PROFESSIONAL'S NEED A LICENSE

Started Jun 11, 2013 | Discussions thread
GaryR60
Contributing MemberPosts: 655
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Re: PROFESSIONAL'S NEED A LICENSE
In reply to Fotogroup, Jun 13, 2013

Fotogroup wrote:

After many years in this Business, I've come to the conclusion, if Professional's are to survive, we need to push for a license. Everyone with a DSLR now feels empowered.

I was a guest at an outdoor wedding this weekend being shot by two purported Professional's. Each carried an entry level DSLR with a kit zoom, and the smallest accessory flash available, aimed strait at the subject's.

As soon as the Bride reached the altar, the lead photographer walked up the isle and stood at the front, just behind the parents, because the little kit lens didn't have the reach to get any shots. Pity all of the guests whose view was now blocked. The "Second Shooter" placed themselves back of the Ceremony, so they could get frontal's of the Bride and Groom. They flitted about shooting, and I watched many of the Guests watching the photographer, not the Ceremony. I'm sure this shooter was in the shots of the primary photographer much of the time.

After 40 years in the Business as a Photographer, Lab Owner, and University Instructor, I have come to the conclusion that we as Professional's need to become Licensed. We need to be tested, proving we understand how to deliver the quality product our clients expect. (Yah, there would be an initial "Grandfather Clause" exempting those with 5 years of experience and who had a registered Photography Business with their State. The Test and License would be designed by the PPA or WPPI. Travel, Street, Stock, and Photo Journalist's would be exempt, as long as they were pursuing those end's of the Business.

The door to entry would still be open, but would entail formal study, not trial and error. This could be through an apprenticeship, or Instruction in a two or four year Institution or Trade School. The various State's would endorse the idea once it was pointed out how much Tax Revenue they are currently not being paid by these self named Professional's.

I did not shoot, and never do, when someone is trying to make a living. I went up to the lead shooter and asked if they would mind a couple of hints. I told them to join their local PPA, attend the WWPI Convention in Vegas, and take a few seminars. I asked if they intended to become a Professional and they said, "I already am. This is now my main Business." I then showed them how to correctly hold their camera, and left.

Careful what you wish for. Licensure not only doesn't ensure competency - in any field - but it also leads, inevitably, to governmental regulation. The fact is that, in most fields, licensure has been sought, not to improve the profession, but to keep competitors out and, thus, protect the market for those already ensconced in the profession.

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