Death of the professional photographer?

The two photographs were taken at the same time, at the same wedding with very similar cameras, the difference was who was behind the camera.

Last week I was having a chat with a photographer who’s work I really admire and he made a statement that has had me thinking. “I think that in 10 years there will be no such thing as a ‘professional’ photographer anymore”. This worried me especially as I look up to this guy and he has many more years experience in the industry than me.

Like I said it started me thinking, the cost of entry and quick learning curve that comes with todays cameras along with the unlimited amount of information and tutorials available to us all does mean that taking a good picture is easier than it has ever been. There are a dozen + ‘wedding photographers’ in my town alone, many who have full time jobs in the week and do it as a side line charging half what I do and some appear to do a pretty good job too.

So is there a place for a full time photographer along side these ‘weekend warriors’? Can I compete and justify being full time? It is difficult considering the overheads and time I spend training, learning and marketing myself when often the first question from a couple is “how much are your packages”? Should I subsidise my business with other offerings, baby portraits, commercial events, a full time job?

I have come to the conclusion that as long as I can offer something more that ‘Uncle Bob’ I should be around. The wedding photographs that my parents have from their wedding in 1969 would not be good enough for todays couples and if that was what I was producing I should be out of business.

Todays couples want more, they want higher quality, they want something a little more stylish and creative. They want to look good and be proud of there wedding photography.

I have photographed weddings where there have been guests with bigger, better and more expensive equipment than me but the gear is only part of the story and I have sat down with the couples after the wedding and they have been delighted with my work.

Like the photographer who photographed my parents wedding in 1969 we have to step it up and create something that can’t be replicated by anybody who owns a half decent camera. I guess if it was all about gear we’d all buy the same golf clubs as Tiger woods or play the same pianos as Beethoven.

So, I have to disagree, I think there will always be professional photographers out there but that in 10 years from now they will be a producing even more beautiful, stunning work. There will also still be the Uncle Bobs and the weekend warriors but hasn’t there always been?


You can see my work at: www.bryanfarrell.co.uk or find me on Facebook just search ‘Photography by Bryan Farrell’.

Feel free to get in touch: 07955 888 761, info@bryanfarrell.co.uk

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