I cannot be the only one who’s noticed a surge in the number of people setting up as “photographers” of late? The two subjects that seem to garner the most attention of these start-ups are wildlife photography or wedding photography.
What perturbs me most is the number of these individuals who’ve had no formal training in photography and little or no tutoring from an existing professional photographer. They’ve rarely, if ever, gone to a photography exhibition. They’ve potentially been given or forked out for a DSLR, sometimes they’ve got a bridge camera and maybe they’ve figured out how to use it a bit, but their understanding of their tool is limited. Perhaps they’ve invested in some editing software as well, but still know little of its use.
Of course they’ve been encouraged by family and friends who have been too kind to say what they really think of the photos that they’ve taken before coming-up with their new business idea.
The greatest limitation, though, is in their artistic understanding of things like composition and the differences between studio shoots or portraiture and something that’s far more improvised – like photojournalism. They don’t seem to realise at all that the photographs you see that make you stop, think and admire/detest what is presented before you – that kind of photography is more of an art, a craft, than anything else.
It’s like seeing someone try to write a novel and they’re only read one novel before and have no idea of how different they can be. How they can be manipulated and composed.
I fear that the continued recession in the UK is making people think that pointing a camera at things is an easy way to make money and that people need to learn how to provide constructive criticism and how to take it.
(And just so you know – I’m not a photographer, at least… not yet.)