Everyone thinks they can be a pro! (RANT)

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by Alleh Lindquist, Oct 25, 2008.

  1. Alleh Lindquist

    Alleh Lindquist TPF Noob!

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    So this is not a rant because I don't like competition because this is not about that. I don't compete in the markets I am referring to anyway. Just because digital has made it easier to produce a picture it has not made it easier to produce a good picture.

    I still wonder what makes people think photography does not take the same amount of practice, skill and dedication as any other professional title. "Hey everyone I just bought a Porsche so now I am a lawyer, what should my attorney fees be." Your Costco bought D80 kit, that super great best bang for the buck 50 1.8 and your 5 months of shooting “TONS” of photos of your family does not even come close to making you a “photographer”

    This practice has basically degraded the entire level of quality in weddings, portraits, seniors, families and event photographs.

    I would be happy to entertain your opinions but my mind is pretty much made up that most people that think they can make a career as a photographer suck so much they should almost give it up as a hobby.
     
  2. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    A simple answer to your question of why... one word... ignorance. Ignorance of what it takes to become a GOOD photographer and the public's ignorance of what are professional results worthy of their money.

    As far as quality dropping... the ONLY ones for whom the quality is dropping are the ones cheaping out and settling for low quality results. Be that clients or the photographers themselves.

    Quality amongst the TRUE professionals is not dropping but evolving and yes, I would even say improving. There are some out there that are nothing short of incredible, innovative and awe inspiring and definately put the kabosh on people saying that the quality of the industry is falling down the tubes.

    Unfortunately, there are a handful at this level, and many more not worthy dragging down the attitudes of the people, but no, those who stay true to themselves and demand quality have NO issues at all. :) The only exception would be the "customers" that want something for nothing (lots of those out there)... and you do not want to be dealing with them anyways... leave THOSE to the wanna-be pros.

    The higher quality photographers will be out there with the higher quality clientele earning the higher dollar amounts.
     
  3. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    It's all due to a common human failing: the failure to develop any sense of relationship between ambition and capability.
    And being a photographer is particularly attractive as it appears to be very well paid, glamorous and you don't really have to do much except wave an expensive camera about and look cool.
    Sure beats cleaning toilets for a living.
     
  4. Alleh Lindquist

    Alleh Lindquist TPF Noob!

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    I don't mean to say that the quality of true professionals or photography in general is falling. I was referring to how the general public is becoming so bombarded with low quality work they it has become harder for them to not be ignorant about true quality photography. A high school girl may look at 10 websites all from "professional crap photographs" and she wont even know there are better options available; she will just go with the best of the worst.

    And yes so many people are all running around thinking that shooting things for free for their portfolio will help them build a quality business. Umm no, plus it makes people think they can waste my time calling up and asking if I want to shoot their family portraits for my portfolio. Not a chance I won’t even shoot your family portrait if you pay me.
     
  5. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    It's this simple: They can. Take a picture, sell it. You're a pro. End of story.

    The word professional or "Pro" means nothing in photography these days. Frankly to me it never meant a whole lot even 30 + years ago. Pro photographers are a dime a dozen. 30 years ago they were a two bits for a dozen. Now with the advent of affordable digital cameras and the current state of the economy the price per dozen has gone down.

    Accomplished photographers on the other hand are a whole different matter. Whether they sell their stuff or not. The accomplished photographer is one that I do respect. They have learned their craft, they understand it, and they practice that craft as musician practices their instrument and the athlete practices their sport. They push the limit with their creativity. This is what makes them stand out from the herd.

    Sorry JerryPH I have to disagree with you. Too many of the working photographers I know have become fairly accomplished, get too comfortable in what they do, and then never change. There are some wedding and portrait photographers in my area that I have watched and I can tell you what they are going to do in a shoot before they do it. They are that predictable. They have become a high priced K-mart portrait studio clone. It doesn't take long to learn the system. Now with digital it is cheap enough for more people to learn.

    If you think I am kidding, look around your area at what the photographers are displaying to attract customers. I will bet that the majority have a cutesy baby portrait, a standard wedding couple or bride portrait and a typical leaning against a tree or sitting on a rock senior portrait in their windows. YAWN!!!

    In this world there are people that will still pay for quality. Part of being a "Professional" photographer is showing your professionalism. That starts with what you are able to show that makes you unique and desirable above the rest of the herd. In my area at least the herd is getting to look all to much alike with fewer and fewer exceptions. The one real exception I have seen to this is with the accomplished "hobbyist" that will push the envelope, because they have nothing to loose.
     
  6. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    There is a one word answer. It's EGO.

    How many golfers buy Tiger Woods Clubs?

    How many Pro jerseys are bought and worn by over weight, over medicated (joe 6pack) armchair types that think that they are the supreme judge of talent in the land due to the stellar career they had in public school?

    A sports car that never gets over 55mph or barely makes even a half a G through a curve. Lord forbid that they get on the top of their shocks through a chicane.

    Top of the line cameras are available to the masses and the masses will buy them. Thanks to them, most of the rest of us can afford them too.
     
