I often hear photographers complaining about all of the new photographers coming on to the scene. So many of them blame digital technology, part of this is true, it is much easier and less expensive to get your hands on a quality camera these days. But I believe it is something more. It is the evolution of art.
Before the internet all we had to research images was the book store, magazine rack and maybe our textbooks in school. So really, we were only seeing what the media and the schools wanted us to see. And for those of us who lived in the middle of nowhere, going to a museum was just too far out-of-the-way. There were limited channels, then cable came along and it was just more of the same crap but at least you got to see boobs.
Over the last 15 years there has been a huge swing in what you can be exposed to as far as art and imaging are concerned. But let me go back into the past just a little more. Andy Warhol wanted to bring art into the mainstream nuclear family home. How did he do that? Pop-Art. Campbell’s Soup cans were everywhere, multi-colored Marilyn’s were everywhere. This meant that more people were being exposed to art and composition and the color wheel. Suddenly in the 90’s the internet comes along. Now you have access to even more art, you can see all of the paintings from your favorite artist, or the actual portfolio of your favorite photographer. You can also see a lot more boobs.
Right now, today, there are millions of people using digital cameras, their iPhone’s, Instagram and other photo-sharing applications. When I was a kid we had to pay for film if we wanted to take pictures. Now it is so easy to take decent photos. Not only is it easier than it used to be, but the people taking the photos are more exposed to art than any other generation in history! Of course they are taking decent photos, they’ve been trained to and didn’t even know it.
Andy Warhol not only created Pop-Art, he contributed to the creation of Pop-Artists. You can be famous on the internet, have thousands of followers while you are still in high school. I know a lot of photographers who have a huge following because they use the internet and all of these social medial outlets for their own promotion. And then they sell these methods to the new photographers who are coming onto the scene. Which is why you see so many of them popping up everywhere.
The difference for a lot of us is this. We don’t necessarily want to be popular because we post all of the time, we post all of the time because we are excited about the work we create. I post the images I like to show. Yes I post nudes, but not to gain followers, I do it because I like the images. Believe it or not, my favorite image from last year was something I shot at a wedding!
There will be more and more artists coming onto the scene over the years to come, this is something that just IS going to happen. The only thing that helps the true artist is that there is one thing that seems to not be changing as well. There is no money in being an artist and a lot of these newbies will find that out and go out to find a real job leaving us to our artwork and frustration.
Don’t hate the newbies, give them a chance to fail, we owe it to them. 😉