What is it about being a photographer that you wish you could change?

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I wish I could scale back the amount of time I spend in front of a screen. It’s beginning to define what “being a photographer” is like these days.

via » 10 minutes with Wesley Mann this is the what.

There Are 19 Comments On This Article.

  1. Isn’t being in front of a screen similar to being in a darkroom? To me that’s half of the art in being a photographer.

  2. I wish I could change the economy for the better, to have a chance at some of the sorts of opportunities that they had in the 50s, 60s, 70s and even the 80s.

  3. Unfortunately I agree. I spend too much time in front of the screen even when I’m shooting film. At least in a darkroom, time seemed to fly, or get sucked away into the void.

  4. A tall order but since you asked – I wish I could change the way photographers mentor/ train other photographers.

    Some type of apprenticeship / mentoring scenario similar to the Electrician Apprenticeship system (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Joint_Apprenticeship_and_Training_Committee).

    These apprenticeships offer hands on experience, pay, and benefits during your time: “Earn While You Learn”.

    I love the access to photographer’s work via social media, YouTube, and online resources but it is detached without going beyond the digital realm.

    Internships are beneficial but you have to either pay to have the time to particpate with one (higher education that provides school credit), or enter into one that offers no substantial pay (even though the experience good and bad is priceless).

    Photography Journeymen perhaps? A living wage while receiving education, experience, honest critical feedback on the craft. Right now i believe that’s what I would like to change about being a photographer. Great question!

    • Um, isn’t that what assisting is? If you’re truly skill less, at least you can carry stuff and glean what you can by participating in the process. Once you learn enough via that avenue, you can start to get paid. Once you learn enough, you make a break from assisting.

      • In a smaller and more traditional sense, yes that is what I think assisting can provide, too. However, a 1099 wage or assistants paycheck is not a living wage with benefits and focus on education and mentoring.

        Maybe an Apprenticeship system would allow assisting to be more mutually beneficial for the “skill-less”/ those wanting a career in photography and the photographer that is providing the on the job experience and education?

        • I’m not sure of what education system is like where you are, but here in Canada when you study post-secondary photography, you learn hands-on. Hands-on is studio and location shooting, as well as work placements and internships. Other trades like hairstyling and cosmetology have similarly structured learning.
          While I think Electricians and other similar trades have a good apprenticing system, I think photography requires a much more solid education to excel in your field. As great as it sounds to make money while you learn, I believe that dedicated education is more appropriate. You can always do photography courses at night while working your other income generating job. Or while you study full time, you can do as I did and work part time at a studio.

  5. While it had its moments, I don’t really miss being in the darkroom. Sitting at a computer is a much more pleasant experience and I agree that the two are equate-able and both were/are part of being a photographer.

  6. I have learned to shoot less, and there will be less to edit when returning. Specifically, I am more focused on getting good shots that I like and editing while shooting, to eliminate dups and blurs that I know I am not going to use. I keep my photo count low, other wise, yes, spending time in front of the computer does suck. For my art gallery work assignments sometimes I look forward to seeing what I can do with filters, playing with lighting, and finding different ways of showing my images.

    My wish: R E S P E C T . Photography is a profession for me, not something I just “like to do”. I wish more people respected the fact that taking photographs is the way I make a living.

  7. Screen time is developing, contacts, proofs, print time etc. it is under a safety light or under a controlled light.

    Respect for the amount invested to develop not only technical skills but also the continual honing of creative skills. This isn’t a trade where you just grab a camera and shoot on auto…is it?

  8. I’m surprised this is being interpreted as a slight on digital photography. I was actually reflecting about the amount of time I spend email marketing, researching, promo printing, twittering, blog posting, file managing, maintaining a portfolio, editing, retouching , and billing. I normally do all of these things on my laptop or tower, but even when I manage to pull myself away I’ve got the old Iphone and Ipad luring me in with their seductive glow.

  9. I wish those darn digital camera doohickeys had never been invented so photography never would have gone from a skilled craft to being a prosumer-dominated button-pushing-monkey of a commodity-service position.

    Ha. Just kidding, but it’s sort of how a lot of clients see things these days.