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Hobby photographers eroding value of professional work?
  
 
dmacmillan
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p.19 #1 · p.19 #1 · Hobby photographers eroding value of professional work?


chez wrote:
I've seen enough crap produced by so called professional photographers ( been burned twice ) to tell me being a pro photographer means squat when it comes to quality photos.

Ah, we're getting a clearer picture (no pun intended) of why you are on such a crusade against professional photographers. I'm sorry you had bad experiences with those who presented themselves as pros.

However, speaking as a former full time professional photographer with more than 20 years (starting paid work at 17), I agree with you on two essential points. Someone calling themselves a professional, even if they go at it full time, means nothing in regard to quality. There are plenty of hacks out there. I'm amazed at how they can get people to pay for their work.

Also, being an amateur doesn't mean you can't produce work better than all but the most talented professionals. Furthermore, as I told my photo students over the 35 years I've taught off and on, the natural progression of someone who has talent isn't to automatically try to make money, much less a living, from photography. I also actively discouraged them from taking on "jobs" for family and friends, not to protect pros, but to keep their passion from becoming drudgery. I told them they had a precious luxury: the luxury of only photographing what they wanted, when they wanted.

Amateurs encroaching on professional photographers is an annoyance and may play some role in the difficulty of some professionals being able to make a decent living, but the lack of viability of photography as a profession is a lot more complicated than that.

I decided to change careers when I decided that the chances of me being able to support my family with photography in the manner I hoped in the long term was not great. I had a window of opportunity to go back and earn another degree in a technical field and I took that opportunity. When I see the relative disarray in the professional photography field now, I am glad I made that choice.



Jan 08, 2018 at 09:00 PM
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