Inspiration often comes from the strangest sources. When you are freelancing… infact just beginning to freelance, there are all possible sources it could come from, and what’s more, you are desperate for it.
Photography does remain an art but it also remains fact that these days, everyone is a photographer, thanks to John and Thomas Knoll (the creators of Photoshop). And of course, digital cameras and low prices for those cameras. The field of photography, news and reporting have changed forever and continue to evolve.
And here I am, trying to make my ‘profession’ out of that. The problem isn’t that there are not enough jobs… of course there are. The problem is there are a lot of amateurs and hobbyists out there. The hobbyists are really good and as it is just a hobby, they don’t charge much, if they charge at all to start with. The amateurs fool around, then go ahead and photoshop it and honestly, most people look at the overall effect, not the details.
The fallout is faced by the professionals who need to make a living from taking photographs. People are shocked when someone says “I charge like about 10 grand for a shoot.”
“That’s a lot!” they say. It is… not, actually. Because the really ‘top’ photographers, or even the medium ones who’ve been around for a while, they charge 5 times that amount for a shoot.
And it is hard work. There is equipment to rent… and then there is post processing and all the running around and the time and effort. It is beautiful to shoot. I love it. But the work before and after… it surprises me that people think it is easy. You point, focus and shoot, they say. But there is a little more involved than just that.
But the nice thing about the 21st century photography scene is it gives you scope to experiment. 5 years ago nobody would’ve believed that mobile phone photography would be big. But now photos taken on an iPhone have a particular following of their own. According to the statistics on Flickr, the iPhone 3G is the second most popular camera, just after the Nikon D90. That is the only phone on the list though… the other cameras are the Canon Rebel XSi (450D), the 5D Mark II and the Canon Rebel T1i (500D).
I do love the feel of some of the photos… but there is that age old debate – what is real photography? Processed images? Sharp, realistic ones? You want prettyness or you want reality? You want altered reality?
Professionally, at least in the starting stages, you deliver what the client wants. People ask me what my unique style is.
I don’t have an answer. I am still finding it. I know I like to shoot people and I probably do have a style in that. It leans more towards earthy and dark. While most others that get the most ‘likes’ are… ethereal. We like fantasy and photographs can create that fantasy. People tell me to hone in to one ‘area’ and stick to that but I like experimenting and trying out different styles till I find out that I like best.
Maybe it isn’t the way to go about it but then this is my first month in school. And it is kindergarden at that.
I post this photo for the day… because it is real and yet a little unreal. Which defines a lot of photography to me.