fotoworx wrote in post #14262948
But the question that I have raised is that photography seems to be THE
hobby that people tend to equate with
Where does that come from? Have they been to weddings and thought "I can do that", seen Santa photos in dept stores at Xmas and thought "I can do that"?
Get where I'm coming from?
Isn't that likely just a consequence of photography being one of THE most obvious things that is constantly so in-demand, and that EVERYONE gets to take up as a hobby?
The demand for photographs is HUGE, and the barrier of entry is about as low as one can possibly get. As a consequence, EVERYONE has a camera, EVERYONE likes to try out taking pictures at least once or twice. And as that goes, many of the people with just a LITTLE skill actually get to try out making money off of it. Even if it's just a few bucks.
That's like asking why so many videogames revolve around killing the $*** out of everyone around you. Because it satisfies peoples' fantasies, and the barrier of entry is EXTREMELY low.
And yes, some of those crappy-ass people going into photography for the sole purpose of making money actually DO make money. For most of them, it's probably not MUCH money. But maybe enough to buy some new cool gear.
Going off on a tangent...have you ever been a fan of comic books? I'm assuming not, because comic books are stupid as hell, and I'm gonna give you the credit of assuming that you're not stupid enough to be interested in that crap (no offense to any readers here who actually like comic books). But I used to like comic books. I used to like going to the market and asking my dad to pick up the latest issue of Spider-Man or something. Hey, it was dumb and stupid fun. Just a hobby.
Now...do you remember when Superman died? I mean SUPERMAN. Freaking Superman. Do you remember when that kind of garbage actually made headlines? And was actually a topic in mainstream media? Do you remember the whole thing about speculators talking about how valuable comic books have become, how much of an investment they are?
Probably not. But I'm gonna assume that unlike me, you were never stupid enough to dabble with such a dumb-ass hobby.
But here's my point. Many of the people buying comics for like...the entire time comics have been made...were just hobbyists. Because it was impossible to make money off of buying comics. But sometime in the 90's, people (stupidly) starting looking at comic books as an INVESTMENT. It was stupid because it was clearly just a trend towards selling more comic books.
Remember goddamn SUPERMAN getting killed off, and that kind of crap actually getting mainstream coverage? Remember the assloads of people buying that issue of Superman hoping that it'd eventually be worth money? Well, it ain't worth ****, because DC comics printed so many copies of it that anyone who wants it can get it for really cheap.
And that was one of the most obvious examples of the horrible "collectors' bubble" which continued through the 90's and ultimately just resulted in a lot of speculators losing a ton of money based on bad ****ing advice and the idea that "collecting comics is the hot new investment."
AFAIK, that bubble ended up bursting, as it HAD TO. Some people probably profitted off of it, if they were smart enough to realize the stupidity of the whole thing and use that as an opportunity to buy trash and sell it quickly before the market value droppeed down to near-worthless.
Weird tangent? Maybe. But there's a point here. My point being, I think that what we're seeing here with photography is no more than an analog of the horrible "speculator's bubble" that occurred in comic books in the 90's. Peopole buying gear and lessons and etc based on the notion that photography is the hot new thing. But there's a problem with that logic. Whatever significance Superman's death had, and whatever the mainstream audiences actually cared, there remained this...DC Comics made an ASSLOAD of those comics, because they expected thm to sell. Those comics DID sell. As a result, there is no SCARCITY of Superman #75.
This might be a weird tangent, but I think you see where I'm going. The whole digital revolution is fairly new. Media and advertising has also largely been skewed towards telling people that buying those products can get them money. Look no further than ads from camera makers assuring people that buying the new product is a good investment. And just as how comic books are cheap enough that pretty much EVERYONE can afford to buy one at least once, cameras have gotten to the point where EVERYONE gets to try out photography.
So we've got the potential market right there. We've got the idea that people CAN make money off of taking pictures. That making photographs is actually a good investment.
That bubvble is going to evntrually burst. It won't be long before photography stops being "the hobby" to go to if you want to make money, because THAT CAN'T LAST. Not when EVERYONE can do it, and not when the barrier of entry is so low that the market is oversaturated.