Mom's with Cameras killing your business?

Started Feb 16, 2013 | Discussions thread
jean bernier Veteran Member • Posts: 3,177
Re: the 'specialness' is gone and with it the value

PenguinPhotoCo wrote:

I agree with what you said.
However, should that not make 'good' photography stand out, make it easier to charge more for it?
Should this not be better for trained, experienced photographers?

Not really. Important pictures (commercial, publications, advertisement), still go to the experienced pro, but less valued pictures are often done on iphones. This takes a lot of the in-between, bread and butter jobs out of the hands of the pro. So what is left are the hardest, most risky assignements, where the requirements are high, and the less experienced newbie does not have the proper equipment, let alone the experience. If there is still adequate volume, the pro will survive and maintain a high level of service/quality. But the pie is shrinking.

I remember my mom buying the Harpers's Bazaar, and as a teen, I used to marvel at the fashion pictures (however not a boyish thing to do in the '70s). B/W pictures taken in and around NY. That had a big influence on me, and is certainly one of the main attraction that made me choose this profession. Now scroll through some of the pictures they currently put on line:

http://www.harpersbazaar.com/beauty/backstage-beauty-fall-2013#slide-2

The mom with a camera is hired by high profile publications. Many do it for free. Often as an extra to other, main skills. "Look, you don't have to hire a pro, I've got this phone, and the quality is good enough, so I'll do them myself". I've seen many times graphic artists I work with for important campaigns do their own pictures, when quality is secondary, by turning on a cheap dslr, even a point and shoot,  and use a desklamp as a source of light, while in the recent past, everything went to the hired pro...because on film, there was no chance to be taken when deadlines were tight...Now, how can you compete against free ? Expertise is not required for everything.  Hell, even loading film neatly on a Hasselblad required training !

"I think it's a matter of the 'value' of an image has dropped. Used to be hard to get one - special, expensive. Now everyone has a camera on them 24/7 (phone) and an easy way to share (FB) so pictures are common and pervasive.
Nothing special or unique about them anymore."

Photography is not a specialty anymore, it's one of the many versions of modern image sharing. Look, your dslr does hd video and stereo sound, your phone does both and sends streams instantly across the world if you so desire, video cameras do adequate stills, and so on. We look antique when doing photography exclusively. One can preach adapting and so on, but the reality is there is less and less opportunities.

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My opinions are my own and not those of DPR or its administration. They carry no 'special' value (except to me of course)

--
Jean Bernier All photographs are only more or less credible illusions

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