modeling

The death of professional photography

I am sure some of you who read this will take exception to what I am about to say, and well, ok then.  But for most of you my opinion will make sense.

I have been a professional wedding and portrait photographer for over 14 years.  And in that time I have seen many trends in photography.  From the use of caution tape to models posing with pit bulls.  All of that, as cliche as it was, were trends with relation to style and concept.  The trend that I am seeing now is far more troublesome to the professional photographer.  And that is the “dumbing down” of the client.

When digital came into it’s own the debate over the death of film raged.  I always held the opinion that film use would diminish but not disappear.  The same way that photography diminished the painter.  Instead I took the stance that with digital and the internet would be a vessel that would contain millions upon millions of images.  On the surface this seems like a great idea but in reality it is very dangerous to us professionals out there.  The “how” is simple really.  The internet viewer is bombarded with these images and 99% of which have no regard to quality.  From the duck-face photo of the hot chick on Facebook to the ever so classy “look at my ab’s in the gym mirror” photo.  All of which are taken with cell phone cameras with zero regards to quality.  This list could go on and one but I will spare you this time.

Now, here is where it gets a little more complex.  With each crap photograph piling upon the other crap photographs, the viewer, aka, bride to be, actor needing head shots, family wanting portraits and so on, are lead to believe what they are seeing is what is now considered a “quality” photograph.  The are being brain washed into accepting low quality crap images are the norm and sadly this has become the new standard.  Try as we professionals might, the dumbing down of the average viewer will have a permanent impact on those of us who make a living with out cameras.

The flood of digital images have forced most professional to lower their pricing to try to stave off the influx of so called”wanna-be”, Cragislist photographers.  These  part-time, weekend warriors are the ones that will do a whole wedding for $500.00.  My issue is not the GWC (guy with camera) trying to make a buck.  My issue is with the client.  The bride who has been so condition into believing that what she is seeing on Pintrest and Facebook is the norm.  She has become oblivious to the fact that she should to expect MORE in the way of quality from her photographer rather being forced to settle for low quality crap images.

Most clients have devalued true professional photography.  They are willing to settle for low quality images for the sake of savings.  The real issue is that the clients are right!  They know they can hey a GWC for $500.00 and be ok with just “ok images.  The super majority of photographers are not professionals, they are simply GWC’s and don’t care about quality or customer service.  And this is the core issue.  The clients are being duped into accepting low quality because that is all they have seen.  And to be frank, I do not see this trend changing.  So what can we do?  Nothing really.  We can keep buying the newest $3,500.00 digital cameras and hope for the best!

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Head Shots Are Vital!

If you use your image for ANY sort of marketing a professional head shots is a MUST!

 

Regardless if you are an actor, realtor, business executive, book author or anyone who uses a image of themselves to promote or sell their wares a professional head shots is important, no, it is a must!  I know this may sound like common sense but I have seen many so called “professionals” with signs, business cards and flyers with photos taken by their friends. And I must say they shots are horrible.  Sorry for being so blunt, but if is the best you can do then you may need to either find better friends or stop being cheap and pay for a professional photographer to take a high quality image.

What is this important you ask?  Simple, because the imagery you use tells the prospective casting director or client that not only do you take yourself seriously but you are professional and deserve serious consideration.  Let me share a personal story as to why this matters.  When my wife and I we house hunting we first had a realtor that had a amateurish head shot or her sign.  I said to my wife this is a sign and maybe we should move on.  My wife insisted that it does not matter and of course I smile and said yes dear.  Long story short, we had an appointment to view a house she really wanted and we waited for 45 minuets for the realtor to show up.  She never did!  11 days went by and the realtor sent a text asking if we wanted to view the house.  The next realtor we used had professional marketing material and we closed on our hour in 30 days with zero issues!

The old saying still rings true; “you never get a second chance to make a first impression”.  So who on earth would you want to me cheap and do things half-assed?  Yes, I am being abrasive and dare I say maybe a little “in your face” but I am this way because I genuinely want to see you succeed!  Below are a few examples of head shots.


 

Actor Head Shots need to be impactful and make a casting director take note.  Sophia needed a "harder" look and less girl next door and I think we nailed it!

Actor Head Shots need to be impactful and make a casting director take note. Sophia needed a “harder” look and less girl next door and I think we nailed it!

Eden is a opera singer and an actress.  She wanted a more up-beat and "bright" head shot.  This was done in her home with 100% natural light.  Eden is amazing!

Eden is a opera singer and an actress. She wanted a more up-beat and “bright” head shot. This was done in her home with 100% natural light. Eden is amazing!

Commercial modeling head shots are tricky.  They need to be inviting and yet convey emotion and this one was a hit with her agency!

Commercial modeling head shots are tricky. They need to be inviting and yet convey emotion and this one was a hit with her agency!

Realtor Head Shot

Realtor Head Shots need to be positive and inviting. The subject needs to come across and approachable and trust worthy and Nora does all of this.

 

 

I hope you can see that at a cost of $99.00 these people were able to obtain a clean, professional looking and affordable head shot.  As a photographer you must have the ability to understand your clients needs and produce images that will help them improve their careers.  For more informations please contact me below: