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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 22 Jan 2012 (Sunday) 09:10
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Are Amateurs destroying Photography

 
tkerr
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Jan 22, 2012 22:17 |  #46

TooManyShots wrote in post #13750884 (external link)
Hmm....fyi, photography is an art form. :) I don't believe anyone needs a license to become an artist. Also, Canon needs to rise the price of their bodies to create a higher level of entry into the market. As long as the tools of the trade is affordable, you can't prevent people from trying to enter into market.

Yeah, that's the answer. Raise the prices so no one can afford to enter the field of photography. Or those that are able to afford will have to charge higher rates to their clients/customers to help offset their equipment costs. Raising prices is always the answer to slow or prevent people from entering into a field you want to restrict. :lol::rolleyes:

That would be a great marketing practice for Canon or other camera manufactures. Raise the prices so they don't sell much of anything and eventually go bankrupt because they couldn't conform to the market structure. :rolleyes::lol:

I really hope you were just joking.

Enough about that, I think this thread is getting side tracked a bit.
No matter how experienced you are, no matter how knowledgeable you are, and not matter how skillful you are, amateur or professional just keep in mind before passing judgement on others how you were when you started out.
Some of the animosity we frequently see here from some of the more experienced photogs might just be jealousy. I'm only an amateur, but I still wish we had these kind of cameras when I first started out.


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smorter
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Jan 22, 2012 22:25 |  #47

dannequin wrote in post #13749850 (external link)
Just because you buy a DSLR, doesn't mean you're a professional, HOWEVER, it does show interest that you may want to become one, one day.

So I guess if I buy a car, that means I am showing interest that one day I want to become a taxi driver?


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TooManyShots
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Jan 22, 2012 22:25 |  #48
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tkerr wrote in post #13751193 (external link)
Yeah, that's the answer. Raise the prices so no one can afford to enter the field of photography. Or those that are able to afford will have to charge higher rates to their clients/customers to help offset their equipment costs. Raising prices is always the answer to slow or prevent people from entering into a field you want to restrict. :lol::rolleyes:

That would be a great marketing practice for Canon or other camera manufactures. Raise the prices so they don't sell much of anything and eventually go bankrupt because they couldn't conform to the market structure. :rolleyes::lol:

I really hope you were just joking.

I was being sarcastic....:)


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smorter
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Jan 22, 2012 22:29 |  #49

hard12find wrote in post #13747711 (external link)
I have to agree that it is hurting the industry. Just checked Craigslist, no less than 25 professional photographers offering services in there. Get your wedding done for $200.
I think things like this have a way of working out, there will always be a need for budget photography, but people will pay for quality where they can.
Jim

I agree, and I don't think it's a bad thing

A couple who can only afford $200 are still people, and deserve to be able to access wedding photography services.


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Tim ­ S
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Jan 22, 2012 22:34 |  #50

TooManyShots wrote in post #13750884 (external link)
Hmm....fyi, photography is an art form. :) I don't believe anyone needs a license to become an artist. Also, Canon needs to rise the price of their bodies to create a higher level of entry into the market. As long as the tools of the trade is affordable, you can't prevent people from trying to enter into market.

Yes, of course! I'm sure Canon wants to sell LESS product. :rolleyes:

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.

I'm sorry if I step on anyone's toes or feelings, but I hope I never see the day a photographer has to have a license to pick up a camera. A sales tax license, absolutely. Maybe a business license to run a studio, yes I suppose that could be a possibility. An operator's license for a camera? Nope, no way, no how. What's next? Licensed Photoshop artists? Certified lighting technicians? Can't wait to get my painter's license with endorsements for oils, watercolors and acrylics.

That kind of regulation would make photography so expensive no one would make a living at. Maybe I'd have a speak-easy type studio, clandestine portraits, pirate IP's to post "illegal" unlicensed photos.....

Hello, Mr Orwell....are you out there?


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Tim ­ S
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Jan 22, 2012 22:37 |  #51

smorter wrote in post #13751232 (external link)
So I guess if I buy a car, that means I am showing interest that one day I want to become a taxi driver?

No, it just means you want to drive a car.


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gjl711
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Jan 22, 2012 22:40 |  #52

Tim S wrote in post #13751266 (external link)
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.

I agree wit all you say but this. I do not believe that as a professional you will automatically have better quality and as an amature you are automatically tagged as a "guy or mom with camera". Quality is quality whether you charge or not. Many who shoot for fun easily produce product of higher quality than some professionals. Just because they don't charge, or charge a small fee, doesn't mean their work is bad.


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smorter
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Jan 22, 2012 22:42 |  #53

Tim S wrote in post #13751266 (external link)
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":
http://www.youtube.com​/watch?v=RjBSIvg3pjc (external link)

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.


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Jan 22, 2012 22:44 |  #54

Tim S wrote in post #13751278 (external link)
No, it just means you want to drive a car.

