I’m new to this forum – not to photography, but I lurk often and this thread struck a chord with me.
To the OP – I’m sorry you had a not so great experience. It’s not fair to you, and please don’t feel embarrassed! For anybody looking to get photos of their family, it’s like jumping into shark infested waters. If you don’t know what you are doing, it’s easy to get blinded by a great price and eaten up by one of the gazillion ‘artists’ trying to make it in this industry, using unsuspecting families for practice.
To what.dreams here is the thing. Nobody here, imo, is ripping apart your work just to bully you and squash your dreams for ‘fun’. The fact of the matter is, we are looking at somebody (you) who obviously *wants* to do this, but failed to learn the basics before jumping in. It’s a common, honest mistake. Nobody here says you CAN’T do this, they are just saying ‘here we go again, another person using the same bag of tricks as every other new photographer, not seeing the bigger picture‘ (excuse the pun. . .)
I always compare it, personally, to a contractor showing up at your home, offering to do the job for a cut rate, and then not even knowing how to start the consumer level machine he’s using to do the work. That would be unacceptable, and yet, for some reason in photography people seem to think that it’s ok to jump in and start charging money, despite a lack of experience or even a basic understanding of how lenses and light work. Don’t even get me started on doing this for somebodies wedding day!
It’s not the camera that makes good photos, it’s the photographer – if it were the camera, there would be NO need for people to hire others. It’s our job as professional photographers to draw that line in a MUCH higher place. There should be a HUGE difference between consumer photography and professional photography – but people who just jump into the business because it’s a ‘dream’ are really lowering the bar.
So instead of getting defensive and upset, realize that:
a: Professional photography is a competitive industry. You are not special until you make something special of yourself.
b: By shooting in auto with your pop up flash and over editing your images, you are doing yourself a disservice – this WILL be your demise as a business, and it’s unfair to clients who pay you money to be a ‘professional’. When you shoot on auto, with a pop up flash, your level of expertise is no better than that of a consumer toting around the same camera. Why is that worth money? It’s not. It’s a scam to charge people, who don’t otherwise know better, for work that is nothing more than they can do themselves.
c. If you want your ‘dream’ to be a reality, you need to listen to what others and myself are saying here. It may sound harsh, but it’s the truth. If you really dig deep, you’ll see that myself and others are trying to help YOU, and elevate the industry which is FULL of new photographers trying to make it.
Now that you’ve been told where you are doing wrong, do the RIGHT thing. Have some humility and say ‘ok. . .there is SO much more too this than I thought. ‘ Calibrate your monitor. Find your style. Shoot family for FREE to practice. Do NOT get yourself on groupon or living social. Take webinars. Find a local pro willing to work with you, and PAY to learn. INVEST in your business. Get a membership to a professional organization. Don’t use consumer level websites, blogs, and proofing galleries (photobucket? No. Invest. Prove that you are passionate about your business and your work.) Invest in liability insurance. Understand what the difference is between your pop up flash/kit lens and a speedlight/prime is, and how they can positively affect your work ONCE you understand how to use them.
It’s a long, long road. . .I wish you luck. It’s up to YOU to follow your dreams. We are just encouraging you to take the right path, not the path towards failure. . .