Saturday, February 1, 2014

Photographer for FREE

Over the past few years my interest in photography has grown from a hobby to a serious interest and now to a potential income-generating endeavor.

There was a time when there was a delineation between amateur and professional photographers; from a technical standpoint, amateurs used inexpensive 35mm rangefinder cameras and occasionally SLRs, while professionals used high-level SLRs, medium format cameras and large format cameras. Professionals had training from other professionals, while amateurs concentrated on family snapshots.

The advancement of technology introduced more sophisticated cameras and lenses for amateurs and a new category of photographer emerged who exists somewhere between professional and general consumer. The quality of image, from a technical standpoint and not necessarily artistic, has given these consumers the confidence that their images are as good as professional work. Also, except to the most tasteful clients, it has resulted in the impression that all it takes is a good camera for anyone to become a professional photographer.

Someone once rightly said "Buying a Nikon doesn't make you a photographer. It makes you a Nikon owner."

A business looking for event photography or a family looking for portraits need only to ask around within their network of connections, and most likely, he or she will find a budding photographer willing to accept the task for free. As a result, clients expect they can find professional photographers willing to work for free at any time, which devalues the entire photography industry.

The second you make something free, people assume it isn’t valuable. That’s why I think even amateurs should charge something, if only to make the customer value the work.

I came across this online advert recently. Its a reaction from a photographer who may have been starting out (like me) but who’s frustrated that he or she is expected to work for free to build the portfolio.

Madhu Madhavan Photography

My photo
Airdrie, Alberta, Canada
I have a passion to shoot still life and portraits. I took up digital photography few years ago and have come to realize that this hobby, that I chose as a means to escape the drudgery of the day is probably one that brings out the best in me. A tiny sliver of time caught for eternity, and worthy of notice, is what I work towards with every image I take. There is no challenge that is too big for me and no job too small. If you like the images I post here then please feel free to comment. All constructive criticism are welcomed.