Back when I started in the professional arena on a part time basis those that called themselves professionals rarely shot with 35mm. It was almost entirely medium format and that is what I started with as well. To get to the point of buying medium format cameras people had spent a few years getting to know the ins and the outs of photography and the industry. I spent a few years working part time for a local photographer that had several locations throughout the region. All the time he knew fully well that at some point I would be his competition but he taught me the value of pricing your product right. There was no sense in shooting a wedding for the value of the film and processing. In the time that I worked for this person he helped me get the right gear so that when I started on my own I had a Mamiya RB Pro-S, a Pentax 6x7 and I acquired a Pentax 645 a little bit later. I also had gotten myself set up with 6 studio strobes and all the umbrellas and soft boxes that I needed. I am forever grateful to this studio owner to the time he took with me (and others). He truly cared about the craft and the customers whether it was him or someone else shooting it.
The number of people doing photography on a part time basis were substantially less than it is today. In retrospect the taking of an image hasn't changed but the technology certainly has. You never heard of a photographer in the film era that billed himself as a wedding photographer that shot only available light. Today you that quite often and I don't think that it is because it is trendy but more likely they are afraid of learning the art of artificial lighting.
The thread that the OP alludes to in the Post Processing forum seems to be nothing more than a person that is out there billing themselves as a pro when they aren't ready yet. The problem he/she is having is so basic the question is almost comical in some respects.
watt100 wrote in post #16110710
I find it kinda funny. especially the knuckleheads with their instagram iphone pics,--- they are the ones ruining photogaphy !
I don't see the smart phones destructing professional photography from my point of view. They may be lowering the bar as far as acceptable quality that one would post online or print for themselves. In certain circumstances these devices can take good pictures but rarely would I ever call any of them great. The people that I see hurting the overall industry of professional photography are the people that enter it before they are ready. Those that don't know how to light a scene with artificial lighting, those that think that pushing the shutter button is enough are two examples of that, imo. How many times have I heard, "Oh that should be OK, I'll clean it up in post processing".
Technology has certainly changed the overall environment. When I used to shoot a full day wedding in medium format I would shoot around 450 shots and supply a printed album of somewhere in the 175-200 4x5's. Now you have guys and gals bragging about going to a wedding and shooting close to 2000 images. I don't know how you sort out these to give the customers a good reflection of what their special day was. I never used to give the pictures of Uncle Harry dancing on the tables at the reception but that is now the norm.
Anyone can call themselves a pro these days and quite frankly I don't care who does. I can only control what I can. I take the time to see what others are charging and doing so that I know I can compete but I refuse to compete with the people charging less than what I think is fair for a wedding. When I went full time a few years ago I chased this market but came to the conclusion that I wasn't going to waste alot of marketing time and money on the lower end of this market. There are still plenty of people that will pay top dollar for this service and I will shoot them if they pay my price. My primary focus changed from wedding and portraits to commercial work which is much more rewarding financially because the weekend warriors have a harder time competing in this market. You have to be able to move and change with the marketplace. Imo, a true professional photographer will be able to shoot pretty much anything that comes their way. They may like to specialize in one area or another but being able to shoot a diverse subject matter will make you more successful in the end.