Today, photography is like a mold. It grows so fast. In one side, the demand for visual need is increasing along with the media development to view images for example in social media. At the other side, there are too many photographers around. The number of photo imaging graduates in Sydney is around 50 people per 3 months. If it is counted for a year, then there will be 200 students graduated from one photography institution. Just imagine if these 200 people are seriously taking photography as their source of making a living, every year the competition will be getting fiercer.
Let’s try to identify this complicated issue where people who hold DSLR cameras can be called as photographers. We need to use 2 perspectives on this:
1. Costumer’s perspective
As customers, the massive number of photographers gives them more than one alternative. They can pick and choose freely. However, do they just choose a photographer only? No, there are some aspects to be considered such as: price, quality, experience, prestige and reputation. It is not guaranteed that customer will make a line for you when you set a price as lower as possible. And it is not guaranteed also that when you set high price for your good quality photos and you will not get clients. If you complain on great number of photographer thriving in the world then you should see yourself as customers and think if you are on their shoes then identify your dilemma. Observe the market, find what they want and apply the results on your work.
2. Your own perspective as a photographer
Try to identify the quality of your own photography. Is it the same as other photographers? If so, you will need to do some kind of resolution, both in business, skill and personal aspects. There are some unique habits I learn from here. My friends have at least one favorite photographer who they idolize. There are ones who like Paolo Rosini, Irving Penn, Joel Grimes, Annie Leibovitz, Mario Testino, Trent Parke, Henri Cartier Bresson, Joey Laurence, Richard Avedon and other contemporary photographers. Try to make a research. What kind of trend is going on in the industry of photography abroad? Inspirations from others usually can bring something new, new idea for new visual imaging. Try to question yourself on your professionalism, both professionally and personally. Is complaining and disdaining amateur photographers is an unprofessional act? I do not think so because a professional photographer will always have a strong ability and consistent instinct of problem solving in order to create innovation for their pieces of work.
Actually, there is nothing wrong about the fact on massive thriving photographers around because people are not blind about good artworks. They will be ready to pay more for your unique and great pieces. The problem actually lies on the skill of a photographer that never improves and develops with the flow of time. With the existence of digital camera everyone is able to shoot and take images, but there are few of them who can be called as a real “photographer”. Try to learn the market’s taste on photography and train your instinct on it. Always update yourself with the most recent technology in photography today and be a photographer who owns your own character and uniqueness. By doing all these things, you do not have the urge to worry about how many photographers that become your competition. And remember, “Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase!”