wear out a camera and come to terms that there isn't any money in teh kitty to buy a new one from all this shooting they have done.
Shooter gives gig away and goes looks for other bright shiny objects to distract their attention.
Outcome becomes the same.

Organisers are approached by new shooter whom charges a proper, fair and sustainable price that gives fair return for their investment and effort.
Market ONLY remembers scab just charged $2 and not the $12 new guy wants.
they forget everything else and wouldn't know or appreciate good work if it bit them on the arse.

You can show them how much better your work is, promise them better service or whatever but they have heard that all before from the last scab.
Trying to get into these markets especially when the reality is there are 10 other scabs lined up also trying to get the in at the same time whom are also offering unrealistic prices the clients want to hear, unlike yours, is like shoving the proverbial up an 89o angle with a toothpick.

In the case of event organisers, they don't really care if your work is OK, shit or fantastic. Their concerns are the people that frequent their events are happy ( and cheap anything keeps them real happy), they get the best cut possible, they don't have anyone coming to them complaining or taking up any of their time and they get freebies for their wants and purposes.

As long as that happens, you can basically serve shit sandwiches without the bread and they will keep you on as long as you want. Even if they think your work is a bit lacking, they won't admit they made a mistake putting the guy on, most of the time they will think it's because they don't know enough about photography and tell everyone it's great. IF clients aren't complaining they are probably passing on the occasional compliment so officialdom is happy as.

The thing shooters repeatedly over look is the man in the street can no more after a low point of quality, tell the difference between a great quality photo than we as shooters can pick fine wine from cask, someone that can competently play the piano in a club from a concert pianist or tell the difference between an abstract painting offered for $20 in a local art market and one worth a Million dollars painted by an artist that's big in the art world we haven't heard of.

Again, it's naive and extremely ignorant to assume that the clients have the same ability to tell average from great that we have and I'm stuffed if I know why the implication of some should rest on that very premise...... That if your work is great the guy undercutting won't be a problem.
It's ridiculous.
This assumption implys that quality is the only parameter of which the decision to employ a shooter is made. Price as I have pointed out is not either but it's a bloody huge factor to the people that would look to hire us.


In the case of something like a commercial Gig or a wedding especially, Scab promises the world, creates high hopes, Convinces Client the other guy is charging too much and he's more honest and can do the same for less and gets the deal.
After the event, the person that hired them realises the mistake when it's too late to do anything about it. Gig is over.Opportunity is lost for the shooter who charged more but would have fulfilled the couples/clients expectations and surpassed them.
Rinse and repeat with the next client.

The opinion of some is to just say " Oh well" and forget all your experience, learning, investment and everything else and just happily move onto something else without a word of complaint less you bother them by having the same human reaction someone else would in the face of extreme disappointment and frustration.
Of course seeing you will be now starting something new, you won't have the possibly decades of skill and experience behind you and you'll probably be taking orders from some snot nose arrogant 19 yo kid that thinks he's been in whatever it is you are now so happily doing and knows everything.

Yes, just do as some propose and accept getting screwed over without a whimper of protest and just go do something else because we all know, you can just slot into another occupation without problem because everything out there is short of people and will pull you in with open arms and Cheque books.


If some some people aren't already on drugs, they bloody well ought to be!



Jul 11, 2017 at 02:43 PM
 

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glort
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · Hobby photographers eroding value of professional work?


secondclaw wrote:
The discussion with the Pro that started all this wasn't related to me giving away a photo for free. My friend was discussing selling a print to a magazine for a nominal fee - because his works have never been published before, and the Pro blew up about it, complaining that this erodes his ability to make a living.


My opinion of this as a full time pro that started out in his career in papers and had their first Picture published on the front page of a Major Daily when they were 15 years old is.....
This is complete and utter crap and the shooter is a moron.

The pro is not competing with your mate who gave the paper one picture because he wanted to see it published, as we all have. The ignorant pro is competing with the tens of thousands of everyday people with Iphoneys that SEND pictures in to the papers and media every day by the thousands. The media here at least encourage it several times every night on the news alone as well as other programs.

