Could it be Your Photography Sucks?

The old saying, “we would rather be killed by praise than saved by criticism” is never more obvious than in the profession of photography today. No matter how poor of quality an image is, no matter how much it sucks, there are so many people trying to learn photography and know the stinging pain of criticism that someone will step up and tell the creator of the posted snapshot, “it beautiful”. While this makes someone feel better, it really does nothing to help that person trying to learn photography and get better.  While you don’t want to crush their spirit, they have to know how bad they really are to get better.  Studio Portrait Lighting DVD $59.95 FREE SAMPLE VIDEO

I think this is the missing piece in the education of young photographers today.  People go from buying a camera to working with clients so fast they don’t learn enough to even know how bad they really are.  It isn’t until a paying client “rips them a new one” because their wedding photographs or babies first portraits look like they were taken with someones cell phone camera!  At this point they realize they might have a little more to learn about photography.  At this point they realize that the kinds words about their photography were really family and friends being nice, not giving honest feedback about the quality of their photography.

Anything worth doing is worth doing well.  Learning professional photography takes time and that is a good thing!  If plastic surgeons could go from buying a laser to doing  surgery in a week, they really wouldn’t have a great lifestyle and you would see people turning to high school students to do their nose jobs and breast enhancements, much like we have in photography today.  This Saturday, in every city across this country there will be weddings taking place that have a bride and groom thinking they have hired a professional photographer, when actually they have hired someone with less than 2 months experience (and in many cases an individual that has never taken a class or cracked a book to learn anything about professional photography!).  They will have no idea until they see the images of their wedding why this young man or woman was so inexpensive and by then it is too late. OUTDOOR PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY 75 MINUTES, 5 LOCATIONS  FREE SAMPLE

To key to long term success in any profession is to learn and keep on learning. I started learning photography when I was 14, did my first wedding at 16 (which I did not charge for and I explained that I was learning photography and not a professional photographer) and open the studio I have today when I was twenty-one.  Today I am 48 years old and although I have been in this business for years, even though I have written 13 books, I attend as many seminars, classes and conventions as my schedule allows.  I am always reading books on photography and business and always buying/watching training on dvd.  The main difference between professional photographers of yesterday and today is that photographers of yesterday realized there was always more to learn and you could take your skill and your craft farther than where you were today.  Many photographers today look to know just enough to start getting paid, which is sad for their clients that have to pay for photography that sucks and sad for these photographers that will never have a lasting profession.



~ by jeffsmithbooks on October 27, 2010.

2 Responses to “Could it be Your Photography Sucks?”

  1. Totally agree!! I’m just starting to charge and I have been attending night classes to get an associates degree in Photography!! I think there is much talent, but directing and focusing it and education is a must to really grow beyond the limits of the everyday snapshot!! I am learning so much and have a scholarship to a business seminar in December that I can’t wait to attend. Imaging USA in the spring. Go to these things and absorb like a sponge. And yes, get honest feedback from fellow photographers who have been at it longer and you will really see yourself shine!

  2. COULD NOT AGREE MORE!! I have always had a passion for photography, and I’ve been studying it in school for 5 years now. It seems like everyone can try to claim they’re a photographer now a days, which is SO FRUSTRATING sometimes. It’s a breath of fresh air to read this and say “yes, THIS!” …thank you.

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