Apparently the new way of doing business is to not just be good at what you do and market it. I have said this before but it does appear that the photography industry is now truly a celebration of mediocrity. Now I am not bashing anyone who has a desire to be a photographer who might not be that good yet or anyone for that matter who picks up a camera. I have a huge passion for photography and I wish everyone could feel the way I feel while shooting. It is addicting and such a natural high for me, everyone should experience this at least once in their life!
What I am bashing is the fact that people don’t know better. People do not know what is good photography anymore. For the most part they do not even understand what they are spending money on workshops for. They just flock to them because of who is teaching it and for some reason people idolize and celebritize these photographers who are really nobody special. Everyone wants to teach and have other photographers worship them. These “Shutter Gods” are false. I just watched a video yesterday on film photography. It was more like three idiots in a field with some great cameras and they can show you how to take snapshots. One of them flat-out admitted that she didn’t understand f-stops….. (pausing for a WTF moment)…..
If you don’t know the two functions of an f-stop or even have a clue how to use the in camera light meter, I think it’s fair to say that you should not be teaching anything about photography to anyone. This is Photo 1 basic knowledge! Yet this whole thing was sponsored by huge companies, I guess I need to go get a funky hair cut, some designer jeans with properly ripped holes in them and run around and “act cool” to get Fuji to send me some free film. But once again, the industry is playing to the lowest common denominator. Not to mention that another huge leader in the photography industry held a meeting a couple of years ago, that I was asked to attend, no I didn’t crash it. They were talking about how they were changing their focus from actual professional photographers to start targeting stay at home moms and these women who, in their words “have nothing better to do” because they have their husband’s money and need a hobby that could potentially be a second income. Are we back in 1962? Just checking.
So this is the state of the photography industry today. Rather than pushing forward and really trying to create amazing work, which some people are doing and some of these great people are giving great workshops. So just to clarify before I move on, not everyone who gives a workshop is a tool, several are, but there are some amazing people out there too! Back to my point. There is more money selling to people who are just starting out who don’t know any better. The entire industry is clouding the knowledge of newer photographers with false hope and really setting them up for failure.
Here is my advice. Don’t listen to anyone who has been in business for less than 10 years, at minimum 5 years. They have not made enough mistakes yet for you to learn from. They do not know enough about anything to be teaching anyone. If you want to succeed, learn from someone who has been there and who has made the mistakes you are about to make. Some of these people will even give you free advice simply because they just love talking about photography.
Well I’m off to get my stuff together for a wedding today, on a boat y’all….. stop celebrating mediocrity and start pushing yourself to be the best you can possibly be. In the end, you will be much happier, it’s worth the hard work.
Here is one of my recent favorites from my very first shoot with Janna, it just kind of turned into a bridal session out of nowhere! The Average Jim style of course 😉