I was driving by Olan Mills the other day and noticed it was closed down. I never noticed it before because well….since I got into photography and know so many others who have, I stopped using them. I haven’t been to a photography studio in probably 5 years. When I went to Target a few months back I saw families in Target getting photos done. I actually slipped them my card because I thought…why is this family in a studio when I can take some nice pictures outside! In today’s world though I wonder is photography dead? What I mean is do people pay top dollars anymore to get family photos done? I know people pay for wedding photos that’s a given because you want that captured professionally and you will pay big bucks for that but I have noticed that some people don’t even hire real wedding photographers anymore…they hire friends who have expensive cameras and I must say sometimes…….(only sometimes) do they do a good job and less expensive.
I was at a birthday party this weekend and at least 3 moms brought out their cameras not little point and shoot ones but big boy cameras that were on par with my camera (I have a canon 6D) which got me thinking……is photography dead? Cameras are easily assessable now. Anyone can buy them and everyone thinks they are the best when it comes to photography. I struggle with labeling myself as a photographer because I didn’t go to school for it, didn’t have any formal training, and I am still learning that manual mode. I call myself a storyteller as I like to tell stories through my eyes and capture it with my camera. Some may call that a photographer I just call it ……telling a story. I was at a baby shower and the same thing happened. The dad brought out his Canon 6D and did his own photoshoot and now they have pictures of the mother and her belly in the home on a big canvas. He took the photos himself and he even had a few where he put the camera on a tripod and took some photos with him in them. With that being said…..would you pay a photographer $150+ for a mini session for your family? Most mini sessions (this is my version) is a 30 min to an hour session where you only get about 10 photos. Some come with make up artists and stylists which will then cost you a bit more than $150.
Professional photography is going away. Yep I said it….might not be today, might not be tomorrow, but sometime within the next few years you will see more and more professionals be outweighed by amateurs. People who can buy a big boy camera and then they become the family photographer and then they begin to shoot their friends and then all of a sudden…..BAM they are professionals. The key though that it isn’t the camera that makes you a professional………..it’s the way you capture the raw emotions within the photos. You see I can give my 10 year old the camera and tell him to shoot me and he does some great photos because I have them on a certain setting. My pictures come out clean and concise but there is a difference when you give the camera to your more older professional photographer or blogger buddy (which I did the latter) and the pictures are angled differently and they capture better photos of me because they know how to capture the raw emotions instead of just snapping the pictures. That is the difference between someone whose a professional and someone who is an amateur. Not everyone can capture that emotion or that story…..that my friends takes skills that you have to have you can’t make that up, you can’t train for that, you can’t go to school for it…either you have it or you don’t. You have to take a lot of photos to make sure you captured that right look. I can take up to 50 photos of one subject and only 20 come out as winners. I then have to take my time and edit them….which now anyone else can do themselves. I saw someone take a photo with their cell phone and edit it…they went on to win a photo contest and now they are a professional photographer and they don’t even have a real camera. Honestly ….that’s the name of the game. Take a great photo have people tell you it’s great and awesome and they now want to book you or they want to use your service. Now you are thrown into the world of being a “photographer”. Anyone can edit, anyone can buy lightroom or photoshop. Anyone can buy actions to put on pictures to turn something that’s ewwww into something that’s beautiful! Most photographers show their work online and rarely make prints. A multitude of websites and programs have been created that allow you to post and share photos with anyone. With my Canon 6D I can take a photo and share immediately through my wifi…..gone are the days where you wait. Gone are also the days where you wait for others to print your photos. I get mine printed via other ways that save me money.
Having all this easiness people are questioning why pay when I can do it myself. Photographers who have been in the game for years still have some klout and they get clients but newer photographers……it’s tough out here. What makes you stand out though is what you do with your photography skills. Create a niche if you want to be a photographer and don’t do what everyone else is doing. One thing you will never see me do is take photos of babies or do weddings. I will be a second shooter or a third one for someone I know just to have fun but I would never do a wedding alone I will leave that to others. What I love to do is actually brand photography. Which makes me stand out a bit. I like taking photos for brands and small businesses. I do a lot of headshots, service photos for people who offer services and need something on their social media or websites, and I do style shots for brands. That is the area I want to go into and that I love the most. Photography is something that I love to do and have fun with it’s not something I want to turn into a money making machine. I love fun clients who are open to fun ideas and if that’s not you…I normally won’t work with you because I like to do things that aren’t the norm.
So I ask again is photography dead? Depends on who you ask……I think that it’s changing because of the world we live in. Anyone can be a photographer and shoot a camera but it takes skills to capture the right look or master the right edit on pictures. You have to be unique and stand out in order for you to become a rich photographer. I admire a few but I know that I have to stay in my lane! When was the last time you had professional photos done? What kind of camera do you have?