Does anyone else feel this way?


TPF Noob!
Jun 19, 2011
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It might just be that my hubby has been traveling for 6 weeks out of the last 8, we still have 1 more week before he he home and the joy of single parenting 3 kids is getting to me and making me very moody and snappy but my panties are in a knot about this and it's bugging the living day lights out of me (and I know I shouldn't). I just need to vent and well hopefully you guys will understand.

Today I ran to the donut shop to get, yep you guessed it donuts. I live in a small Texas farm town and sitting on the counter were business cards for a photographer. We have 2 wonderful photographers in town and well I didn't reconigize this business name so I picked one up, I'm always looking at professional photographer's work, I want to see what I should be striving for. So after a while I dig out the business card and take a real look it. Email is a hotmail account and the "webpage" is a facebook business page. OK now my morbid curiosity is really peaked and I logged into facebook to take a look...

I'm sitting here, amazed at the "work" that they think is professional quality. In all honestly it's as bad as when I first started taking pictures, actions run at full power, bad skin tones, out of focus subjects, colour selction, I won't even go into the posing. Then after the shock wears off, I'm mad. I'm mad that I'm taking the time to learn everything I can, learning everything about my camera, how to get my shot as right in camera as I can, and learning tons about post production work and others just think it's OK to slap the camera in a program mode, make a fan page on facebook and call themselves a "business" because their family and friends tell them they take great photos. It's shops like this that give us Moms with Cameras a bad name.

As I said I'm just venting. Hubby is out of town, and my friends don't understand when I complain about crazy stuff like this to them, they just tell me that I should open up my own business. They don't get it when I say my skill set isn't high enough to hang a shingle, that plus the fact I don't know if I ever want to deal with clients, lol. I know I shouldn't let it upset me, but I would be lying if I said it didn't bug me.
Not getting at anyone, but.........................

I get tired of seeing people spending money on a "pro" Camera and then announcing themselves as professioal photographer. I share your frustration :
You can't let it get to you, it's a fact of life. I was raised in a relatively small town and as a kid worked in the camera store of one of only two professional photographers in town. Fast forward to today and the town has increased its population quite a bit, from about 30k people when I was a kid to about 50k now. On the other hand Google lists around two HUNDRED "Professional" photographers in the same town.

The advent of the digital camera has turned anyone with enough intelligence to turn the thing on into an instant professional. Their friends and families applaud their amateur efforts, simply because they have zero abilities other than a cell phone camera, so the newb turns into the newsest professional on the block.

Admittedly there are certainly a large number of truly professional photographers around. No question of that. I have, however, seen the exact same situation you mention. I ran across the web site of a professional wedding photographer here in Nashville and to be perfectly honest if this person shot a wedding for me I would refuse to pay for it. Poor exposures, trees growing out the subject's heads, blurry soft focus shots, no thought to composition. Just plain bad.

Just ignore it and go on about your life with the knowledge that within a few months they will be on unemployment for lack of abilities.
Same thing with music, listen to the radio for a while lol.
It used to bother me. Now? I am over it. They'll crash and burn or live and learn real fast. It can be amusing to watch though!
In today's market, being a "professional photographer" is a lot like people who claimed they were "graphic artists" back in the 1990's because they had a computer and a printer of some type. Meaning, LOADS of work was done by these people, ranging from atrociously poor to quite decent, on a technical level, but with lower than truly professional artistic sensibilities. See, that's the thing about photography: there are both technical aspects to it, as well as artistic aspects. Facebook is FLOODED with people selling photographic services. There's a new guy in my area; he shoots photos out in the woods. Engagement sessions, as well as portraits. His e-sessions are utter CRAP, in my estimation. The "people" comprise about about 10 percent of the shot after shot, it's 90 to 95% of the frame devoted to the woods...tree limbs and tree trunks, a bit of grassy ground, and then a very,very SMALL portion of the picture shows the couple. I do not mean they are set against woodsy backdrops--I mean LITERALLY at LEAST 90% of the frame, or MORE, is ALL BRUSH and sticks and TREE LIMBS!!! Not exaggerating--Brush! Tree limbs! Tree trunks! Blackberry bushes! ACK!

His in-town shots...fairly similar...HUGE expanses of buildings, with the standing people often cut off at the shins (ack!) and HUGE expanses of's what I would call an "affected style"...hard to describe...I think I could replicate it by getting $h!+faced on tequila, like drinking maybe 3/4 of a fifth in shots rapid-fire style, and then shooting with a 20mm lens, one-handed, without my eyeglasses. And of course, without using the viewfinder...just putting the people someplace in front of me, and then pointing the camera in their general direction and firing away as I tell them "Kiss, kiss!" and "Hug him sugar, hug him tight!". And no, I am NOT kidding...this guy has to be the absolute WORST shooter I have ever seen. In my entire LIFE. He seems to be booking very young couples, in their early 20's, uneducated, from small towns around here....FB is great for snooping to see who is buying this kinda' stuff...