  7. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    In a way, that might help. If people are used to seeing absolute crap all the time, when they see something that truly is good it will look even better to them. It will make them say "WOW!"

    If somebody looks at a few websites then decides that's all there is and they don't need to look any further they probably wouldn't have cared much about good photography anyway had you showed that to them first. (Wow, that's a long sentence.)

    People that really want good art/photography will keep looking until they find it.
     
  8. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    I do not or do I plan to shoot retail, but I have observed that the retail end of photography has been thrown to the dogs. I do not blame it so much as Dennis Menace with a D40. I blame it on the folks who look at ebay for 8 hours a day. Consumers are willing to put up with a bed sheet background and on camera flash. Small business websites are no better. I think greed and easy money has overcome solid marketing, thinking and budget.

    On a brighter note; the recent work that I have seen from you and other professionals is outstanding. Strong creativity and outstanding quality is quickly gaining the upper hand. The market can only be flooded with poop for so long. I believe we will slowly see a switch to stronger photography.

    Love & Bass
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2008
  9. jstuedle

    jstuedle No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Just to add a little color commentary to the thread, let me tell you about someone I ran into recently.

    After swearing off weddings 28 years ago, my granddaughter was to be in a wedding swveral weeks back. I planned to take a camera after talking with the hired photographer and shooting her. ONLY! I then found out my daughter, our little flower girls mother had given my name to her boss along with my card. Did I mention her boss was the bride? Long sob story made short I consented to do the wedding for an appropriate fee and the promise there would be no kibitzing from the bride or either mother. (my pet peeve)

    At the reception, a lady approached me and mentioned her daughter was a wedding photographer who commented to her in glowing terms about my technique and how much fun everyone seemed to be having while I gave direction for all the still shots of family and wedding party. That would have made me feel great..... except the daughter had shot only one wedding, just 2 weeks after receiving her first camera. Yes, you guessed it, a D40 with the kit lens. No flash, no nothing. And for all I know they may think my work no better than this young ladies. Oh well, I actually had fun, and they seemed to as well. And NO, I don't want to do another any time soon. At least not in this lifetime. :)
     
  10. DRoberts

    DRoberts TPF Noob!

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    Ok, now the wanna be perspective...To me the term professional is useless. I can sale enough to,by definition, be called a professional. That by far does not make me an "ARTIST". That is the goal I am striving for, and one day I will get there. But the crap I am turning out now is just learning blocks and stepping stones to where I will someday be.
    Truelly good photographers are artist, and I view them that way. Just as mentioned, an athelete practices their sport, a musician practices his craft, well some of us still need to practice (ALOT) at this chosen craft. It is from the good photographers like the ones who have posted on this thread and that can be found on numerous other sites, that we (the "underclassmen") take our education and inspiration from.
    In short, not evewryone who goes out and buys a decent setup is in it for the quik buck and the title "Professional". Some of us are here to learn and grow.
    Thanks.
     
  11. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Have you guys seen an increase of this attitude since digital?

    As much as I love digital, I find that it has spawned off more and more photographers with less willingness to progress forward. During the film days, there was a certain amount of time/effort (hassle) involved in photography. Those that truly loved photography didn't see processing/printing as a hassle.. others... simply stopped.

    Love that.... <mental note>
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2008
  12. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yes, I have. I also feel there is a contributing factor prior to ownership of the camera as well. The decrease of knowladgable mom and pop camera shops that are run by an actual professional. By actual professional, I am referring to anyone be they hobbyist who gets paid for selling photogear and experience or a photographer who gets paid selling camera time. These people knew how to ask questions, when to ask them and why, this enabled them to direct a new user to the right camera and sell them a proper peice of equipment.

    In todays world there are few of such places remaining. A good majority of newbies are left with the option of going to Wal-Mart and the like where the only thing the one selling them the gear knows is what they read in the book or the internet. Often times in these places you find people like that using the sales pitch "Professional results". Therein lies the illution that any dSLR owner can be a professional, No not all fall for it, but many do. They think a professional level camera means they can do the job.

    Photography is a trade skill, For the kids who don't grasp what that means. The term was commonly used during medieval era reffering an occupation or trade that requires some particular kind of skilled work, those particular skills are calles trade skills. The terminology and ideaology does infact still exist today just few realize it, any specialized occupation is a trade be it photography, autobody repair, welding, auto mechanic, electrician (still uses master/apprentice titles btw) and so on. These skills are tought to an apprentice by a master, those who learn some or all of the trade threw means other than study under a master are called jacks. Now, that said, just because one knows how to work on an engin of a car and has all the necessary tools does not make them a mechanic, the same applies to photography. Sadly the digital revolution of photography and ease of use is leading to a dropoff of availability of master tradesman in this field as well as a drop in willingness to attend a proper trade school. Yes, Photography classes are readilly available, but I am seeing less and less people who are willing to attend them because they feel experience and practice is all they need or they feel they can't afford it, or they just don't go looking for them.
     

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