The Photo departments of major dailys here were closed down a couple of years back. At best now the dozen -20 shooters that once were have been reduced to a couple of freelancers that probably work for stock agency's anyway and cover things on spec.
The papers RARELY pay for any pics these days and when they do it's mainly peanuts they pay.

This ignorant shooter fails to realise it's not your mate he's competing with, He's competing with the slimy editors that will lift pics of Faceboob, instagrab and stolechat knowingly doing the wrong thing because he also knows that he can, IF caught out, offer some piddly amount of compensation and like it or not, the shooters not going to have the money to take it further.For the one in ten thousand that does, he's still 9,999 payments still in his budget better off.

And the other thing I see all the time now is frame grabs from videos, often from the same parent media company's footage that they got or more likely was sent to them by someone in the street ( for free) or they stole off someones site.

This shooter was just as stupid, naive and ignorant as the ones that say " Just move on and don't bother me with the complaining I choose to read and then complain about the complaining!"




Jul 11, 2017 at 03:06 PM
Weasel_Loader
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p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · Hobby photographers eroding value of professional work?


For all these reason, I'm glad I don't have to shoot full time for my living wage. I realized going into this that I would have to work twice as hard, and forced to shoot weddings just to get by. In a sense, my "hobby" would turn into work and no longer be something I look forward to doing on the weekends.

I don't really worry about other photogs taking away my work (again, I don't rely on my photo sales for primary income). I push myself to make compelling shots that set my work apart from the average shooter. I welcome competition and always lending help to parents asking for advice on capturing better images (I get it a lot!!!).

Do I undercut working pros? Absolutely not and keep my work priced appropriately even as a "hobby shooter".




Jul 11, 2017 at 06:31 PM
mikekeating
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p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · Hobby photographers eroding value of professional work?


An interesting question, seems to always bring out a lot of good comments and points of view. While I am not an expert on this particular topic. I am a "Hobbyist" and I do make some income from photography. Like most hobbyists it started by taking pictures of the kids. And sprung up into something more.
A few years ago my daughter's team made it to the state finals. After the game that got them to the final, I gathered the team together for some group celebration photos. I did not know the local newspaper was over my shoulder shooting what I had arranged.
The next day I get e-mails and texts from the team parents saying the paper stole my images (I thought that was amazing as I had not processed mine yet), I went to the paper's site and sure enough, it was my image, just a bit higher and off to the right a bit. . . Should I have been mad?
In the years since, the paper has used some of my images (once it was an honest mistake that credit was not given), I have won a few contests and picked up clients from my shooting.
I do not think for an instant that I have taken money from any pro photographer in the area or any event I am covering. I think that since I am normally the only photographer at 99% of my events. I found a good niche and am happy with the balance between my real job and my "hobby"

Oh and I leave my camera at home when I go to weddings.



Jul 12, 2017 at 12:51 AM
gipper53
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p.2 #14 · p.2 #14 · Hobby photographers eroding value of professional work?



I didn't define that clearly. There are plenty of options for education and training, I meant there is nothing established by the photo industry at large for minimum requirements one must obtain before they can say they are a Professional Photographer. There is no governing body with a "quality seal" or professional title that establishes instant credibility. Titles like "Dr." and "CPA" carry a lot of weight in their respective fields. Where is photography's equivalent? There isn't one and I think that's been a major oversight by the industry, but it's far too late now.

Something like that could have gone a long way towards protecting legit pros from weekend hacks. Sure there are things like a PPA membership, but nothing that resonates with customers.

Of course, the counter-argument is that professions with stringent certifications also deal with issues that can cause major harm to health or financial well-being when that professional fails. A major botch by a medical, financial or law professional often has much more dire consequences than hiring a quack photographer.



Jul 12, 2017 at 04:39 AM
Michael White
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p.2 #15 · p.2 #15 · Hobby photographers eroding value of professional work?


