What is the definition of a professional wildlife photographer?

Started Aug 29, 2013 | Discussions thread
fredlord
Senior MemberPosts: 2,315
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Re: What is the definition of a professional wildlife photographer?
In reply to garyknrd, Aug 29, 2013

garyknrd wrote:

Cailean Gallimore wrote:

Someone who makes a living at it, who is known to consistently produce results fit for publication.

Yea, that is a general description of all professionals really.

I really have a hard time putting a label on it. It is a national pastime now. Retired farts like me and millions of others take photos of birds and wildlife. The sheer numbers must be staggering. And I see so many just drop dead photos.

Presently living in Asia

Yes, there are hundreds of thousands of wonderful images being shown. There is no doubt that talent abounds throughout all populations of the world.

The difference is that there are now easily affordable instruments (DSLR cameras) which allow almost anyone with at least a modicum of talent to shoot unlimited images with pleasing results.

The same thing happened with personal computers. When anyone could publish, everyone did publish. That all happened 30 years ago. Now, anyone can publish to the internet and everyone does publish to the internet. DSLRs are simply computers that make images. Anyone can make images so everyone makes images. The possibilities of good images are basically unlimited. You and I are competing with the world rather than a small and highly dedicated group of professionals who would call themselves wildlife photographers.

The fact that billions of people are shooting many trillions of images makes them a cheap commodity. When supply outstrips demand, prices always drop.

Our only hope is to find a niche that allows us to make images that sell in sufficient quantities to make a living for us. That's not really an option now save for perhaps a few dozen individuals at most. One cannot simply be a gifted photographer now. One must be an acute business person and opportunistic entrepreneur as well. Effort and determination to succeed equal results.

All it takes is motivation, opportunity, and capability. How many billions of people do you think possess those three things? Opportunity and capability weren't always there for them. Now, with the inexpensive, high-quality equipment and rising standards of living allowing them to indulge themselves, they are present for most people.

I'm not complaining. It has always been so to a lesser or greater degree. Even a reasonably good photographer could make a living in the past. That time is now gone. I say, just enjoy doing what you love and, if you make a little money, great. Meanwhile, get a real job.

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Fred Lord

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