Right now is the best time ever to be a photographer, so why all the long faces?
- Professional level cameras are selling for less than what we paid for one in 1980.
- Lower priced lenses are so much better than they used to be it is astounding.
- You can do all your development in the light, in a chair, without breathing life-threatening chemistry.
- There are more possible ways to show your finished work than you can list at any given time.
- A $1,000 laptop takes the place of a 12×12 darkroom and thousands of dollars of gear.
- Need an answer to a question? Hit Google and it is there for you. Ditto for YouTube.
- Need an answer on location? Hit Facebook and your friends can help you from all over the world.
- Most still cameras have better video capabilities than stand-alone video cameras costing thousands of dollars only a few years ago.
- Gear is faster, lighter, and more compact than it has ever been.
- Lighting has made such great strides that you can set up a multi-light studio for under $4,000… the cost of a pack and head only a few years ago.
- If you’ve never had to haul around a Honda Generator in the back of a pickup, you may not realize how incredible it is to have lights with built-in batteries.
- Built-in Wi-Fi lets us transfer images across the room or across the world, in an instant.
- We no longer have to carry 3 different bags of film (100 ISO, 400 ISO, 800 ISO) and hope to hell that they cover what we need.
- Speaking of ISO, some cameras are shooting great images at 24,000 ISO.
- In fact, high ISO excellence is now expected in even entry-level cameras.
- Automatic settings are so good they can make sure your images work in even the strangest conditions.
- Instead of being limited by how much film you could carry, a few stamp-sized cards will hold more images than you can shoot in a day.
- The technical learning curve has been shortened from years to months.
- Where it used to cost us $20 for 36 images, they now can be captured on re-usable devices.
- Want to share that image with someone special? Push a button.
- Instead of FedEx-ing our work all over the country, we can now share a link in an email all over the world.
- We don’t have to spend $500 to $600 on a portfolio anymore, just stick them up on a website we can get for less than $12 a month.
- Want to publish a book, publish a book – no need to argue with a publisher.
- More people than ever before can see the work we do.
And yet to read the blogs and social media, the woe-is-me club is bigger than ever.
We are worried about competition from GWCs or MWCs. Craigslist shooters are hated. We go apoplectic about free stock agencies. There are doom and gloom stories about this or that being the end of photography ‘as we know it’. And they are everywhere.
If you want a reason to not be a professional creative, they are out there in droves. Everywhere you look.
Stop looking at that stuff and concentrate on what YOU CAN DO with your photography.
About the author: Don Giannatti is a photographer, teacher, and mentor. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. Giannatti has worked with hundreds of photographers to help them understand and work in the field of commercial photography. He has been involved with photography and advertising for over 40 years, and he wants to share as much as he can about this wonderful, challenging, and constantly changing photographic landscape. You can find more of his content on his website. This article was also published here.