Some years back after retiring from the military I got back in to photography started with a rebel then a 40D,7D and finally bought a 7D2all my lenses are "L" lenses except for two Fe-s lennses the 15-55f2.8is and. 10-22.itried getting in to a photo niches here about shooting Cowboy Mounted Shooters as they. Compete but unlike most of the other pro that shoot the first couple runs for each competitor then goes into sales mode I tried to shoot every run in case the last one was their best ever and they wanted memories that they could show of it then. Sale after the days runs were over.at first. It worked out but the more events I attended which usually mention pulling the RV several hours to be there,have the equipment to print on site etc the less sales I made they asked. Me to put the images online so they could buy at there leaisure but no one ever bought anything so I didn't. Support them much after that just a couple of event were barely covered the expenses. Then I health issue that made me stop for a period never was contacted to cover anymore events. Ihadapublication contacct me wanting to use some of the images I had taken when we got to compensation he stated they don't pay for photos. If someone wants a photo published they give it to them. Needless to say they never saw a single image of mine. After that I went to advance hobbits status for most things I shot pictures all through out high school for the school. Paper and occasionally the yearbook had my own darkroom and did some biweekly or bimonthly publications before entering the military after hs. Published my first image before I was able to drive.

That was to let you know that at times I did. Freelance work both prior to. Digital and afterwards. I understand the amount of time and money that goes into working as a pro.digital has diluted the profession because it made it easier to capture Pro quality images and there's no cost over the initial purchase and travel cost now for joe photo to get his image sold on a disc most fail to do any post work. Then as the print medics started going away to stay in business a little longer their quality of images dropped as they could find that the reader didn't care. How many daily papers are out there now compared to 30-40 years ago about 1 in 10. The digital mags have their staff photogs like always but they can run a story in one pub then save it and rewrite and use a different staff image in another and so forth because all they need is the digital files no more needing a printed image that fits the layout now it the text get laid out and the image fits the blank. Much more now than in the day of printed media.the fact is still images are losing out to video now so all the still photogs from times gone. Are either shooting both on their cameras or are only getting less than half of the previous use. So they are worried about what will become of the. Now some areas of photography are still as busy as ever but these specialities are hard to break into even for experienced pro photographers that worked in the press for decades.



Jul 12, 2017 at 08:26 AM
thenoilif
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p.2 #16 · p.2 #16 · Hobby photographers eroding value of professional work?


When it comes to the arts, the line separating artist, hobbyist, and professional can be quite blurred. Photography even more so due to advancements in technology.

In the past, a person could have a great eye for composition but lacked the skill with a camera to be able to capture the moment exactly how they saw it. Nowadays, cameras are more or less automating the photo capturing process so all the photographer has to do is pre-program a few settings and then hold down a button.

In addition, in order to make ends meet, pros are no longer making money selling prints but selling their techniques via sponsored vlogs which include a lot of the tricks-of-trade that weren't available to the average hobbyist in the past.

Lastly, due to social media, it has become important for the average person to be able to take well-composed photos and many are getting in a lot of practice as they upload endless amounts of content to fb, IG, and other photo sharing portals. Some who really enjoy the process upgrade from their smartphones to ILCs and are able to take pro-quality shots and do so. Yes, there are still some photographers who have their own unique perspectives but once they get noticed, it doesn't take much to copy their style so it can be difficult to maintain any sort of long term stability as a true pro.



Jul 12, 2017 at 09:28 AM
scottiet
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p.2 #17 · p.2 #17 · Hobby photographers eroding value of professional work?


I was part of the sports industry covering events, during it's rise and during it's fall.

At the end of the day 95% of people will take free over quality. And when you lose 95% of the market, then the market crashes; as it did. I don't know how many times I had a parent with more gear then know-how show up and say to the team, "Don't worry I will get photos for everyone".

If you were working building a home as a carpenter and some guy showed up with professional tools on the worksite, and told the buyer he would do it for free because he enjoys building. WHAT WOULD YOU SAY THEN, WOULD IT BE OK?

All of those amateurs out there, that give it away, only helps take away from the market which pros try to operate in; Shame on your ignorance!

No, not shame on your skill, shame on your devaluing of the trade. I have met same very talented amateurs. What is lacking in these amateurs is not skill, but a total ignorance and disregard for all that goes into becoming a pro and working in the industry. IMO these photogs that show up with pro-level gear and give their files away, have no value for their TIME, and no value for MINE.

