business It's Photography

Is Photography dead?

September 26, 2016

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?

Is Photography dead?

  • Reply
    September 26, 2016 at 11:34 am

    I wonder about this all the time because I see more and more people ditching the big cameras and only using the cell phone. I personally love my samsung mirrorless and I wouldn’t give it up for anyone!

  • Reply
    Yum Yucky
    September 26, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    I just bought a mirrorless camera – mostly for video stuff but I intend to shoot pics as well. Your post is very valid because I still prefer using my phone to take pictures.

  • Reply
    Catherine Sargent
    September 26, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    I can see some of them going away, but not all of them. When our son was little we did a professional family photo once a year. Now that he is grown we use our own camera or our phones.

  • Reply
    Pam Wattenbarger
    September 26, 2016 at 10:42 pm

    We used to go to Olan Mills for our photos. Come to think of it, I think the one around here closed too.

  • Reply
    Diana Elizabeth
    September 26, 2016 at 10:57 pm

    I really got into this post, I’m a professional photographer turned blogger but remain a photographer whenever I can get a job. I shoot with a Canon 5D Mark III and prefer L series lenses, it’s more than a passion, it has become my profession from weddings to shooting for magazines and corporate now. I agree with you – the days of hiring a photographer has changed, and so have the rates. I used to be able to charge $800 per portrait session and did it for years until the market got saturated and decent photographers charge $250 for mini sessions. I can’t compete with that, but I am also OK with that – I just have to switch business gears and go for a different market that is untouched. Even blogging is saturated too but we just have to be passionate and creative to stay ahead to continue doing what we love. I enjoyed reading your thoughts.

  • Reply
    September 26, 2016 at 11:39 pm

    I remember going to have my photos taken when I was a kid. I hope photography isn’t dead. I’m not sure that’s something that just anyone can do.

  • Reply
    Lisa Favre
    September 26, 2016 at 11:57 pm

    I am a huge advocate for photography and truly appreciate the art and dedication that goes behind it. I understand the convenience of a cell phone for capturing great memories, but there’s just something about a well thought-out photograph that always impresses me.

  • Reply
    Liz Mays
    September 27, 2016 at 1:06 am

    Oh wow, I hadn’t actually thought about this. It’s been a while since I’ve gone to a studio too. I still think there are lots of freelancers who do it part-time though.

  • Reply
    September 27, 2016 at 1:50 am

    I haven’t had professional photos done in over 10 years. I don’t like staged shots that you get in a studio. I much prefer to do them myself, or hire a friend, and get some nice candid shots outside with my family.

  • Reply
    September 27, 2016 at 3:25 am

    So I have a big camera…the DSLR….but… sadly…I rarely use it. Why? my iphone takes amazing photos. I miss it, but I don’t miss carrying it everywhere!

  • Reply
    Toni | BoulderLocavore.com
    September 27, 2016 at 5:25 am

    I agree with you. Everyone can be a photographer but you really have to know your niche if you want to stand out. I love this post!

  • Reply
    Amanda Love
    September 27, 2016 at 7:43 am

    I think it’s not completely dead. Yes, we do have access to a lot of awesome cameras and learn photography tricks and styles but then again not everyone is interested and not everyone has the time. For some it’s more convenient to just walk in the studio and get it done in a jiffy.

  • Reply
    Annemarie LeBlanc
    September 27, 2016 at 9:38 am

    The advent of cellphones with high resolution cameras may have had a huge impact on the business of professional photography, but I still think that photos taken by a professional are more beautiful to look at. We love having our family Christmas photo taken by a professional. They are proudly displayed in our home!

  • Reply
    September 27, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    I havent been to a photography studio in about 9 years. I don’t use amateurs either. I take photos myself and avoid the “professional” type photos all together. I’m more of a candid girl and just can’t justify the prices.

  • Reply
    Wendy @ ABCs and Garden Peas
    September 27, 2016 at 7:59 pm

    It seems to be dying down, for sure. Everyone is all about convenience these days, and cameras on phones are typically the most convenient. I definitely prefer pictures with an actual camera, but admit that I don’t use mine often enough.

  • Reply
    September 27, 2016 at 11:19 pm

    My oldest has a crazy cool camera, the tripod and all the things that go with the set-up (filters, lenses that cost as much as a car…exagerrating, but only slightly), etc. I think you’re right, professional photography is going away.

  • Reply
    September 28, 2016 at 1:37 am

    The untrained professionals as we call them, really do get good over time, good enough for the average every day customer that is. I honestly don’t know any local ones with any formal training. My Dad is one of those hobby photographers. He has all kinds of lenses and everything girl. Some one hired him recently to do the photos at their engagement party and I was like shut the front door.

  • Reply
    September 28, 2016 at 2:17 am

    I have a DSLR too and take the majority of my own pictures. I’ve never had professional photos done though except for passport photos.

  • Reply
    Is Photography Dead? | Valley Photo Center Blog
    September 28, 2016 at 2:06 pm

    […] article on It’s Really Kita, Is Photography Dead? The writer, a photographer himself, discusses the ease with which people now can do photography […]

  • Reply
    Nicole Escat
    September 28, 2016 at 3:12 pm

    I don’t think it is. I am not good at photography but how I wish to be a professional!

  • Reply
    September 28, 2016 at 7:40 pm

    I don’t think so at all. I think bloggers are taking photography to new levels.

  • Reply
    Rachel Ferrucci
    September 29, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    I don’t think it will die. Although we bloggers are learning each day more on photos because it goes with our business. The average person has a great camera but they don’t have lights, etc. I also think photographers have a better system when dealing with families

  • Reply
    Karlaroundtheworld | Karla
    October 7, 2016 at 4:46 pm

    There are times when I feel that casuals are deemed underrated when it comes to shot selections and capturing. But nowadays I have to agree, most people wouldn’t think twice of declining to hire professionals simply because everyone’s already too confident to handle the jobs with their phones and tablets.

  • Reply
    Vaughn's Photography
    October 21, 2017 at 6:19 pm

    I Started photography in the US Army. 1968. At least I got something out of the Army.
    Since then, I got out of the Army and started my own business for the next 40+ years.
    Got My Craftsman Degree in Photography. Avg. 100+ Weddings a year. Used Hasselblad Medium format cameras.
    Made over $ 150,000 a year, every year, working out of my home.
    Now, I might do 1-2 Weddings a year. It is more of a hobby. Every single photographer I knew is now working out of the field.
    Professional Wedding photography is dead. I dropped my web-site 6 Months ago. Got MAYBE one call a year the last couple years.
    People use their Cell phones now.
    Digital is great, but it killed the Professional Wedding Photography business.
    I was lucky that I turned 62 years old about the same time the business died. But Social Security is nothing near what I was making.
    Riches to Rags.
    I thank God that I was born when they still had film.

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