Started Jun 11, 2013 | Discussions thread
CharlesB58 Veteran Member • Posts: 8,512

Why should professionals need a license to make up for the lack of research or awareness of customers. Photography is a "you get what you pay for" industry (or as more eloquently expressed, caveat emptor) and unfortunately, people will low ball wedding or portrait photographers because they don't know any better.

So, who is going to gather the funds to lobby governments for licensing? How much will the license cost? Will photographers have to go through training to qualify for the license and if so, who gives it? Since such training approval is often given to an organization that puts up the most money, even if they aren't the best qualified, how do we make sure that the licenses are actually a guarantor of suitable ability to photograph weddings?

Therein lies the biggest problem: how do you determine if a person really is qualified for a license to photograph? Does the application include questions like "Would you stand in a position that blocks the view of wedding guests?" Which guests? For how long? Are you going to tell the couple that because licensing requirements require you to stand in certain spots, you didn't get the photos they specifically asked for?

Do we require a suitable portfolio to qualify for a license? If so, who judges it? The "photojournalist look" wedding photos that have become so popular in the last decade would have been considered junk 20 or 30 years ago. So who is to say that a particular style should or shouldn't be licensed?

Sure, it's annoying and frustrating to see "wannabes" at work. I see it all the time when I'm taking concert photos. I follow the guidelines for where to stand, limits to how long I can take photos (such as the notorious "first 3 songs" rule) and then someone who either doesn't know what he's doing, or doesn't care, steps up in front of the stage and entertains everyone with his flash going off.

Ultimately, the problem with this sort of licensing is that some people would use it to create obstacles for new photographers. We already have enough of that going on with some of the associations and the "good old boy" network that leads to some agencies only accepting submissions from people who are already established. Yes, that's a different venue than wedding photography. But the psychology is the same, in that a mediocre photographer with the right connections can gain access where an outstanding new photographer finds a closed door.

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Some people operate cameras. Others use them to create images. There is a difference.

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