It often happens that, when you're talking to someone or a small group of people, you mention that you're a photographer. Suddenly, everyone starts talking about their new Canon Rebel, or how their iPhone takes better pictures than the last camera they bought. And then someone asks the inevitable question: "Isn't it scary that you might become obsolete soon, thanks to all of these affordable cameras these days?"
The truth is, while there are amazing new advancements every day, there are things that Joe Soccer Dad just doesn't understand about photography. These are things that a professional, on the other hand, has already figured out. Continue reading for some of the reasons why true professional photographers don't really need to worry---at least, not yet---about entry-level prosumer cameras or what's referred to as iPhoneography.
Pros Know How to Harness the Power of Manual Settings
Setting a camera to Auto doesn't make an individual a photographer, and this is because even the most sophisticated cameras will produce the same results as the cheapest cameras on the market when they're set to Auto.
A true photographer who's done his or her studying and put in many hours of practice knows how to use the manual settings on a camera properly. A professional isn't afraid to venture into various shooting modes in which you need to have a solid understanding of photographic concepts to capture the most impressive and highest quality photos.
Pros Understand ISO, Aperture, Shutter, Etc.
Exposure isn't simply shutter speed. Many times, amateurs and hobbyists like to discuss some of the photography terms that they've learned, but they don't really know how and when to utilize these settings like a professional does. For example, boasting that you can get your shutter speed up to 1/8000th of a second may sound impressive to non-professionals, but any pro knows that, unless you're shooting the surface of the sun, it's not a very useful setting. To really get the most of an entry-level DSLR, you should understand ISO, aperture, and shutter, as well as the relationship between them.
Pros Have a Variety of Lenses to Work With
Most photography hobbyists and enthusiasts never move beyond the kit lens that came with their entry-level camera, but professional photographers know the value of good glass, and they're willing to invest in a variety of lenses that can be used in a host of different settings.
Pros Have Experience That Can't Be Replaced by Equipment
Most importantly, there's no function on any camera, regardless of price, that can take the place of experience and education. There isn't an app that can replace the knowledge of how to compose a shot, which focal length is perfect for what you're shooting, and how to set the right white balance in a location with mixed light sources.
Even if an entry-level prosumer camera shoots RAW, what are the odds that the average person is going to know how to get the most out of those files without just setting the camera to jpeg? The discerning eye of a pro photographer isn't something that can be bundled into photo software or programmed into a button on the back of the camera. There's no option on a touchscreen called "Make art."
No Worries, Yet…
At the end of the day, professionals don't really need to worry about the influx of inexpensive camera options or the growing technology available in cell phones. There's simply no replacing the eye and mind of a pro photographer who knows how to use a camera to its fullest potential. Remember, a camera is merely a tool, just like a hammer, but it's the person using the tool that matters.
Although commercial photography has suffered slight losses since camera companies began focusing more on consumer sales, people who would rather take their own family portraits will eventually learn that they just can't capture the same photos as a seasoned pro, even if you handed them the same equipment.
What do you think? Are you a professional who's worried about prosumer gear taking work away from you? Feel free to discuss by commenting below. And to gain access to classes that will enhance your photography skills, consider subscribing to the PT community.