The point is this: if you want to hang out a shingle, then DO IT, and un-bunch those you're not ready for prime time...who cares...protect yourself contractually, and have at it. If you're better than whatsherface, then go ahead...bury her...
If you're in the Port Neches area I know who you are talking about and they drive me nuts. Unfortunately they're also one of my "friends" so I can't just ignore it, although I have their page on "hide" LOL
Doesn't bother me in the least bit.

Let buyer beware and more power to an industrious person. I know more than one person who's getting the word out, really motivated business wise, energetic but photography just sucks...they make decent $ too.
Is there a trade where this doesn't happen? There will always be under-qualified people trying to get work in every field, and there will always be people who cannot afford anything but the low quality they'll get for the low prices the under-qualified generally offer. The under-qualified who charge higher prices will go down in flames when the product doesn't meet the price point, usually, so it all tends to work itself out.

There are always exceptions, of course, but life goes on. Not worth the time or effort to worry or get mad about it, IMHO.
In the beginning this used to bother me but now I couldn't care less. There are too many IMPORTANT things to fret over. I was on one forum where this one particular member was in the photography business but she asked some of the most amateurish questions imaginable. She was in the market for a lens and someone suggested a Tamron lens. Her reply was, "Oh, I didn't know I could use a Tamron lens on a Canon I thought I could use only Canon lenses." I suppose she thought Tamron lenses were only for Tamron cameras.:lol:

I ran into another woman in a forest preserve who told me she had a photography business. When I asked her what kind of camera she used she said she forgot the name of it but her boyfriend who was nearby was presently using it. She yelled over to him to ask what kind of camera she had and it was a Fuji P&S.

Ran into another lady in another forest preserve who told me she had shot weddings for friends and she had another one coming up and she was also using a P&S.

Guess it's no different than someone who builds a closet at home and becomes convinced they're a professional carpenter. This doesn't just happen in the photography field.

I used to change my own oil in my car so guess that makes me a professional car mechanic.:mrgreen:

Oh I know how you feel MWC2. I'm here trying to improve my lighting, composition, cropping, creativity, and being consistent. It seems like the more I learn about photography, the more I realize how little I know about photography so I constantly trying to learn more. All around me, there are so many photographers that don't even know the basics yet they call themselves professional photographers and taking on clients. That doesn't bother me as much as there are people that actually pay for these photographers. It seems like most potential customers out there don't worry much for quality, as long as it is good enough and cost next to nothing they're happy with it.
Is there a trade where this doesn't happen? There will always be under-qualified people trying to get work in every field, and there will always be people who cannot afford anything but the low quality they'll get for the low prices the under-qualified generally offer. The under-qualified who charge higher prices will go down in flames when the product doesn't meet the price point, usually, so it all tends to work itself out.

There are always exceptions, of course, but life goes on. Not worth the time or effort to worry or get mad about it, IMHO.


In my building there are 3 other "jewelers" that compete with me. I have had my regular customers (retail stores, I am a trade shop) use them when I am too busy. I end up getting the jobs to fix. I ask why they don't send it back and have them fix it. They tell me I'll do it right. I have had another customer seeking cheaper prices send work to one of the other three. Again, they sent the work back to me to fix.

These three other jewelers have had their own businesses for much longer than I have. I am younger than all three. They have been doing this longer than me as well. Lesson? Just because someone is in business, and has been for years, doesn't mean they are any good. How are they still in business? Cheaper prices, and customers that shop for price over quality. They accept poor work, because the price is right. I have had new people come in to bring me work, and they balk at my prices. I laugh them out of my shop. I suggest the other jewelers, and they say they don't good work. DUH! They want my quality of work, at their prices. I laugh at them. Literally!

This isn't just a phenomenon that happens with "photographers". You can also have bad photographers that have been in business for years. Proof is in the pudding. Not the years of experience, nor price. Pretty basic stuff.
It will eventually come back an bite them in the behind! Can't let it bother you, I just feel bad for those who use his services.
I think my upset mood has more to do with having DH travelling so much and this was a trigger (at least I'm honest about it, lol).

I know I am a better photographer than she is, but I also know I have a long way to go before I am comfortable with calling myself a pro and charging people money. I just don't understand how someone can look at these pictures and think they are worth paying for? or even better why someone would take these things and think they are worth x amount of dollars? Maybe because of my time here, I've learned to see pictures differently but I'm still pretty sure that people should have neon orange skin, that they picture should be in focus and a "business headshot" should not have the gentleman sitting with his legs wide open (hello Mr. Crotch) and a door knob from the door behind him growing out of his ear.

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