Rhetorical question :)

I daresay most people who buy a camera have no intention of trying to make money from the endeavour

Just like most people who buy a car have no intention of becoming a taxi driver (a professional driver)

Yet nobody on this forum seems to complain when friends give each other lifts/rides in their cars (costing a poor taxi driver (a professional driver), their wage for the night)


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Jan 22, 2012 22:48 as a reply to  @ gjl711's post |  #55

People on this forum naturally have a keen interest in quality photography. Many (or maybe most) people don't know the difference between good and bad photography and furthermore, they don't care. Marketing yourself to people who recognize or require a quality product eliminates the "photographers" being discussed. Of course there is a period of time when "you" are one of "them", but if you are serious about a full time career and develop the skills necessary, then you soon won't be bothered by Dads with cameras.


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ed ­ rader
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Jan 22, 2012 22:52 |  #56

Numenorean wrote in post #13747673 (external link)
These sound like the same things to me. Amateurs doing something they shouldn't be doing.

i think you're a pro when you say you are. i've owned my own business for 20 years. the guys you see failing aren't necessarily the one who don't know what they are doing. the first to go are the guys who don't know how to run a business.

they make a lot more lunch pails than they do time clocks. if you can't compete in the real world you'll be be working for the guy who can, and you might be more skilled and better looking ;).

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Tim ­ S
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Jan 22, 2012 22:53 |  #57

gjl711 wrote in post #13751294 (external link)
I agree wit all you say but this. I do not believe that as a professional you will automatically have better quality and as an amature you are automatically tagged as a "guy or mom with camera". Quality is quality whether you charge or not. Many who shoot for fun easily produce product of higher quality than some professionals. Just because they don't charge, or charge a small fee, doesn't mean their work is bad.

Nowhere did I say professional=quality. I suppose you could argue that those who give away quality are ruining it for professionals but I doubt that would be true except in minor instances. Most of the discussion has been along the lines of the "person who just bought a camera" and advertises a $200 wedding package vs a "professional" who may charge 10-20 times that much. They MAY do a wonderful job and if so will do many more weddings. They will soon find out why others charge more. It becomes more a job and less a hobby. That changes how you "value" your time. If the "high dollar pro" doesn't do a good job they will no longer be able to command that price based on quality.

I have seen many wonderful photos shot by people who are just learning or just shooting for fun. This is why I think requiring a license to use a camera, would just be a terrible mistake.


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Tim ­ S
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Jan 22, 2012 22:56 |  #58

smorter wrote in post #13751307 (external link)
1. Rhetorical question :)

I daresay most people who buy a camera have no intention of trying to make money from the endeavour

Just like most people who buy a car have no intention of becoming a taxi driver (a professional driver)

2. Yet nobody on this forum seems to complain when friends give each other lifts/rides in their cars (costing a poor taxi driver (a professional driver), their wage for the night)

1. smart-aleck answer :lol:
2. No, they do THAT on the taxi drivers forum. (sorry, again smart-aleck answer)


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Jan 22, 2012 23:09 |  #59

I have said it before and I will say it again, but many many people buy on price.

I used to shoot various forms of racing, and some photographers would show up at the end of the year offering a CD with around 40-50 images for $40

How or why would anyone want to pay me $40 for an 11x14 print, even if it was a techically perfect action shot.

They would rather spend $40 and hope they got two or three reasonable shots and a couple dozen acceptable for facebook.

So the bargain basement guys have made it bad for many photographers.


Your camera is alot smarter than the "M" Zealots would have you believe

  
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Jan 22, 2012 23:52 |  #60

People get married, whether they can afford a "pro" photographer or not. When they do, sure it's nice to have photos, meaning it could be a friend, an aunt, an uncle, or maybe a friend of a family member who has a nice camera and would be happy to shoot for free. That has always been happening -- film, digital, it's the way things are.

But the question of someone starting out as a "pro" is an interesting one, since with actual crafts, you don't "start out as a pro" but you start out as an apprentice or assistant. Over time, sure, you might start your own business/enterprise and from there you could qualify as a "pro", or you could work professionally with a firm who pays you value for your work, but we all know that it takes time and a lot of work/practice to actually be "worth our salt"...

But in the meantime, what's the "answer"? I don't see a lot of crafts that have an "official" guild here in America, although I know that in some countries photography as a profession does have regulations. And yes, in the "old days", the middle ages, craft guilds were the common and excepted norm. You definitely started out as an apprentice, and worked your way forward.

But America is a different culture, so we admire people who are self-starting, at least if they succeed. 'Course, most small businesses in this country fail...

I don't think there will be any good coming from government rules, simply because the culture and the nature of the photographic craft have no room for that type of thing. As has been said, it's not like, say, the electrician trade and the building where people's lives and health are at risk. With photographers you might not be happy with the product and services of that cheap photographer, but then, but then, there is a case for saying "do your homework":)!

I think there is a case for local photographers forming non-official relationships, maybe even to the point of some combining or resources, mutual assistance, maybe even the idea of taking on "apprentices", spreading the word that help is wanted and offered.

But of course, that type of thing may mark a cultural shift that most photographers wouldn't care for!


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