If Everybody Can Be A Photographer, What Will The Function of A Professional Be?

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The function of a professional photographer will be the same. To make a living from his work.

via What’s Next.

it takes a bit more than owning a camera to be a photographer or at least a certain type of photographer

via Conscientious.

There Are 21 Comments On This Article.

  1. Professional for me is they know and do self critic all the time, and can finish the mission without other stand (monitor / order / push) in behind.

  2. If everybody can drive a car, what will the function of a professional be? Everything from cab driver to NASCAR to stunt driving.

    • @TimR,

      Cab drivers must be “licensed”.
      Truck drivers must be trained and “certified”.
      NASCAR drivers must go through several filters to be allowed to even enter the beginning level races.
      Stunt Drivers also must be certified, trained and undergo many years of “apprentice-ship”.

      Not disagreeing, just sayin’.

  3. the function of the professional will be as always to be the only idiot paying taxes from the job whilst everyone else with a camera and a “real desire to do it for a living” ( but just can’t afford to give up the day job ) undercuts them left right and center or even does it for free just for the buzz of getting published.

    • @stuart rayner, Quote: “Isn’t it funny you never hear writers worry about the fact that everybody knows how to write?”

  4. What am I missing?! Is there a new app that has vision, technical/lighting skills, business sense, etc. functions?

    Having a camera & Lightroom doesn’t make you a photographer, even if it’s a really nice camera.

  5. All apt comments. Personally, I thought this debate had been dead for awhile…

  6. What’s already happening is the professionals are becoming the educators, doing tutorials, photo expos, hosting their own web channel. While the newbies are becoming enthralled with photography and also getting the shaft in fees from the clients.

  7. Professional:
    a : of, relating to, or characteristic of a profession b : engaged in one of the learned professions c (1) : characterized by or conforming to the technical or ethical standards of a profession (2) : exhibiting a courteous, conscientious, and generally businesslike manner in the workplace
    2a : participating for gain or livelihood in an activity or field of endeavor often engaged in by amateurs b : having a particular profession as a permanent career c : engaged in by persons receiving financial return

    I think that if you include a level of education, training, and experience turly charactorizes a professional.

    Maybe professional photographers should be licensed. just thinking outloud.

  8. Sorry, but this is a silly question.

    You could also ask, “If everybody can cook, what will the function of a chef be?”

    “If everyone can write, then what will the function of an author be?”

    “If everyone can sing, then what will the function of a professional singer be?”

    I could go on and on …

    • @Rodney Bedsole,

      The photographers that complain about “everyone” taking away their business are the failures that look everywhere but at themselves as the source of their trouble.

  9. My 2 cents:

    Professional isn’t only the one who sells his work but the one who solve the client needs beyond expectations with great quality and achieves a return of investment for both (photographer and client).

    If you think it’s only about making a living, you can be a walmart photographer, right?… be my guest. ;)

  10. I think that the professional photographer has been too functional in the services they offer i.e. they are the “taker of a photo”, rather than the “advocator of what a good photo can do for the client” One role is Functional, the other is Strategic. The professional photographer of the future needs to understand the added value of strategic visual communication and what that does and how that works in with their client’s business. Functional photographers talk ‘pretty’ pictures and ‘window dressing’, strategic photographers talk about impact on their clients business. For example, creating a powerful and unique visual signature for a client makes that clients business stand out and will give that client a competitive advantage. How many photographers can have that conversation. Currently this is more the domain of branding consultants, marketers and agencies. It should also be the expertise of a professional photographer. Money and work goes to those who can sell real value.

  11. A good photographer stays in business by producing good photos (whatever subjects they might specialize in). There are a lot of people who put their shingle out and announce “I’m a photographer” and usually fold up shop in a year or two because they do NOT know how to do what they are doing, or are learning from the beginning and just getting good when they realize how little money they make at it (and/or lack of return business from many clients because their images just weren’t that “great”).

    I’m a novelist and spent years working on perfecting my craft. When I finally felt like stepping out into the real world and joining author’s groups, talking to agents, etc., I was shocked at what some people produced who thought they were “good writers.” I think self-criticism is a very valuable asset for anyone in the arts, and a difficult one to master. It is something you have to have and do well to truly be considered “professional.”