It’s one thing to be a photographer. It’s another thing to be an artist. This post is about the difference between the business world and the photography world. It’s the difference between the passionate artist and the money-hungry workaholic.
When I first started photography, I got into it as a passion project. I liked shooting photos of birds, trees, babies and so on. I loved that I could capture something beautiful and that what I had to show people made them happy or gave them a warm feeling inside. This is how I got into the business. Eventually it lead to people asking me to do their weddings. Friends would call me to take pictures of their kids and offered money. Musicians would invite me to their shows and asked me to bring my camera. It only made sense that my passion become my business.
Starting up as a photographer is easy when it’s truly your passion. Because it’s what you love, you’d do it regardless of the pay. And as you build your portfolio, people come to respect you more and offer you more money. It just happens to work out that the things you love are the things that will pay you the most.
On the other side of the coin you get people who are hungry for money and looking for a way to do it quick and easy. Someone buys a DSLR at Best Buy and calls himself a professional photographer or a wedding photographer. The angle that he takes his picture is off, the aperture isn’t quite set right, he lets too much light in and produces low quality pictures. This is typical of someone who looks at art as a way to make money, and nothing more.
It’s a shame that the amateur photographer who happens to be a good salesman can get so far. He couldn’t tell you what an f-stop is, but he can give you all the words in the world to make you think that your wedding is going to be the most beautiful shoot there’s ever been. He’ll show you a couple of fluke shots that he got and then take your money. In most cases, he’ll produce a photo that you’ll like, but to any pro it’ll look like one of your friends took the shot.
My point in writing this is simply that photography is an art form. It’s supposed to communicate. It’s so much more than a profession. The true artist is going to make a good photographer, and that’s who you want to do your shoots.
I don’t mean to bring down other photographers. Chances are you’ll find the photographer you want because he produces quality pictures that appeal to you. But I truly believe that when you pick your photographer and talk to them, you should find out if they’re really an artist or if they’re just a business man/woman. This could make a big difference for you. Pick someone who truly holds their craft to heart and cares about what they produce for you.