To Aspiring Professional Photographers: What If The Problem Is That You Suck?

ThomasHortonThomasHorton Posts: 323Member
edited November 2014 in General Discussions
http://petapixel.com/2014/11/12/aspiring-professional-photographers-problem-suck/

A pretty harsh, but I feel realistic, viewpoint on the business of being a "professional" "photographer".

#1: You suck at shooting enough pictures to make a difference.
#2: Your photographs suck.
#3: Your marketing sucks.
#4: Your presentation sucks.
#5: Your list sucks.
#6: Your client outreach sucks.
#7: Your portfolio sucks.
#8: Your brand sucks.
#9: Your gear sucks.
#10: You suck.

But the best part is that he gives advice on how to de-suck. :)

Yikes, just the type of advice you don't want to hear, but need to hear. :-\"

Reinforces my belief that being a professional photographer is a hard way to make a living and an easy way to kill a hobby.
Gear: Camera obscura with an optical device which transmits and refracts light.

Comments

  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited November 2014
    Don Giannatti
    Let me be perfectly clear here; I am not referring to wedding, maternity, ‘senior’ and family portrait photography. That is not a world I am expert in, nor do I really care all that much about. While it is most certainly similar in a few areas, the differences are vastly so in the aesthetic and the end use of the images.

    Am i the only only one who totally disagrees with this statement ?


    ThomasHorton
    Reinforces my belief that being a professional photographer is a hard way to make a living and an easy way to kill a hobby.

    100% correct

    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • rbrylawskirbrylawski Posts: 222Member
    I'm not an aspiring professional photographer, so I'm perfectly OK with the knowledge that I suck. I enjoy even my bad shots though and that's all that matters to me!
    Nikon D7100; AF-S DX 35mm f1.8; AF-S DX Macro 40mm f2.8; AF-S DX 18-200mm VRII; SB-700 Speed Light and a bunch of other not very noteworthy stuff......
  • safyresafyre Posts: 113Member
    "Spend the least amount that you can on gear that sits around waiting to be used. Shoot more, acquire less. Use your assets for creating stunning work, in awesome locations, and add cool new shots to your book instead of a new lens to the bag. "

    +1. Whenever I feel an urge to get a new lens, I always end up realizing that the root cause is needing more variety in my book. And that can only come from constantly shooting and experimenting with new techniques.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,089Moderator
    In support of safyre's comment above, I often lust after huge and mega expensive heavy & long teles for wildlife shots but then when I see absolutely fantastic work done with short teles, I realise that the problem is one of lack of commitment on my part, not lack of gear.
    Always learning.
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 1,847Member
    Interesting that this is the OPs 181 st post ( for the non engineers thats the same as 69 which must involve some sucking )

    You can suck as much as you want if you have a healthy bank balance.

    Safyre has it dead right.
  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 2,093Member
    edited November 2014
    I'll admit that not all my Flickr shots are the best quality work, but I'm happy with the photography I do. It brings me joy and that's all I need at the end of the day.

    It also helps that I'm not expected to make a living off of it either. :D

    I think I would have starved to death many months ago if I depended on photography for living with my set of skills.
    Post edited by NSXTypeR on
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • Don Giannatti
    Let me be perfectly clear here; I am not referring to wedding, maternity, ‘senior’ and family portrait photography. That is not a world I am expert in, nor do I really care all that much about. While it is most certainly similar in a few areas, the differences are vastly so in the aesthetic and the end use of the images.

    Am i the only only one who totally disagrees with this statement ?
    Yes :-) Seriously, it's correct, two different areas.

  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,089Moderator
    Go on then, I'll bite: @FlowtographyBerlin: What difference is there in the aesthetic and end use of the images? I am seriously looking for an explanation of this because tbh I can't see it.
    Always learning.
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited November 2014

    Seriously, it's correct, two different areas.

    Yes different but not vastly different

    There is a client, a budget, a deadline and a requirement, that the photographer has to meet

    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,199Member
    I can see Dunning-Kruger operating in my own life.
  • Go on then, I'll bite: @FlowtographyBerlin: What difference is there in the aesthetic and end use of the images? I am seriously looking for an explanation of this because tbh I can't see it.
    Are you serious? In case you are: If you shoot a wedding or event or family portraits, your clients are consumers. If you shoot beauty, fashion, product, food, whatever, your images will (most of the time) go to professionals.

    Consumer: No one will see or care i.e. if the pictures are high-end (technical) quality, not many people will e.g. recognize blown highlights etc. etc., you will be able to even use a not-so-sharp image that has a very nice scene on it, by applying a little post. You can crop-zoom images if you have a nice shot that is worthwile, no one will care. You can shoot an OTUS, no one will notice (in the images), and no one will care.

    Professionals: You have specific technical and quality requirements that you have to fulfill. It depends on the job, but there's a lot less quality tolerance when you shoot something that will be used as a cover or THE portrait or product shot. If you shoot an OTUS, people will notice the difference.

    Plus, the "target-group-is-professionals" shoots often involve lighting at a much more sophsticated level than consumer images do, if at all.

    It's just two different genres.



  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited November 2014
    @FlowtographyBerlin
    My clients be they consumers or professionals , they are often the same people, like me, will recognize blown highlights
    I am my hardest critic and I care
    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,089Moderator
    I couldn't have put it better seven. However, I see Flow's point now, it was just the words he used to get his point across that confused me. I do agree with him though (and you too).

    Some of us have had to hand over wedding shots that aren't as good as we would like them to be, but we work on them until they are 'good enough'. Without exception the clients are happy (and let's face it they haven't got many options).
    Always learning.
  • @sevencrossing and @spraynpray: I'm not saying that if someone shoots weddings, his client don't give a darn. But I believe at least @spraynpray didn't misunderstand me.

    Take Medium Format. Prior to the D800, many clients from the "professional" group requested medium format. Did anyone ever request a certain technical specification from me as a consumer? No. Did any "consumer" client ever notice how f***ing sharp the focus plane was when a Zeiss was used? No. Did any "consumer" client ever specify the specific details of a cross-light setup? No. Did all this happen frequently with "professional" clients? Yes, all the time. Plus the things that I wrote above.

    Does that mean that you don't have to be a good photographer for "consumer" shots? Not at all, maybe even the opposite. All I'm saying is, it's a different genre.
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    IMHO The demands ( they don't do requests) of the typical wedding client, usually way exceeds, my commercial clients
  • I guess we're still not on the same track. But that's ok. No worries :-)
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