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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

 
smorter
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Jan 24, 2012 17:13 |  #196

MNUplander wrote in post #13761745 (external link)
Im no pro photographer, but I know my own business and I dont consider the low ballers competition.

Take a long hard look at your business model if you're upset about losing a job to the $100 full service wedding shooter. I wouldnt want the people that picked him for clients anyway...if you do, then I would suggest re-evaluating your target market, marketing strategy and/or your product.

aladyforty wrote in post #13761740 (external link)
I am NOT a pro but do a few weddings a year and sell some photo canvases. I have over 30 years experience in photography yet I have no formal schooling in the subject. My weddings are picked up word of mouth. I do not advertise, if there is some aspect of the job I don't believe I'm capable of I point the couple towards some pros I know. I look at some of the so called pro work and wonder how it can be called that.

I was going to take a course just for the hell of it. The photographer is formally schooled in the art of photography, a photographic judge etc but then I saw his work and it seemed mediocre to say the least I pondered my decision. do I be polite and go anyway now that I've already agreed to it, or not?

Since I have no piece of paper to call myself a pro by and should I choose to become a pro, will I then fall into the category you are all talking about? I love photography but it sure is full of snobbery

???

Don't understand how you guys don't consider yourselves professional photographers? You photograph to provide a service for cash in return.


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Jan 24, 2012 17:13 |  #197

kfreels wrote in post #13760028 (external link)
I had to do some errands a bit ago and something else about this struck me while in the car. I don't usually call myself a "driver". I put my own roof on my house but I don't call myself a roofer. I am remodeling my own house but I don't call myself a carpenter. I ran my own new 200 amp service panel and moved my meter (and passed inspection) but don't call myself an electrician. I teach my kids but don't call myself a teacher. I can repair computers but I'm not a computer technician. I fix my own cars but I don't call myself a mechanic.

In fact, I don't usually even refer to myself as a photographer. I did when I had my studio, but usually when you use an identifying word like that you're referring to your career. I usually refer to myself as a telecom account executive who is into photography. I used to be a photographer but I'm not now.

So when someone calls themselves a photographer I have a few expectations. I expect that they understand the fundamentals of photography. They understand light. They understand aperture, shutter speed, dynamic range, saturation, color balance, focal lengths and focus. I expect that they at the very least understand what causes red-eye and can eliminate it without a freaky pre-flash.

That's because you are doing all those tasks for yourself - a professional photographer is someone who photographs to make money (by providing output to others)

You have these expectations that you set prior to being able to call someone a professional photographer. Well I'm sorry but by what measure are your benchmarks appropriate? And that's the issue.

A dentist needs to earn a degree and work in a dental practice to be called a Dentist. A photographer does not. There is no pre-requisite to be called a Professional Photographer

Todd Lambert wrote:
Perhaps I did misunderstand. My point was not that amateurs were creating higher standards, but that their flooding the market has instead.

I agree with Todd - which is surprising given how much I disagreed about his views about IS.

In Wedding photography for example, there are so many 20-30 year veterans out there whose output is just boring boring boring. Photos taken at f/8, with a flash bracket. Just plain, boring stuff.

With the whole slew of Primes that amateurs are buying and using and posting on the internet, we see a huge spamming of shallow DOF photos, and I think the wedding industry has really adjusted to this. More and more photographers are using primes and doing low DOF stuff.

Preeb wrote in post #13760547 (external link)
I see photography as having 3 fairly broad levels.

Professional: Someone who makes most or all of his living from photography. This group can include highly skilled craftsmen who have dedicated their lives to satisfying the needs of their clients, or beginners who are making the necessary effort to become highly skilled. It can also include duds who somehow manage to find paying clients who are even more clueless than they are. It can include those who do nothing but shoot babies in a booth in Walmart, and know nothing about photography beyond the conditions of that studio.

Amateur: These are more or less serious photographers who have made an effort to learn and employ at least the basics of exposure and composition. They may sell an occasional image or place in a contest, but don't derive any real income from it - these are also what I call real hobbyists. I include beginners who are serious about improving their skills by practice and education.

Snapshooter: People who simply take pictures for record keeping - family, vacation, etc. Usually use the camera on some automatic setting. Most snapshooters don't care about anything but the record, no matter how the quality may suffer. Occasionally you find one of these who has shot a friends wedding and thus believes in the fantasy that he's a professional (he may even spill over into the "dud" category above).

Its a simplification I know, but most people with a camera will fit into one or another of these 3 categories.

