I went to school for Media Communication. I’ve taken 3 different photography classes. I have my own Nikon and remote control and do my own family portraits because at the moment I can not afford to pay a professional photographer for every holiday. I also take pics of my kids just for fun and read about photography techniques so my own photos look better. Just to give you a little background in case you’re wondering “Who the F is attacking me?”
I will never get into the photography game for a number of reasons, but I have tremendous respect for photographers. At the same time, I have a real hard time with A LOT of pro photographers. Seriously…the more experience, the more snobby they seem to get. I once had an instructor who was one of those types. I took a photo of my grandmother, and I was really proud of myself because to me it really captured her 100%. My father still has it to this day in his office at work and gets compliments all the time from his co-workers and clients. Her personality really shined through in the picture. I thought that pic was golden and I still do! She was dead center in the frame. Top of her head a little snapped off, there was a febreeze bottle in the background that did kinda make it look like it was a tiny little bottle next to her ear. My instructor took one look at it and said “Have I taught you nothing?” Sometimes I think photographers with a passion for photography really work so hard at making their own work perfect, that they forget how to look at a picture! You can’t just look at a picture for how technically sound it is. Sure, exposure, lighting and composition are all very important elements to creating a good photo, but you also have to see the moment that the photographer captured. That’s what normal folks actually see when they look at a photo… not if it’s properly composed or exposed correctly. I appreciate your critique about the photo of the newborn and mother on the bed that the OP posted on here. You did mention the baby’s expression and despite the errors, that she should keep the photo in her portfolio. But I was just offended when you told her that she should stop charging for her work. I do not agree. She has a lot of pictures in her Facebook that I do not believe she should put in her portfolio, and that is something she’ll learn with time. But she has captured some great photos that have “sold” me, as a consumer.
From a consumer’s perspective, if I am scouting for photographers in the area to take a family portrait, I would put the OP as someone on the list that I would consider, depending on prices and what-not. Listen, for a lot of people money is an issue. I know it is for me! If I didn’t become a DIYer, I would be looking for the most affordable but at the same time I don’t want crap pictures. In my area, there are a lot of outstanding photographers but you look at their price list and we’re talking $200-400 a session. No, sorry, I simply cannot afford those kind of prices for things like Holiday photos, birthday photos etc. SO, next option….. head down to Walmart, JCPenny…. But… ugh…. i hate those pictures. So …. because I can’t afford it I can’t have nice pictures taken of my kids? Because you experienced photographers believe that all photographers should have 5-10+ years experience before charging money? And then after those 5-10+ years charge $200-300 per session? Really, photogs…. look at it from the consumer’s perspective! I actually am in this diliemma right now because I have not been able to take good pictures of my kids’ birthday parties because being a host and photographer at the same time is next to impossible. But I can’t hire anyone because I just can not afford it! I have went on Craigslist to check out some deals and the photographers on there are just hopeless….
There were a couple of things that bothered me about this thread and it was not because I was trying to protect a “fellow mom”. It was because I am annoyed by the damn snobbery! I understand that a lot of professional photographers are probably peeved because of new photographers taking their business, but that’s not their fault….. it’s yours. Look at clothing/shoe designers! You’ve got Jimmy Choo who charges thousands for a pair of shoes, there are designers who sell at Sears and JCPenny, and then there’s Payless designers. The designers featured at Payless has their market, and Jimmy Choo has theirs. It’s all about marketing. There’s an episode of “Weeds” that I think I can relate to this discussion. The main character work as an assistant in a really high-class firm. She goes to parties with rich folks and sells dimes for like hundreds of dollars because she tells her clients that it is really exclusive product. She even gives it a cute little french name. She puts her weed in a pretty little package with a bow and she sells loads of it for a 500%+ mark-up! Market your services properly and you won’t have the problem with clients choosing a new photog over you based on price.