Has Digital Photography Raised or Lowered the Creative Bar?

15 12 2009

Has the creative bar been raised now that the point of entry into photography has been lowered?

My mind wonders sometimes and during an afternoon in traffic school I posed this question to myself. Now that almost anyone can afford a camera whether it’s an entry level DSLR or ‘Point and Shoot’ – what has happened to us creatively?

I’m sure there are plenty of arguments for both sides but I think that the creative bar has been raised. Professionals now are separating themselves exhibiting a higher level of expertise more than ever. If we took three photographers (professional, serious hobbyist and amateur) and shot 5 photos of 5 different objects – I’m sure the professional would take away the best pictures. No brainer…they have the most experience and the highest level of technical skill.

The new reality is that the professional has to be on their game so that they do not come back to the pack. No longer can a professional photographer show up and deliver mediocre photographs. My sister’s cousin’s brother could have delivered mediocrity – but a pro…no way. That’s why they are a professional and not someone who take photos occasionally.

Granted, there may be more professional photographers but creatively the hobbyist is pushing the professional to justify their title (and fees.)

What do you think – Has the creative bar been raised? I really want to hear what others have to say about this topic…drop me a line – GRT2

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2 responses

16 12 2009
Chris Bryant

There's a similar debate going on in the music world right now about the ease of recording. With so many people able to make an album, what's the effect? I agree with you that it means the pros need to bring their A game, but it also crowds the market. How do you convince the lay person that your work is necessary, better, and worth more than your sister's cousin's brother's?

16 12 2009
Greg Taylor

Great comment and question. I agree low point of entry has crowded the market in both industries. The simple answer is you get what you pay for. Expanding on that: if someone doesn't recognize the value of professionalism and all that goes along with it they aren't your ideal client. When something is done for free or as a favor you are on their timeline and there is no sense of urgency. On the other hand when someone hires me, together we decide on key metrics to success. Number of edited photos, delivery method and deadline. I don't think you can get that from someone who is not an experienced business person or a professional,During the hiring process I let them know I am not going to be the cheapest nor am I the most expensive – this is what my "total" services include and I outline a scope of work. I let them sell themselves on why I am better and what could potentially happen if they choose to go with discounted or free.I don't enough about the other side of music to comment on your business but this is how I approach it with photography.

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