Often today we see many established photographers complaining about the number of new photographers, especially the ones referred to as “moms with a camera” (MWAC’s). Many include those who are weekend “warriors” who have regular jobs but do photography on the side, often charging considerably less than the “working pro”. Many times these people find little help and guidance from established photographers because of this attitude.
Even though I am just getting started as a “photography business” and still working on establishing a clientele base I am here to welcome those new photographers. In fact, I am here to offer them help, guidance, training, and sharing 30+ years of experience. I originally learned through the school of trial and error, with a big emphasis on error.
Just like the family above, photography and the photography business is a journey. The new family has set out on a journey. Along the way, the journey will not always be peaches and cream. The sidewalk may have some rough spots, it may have hills and valley, it may even be dotted with barriers, sometimes those barriers may appear insurmountable. The journey of photography isn’t much different.
We often hear long time photographers complain that the business of photography is being destroyed by discounted photographers and the giving away of digital files. Many also blame the new photographers for this demise. To this, I call bullshit. Sorry for the crude term but I don’t believe there is a better way to describe my disdain for such an argument. Discounted photography has existed since the beginning of the photography business. While digital files are a more recent issue, let’s face it, we live in a digital age. Like it or not, digital is now. Where will we go in the future, who knows?
I want to welcome the newbies and moms with a camera. I want to welcome the weekend warriors. You know why? They bring innovation to the business. They bring fresh ideas and perspectives on photography. Many of those moms with a camera understand the struggle of making “ends meet.” They understand the balancing act of keeping within the budget and preserving memories. I want to welcome them so much I am willing to help them learn and hone their photography, not because I believe they will hold the same tired attitude but so they too can become successful, by their own definition with quality images, be them print or digital. I am so passionate about doing so that I often donate time to help them, even though I would rather sell the learning and training as part of my business.
Back when I was working my first career I would often hear a statement when a change was proposed something like this; “We can’t do it that way because we have always done it like this.” I hate that kind of thinking. Change is inevitable. This is the 21st century. We can’t still do things they way they were done in the past. We need to look towards the future and fulfill the needs of today.
Again, welcome new photographers. New photographers keep the business going. New photographers keep the passion going. New photographers cause innovation.