Is professional photography dying out?

Started Mar 27, 2013 | Discussions thread
GMartin Regular Member • Posts: 227
Re: Is professional photography dying out?

Machine Gun Kelly wrote:

But how does THIS support your initial question that professional photography is dying out ? It's's just a new ear and has to be run differently. Out with the old, in with the new. It's in everything in life. Not just photography. Adapt or wither away.

But professional photography is dying out. The amateurs are taking over. When it becomes a case of not what you know but the quality of your connections then it's a hopeless case.

As an example, my advertising costs more than my income from photography. I cut back on the advertising non-budget - slashed it totally.

Now, there seems to be a ton of amateurs here that are saying "if you're work is bad, nobody will hire you" which is a complete distraction from the fact I can't even get people to look at my work to make that judgement. Zero genuine website hits. No calls to see my portfolio. In conversation "Oh. Your're a photographer. That's nice *yawn*". There is absolutely no interest in photography any more.

Look at what Canon and Nikon etc are doing - they're producing micro four-thirds cameras. They realise that a lot of people are buying superzoom compacts rather than digital SLRs now because they don't want the bulk. People are not buying small zoom compacts any more because their phones can do just as good of a job.

The amateurs will argue over the size of the image sensor versus image quality until well after the cows have come home. The fact is, a picture is a picture and it doesn't matter whether it's taken with a Leica S2 or an iPhone. The rest is all subtle nuances.

I don't have a crystal ball so I can't foresee the future. I wonder whether the rash of ILCs will be another version of the APS SLR debacle of the 1990s where nobody could actually see any point to a camera that cost as much as an SLR but used smaller film. I can't see any cost advantage for the ILCs over SLRs to be honest. Never mind image quality - that's not really that important since all the current cameras take pictures that are of easily sufficient quality. I would say that even the humblest of the phone cameras takes pictures of better quality than was obtainable with Ilford HP5, Kodak Tri-X etc.

The only advantage of the ILCs is of purely size. I would much rather have something small that I can carry more easily without the need for a gadget bag. Women photographers may even find such cameras light and small enough to carry in their shoulder bags. Now wouldn't that be wonderful?

The whole photography market is lurching rapidly toward amateurville now that amateurs can produce what professionals can produce without the business overheads (because they run as amateurs). Out of sheer laziness when I put something up on ebay the other day, I took the picture with my cell phone. I didn't even bother dragging out a light tent to make sure it was attractively illuminated. It just doesn't matter - what matters is that its visible for what it is and that the image was easily uploadable.

Taking pictures has never been so easy and is getting easier. Some cameras have face detection and composition aiding. Some will lighten dark areas and darken light areas to produce a more balanced image. I really cannot see that professional photography can last very much longer. Certainly there will be the top gurus as there will be for every profession but as with the old profession of being a script, professional photography will die out almost entirely. We do not need scripts any more - we can almost all read and write. Those here certainly can read and write.

As far as connections go, I've never found it easy to make connections and never really got anything worthwhile out of the connections that I have. Thus, as far as I am concerned professional photography is in its last dying gasps. So, as I have said before, I'm looking to sell off most of my stuff. I just don't need it and don't see the point of housing it any more. I curse the individual that sold me on the idea of starting but on the other hand, when I was under their spell I would have believe the moon was green and made of cheese. Now I'm not, I see the world for what it is and that I got scammed. My dad was right in his comment that he couldn't see any potential for income in photography. Having tried with all my heart and just utterly failed time after time after time to get people even to look to see what I have on offer, I am in absolute agreement with my dad that there is absolutely no money in photography and that investment in gear for it is a total waste of money. Might as well spend the money on drink, drugs and loose women.

So what do you say to those who are making money at photography ? It sounds more like your business model, lack of business skills and possibly your photography talent is the real culprit.

Im not the most social guy either, but I still have a handful of contacts for my wedding work that brings in business. I would love more, but i can't in in the door with those that I want to get in with. So be it. So I'll keep on working the one's I have and draw from that. Every year something new comes into play and I add that. That's how business works.

Remember, this is photography, not selling cars, meat or clothes. One has to be talented in photography, decent in business and have a friendly personality to succeed. It sounds like you are lacking in all three.

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