"Everybody nowadays is a photographer!"
"All the good places to shoot are being overrun by photographers."
It seems like this conversation is one that has been going around a lot over the past few years among the social media networks I follow.
It is not completely false either. I have noticed since I first started, that the abundance of photographers HAS tripled! Or perhaps social media's presence has and all the photographers are coming out of the woodwork like "Heyyoooo!"
...but what is so bad about having too many photographers?
Okay, yes. I have heard the argument about pricing, and how photographers with lower prices are in the end stealing away business from the pros who have been in it longer. Clients choosing cheaper options over quality. Totally there with you to a point. I'm sure we can come up with lots of different arguments that validate how "annoying" it is. By all means, if you have a strong opinion about new photographers or too many photographs... that's your opinion and that works! Sometimes it does sting when a client moves on to a cheaper option over quality. Sometimes it can be annoying when locations are scattered in confetti.
Is there not always two sides of the story?
Like maybe the client cannot afford a photographer's work; maybe they wish they could but it is not a reality for their wallets. I've been there. No actually, I am still in that boat. I am just blessed to have photographers as friends to do trade work with. Or perhaps they decide to go with a cheaper option, because they want to support a growing artist or this might blow one's mind. Maybe they prefer the less experienced photography over an experienced photographers. See how there are so many variables? Let's let new photography businesses grow and maybe give them some kind advice along their way. As for littering on popular locations... come on, lets all just sweetly remind each other that we should care more about our planet, eh?
Everyone starts somewhere
I sound like a parent, but hey, my parents are very knowledgeable. Did you have a support system when you first started? Some people have grown their skills, art, and business faster than others. I know many photographers who have skyrocketed pass me who have started after me. I used to doubt myself and want to give up when I saw their progress as I watched mine slowly inch along. It took a long time for me to realize that I do it for myself, for the clients and those they share with. Also, it is just plain fun!
Taking you all back down memory lane
I began in 2009 back when I was graduating high school. My work makes me laugh literal tears now, but it also brings back the good feels. If you have a passion for photography, then maybe you know what I mean. When I see my old work (see below left) with it's high contrast and saturation at 100%, I remember what it felt like to take those photos and edit them. I remember how thrilling photography felt! Looking at the tiny screen on my old point and shoot and thinking "Wow! I need more of this." It's the same feeling I get when I took my most recent photograph on the right (below). Crazy right?
To teach or not to teach?
I have met amazing photographers who have taught me much through their work or their advice. Not everyone is wired to be a mentor or has that desire to teach others. We all have your own unique gifts to share. I want to become that support/encourager to more and more budding photographers.
Encourage others, because why the heck not!
I think it is so important in life for people to find things that make them feel excited and happy and challenge their abilities.
I've witnessed someone tell a new photographer they should just stop trying, because it wasn't worth it. This upset me deeply. Someone recently told me they left their camera behind on a trip, because they knew I'd take better photos. Others feel shy to photograph around other photographers. My response is always the same. BRING YOUR CAMERA. TAKE PHOTOS. If you like photographing as a hobby or an art or business or whatever it is that you do it for, then that's good enough. Find your why and let that be enough. If anything at least give it a try. If it's not for you, then move on if you wish to.
I listen and respect the opinions of select photographers on social media networks or in conversation with me who feel frustrated about new photographers and how there's too many out there. I get it. I totally do. However, it makes me take a moment to step back and think about both sides of the matter. In the end, they reinforce my own ideas and beliefs.
If you pick up a camera and love it, don't put it down. Do not be discouraged. Do not compare yourself to others or downplay your worth just because there is a sea of photographers out there. Do not tell yourself it's not worth taking a picture, because you cannot achieve a style or technique... yet. I've been there and done that. It is poison to passion.
I hope anyone questioning if they should become a photographer reads this and decides to keep doing you. We don't have to break down the walls to exclusive photographer networking groups, some of us who are willing just need to open the doors for the newbies to learn and grow with us.
Let's go create together.
Note: Just an opinion! Open to hear yours. :)