There is part of me that is starting to think that the whole downfall of the photography industry is not to blame on digital cameras and how easy it is to get your hands on one. People have wanted to be photographers for decades. Work with gorgeous people, the fast paced lifestyle, being your own boss, it is all very appealing. When professionals were shooting large and medium format cameras regular people started shooting with Brownies and Kodak 35mm cameras and then Polaroid came along and gave us the first taste of instant gratification. So no, digital photography did not make it harder for photographers to get work.
The internet has been around for a while now, is this to blame? No. The internet is a great marketing tool and a great way to get your business out there and make connections and network. It is the new phone line, the new fax line, and it is wonderful!
What about magazines? Some major magazines are going with the lowest bidder and the quality of the photography really does show. You see pixellated images on covers with terrible Photoshop all of the time, just go to any magazine stand and you can tell the difference from a magazine that still cares about photography and one that just doesn’t. But, there have always been magazines who go with lower quality work. There are just more magazines overall now so you see more crappy work.
And you cannot blame cool apps like Instagram or social media outlets like Facebook or Myspace or anything like that. People love photography and taking pictures. I can’t blame them, I love taking pictures too!
I blame everyone who is politically correct. I blame politicians from local people on the city council to the president. I blame the educational system.
I have said it before and I will say it again. Not everyone deserves a trophy! This whole stupid idea that we cannot teach our kids to be competitive, to not be aggressive, oh, and then lets also take away art from the public schools! Lets give them no sense of self, no self-worth and no freedom of expression. Then, let’s have them grow up and realize they can be a reality star and be famous!
This is not a world without limitations but you are led to believe it is. It is this narcissistic daydream that is killing the economy and the creative industry. Sorry to those of you who are parents or who are the result of bad parenting. But the odds are, you are not the smartest kid in your class. You’re not the best athlete on the team. You are not the most original person ever. But you are you! So what if you have never won a thing, maybe you just have not found what you are good at yet?
Just because you want to be good at something doesn’t mean you will be. And this is why I blame the educational system. We are coming to the first generation where all of these factors have come into play. If you are not educated in art or exposed to it from a young age, when your mind is growing at its fastest rate, now can you really experience it? Just look at the art directors that are working today, yeah, I wonder how some of them got their jobs too.
This post won’t change the industry. And as usual, someone might read this and totally agree, but they will not even understand that they might be one of the people I am talking about. It is the way this world seems to be going. This delusion that you can be anything you want to be if you try hard enough is just plain stupid. You might get lucky, but odds are, if you don’t have the talent, you will never be 100% of what you want to be.
I could go on and on listing examples, but I will save that for another day. Enjoy your narcissistic daydream, or to be truly happy, go out and find out what you really are good at!