There are two interesting posts on Conscentious, titled “if everybody can be a photographer”, part 1 and part 2. Although, Joerg Colberg, the author, has a good start, I think that he slips quite a few times.
- Writers share exactly the same experience. If lots of people want to be photographers, even more would like to be writers or journalists. The school system puts much more emphasis on writing skills than visual arts, this means that there are a much more people who are proficient in literature than people who are proficient with photography. How many people know who was Shakespeare? How many people know who was Henri Cartier-Bresson? You get my point.
- Knowing how to take a good photograph, doesn’t make anyone a pro. What makes people “pros” is waking up, doing the job and doing it right even if they don’t like that particular assignment. Basic technical skills are just the base that’s needed to build a profession.
- Prices of photography are going down, but I wouldn’t say that there is someone guilty of it. At a certain point it could be wise to accept that the figure of the photographer might become as obsolete as a the people charging money to write letters for people who are illiterate: when everyone can read, write and owns a pen, they just disappear. Doesn’t matter that their letters were “better”.
- Established photographers who are undercut from young guys offering a similar job for less money. The problem afflicts everyone who has a job subject to the “market economy”: engineers, web designers, programmers, cooks, travel guide authors, plumbers, musicians…
Go out, take your photos and don’t feel guilty of doing so. If “pros” can’t establish and keep their own market it’s their problem.