Photography – Is The Art Dying In 2020
I have been a photographer for more than two decades and have seen a lot of changes over this time but my concern is are we losing the art of photography?
We have seen the transition from film to digital and that was a great change allowed the photographer to see what they were producing there and then, whoever you still had to know the art of photography. Lighting, posing if you were are wedding or portrait photographer, understand the sport and anticipation if you were a sports photographer. Digital brought the true amateur into play with accurate metering and not need an understanding of how a cameras works, the auto setting was fine.
So we look at 2020 and the change that photography has now with mobile phone producing great images as well as point and shoot cameras getting even better. The featured image of Warung Little Bird was taken on a Samsung S10+ unedited, so why should people hire photographers today. It’s the skill of taking a great image, we settle for ok to often.
So I will break down the areas that I specialised in in photography and give my verdict as to whether they are dying in 2020.
With the development of mobile phones, we could see a significant change in how wedding photography was losing its panache. Gone was the time we the family would be excited about seeing the images after the honeymoon, the guest was sharing their images on social media as quickly as they can, obstructing the photographer to get the image they wanted, it was rare that the bride and groom would instruct people not to take images in the isle or at all.
We also had to compete and they are still the true amateurs that shoot on weekends and charges prices that top up their weekly wage, the work was ok but was accepted as they were cheap.
If I was still in the wedding sphere today I would only be doing the couples shots before the ceremony and after the service and producing images not albums, strange from someone that prides themselves on albums, but the image is the key. A great photographer shoots with the end goal in mind.
Success will come from mastering two things the art of photography and the art of the business side of photography, on the business side it is about branding you as the expert and the best for your client.
Conclusion: There will always be a need for wedding photography, but you have to think twice about it being a profession as technology keeps getting better its easier for people to do an ok job and save a few dollars. Not dead but not healthy as it once was
The sports photography industry is shrinking, there are limited opportunities and speed is the key, getting images to the masses is crucial and the modern cameras allow you to do that, however, you must be able to shoot well in camera nad deliver the image clean and quickly.
The sports that I have shot allow you to get the images out with not missing much of the action. The advent of wifi efficient laptops makes it easier for the photographer to shoot directly on the sidelines into the laptop tag and get the image off to a central location to get the photo on to social media or news sites.
As with most things, today now is the only option as someone else will get it out there quicker than you.
The key thing with my sports photography I have moved away from the clean editorial image and produce images that are finished and tell the story with impact.
Conclusion: Sports photography will always be around but will become limited to the number of photographers as most sports and clubs are going inhouse as part of their social media team which in turn will kill off the freelancer.
This has been my focus over the many years since retiring from wedding photography. Jane and I travel a fair bit and I have focused on telling cultural and people stories we ever I go, I set challenges for my self like the 20 Faces of Sanur – Bali, where I walked around Sanur for two days with one lens and photographed the magnificent people of Sanur. You can see the images here.
Whether it be a phone, camera or video this part of photography will never die in my opinion as it is self-serving as well as having the chance to make some money with the ease of access to stock image libraries.
You can hoast your own images online market and sell them as well.
With this type of photography, you can learn at your own pace develop your own style and tell your story as you have seen it, but there is one thing that you must do and that is print your images.
As I have always said over the last 5 years “we are the most photographed society to every life, but we will be the least remembered” so printing is the key not just a digital file on your phone or computer.
Conclusion: Alive and Well.