Hey everyone....I recently saw a You Tube video from a fairly well known photographer (I'll leave his name out) who said that photographers these days are a dime a dozen and on every corner. Well, I tend to agree with him! The subject has come up many times in discussions among us old timers who started professionally in the film days. Yes, digital cameras started becoming popular around the late nineties. By mid year around 2005 everyone jumped on the boat. They started Googling, "How To Become A Photographer" They purchased a kit, got a watermark, and a website...bingo, "I feel like a pro"! (insert smile). Is this a bad thing? Not really? However many of them started under cutting prices for pro's, who were doing portraits and weddings and getting paid well for our time. Eventually this forced us to give printing rights to clients to further diminishing profits. This reeked havoc among us pro's. At the same time landscape photographers began flooding and selling their work at basement prices. Art show clients would pass over prints they liked because they were too expensive, settling for the lesser stuff both artistically and cost wise. Yes, people buy prints based on pricing!
As we skip forward to the next decade we see hundreds of website companies selling quick site builds to further entice the newbies to promote their stuff. Is this a bag thing? Not really?
However, now we have thousands of photographers who feel like pro's but really aren't, sorry but true. Not all of them, but certainly many. They submit work to magazines "FOR FREE"! In the past pro's got paid for images published in magazines! That is nearly impossible today with all the newbies sending in shots. So, then they take a shot of the magazine page and post it on social media "Look at Me" ..."I'm published"! Never realizing they just cut out those making a living in photography. Congrats!
Now the second phase comes for those of us who teach, and get paid for their years of expertise are now crowded out again...Example: there are a few locals who never really picked up a pro camera till the year 2000 are now providing photo workshops to amateur's (aka photo buffs) who are unskilled folks who have no clue what to do with that $3000 camera kit! They wannabe pro's or at least feel like they are! Not to mention the You Tube workshops and teachings who provide workshops for free online. Many are of whom never shot will film, but easily jumped on the bandwagon because they knew it was easier now! Software, camera's can now take an image into the realm of the unreal and the unknown artists....is this a bad thing? Not really? It is what it is....!
So life goes on...! Are the new breed of photographer better or worse....I leave you with this to ponder. Look up some of the old film masters and see what you think! I believe there is allot still to learn from them!
So this is a bit of a rant.....truth often becomes just that and a personal perspective is not legitimate if you change the facts. Here is a stunning fact as of the writing of this, there are at last count 3.5 million pictures uploaded to Flickr daily. That is just one of the photo sharing sites for hobbyists and amateur photographers.
So you may say, all this is not such a bad thing unless you are a real working professional photographer caught among the millions of photo enthusiasts around the world who strive to become such. With all the software and stunning digital equipment it's pretty easy to process, post and be great. But just remember those who started when you had to develop an image before you could see it....we are still around!