SERIOUSLY, in what other industry or profession could someone just show up with their own tools, give the work away for free, and it be acceptable. Unfortunately this is where we are, and I don't believe it will change, but only get worse.

As CHEZ says, Pros need to differentiate themselves from the amateurs or they don't belong as pros. I don't know what profession you are into, but I am sure that whatever it is, you didn't show up as an expert on day one. Sure there are different levels of professionals and we all get started somewhere; that why there are different markets. BUT "free" is not a market, it's an ignorant approach to an industry and profession you know know little about.



Jul 12, 2017 at 12:31 PM
kdphotography
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p.2 #18 · p.2 #18 · Hobby photographers eroding value of professional work?


There has been a definite devaluation of photography in the field. But I don't blame the "hobby-amateur" photographer as much as I do the advent of "digital photography" itself (yes, digital has advanced photography as much as it has also killed the profession in many areas) and the overwhelming influx of the cell phone photographers. It has devalued the appreciation of photography, the capture of a great image, and the skills necessary to obtain a great image.

If the image is lacking---that's okay we hear in our minds, "it's a cell phone photo." But it's not okay.

I see a new generation of "wedding photographers" that proclaim themselves as "professionals" putting out work that would have quickly shewed them out of the market years ago. Highlights terribly overblown---and a dress that costs thousands, zero detail to be seen, eh, oh well. And the public plays along in social media clicking wildly on the "like" button.

Business acumen? Not much. Liability insurance? What's that? Overhead? Huh? Savings, health insurance, etc. Wwhat? Lighting equipment? I'm a "natural light" photographer. "P" is for professional. : (

Total devaluation of photography.

It's much easier to distinguish yourself in the market as a professional in other fields. Only in photography can you go out and buy "professional gear" and then call yourself a professional. You simply cannot buy the "gear/tools" and call yourself a general contractor, doctor, lawyer, etc. And sure, you can set yourself apart, but in an over-saturated field of photographers where there are 25 amateurs charging $500 to shoot a small wedding and you are the only one charging $5000---more often than not you will be dropped from consideration of the initial interview based on price alone, and your chances or opportunity to show your work to "differentiate yourself" is greatly diminished. Again, total devaluation of the field. And it's creeping into all the other areas of photography as well.

Probably one of the best things a true professional can do is freely work with interested Pro-amateurs and help them understand the industry, pass on skills of lighting, etc. It's something I rarely see.

I'm glad to have experienced photography and medium format film, the advent of digital, and all that has happened with photography over the past fifteen years. What a wild ride. If someone asked me about becoming a "professional" photographer today, I'd tell them to keep their day job.



Jul 12, 2017 at 01:09 PM
Mikehit
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p.2 #19 · p.2 #19 · Hobby photographers eroding value of professional work?


scottiet wrote:
I was part of the sports industry covering events, during it's rise and during it's fall.

At the end of the day 95% of people will take free over quality. And when you lose 95% of the market, then the market crashes; as it did. I don't know how many times I had a parent with more gear then know-how show up and say to the team, "Don't worry I will get photos for everyone".

If you were working building a home as a carpenter and some guy showed up with professional tools on the worksite, and told the buyer he
...Show more

I think this is getting a bit pretentious. I have seen some very talented photographers fail miserably and seen some mediocre photographers being very successful - the difference is the successful ones know how to run a business and how to interact with people, sell themselves and network.





Jul 12, 2017 at 01:23 PM
Mikehit
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p.2 #20 · p.2 #20 · Hobby photographers eroding value of professional work?


kdphotography wrote:
Total devaluation of photography.


How? Do you remember Kodak's catchphrase 'we don't sell cameras we sell memories'?
People want a memory. Most don't care about the image quality and in days of film the only option they had was to employ a professional and they weren't given the choice.
Now they have a choice but has has already been acknowledged even employing a pro does not guarantee they will be any better than keen amateur Uncle Harry with his 5D. So with weddings costing thousands of dollars the price of a photographer often takes the hit so who is to blame - the jobbing semi-pro or the client who doesn't know better and often doesn't care or doesn't do a proper balancing of risks?




Jul 12, 2017 at 01:29 PM
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