Going back to my grandfather's portrait close to a hundred years ago and his in-laws, my great grandparents,
probably fifty years before that - some things haven't changed!
by Skip Cohen
Ever notice how, when you get a group of seasoned professional photographers together the conversation at some point, always goes the same way? People start talking about the "old days". The conversation always highlights how much easier things were or how much less competition there was.
There's sort of an inherited legacy out there starting with the senior crowd, yes, even older than me LOL, photographers who complained about photography going down the tubes because of the shift from black and white to color. It's probably their offspring who years later complained about the move from manual to autofocus and then from film to digital. Now we've got the "thank-God-I'm-retiring-so-I-don't-need-to learn-video" crowd, as hybrid imaging becomes an ideal skill set extension.
Well, the more I think about it, while technology is always changing and new gear and software are pushing us to expand our skill set, there are still a few fundamental qualities of being a pro that have never changed!
For example, new photographers have the same challenges they did years ago: How do I close the sale? Should I advertise my prices? How do I get people to know I'm here? Then there are questions on insurance, promotions and the importance of never compromising on quality. Every challenge has been there for years and in fact, are NOT unique to photography, but important no matter what business you're in.
Just to help remind you of where your priorities need to be:
"Sometimes I do get to places just when God's ready to have somebody click the shutter."
And that's one more thing that hasn't changed - as a professional photographer you're still part of an incredible legacy of creative spirits like Ansel, Avedon, Scavullo, Karsh, Eddie Adams, Arnold Newman, Dean Collins, Don Blair and Monte Zucker, just to name a few. They gave us a foundation and a legacy that belongs to every professional photographer. While it might sometimes be challenged by technology and the economy, it remains a powerful tribute to pride, quality, creativity, and art.
So, that old quote still applies: As much as things change, some things never change.
Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.