photography

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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Fuji X Series Cameras, I’m In Love!

Elaya4-W

I am a huge fan of the Fuji X series cameras!  Ok that is the end of my blog post!  Kidding, of course.  Let me explain why it is I love these cameras.

I dipped my toe into the Fuji X pool a little over a year ago when I bought my X-Pro 1.  I was just like everyone else who used this camera, I couldn’t wait for the next firmware update!  The X-Pro was beautiful and maddening at the same time.  It missed focus a ton, was slow and unsure of itself.  But as time went on and as Fuji listened to their customers, through diligent firmware upgrades that camera started to soar!  Now I can gladly say that not only do I love my X-Pro1 but I also love my X100s and X-E2!

I love that these cameras excel where a camera should, image quality.  Fuji did it right with their sensor and mojo thingy that is inside the wonderful little jewels of image producing perfectness!  The colors are bold, different but no so different that they are not believable.  As close to film as I have come with digital.  The auto focusing is much better on the newer versions but at the end of the day I never thought they that bad after the first few firmware upgrades.  Are they DSLR fast, no, but then again they are not supposed to be a DSLR.  They work exactly the way they should.  As a tool to help you achieve the best possible image quality, period!

If you are a B&W lover, like I am, then you will not find anything out there that does B&W better than the Fuji X system cameras.  I know this may sound like a bold, dare I say dangerous statement to make but I will stand buy it until I am proven wrong.  I am not sure what it is about the B&W’s that come out of these cameras but when I pair a B&W image from my X-Pro with my Epson 7880 which is loaded with Peizography ink sets, well it is as close to wet darkroom as you can get.  I print on Canson fiber based baryta papers and I will say the prints are stunning.  And the Fuji’s have a lot to do with that.  The detail, sharpness and dynamic range in RAW is exceptional and most of all I can shoot RAW and keep all of the lush goodness the Fuji files give me.

Let’s be real here.  The Fuji’s are not a magic box that will make you a better photographer, but I will say, when I hold one of these wonderfully built instruments I do “feel” like a photographer.  it is a hard thing to explain and I freely admit it makes no sense but it is a feeling that is real and genuine.

What do I want to see next from Fuji?  Full frame!  I shudder at what can be accomplished as a photographer if Fuji put out a $2,500.00 18-24mp, full frame work of art!  I will be the first in line to buy one!