Twenty eight years ago I finished my degree in Photography and joined the industry as a working professional. Back then saying I was a photographer was often a talking point and people were always interested to find out more. I would also say that there was a definite respect for the profession, we were seen as artists. Calling yourself a professional was also determined by your income, if you earned more than 70% of your income from photography you were classed as a professional and not just a hobbyist.
Fast forward to today and everyone is a photographer, we are all armed with phones that have great cameras and the latest gadgets that can make even the most ropy images look good. Don’t get me wrong I love that so many people are able to find a love for photography, much like I did. I used to take my camera everywhere taking all sorts of photos, but with film I had to stop and think because every image cost me money, in film, processing and printing. Today everyone takes thousands of photos, rarely they are printed and occasionally they are viewed some never see the light of day ever again. So why bother? I know with the cloud or cheap storage it is not exactly expensive but why keep them if you are never going to look at them ever again?
Today I look up at events, areas of interests, majestic scenery and even weddings and I see a wall of iphones, people recording every second. The problem I see with this is they are missing out, on life. For me photography has always been two things, an art like that you see in museums. The second has been a record of a time, place or person. The perfect example is wedding photographs, recording the day and the people for the future and for children not yet born and the people in them that will pass. As a part of that record though the photographs are there to also stimulate the memory for those that were there, much like a smell can trigger a memory so can to a photograph. If we are all so very busy recording the events from behind the phone then what memory will be triggered? We seem to have become so busy recording everything that we forgot we actually have to engage in the event or surroundings to create the memory in the first place.
Whilst it is absolutely a wonderful thing that we are all able to record moments in an instant I do think that we need to stop and think. Ask yourself this question the next time you pick up your phone to take a photo, Will I print or look at this photo again? If the answer is no then put your phone down and just enjoy the moment.
So why do we need in this age of technology a professional photographer? I believe that for many events, such as weddings, family reunions, and family portraits that hiring a professional photographer has two distinct advantages. The first is the quality of the images you will receive, if they are a qualified professional making a living from photography then there will be a distinct difference of quality. The second is that it will free you up to actually enjoy yourself as a proven professional will have the experience and knowledge to capture the right moments and things for you. Clearly this is a win, you get to enjoy yourself and create those receive as well have beautiful images to remind you and cherish.
The next time you have an event where a professional photographer is in attendance I highly recommend that you enjoy yourself and let them get on with their work, leave the capturing to them.
If you would like to find out more about my photography or work please go to www.cvphoto.co.uk or get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org