First let me start with stating that photography in it’s most simple form is “light” “write” or “to write with light” Photo . Graphy.
The first person to ever do photography captured a scene with the most basic of basic gear and was by no means a professional photographer, yet once they captured that image what they did was…. photography.
I made a post on social media earlier that ruffled some feathers. I posted a photo which is featured in this blog and I stated that the photography community is “over saturated, under educated, and obsessed with bokehliciousness…” or something close to that. The post was basically letting people know I was going to do a review on a relatively inexpensive camera that has been out for a while.
Someone responded stating that I should not state such things. They went on to explain how my post(s) are out of line, etc… etc…
Now let me get to the meat and potatoes of what I mean…
- There are countless photographers and leaders in the photographic community who have been doing this thing way longer than I have who create Youtube videos, or write articles on “How to make it in this over-saturated market.” I am not the only one who states that this market is over-saturated as far as the business of photography goes. I should not have to expound much more on this part of the post than this. Just do a simple search and you can find out for yourself what I am talking about.
- Under Educated – Time and time again I see people who are new to photography join these social media groups and they will ask a question such as “new to photography and I would like to get a better lens than what came with my camera” or ” I need a nice portrait lens what do you suggest?” or “I am currently shooting with a crop sensor camera and I need to upgrade to a full frame, which camera do you suggest?” Low and behold before you can blink people are spewing off answer after answer, lens after lens, and full frame camera after full frame camera. What do the majority of these people have in common? They don’t even ask what type of photography will be done. They don’t ask what kind of portraits they are going after. They don’t ask what their goals are in photography? Is it a hobby or a business? All these questions can lead to different answers. A photographer doing it as a hobby may not need a F1.2 lens. Someone shooting sports, action, and wildlife will actually be better off with a crop sensor camera like a Canon 7D or 7D mark II rather than a full frame camera. This is the uneducated part of photography I am talking about. People are so quick to give answers and they don’t even know why they are giving the answer! And, in fact, the frustration some people commented and messaged me about on my post earlier today could have been avoided just by asking what I meant about my post. We live in a society that says don’t be quick to judge yet we are quick to judge or jump to assumptions or conclusions.
I don’t hold anything against anyone wanting to learn. I love teaching and I will talk photography any chance I can get. I love seeing people overcome their fears shooting in manual mode or with flash. I love seeing people take their art and craft to the next level. Yet in these communities there is so much negativity towards brands and companies. There is so much negativity towards people who don’t shoot with this camera or that camera. There are so many people in the community who are truly uneducated on photography and they are misleading others and they don’t even realize it. I believe these three images represent what a lot of the photography community looks like.
We have photographers who have been doing photography for 3 or 4 years who have learned from photographers who have only been doing it for 3 or 4 years longer than themselves, trying to teach others. Today is much different than the past. 20 and 30 years ago we learned in classrooms from people who had been doing it for 20 and 30 years. Today we do google searches and learn from people who picked up a camera last Christmas. My suggestion would be to follow photographers like the Joe McNally’s, the Zack Arias’s, the David DuChemin’s, the Joey L’s, the Amar Talwar’s of the industry. Read their books. Find them on youtube. Learn from people who have been around the block a few times and have years of experience under their belt and stop buying in to all of the nonsense. Why would one spend hundred and hundreds and thousands of dollars are gear because so and so who’s been doing photography for a few years said it was the best lens or camera out?
I hope you got something out of this. Let’s start some dialog. Let’s connect. Let’s build. Let’s share our work. Let’s grow!
Create your magic! – Amar Talwar
(images taking with the Canon Powershot SX730 HS)
One thought on “The Over-Saturated and Under Educated Photography Community”
After 50 years “behind the viewfinder” all I can say is: “what matters is if you are satisfied with your end result”.
This is no guarantee of critical acclaim and certainly not of financial success, but it helps mitigate the feeling of failure when those goals are not achieved.