Most professions in America have some sort of regulatory protection from the intrusion of hacks and wannabes. For instance, certified public accountants, cosmetologists, tattoo artists, hair stylists, bartenders and countless other professions are regulated on the basis of experience, education, qualification, license requirements or any combination thereof. In the arts, no such protection exists.
Fine artists (especially), graphic designers and professional photographers are in a free market with no regulation, which is good, until the hacks and wannabes foul the market with gross underbidding and flat out giving the work away. This has become a very big problem in the creative world and is not just limited to professional photography.
What we define as a photographer wannabe is the Generation-X mom with her new DSLR, going around the neighborhood and taking photos of her new baby and her friends new babies. She may have taken a class or two because she thought it was a good way to make money with a new baby at home. However, the work will always speak for itself.
This wannabe photographer makes the same rookie photography mistakes that you yourself may make: distracting backgrounds, poles and other objects sticking out of subject’s heads, improper use of depth-of-field, no fill flash, horrible cropping, etc. The list goes on and on because this in not a professional photographer, this is an obvious fauxtographer and it is a disservice to the clients and the state of the art itself.
“Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.” This is a well-known photography quote by the famous photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson. The truth is the fauxtographer is making their first 10,000 mistakes on your tab and at the expense of your memories. Beware! You probably could have done better yourself. Or, hire a real pro – a real artist. These are the people who are taking sales from the real professional photographer. Taking a photography class does not make you a professional photographer!
“Of 1,250 respondents, 71.28% answered that they DID have a pro photographer wannabe cutting into their business, and 66.53% agree that THIS IS posing a problem for their operations.”
“From those who have lost jobs to a professional wannabe, almost half (44.72%) observed that their clients switched back to them for the rest of their photography jobs.”
“In addressing losing the job to a pro wannabe, 27.53% discussed the problem with other professional photographers, while 22.41% revised their business policies to prevent further job loss. Of the 18.36% who answered “other,” the majority took no action and waited for the pro wannabe to deliver poor quality pictures and moved on to other clients.”