Is Social Media killing good photographers?

IMG_5692The song ‘Video Killed the Radio Star’ written by Trevor Horne, Jeff Downes and Bruce Woolley in 1978 was first recorded by Bruce Woolley and The Camera Club. An incredible foresight by the songwriters that video clips would be a major driver to sell records not just airplay on the radio.

Forty years later, we ask has Social Media killed the Pro Photographer as video clips did to radio airplay. Social media has silently crept into all of our lives in one way or another. It has changed the way we live, for better or worse, people will debate both sides of the argument.

I gravitate towards the idea that social media has not been so great for photographers trying to earn a living in the digital age. Hard work and talent- no longer a recipe for success.

The pool of people wishing to earn money from the photography space is growing daily, thanks to the world of Social Media. Many of these people haven’t learn to swim yet, but they are the photographers getting paid work because of their social media footprint.

What does this mean for photographers moving forward? It is hard to predict what the future will bring us who knows? With A.I. technologies maybe robot cameras will capture your wedding day in the future.

On a positive note, great talent is being discovered thanks to Social Media, but it truly remains a double-edged sword.

Oh what a time to be alive, the digital age

Happy shooting!

Stephen Finkel

When Do You Start Calling Yourself a Photographer?

43B5CEDC-7632-46FE-8E67-03DBB4707B07At what point do you stop being a person who takes pictures of things and become a photographer, a few years back I ran social nights for photography enthusiasts where we would have coffee cake and talk all things photography.
One night I  asked the group at the start of the evening how many people in the room take photos all the hands would go it the air , then I would ask how many photographers are in the room only a small percentage of hands when up.

I always found this interesting as they were all photographers but hadn’t realised yet, photography is journey of learning and self belief and when you get to a certain point in the journey you realise your a photographer.
Even the people around you will start calling you a photographer, a few years back we were outside a hotel which we were staying at when a security guard stopped me pointed to my camera and said why do you have that thing with you, before I could said anything, my wife looked straight in the eye told them because he’s a photographer! The security guard said don’t point that thing at our guests ,we have famous people staying here, to which I said well yes we are some of those of people, the security guard didn’t know what to say and left us alone.

So what the difference between someone who take photos and a photographer , for my way of thinking a photographer is someone who is always planning ahead, from what gear you take out and to the route and places you travel , the venues you visit and your purpose for doing this is to capture images that are unique or tells a story, and even when they don’t have a camera in hand they are taking mental snapshots of whats around them.

I wrote a quote a couple years back “You Know Your a Photographer When”
When travelling you pack your camera gear before packing clothes.
When running out of memory cards is worst then running out of milk.
When sometimes everything looks Black and White to you.
When you drop a piece of your equipment you feel sick .
When on a road trip you’re the last to get back in the car .

So are you a photographer?

Best regards

Camera Phones Training Wheels for the Next Generation of Great Photographers

IMG_2071Never has there been a time where so many people have access to a camera, with the invention of the camera phone everyday people who would not normally own a camera now have one by default.

Camera phones have changed the way world takes photos, I was speaking to a pro wedding photographer the other day about camera phones and how popular they are, he told me that the weddings he has shot in the last 2 years he can’t recall any guests putting out a camera to take photos, they were all shooting on camera phones, it’s been reported that photography is now Australia’s number one hobby, with a camera in everyone’s pocket no wonder.

On a photo sharing social media sites the camera phones normally as a capture device out ranks in numbers all the other camera devices together, the next generation of great photographers are in training using their phones to capture the world around us, and it’s not just teens it’s spreading across all age groups.

Photography is a creative pursuit, and by the fact of the number people who dip their toe in the pond that is photography, many are naturally talented so we are discovering more and more people with a talent for photography.

If only a matter of time we see a camera phone photographer winning the major photographic awards.

So what’s that mean for the DSLR market at the top end it will be business as normal, but the mid and amateur DSLR users, they are already reaching for their camera phones, a good friend and amateur photographer recently took an overseas holiday , they normally shoot with a high end full frame DSLR but chose to leave it at home and shoot the whole holiday on an iPhone 7.

When I asked why to leave the DSLR at home, they said the weight and security concerns of carrying it with them everywhere, I also asked were they happy with the images they captured on their camera phone, they were more them happy with the results.

For some forms of photography like street and travel photography the camera phone is an natural being small compact easy to use and also capture video without impacting on the scene around you, people seem more intimidated when you point a DSLR in their direction.

So what next for camera phones, the technology is moving quickly with more resolution and low light capabilities and manual control features being added to each new model, people are how choosing handsets based on the camera performance.

On the other side of this, camera phones are changing the world of photography and how we store images, the older generations have prints of those important occasions and milestones as memories, the younger generations have also captured those events but whether they still have them in 30 years from now we have to wait and see.

Best Regards

Stephen Finkel