Everyone takes pictures but can anyone be a photographer
There are the ones who are and those who believe they are photographers.
As technology has changed and improved, most mobile phones are equipped with a camera.
To support this feature, there are Apps which allow to retouch and add effects such as filters to the captured scene.
But what is a photographer?
Of course, it is a person who takes pictures whatever the sector of activity. Some are experts in a specific area:
- food and drink
There is a skill to compose the image – this means by framing the subject(s) in order to give the entire scene something appealing and attractive. A lot of people can press a shutter button but, there is that extra expertise which will make a basic object/building look special. It can be related to the angle, the light or the shadow.
As everything is digital it’s very practical to spend hours on a computer to transform a boring or bad photograph. It seems that talent is no more necessary, because dedicated software will allow even a person with average skills to produce something good.
Some businesses have employees who spend all day & everyday retouching and even creating images from scratch. In fact, no camera is used! Meanwhile, the final image will look real with the correct shadows, perspective, colours and all other relevant details.
It becomes harder to differentiate real from fake landscapes, buildings and overall situations. CGI (Computer Generated Images) is the “enemy” for photographers.
As an example, if an advertising agency is after a particular Summery shot of holidaymakers walking on a sunny beach for the forthcoming marketing campaign, knowing it’s November, it is guaranteed that everything will be created digitally in-house by using high-end equipment, but not relying on a photographer.
Are photographers still needed?
The answer to this question can be vague. Having mentioned CGI just above, it is certain that a photographer still has an important role to play when it comes to cover an event where imagery is a must. What would be an article about The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee without a single picture?
We mustn’t forget that readers – whether online or in newspapers – want to see what happened or who was wearing what! Consequently, sending someone to cover the Palme d’Or in Cannes is essential for most glossy magazines.
Such coverage has to be done with high-resolution cameras and smartphone selfies won’t be good enough.
Taking photos on holidays, during a night out or for a celebration is accessible to everyone!
But let’s face it, a little sensor at the back of a cell phone won’t produce a pin-sharp image – or at least not as good as a professional DSLR.
Getting the right gear can be rather pricey. It usually starts with a camera body and a lens, a tripod or monopod (the latter being more practical to use and transport). In general, a pro photographer will own more than one kit, mainly to be able to take rapidly action shots or close-ups.
In the long term, the total spent by a freelance photo-journalist/reporter can reach a substantial amount. We are talking in thousand of Pounds. It is indeed a job where it is essential to be able to get the latest equipment, despite of not earning that much.
There is a great documentary titled “homme less” which says it all. Working in a glamorous surrounding but, struggling to survive with dignity. There is always the reverse of the medal.
In reality, there is a price to pay to be part of the crowd, even if behind the camera. It is a bit similar to owning properties and buildings – freehold investment is great as long as the finances follow.
What does this mean?!
A photographer can be present in all swish and trendy venues but this doesn’t mean that he/she lives in a luxurious penthouse. In many cases, it is surprising that those people sharing their evenings in swanky hotels may share accommodations and their equipment is the only thing close to their heart.
Don’t be fooled; they are there to cover a party or an award ceremony but they belong to a no man’s land. Standing between the excited crowd/audience and the actual A list.
Not everyone can be a photographer unless you are ready to sacrifice your lifestyle.