It seems no matter where you go these days you are almost guaranteed to see a small army of people carrying some type of camera whether it’s a DSLR, point and shoot or even their phone cameras. You kind of get the feeling that everybody is a photographer these days right? As entry level DSLR cameras become more affordable and camera technology in the phones continue to grow it is safe to say that everyone in some way or manner will be a photographer, to a certain degree.
Sure anyone can be a photographer and basically everybody is a photographer these days but it takes more than owning a camera to be a photographer. Just because you own a camera doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a photographer just like me owning a white sheet doesn’t make me Paula Deen. hahahahahaha Harsh, funny? Maybe a little of both. Truth is that there goes a lot into being a professional photographer besides just pressing a shutter button. I know the outside appearance of what a photographer does looks exciting. The exotic locations, the beautiful models, all the free time etc., but being a professional photographer is anything but all that glitz and glamor. Most of our “free time” is behind a computer, not really that exciting.
As soon as DSLRs became affordable there was a huge spike of new photographers in the market which led to seasoned pros to gripe about the over saturation of the photography market. I believe it was Zack Arias who said, “If you’re a photographer today then you’re also a reason why the market is over saturated.” It’s true and I knowingly accept that I’m a reason why the market is over saturated.
Another big gripe that a lot of veteran photographers have is the loss of business to price under cutting of these new photographers. I understand where they are coming from, but I don’t see the big deal. Do you really want clients who rather pay bottom prices than pay for quality? I get that times are tough, but wedding photos for $400, you should know what the quality will be from the get go. If these veteran photographers feel they need to chase clients who want to pay the lowest of prices, perhaps they should change the way they market themselves so they attract on the clients who want to pay for quality.
There are people who prey I mean market their products and services to these new photographers. One prime example is David Jay. David Jay was a former wedding photographer turned software owner/marketer. He came up with a program a couple of years ago called “The System – A 10 Step Guide to Starting Your Photography Business.” His main focus was on those who just bought their first DSLR and he was telling them how easy it was to be a professional photographer. One key point he mentioned was to just put the camera in P mode and just “Spray and pray.” No clients wants their photographer to spray and pray at their wedding. David’s thought was to tell new photographers to just take as many photos as possible and hope a few come out. Needless to say David’s program drew the ire of many in the wedding industry and shortly after releasing his system, he scrapped it.
As technology evolves and prices drop the saying, “Everybody is a photographer” will just grow to be that much more true. I applaud all those who buy cameras and want to explore their hobbies and passions. There are plenty of pieces of the cake to be had by all.