Some people "take" pictures, some people "make" pictures.
There are people who take photographs and there are photographers.
Just like there is a difference between people who race cars and race car drivers or people who play soccer and soccer players.
Before anyone considers themselves a professional photographer, think to yourself, do I derive a majority of my income from photography (legal, tax code, IRS definition). More importantly, can I support my lifestyle with my photography alone?
Big difference. It's a tough and very small industry.
07-20-2005, 09:28 PM
07-20-2005, 10:44 PM
I do write off my camera as a business expense. :) It's time to put down the bottle. J/K
07-21-2005, 06:36 AM
I have seen some "professional" work which is absolute rubbish, while some amateur stuff blows me away with its style and freshness.
07-21-2005, 07:07 AM
07-21-2005, 07:22 AM
fully or at least sell their images and many pros who should not be in business.
But like the restaurant business, bad pros don't generally stay in business to long and they don't generally make substansial or even sufficient income.
Photography is subjective, but only to a point. What determines if a photographer is strong is if they are wanted, needed and desired. If they eary strong fees. If they are recoginized in their field.
That being said, there are images placed on AW evey day by amatuers that are worthy of serious money. The next step is, can they market the image and derive a fair fee for said image?
Also, so much of photography is to be able to consistently repeat or create a quality image in tough situations (lighting, weather, space, etc). So many photographs are were just being in the right place at the right time. So can that person actually consistently create imagery of that quality? Those who can are very successful and deserve their fees.
High level fees are paid by companies for ad work as they are virutally guaranteed that the photographer will create something that is worth the money.
A decent days ad shoot fee today is between $8,000-20,000, before expenses (travel, food, assistant, make up, equipment rental, insurance, etc).
Very few pros earn this type of money (some earn even more per shoot).
That being said, before someone considers themselves a pro, they have to consider their knowledge, experience and pay compared to the norm in their field. And if you can't support your lifestyle, you are not a pro by US Tax Code definition.
I just though the first post my be interesting to some.
07-21-2005, 07:25 AM
are using your gear in whatever biz you're in.
Even true amatuers can use the Hobby/Loss rules to write off for three years without turning a profit.
Most pros are incorporated for liability and tax reasons, and the tax reasons allow a loss each year.
We make all our major purchases (trucks, trailers, other camera equip, computers) at the end of the year when we know how much we owe in taxes and what we can write off, etc. Totally legal, and using all legal exlusions.
07-21-2005, 07:42 AM
a lot of great shots come from pure luck, capturing beautiful light or interesting situations. I'm not ashamed to admit almost all my personal favorite shots come from instances like this. A lot of top quality natural shots (sand dunes, for example) can only be obtained this way since they're so dependent on light.
However, really fantastic photographers have the ability to either present an ordinary thing in an extrordinary way, or control the situation to such an extent that they can construct an amazing photograph.
07-21-2005, 07:48 AM
is much more photographer dependent.
I mean, my 63 year old mom can take a disposable and get an amazing photo of a Hawaiian sunset that's ad worthy, if she's in the right place at the right time.
Now, try shooting an ad for Porsche or Audi, where you have two art directors asking you to defy physics. Or hanging out of a helicopter over a car at 130mph with a 500/F4 in your hands, trying to shoot a pan blur at 2G's lateral!
It's also tough to light certain situations.
We shoot a ton of athlete ad stuff for Nabisco, Puma, adidas, Nike, etc. The agents and art directors will schedule a shoot at 12noon, and then want beautiful, warm colors when the sun is directly overhead in an ourdoor setting. All the reflectors and lights in the world will do nothing to make the image look like it should of had it been done at 8am or 6pm.
99% of the time that is asked, the image is impressive due to exposure and sharpness, which have everything to do with the optics of the lens and the photographer than the camera used.
07-21-2005, 09:20 AM
07-21-2005, 10:04 AM
One of the guys here arranged a small 12 hour photo shootout. He's got quite a bit of background in 35mm/medium format photography and has done some jobs in the past.
The shootout was basically to join up with a predefined group, then later be told what you want to shoot, and sometimes it's just a word. In our case it was "silence" and we had 12 hours. There were other rules like, no deleting pictures, and a maximum number of photos you could take. In the end, on average, we only had about 4-6 photos per person. It was tough.
I guess the whole purpose of this is that if you wanted to be good at this one needs to think on the spot and out of the box. Sometimes you'll get art directors request photos for vague things and you have to deliver. I think this is one of the things seperates the pros and the amateurs.
07-21-2005, 11:22 AM
07-21-2005, 11:29 AM
07-21-2005, 11:54 AM
therefore when people ask "Dude what kind of camera did you use to take that pic?" I translate it too "Wow what a nice photo. How could I acheive something like that?" It would help if when you post your pics include some EXIF Metadata and camera/lens used to avoid the same questions over and over, and lower your blood pressure ;-)
07-21-2005, 02:16 PM
07-21-2005, 02:17 PM
07-21-2005, 02:36 PM
the picture, the photolab does. HAHA J/D
07-21-2005, 06:32 PM
07-21-2005, 08:27 PM
07-21-2005, 08:30 PM
07-21-2005, 11:48 PM
07-22-2005, 09:15 AM
I always catch your rant/answer to "What camera did you take that pic with?"