PHOTOGRAPHERS: When Did We Become So Lazy?

To all my clients who may be reading this, I must apologize,  this post is to my fellow photographers. I would go into some sort of soft formality at this point, but I think the bandage needs to be abruptly removed.

I have realized I am now THAT GUY who tells the kids to get off his yard. 

I must admit, I do not blog as often as I should, but something has really been on my mind. In the midst of what should be the BEST time for my industry, might be the precursor for the WORST time ahead. What do I mean by that?

Right now we have the most access to information and knowledge than ever before. If I want to know about the inverse square law, I can look at my phone and say "Ok Google, explain inverse square law to me" and BOOM, thousands of links come up. If I want to know about guide numbers, BOOM, Google strikes again and tells me. Not only can I know more, it costs LESS to even start in the game, because we have the best technology available than ever before, with an extremely low barrier to entry. 

For example, the Nikon D3300 is currently the top selling DSLR, followed by the Canon Rebel T5(1). Both of these cameras are entry level consumer cameras, priced less than $500. They offer extremely good high ISO performance (>ISO3200). Large resolution files, 24MP and 18MP, respectively, are relatively easy to use, and provide high definition video. In comparison, 10 years ago, when the Nikon D2x and the Canon 1D MkII were the top of the line professional cameras, they had half the resolution, a 3-4 stops difference in ISO performance, no video, and a price tag that was over 1,000% more. 

So, with everything going for us, why do I say that we have gotten lazy?

Maybe as a Generation X member, I'm in one of those transitional generations in our culture. Similar to the Silent Generation's change from radio communication to visual communication on TV. Having to see the next generation just flail about with lack of abstract imagination. Mindless existence. Just going along with the status quo.

As I type this, I miss the sound of a Smith-Corona, the smell of the ribbon, the "chick chick" of the key stroke...was that the good ole days? HELL NO IT WASN'T, IT SUCKED! That era did teach us a few things like appreciation and patience. No red squiggly line under a misspelled word or backspace, or "save as"... none of that. We had to pause and actively think. If we didn't know now a word was spelled, we asked our parents, and then they in turn would tell you to, "LOOK IT UP!" Wow, what a novel idea, looking up something we didn't know or fully understand. Whether it was in Webster, Roget, or Britannica, we had to look it up.. and actually think about WHAT we were looking up, so we would have a reference point.

Now, I have Google doing its best Dirty Harry impression as soon as I type something in the bar when it asks me, "Feeling lucky?" 

So where is all of this coming from? Is this a film vs. digital concern? Not even, but as this world has gotten smaller with the help of social media, namely Facebook, more photographers are able to collaborate with each other from different parts of the world. There are tons of forums, many of them hidden, where we can discuss ideas, techniques, strategies, goals, tips, etc. This is AWESOME! Even another reason why it is a great time to be a photographer. My VENT comes down where collaboration becomes instruction. Which I am still cool with.

My frustration is that many of the participants are not hobbyists who are wanting to learn, but are artists who are CHARGING for their services and claiming the title of Professional Photographer. 

I believe there is a difference between being an Expert and a Pro... not every expert is a pro and not every pro is an expert, but the pro should strive to be an expert, because the pro has a responsibility to the CLIENT. This requires learning and studying to become consistent. I don't understand though, why so many are against learning and studying? Almost every day I see posts like the following: 

I have a mother of the bride asking for more pictures (mostly wants all the pictures, even the unedited pictures).
What would you all tell the mother in this situation?
— FB
What gear do you use to getting the best results? I don’t want to lose the sky but I don’t want the building to be dark from a graduated filter.
— FB
I need some inspiration I don’t normally do engagements feeling nervous session is in 1 hour
— FB
what do you guys use for the ring shot and detail shots? that [lens] is just toooooo expensive for one thing.
— FB

The last one is my favorite, because this particular photographer is holding workshops, which adds to the frustration.

In many of these groups, there is a search function that MANY of the questions such as "what album company," "what lens should I use for," "how many of you like to," and my favorite, "My client wants to;" can be searched and the answer found. YET, many of us, STILL go through the process of asking the question, because we want the answer NOW, and looking it up would be too much work. 

I can't help but think if your business is not important enough for you to do the work, then what do you do for your clients?  So I must ask again; 

When did we become so lazy?






Leighton DaCosta

Hello, I'm Leighton and I help people around the world tell their story. Let me introduce myself. Whether it's for online dating, or a professional profile, it always seems that the "About Me" section is always the hardest to write. Not because you have nothing to say about yourself, but because you want to be sincere, genuine, interesting, and brief all at the same time. I have never been a fan of writing about me in the third person, like: "Leighton DaCosta, was born in Kingston, Jamaica, and moved to Brooklyn, NY at an early age when his parents wanted to form a new life for themselves and their children. In the third grade, the family moved to Orlando, Fl, where Leighton considers his home town. After spending 3 tours in the Navy, he settled in Jacksonville, and now Miramar, Florida, where he now calls home. Today, still wanted by many, he does work as a fashion and wedding photographer. If you have a wedding(or photo shoot)... if no one else can help... and if you can find him... maybe you can hire... ok.. this is not The A- Team." But you see what I mean? What do you know about me? How can we connect? Did you know that my FAVORITE food is Pizza and Sushi? Or that my favorite color is Purple? When I go to the wine bars, I usually order Mimosas, because even the cheapest champagne tastes great with some good ole OJ. When I travel, I like staying in nice hotels. Not because of the name, (even though I AM partial to Hyatt) but because of the bathrooms. One of my favorite hotels is the Viking in Newport, Rhode Island. Small rooms, but AWESOME bathrooms. I LOVE TO EAT, and eating as much as I have, has led me to be about 100 pounds more than I was in High School... Yeah there is some muscle there, but if it was all muscle, I'm sorry folks, I wouldn't be taking photos, I would be retiring from the NFL. If you want to see some of my favorite dishes, follow me on Instagram. Because of that, I find myself now in the gym more than ever. Trying to stay fit and alive... I workout, so I can EAT! Well that's enough for now, if you want to know more about me, follow my blog. Better yet, I want to find out more about YOU. So let's talk!