Tim S wrote in post #13751266
My opinion, MY OPINION ONLY, is that quality will always be the deciding factor between an amateur who charges and a professional. There will always be a market for the "guy or mom with camera" because of price. There will always be a market for a professional because of quality.
Appreciate your opinion but I think it's based on an incorrect assumption that a professional offers better quality.
Professionals are some of the worst photographers I have ever seen.
Here is an example of a typical wedding photographer. It is. We don't think it is because on the internet we are exposed to all the World's Top 10 Inspirational Wedding photographers etc, but at the grass roots community level, the below is indicative of "professional photographers":
I posted this on another forum and have copied and pasted it here:
There is a difference between an "Internet Professional Photographer" - the ones we admire and aspire to be skills wise, compared to a "Real life Professional Photographer", who essentially chooses photography as a job. The "Internet Professional Photographers" are the ones who teach us about skills, competence, ethics, due care, risk management, creativity, pushing one's boundaries, getting the perfect shot, satisfying clients, and being better tomorrow than we were yesterday. The "Real life Professional Photographer" is just a person with a camera.
I think of some wedding photographers on this board, and they are very good photographers. But I also understand they do not represent the "grass roots", average Professional Photographer you meet in your life.
When we talk about Pros, we have to be careful to distinguish between the very top echelon of Professionals (e.g. the Chase Jarvis, the Yervants, the Joe McNally's, the Bill Frakes etc.) and the averge professional photographer we actually meet out there in the real world. The spectrum of skill, competence and risk management practices amongst professional photographers is incredibly huge as well. It's a business to professionals - and businesses are either cost leaders (try to lower their costs as much as possible to provide an efficient and cheaper product) or product differentiators (can afford to charge $$$$ because of the uniqueness of their product). The very best professionals, on this board, and more generally, are product differentiators. But the vast majority of professionals you meet in real life don't have anything worth differentiating...
Professional photographers photograph because they want to put food on the table. And any logical person will try and do that as efficiently as possible. Amateurs photograph because they love to photograph - they want to be better, they want to take. There are professionals who also love to photograph, and there are amateurs who also want to strike it rich...but really, let's not forget underlying motivations of both classes of photographers
Amateurs are often denigrated as some random who owns a camera - but really, this is actually a perfect description for many professional photographers. We are so caught up by this romantic notion of a professional photographer that we have slid too far to the side of glorifying professional photographers and patronising amateurs. Have you seen that quote that says "Just because you own an expensive camera does not make you a photographer"? < whoever said this is an idiot. What does it make you then...a monkey?
I will give you some real life examples of professional photographers I have met and you tell me whether they are worthy of your worship:
1. At a recent Industry awards night, the two professional photographers went to great effort to set up a 70-200 on a 1DsMark III on a tripod (no flash), in the aisle of the stage, to photograph each awards receipient. As the receipients came by one by one, the professional photographer would take a photo of each receipient. A single shot. What if the people blinked? What if they were looking off to their family momentarily instead of the camera? What if their mouth was half open from talking to the guy shaking their hand?
Gee - would it have really been that much more difficult to take maybe 2 or 3 shots? Absolutely indefensible in my opinion. GTFO.
2. In my Year 12 school photos - I blinked in my individual portrait, and ended up with nicely printed photos of myself - with my eyes closed. The Professional Photographer was only obliged to take a photo of every student. So they did. 1 photo only. Too bad I blinked. They met their contractual obligations - what does it matter to them if I ended up with a **** photo of myself?
3. At my friend's 21st Bday, the professional was using a pop up flash. Even the best photographer in the world cannot get great photos with a pop up flash as opposed to using an onboard bounce flash. I offered them the use of my 580EXII. This was rejected because the photographer told me she didn't know how to operate it...this was a photographer who had represented herself as a professional with decent gear. I would say hundreds of professionals out there fall into this category
4. At my University graduations, I got charged a $30 or so sitting fee, to have the pleasure of going before a 20D/28 f/2.8 lens (maybe $300 combined on ebay) to get a half dozen or so crappy shots taken in front of a faux background. Then was offered the pleasure of being charged $60 for a reasonably sized (non 6X4) photo...each. Hundreds more for a CD of unedited photos...
5. At the same university graduation, the stage photographers were taking by a professional photographer on a ledge some 8-10 metres away using a 70-200 and a hotshoe flash, direct. You can imagine the quality of the photos. With their level of access and exclusivity, would it have been that hard to set up a nice remote flash set up? But what do they care about the quality of photos? They have a monopoly - buy it or don't.
6. At my friend's wedding, she paid $5000 to a professional wielding Hassy's and 1 series and whatever. Ended up using my Uncle Bob shots for the album instead...
My point is, there are great professionals out there who inspire us and teach us how to photograph and how to improve ourselves and our service. But there are professionals who just do not give a ****. And they are 99% of the type you encounter in your lives.