Good summary though I'd add that there are highly skilled craftsmen in the amateur branch as well.


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shedman
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Jan 24, 2012 17:22 as a reply to  @ smorter's post |  #198

Has anybody asked CANON marketing Dpd their opinion.:D:D:oops:




  
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Jan 24, 2012 17:39 |  #199

smorter wrote in post #13758203 (external link)
That is one of the silliest, elitist and patronizing photography sites out there

I think it's great. :D


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Jan 24, 2012 17:42 |  #200

mcluckie wrote in post #13761777 (external link)
haha, I was going to write "good going" on not taking any classes from a bad photographer. Thats how I scoped grad schools.
and then, I don't know how to say this, but then I read "photo canvases" again, and cringed. Still, I don't know you so its all good.

only recently sold some photo canvases, before that framed work and just a few photo-shoots. Only just got into canvas which I know is very forgiving of photos. But I generally just take photos for my own pleasure, the Idea of being a full time pro does not appeal to me at the moment. 1. because I'm not quite sure I'm up for it and 2. because I don't want photography to become a chore


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Jan 24, 2012 17:44 |  #201

NullMind wrote in post #13761942 (external link)
I'd never make this into a paying gig, I consider it my hobby and it's about having fun, I would not want to make my passion into work

Having said that, a month or so ago I was buying a 35L and this episode really pissed me off

I purchased the 35L at Jessops, a well known photo chain in UK, the seler asked me, what sort of work will I be doing ? Weddings ?

I said none, I just need a fast lens to help catch my kids indoors as they never stay still (half joke)

He called the other clerk and said "can you believe this guy ?, he is buying a 35L to take pics of his kids" shaking his head on a condescending tone, "here I am saving for one for my wedding work"

I was furious, he perceived himself as more entitled to such gear than me, I did not bother to reply, I paid and just left!

the guy was a jerk LOL


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Jan 24, 2012 17:46 |  #202

karlpilkington wrote in post #13759234 (external link)
truth be told, i've never entered a hobby with more snobs than photography.

i'm still trying to figure out what it is that makes photographers feel so entitled.

I have a few friends that shoot major motor racing series that are among some of the nicest, most helpful togs I have ever met. These guys have done more to raise my level of photography, and yet one would think that some of the best in the biz wouldn't have time.

Yet I have also met the most pompous arrogant self centered hack of an over hyped local yokel tog that looks down his nose at me and everyone else.

You can't paint everyone with the same brush......use a spray bomb to get better coverage!


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Jan 24, 2012 17:50 |  #203

smorter wrote in post #13762092 (external link)
???

Don't understand how you guys don't consider yourselves professional photographers? You photograph to provide a service for cash in return.

My reasoning is because I don't get my main income from it, I believe if you can make a decent income from it you are a pro. that said, some of the so called pros have little artistic talent and that is where the difference is. I have a mate who takes very basic non artistic photos. He promoted and sold his work and went looking for more and now has work with over 30 towns in our state, just taking shots around their town. nothing special. He is a pro in the sense that he can make a living from photography but has zero artistic talent. I doubt he has taken any work from any pro with real ability


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Jan 24, 2012 18:47 |  #204

NullMind wrote:
I'd never make this into a paying gig, I consider it my hobby and it's about having fun, I would not want to make my passion into work

Having said that, a month or so ago I was buying a 35L and this episode really pissed me off

I purchased the 35L at Jessops, a well known photo chain in UK, the seler asked me, what sort of work will I be doing ? Weddings ?

I said none, I just need a fast lens to help catch my kids indoors as they never stay still (half joke)

He called the other clerk and said "can you believe this guy ?, he is buying a 35L to take pics of his kids" shaking his head on a condescending tone, "here I am saving for one for my wedding work"

I was furious, he perceived himself as more entitled to such gear than me, I did not bother to reply, I paid and just left!

Not a surprising story. It's experiences like these that give pros a bad name, and also destroys the myth that pros use "pro level gear"

How many times have you heard something like:
"I can't justify a <insert expensive lens> because I'm not a Pro"
or
"Only get the <insert expensive lens> if you're a pro and use it to earn your living"
Utter rubbish and shows how skewed our perceptions of pros are

well, looks like it's the amateurs who can actually afford them, not the pros :)


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Jan 24, 2012 19:28 |  #205

FlyingPhotog wrote in post #13761661 (external link)
Don't preach to me about "value added." My entire broadcast career was based on transfer of training, understanding what each job on a show had to do and being able to help when and where needed. I'm quite capable at several positions but I also came to understand that there's a point at which you're simply allowing yourself to be used and abused.

