#Unfiltered: Dear "Photographers"

1:13:00 PM


I'm seeing a lot of emerging photographers on my newsfeed who are just falling in love with photography. To those people, great for you. However, I like many, want to call you a hack. Because how dare you use auto, how dare you over edit, and how dare you claim to be anything more than an amateur. But here's what no photographer wants to admit, we all sucked at first and many of us still do, myself included. 
The following photos were taken three years apart. My first ever paid photo shoot (for the record I did use Manual) vs my very last shoot. I got drastically better and all my shots are in camera, I don't edit a majority of my photos anymore. I can figure out the perfect f stop in my head and I don't need any tools to tell you what the ISO should be. I know how to pose my clients to flatter them and I developed a style. Between those two shots however, there's almost a TB of photos, there's thousands and thousands of hours of practice, even if it was just setting up a camera and taking selfies. And spaces of time I was supposed to be doing homework, I was studying photography blogs, books and learning from photographers. I put in countless hours to build connections for my photos. 
And for a while I was doing great and everyone knew me as a photographer-until everyone and their mom got a DSLR. 

To the new photographer, many like myself will try and discourage you. It's not that you remind us of who we used to be or what we don't know. You're a hack, you're disgracing those who came before you. You don't give a damn about Arbus, Adams, Jarvis, Bryce, Lawrence or any of the greats. You're charging for photos before you even know how to properly hold a camera or the basics of manual control. And you may only get clients because you charge $25 for a half hour, or you just know the right people. And many people in the photography community will hate and discredit you. Just like many hated and discredited me. 

Although this post sounds like a rant, it's not. It's a wake up call. Don't walk around like its your party, when you haven't even been invited yet. Put in actual work, don't just take clients to take clients, to make money. Try and better yourself and study artists who came before you. Stop trying to make it big and focus on art and your skills. And most importantly, prove us wrong. Right now you're a hack but one day you might be one of the greats. 

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2 comments

  1. I am definitely a beginner. I look to the professionals for inspiration, and "how did they get that shot?" guidance. Digital cameras have enabled all of us to capture more of life's moments. We all have to start somewhere.

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    1. Thanks for commenting on the post! And I completely agree, this post isn't meant to single out those getting into photography. It's more of a you're always going to learn and you've got a long way to go before the creative gap gets smaller. I mean photography's great and people should discover it but I'm seeing way too many people calling themselves a photographer before they even know how to properly hold a camera.

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