No Wonder Our Profession is in Crisis!

I just had one of the most upsetting 15 minutes of my life.  I was looking at my video segments that I have posted on YouTube and I was relaxing with a cigar and a nice Cabernet so I decided to look through some of the videos posted on Senior Photography.  I watched 5 videos and each photographer in the video was worse than the next.  These guys were telling other photographers how to take photos and most of them took outdoor photos in direct sunlight!  I thought to myself, “well maybe it just senior photographers”.  The portrait and wedding videos weren`t much better!  These guys were taking crap and teaching others how to take crap too!

Is it that today`s new-learning photographers know so little about photography that crap looks good or is that YouTube offers even the clueless a stage to perform on?  I don`t want to offend anyone here, actually yes I do, are we so unprofessional in this profession that outdoor photographs taken in direct sunlight is looked at as a salable professional portrait?  It would not have bothered me if these video weren`t seen by many people, they had views in the thousands with many positive comments.  What is going on?

I have written many articles and posts about being careful who you learn from because bad habits are harder to break and unlearning is much harder than learning it right in the first place, but do the new photographers have a shot at ever being a full-time studio owner if they start out watching crap like this?  If you are serious about learning photography and someday making this a well paid profession, learn from those teachers that have the knowledge to teach you the proper way to take portraits.  You have no hope of learning how to take professional portraits watching buffoons that know little more than you as a student or young professional do.  Join a professional organization like PPA or WPPI and attend their educational programs, workshops and conventions.  College programs, books and dvd`s by quality professional photographers are a great way to speed the learning process, but be really careful watching YouTube videos and if you see crap turn it off quick!


~ by jeffsmithbooks on October 25, 2010.

4 Responses to “No Wonder Our Profession is in Crisis!”

  1. What’s really scary is to go to craigslist and see what people are doing/charging!
    I started educating myself over a year ago and have been very aware of the hacks out there. The best education I have gotten is from our local ppa. And, one thing I remember, is it takes five years to be able to create a beautiful portrait. I keep practicing, studying, learning.

  2. very interesting blog,i enjoyed it so much i have bookmarked it and look forward to your updates..keep up the good work

  3. Jeff.. I am afraid it goes deeper than this. Have you noticed the covers of the last 12 Professional Photographer magazine? How would you rate that work? Inside the common theme is the story of the self taught photographer who in 3 years goes from 7 Eleven cashier to NY Fashion photog fame.. without a hiccup.. NO premium is placed on learning the craft even in the house magazine of the PPA which exists to promote professionalism and quality standards. And, finally, the public has not a clue about what it takes to produce a quality image.

  4. Jeff, you are 100% correct. As a leader and educator in the photo industry, I am glad you are taking a stand. As well as educating the educators, we also have to educate the brides …as to what a good photo is. They accept “crap” as great photography because they don’t know. Lets brainstorm with people like you, Patrick Rice and so many other great photographers and see what needs to be done. Nizam

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