That’s something that’s commonly said by professional photographers these days. As soon as they lose a client to a rookie they automatically turn on them and then they fly into a rage that lasts for the rest of the day. However, are these rookies really killing the industry of professional photography? Do professionals have a right to be upset?
To answer the latter question, professionals do have a right to be upset. But it’s not for the reason you are thinking of. The only reason they have a right to be upset is because they are losing business. Although, it has to be mentioned that this is just the nature of the industry. These days it’s simple to pick up a good camera. The days of the photographer in a darkroom are gone. Today all you have to do is upload your pictures to Facebook and you already have professional-looking photographs. Add on the fact that Photoshop and other image editing programs are available and what exactly does the professional provide?
At this point the only thing a professional provides is experience, but experience is not something that’s a defining factor these days. If you can shoot professional photographs and present them in an attractive manner then you can do the same job that these professionals can. In essence, it’s a case of sour grapes.
In the past, the photographers were on a plane of their own. If you took a photograph from one of these cameras then people knew you were serious. If you took one from a poor quality camera then they knew you were just an amateur. Technology has advanced by so much that this isn’t the case anymore. This means it can be harder to differentiate between the hobbyist and the one who does it for a living. Many of them don’t like this. In fact, they absolutely hate it as it doesn’t have the status it once did. Ok, I would be upset too if I was in this position, but if a professional is losing lots of their business then it’s their fault in part.
Why do I say that?
Simple, professional photographers have often been in the game for so long that they are unwilling to change. Previously they could just sit on their arses and wait for clients to come to them. So they didn’t have to do that much marketing as they had the equipment, the experience, and the work to put them well above everybody else. Now that everybody has that stuff they are forced to start marketing. Many of them can’t or won’t do this, though. So instead of adapting to a changing industry they have to whine, they have to moan, and they have to bitch about all the rookies entering the industry.
“What about those evil low prices?” I hear a master whine.
Well those evil low prices are a problem, it’s true. That means it’s natural that trade will decline a little bit. However, those who are looking for quality will pay a higher price. If they want a $100 photo then they can have a $100 photo, but they could have a $200 photo instead. So really it’s a case of educating one’s customer base. How can this be done? Well that can be done through marketing. You educate your customers and you will get the people to pay that little bit extra for quality.
Those who decide to sit around and cry about it will only falter as the amateurs and hobbyists continue to take great photos and make lots of money out of them. Don’t want to adapt? Then too bad, I’ll see you when I walk past the local job centre.