>> Monday, November 1, 2010
On being a "professional" photographer
PROFESSIONAL: Following an occupation as a means of livelihood or for gain.
I guess I feel motivated to write a post on this subject because on blogs everywhere, I see where people have started their own photography business from no 'know-how' or 'formal' education in the field of photography. Just RAW talent and a desire :) (Which is great, if you're awesome) BUT, then some turn around and feel themselves fit to pooh pooh other beginners with the same love of photography. Deeming their work not good enough in the "new professional's" eyes... (Which is NOT great, even if you are awesome) I ask, who's place is it to judge others Art? Isn't Art defined by how others intrepret it? And if others (clients) deem the work worthy of pay who are we to judge otherwise?
I agree there IS bad photography I have done my fair share. I think that's how we learn, unfortunately for the people we "shoot" 0.o Everyone has to start out somewhere right?
But really, what do we gain by putting others down? I've seen some of my friends become "professional photographers" I'm someone's "professional photographer friend" I think this happens all the time so easily because, for me anyway, it was a fun hobby, and when people first (usually my family & friends) saw my work they started wanting me to take their pictures, and then their friend's pictures and so on. Are we, as "hobbiests" or "enthusiasts" supposed to keep taking pictures for "free" or, do we start to charge something for our time? Which for me, (as I think for most) is a precious commodity.
Well, I decided to charge for my time. Making me, by defintion, a "professional." Though I definatley don't feel like a professional. There are some CRAZY awesome photogs out there that are what you'd consider a 'professional' in the traditional sense. A lot of them have done this (photography) before the digital explosion and encroachment of digital hobbiests and ammatuers on their turf.
So I guess my point is, we all have friends who already are, or are beginning to dabble with the idea of being/ becoming a photographer. It's all around us with the increased sales of DSLR's to regular 'joes' :) the wealth of information that can be found on the internet in different forums, and the ENORMOUS amount of workshops geared toward ammatuers. Be supportive, be happy that they share the same love of the Art you do, be happy about their successes, be happy about your successes, but please don't take that (your success) as a free ticket to berate others with the same dream/goal.
~Jenn an accidental "professional" photographer
There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs.