Singin' the Blues
In the past few weeks I’ve heard the same comparison three times from 3 different people and one written article. However, I’m nice so I rarely speak up and say that I disagree… But this is MY blog and I get to say what I want (and start my sentences with ”But”) and the madness has to stop.
So here’s the comparison; Anyone can purchase a guitar, but can just anyone make good music? The answer is a resounding no. The same comparison applies to professional photography—anyone can own the latest glitzy photographic equipment, but producing quality images requires finesse and experience behind the lens.
I don’t think that we’re comparing Apples to Apples here. I do agree that when it comes to musical instruments, (except for the piano, you could just put the thing on “Auto” and away you go. Right?) like a guitar or a flute, or the drums,.. well, maybe not drums, it takes years to learn to play without inflicting pain on your listeners.
When it comes to photography however, and today’s… how did he say it… latest glitzy equipment, most of these cameras come out of the box ready to go. With a big green “P” on the setting dial (stands for “Professional” by the way J) and a pop-up flash so the chances are pretty good you’re going to get a decent shot. It happens all the time… everywhere.
So why is a pro touting the greatness of today’s technology? Why not! The reality is that tons of folks pick up a new glitzy camera, take some decent pictures of their kids on the playground, get compliments from their friends and hit Vista Print for free business cards ready to let the world know that they are now a photographer.
This is great for folks who love photography, but the ones who want to make a business out of it may as well be trying to get a gig at “The House of Blues” Downtown with their brand new guitar. There is just so much more to photography than the camera. Running ANY business is tough, let alone one where you do everything by yourself. Great photography does not come easy, nor does a profitable business.
Most of the younger photographers that I get to help out get the hard advice to stay in school and study accounting, marketing, and business. Then study lighting and posing. A portrait is just a picture until it’s lit correctly.
So to the “Soccer Mom’s” with cool camera’s I say "More power to you sister. Give it a go, you never know." But (there’s that word again) if you’re looking for someone to create a truly memorable portrait for you, put your money on the pro with experience. In the end, you will save frustration, friendships and money,… maybe enough for shiny new guitar.