Case In Point: The first use of Final Cut Pro on network broadcasts was by guys who were experimenting with it on their own computers. Once the employers saw it had value, they wanted it on every show. So, should people have just ponied up for G5s or MBPs and said "Sure, I just dropped $10K on an Apple tower and a RAID array and I'll be glad to let you use it for free!" OF COURSE NOT .. They got smart and started renting the stuff back to the networks and let it pay for itself.

And guess what? The guys who were really good at editing in FCP, got hired more and more and more and they got more and more and more rental fees to go with it.

So what's different about your $$$ worth of camera gear?

My "real" job: golf course superintendent. My other interests are photography and woodworking. I am an "amateur" at both who happens to earn income using "professional" equipment. It started with a simple cabinet project )which I enjoyed) and ended with a building remodel. I got paid nothing "extra" for doing this work because "I was already on the clock". My tools mind you, several thousand dollars worth. I cried "bul$***" and no longer do these projects without pay. They would pay someone else to do this work but not me. I will tell you this: "value added" or "chance to rub elbows" with the big wigs WILL burn you. Why should you work for free when they would pay someone else?


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Jan 24, 2012 19:41 |  #206

But that's just it, they wouldn't have paid, as I've explained a few times now.

I'm not saying there isn't a chance to be burned in this type of scenario, but just that it's not as carte Blanche as some would have you believe.




  
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Jan 24, 2012 19:54 |  #207

smorter wrote in post #13762625 (external link)
Not a surprising story. It's experiences like these that give pros a bad name, and also destroys the myth that pros use "pro level gear"

How many times have you heard something like:
"I can't justify a <insert expensive lens> because I'm not a Pro"
or
"Only get the <insert expensive lens> if you're a pro and use it to earn your living"
Utter rubbish and shows how skewed our perceptions of pros are

well, looks like it's the amateurs who can actually afford them, not the pros :)

Thats a load crap and that comment is as bad as what he was told in that camera store. That was wrong and what you said is wrong and most pro's I know can buy what ever gear they need, period and most I know would go out of their way to help anyone that asks. It takes BALLS to go out there without a safety net and its easy to sit back and shoot at your leisure but its not easy to do it everyday on demand. And as many pros that have been at it for decades that are hacks there are many more, especially really successful ones, that work everyday and put out amazing images.




  
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Jan 24, 2012 20:02 |  #208

airfrogusmc wrote in post #13762973 (external link)
Thats a load crap and that comment is as bad as what he was told in that camera store. That was wrong and what you said is wrong and most pro's I know can buy what ever gear they need, period and most I know would go out of their way to help anyone that asks. It takes BALLS to out there without a safety net and its easy to sit back and shoot at your leisure but its not easy to do it everyday on demand. And as many pros that have been at it for decades that are hacks there are many more, especially really successful ones, that work everyday and put out amazing images.

You're not kidding Allen, this guy was amusing to a point with his complete lack of knowledge of what we do. His assertion that selective focus was introduced to photography by amateurs had me almost in tears laughing. He's a comedian and just doesn't know it. :lol:


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Jan 24, 2012 20:15 |  #209
bannedPermanent ban

FlyingPhotog wrote in post #13761620 (external link)
POTN has rules regarding post content or I would have...

The fact that you would not have been able to take issue with it in a mature manner and, instead, would have to resort to that which would break the rules, speaks volumes.

Please, I'm sure you can conduct yourself in a professional manner to address the topic, can't you?

Give it a shot...


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Jan 24, 2012 20:25 |  #210

breal101 wrote in post #13763026 (external link)
You're not kidding Allen, this guy was amusing to a point with his complete lack of knowledge of what we do. His assertion that selective focus was introduced to photography by amateurs had me almost in tears laughing. He's a comedian and just doesn't know it. :lol:

"complete lack of knowledge of what we do"

It's photography not the CIA

The previous poster got it perfectly right when he referred to snobbery amongst pros. Can you get any snobbier? "complete knowledge of what we do?" What? Black Ops in Afghanistan?

For the record I worked and still work as a professional photographer. My personal description of myself is worthless of course, but the magazines and brochures I've been published in (including covers) for my commercial work at least indicates somebody out there regards my work.

The quality of professional photographers I have met has left me disgusted - the real world is very different from POTN and the net. Photogs like mcnally, jarvis, laforet, frakes are the exceptions, not the rules.


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