The Problem with Photography
Everybody is a Photographer
Everybody think that if they buy a camera, they are a photographer. The better the camera, the better the photographer they will be. If they bought a piano, they would never think of themselves as a pianist. If they bought the best set of golf clubs, they wouldn't call themselves Tiger Woods (the old one, the one with all the affairs and the successes)…
If you have a pen, are you are writer? But having a camera makes it special. You are a photographer, the family and friends will tell you:
You're so good, you should charge for it
and they do not finish the sentence saying “You should charge everybody else but me.”
If photography is so easy, why is it that professional actors and models spend thousands of dollars to get their headshot done? It's very simple, straight on the camera, head and shoulder, no costume… If it was just a matter of having the right camera, a $5 photo booth photo would do.
So what makes photography so different from everything else. It's the industry spending billions of dollars to convince you that if you have a “good” camera, you are a photographer.
Nikon is one of the worst offender, buy our camera and you will be better than a professional photographer. Nikon has ads with Ashton Kutcher who knows nothing about cameras or photos but he has a Nikon camera. He jumps in front the photographer at a wedding and he comes out with great photos (actually it's a lie since it says at the bottom: simulation.) Nikon even has a full website, just for him: http://ashton.nikonusa.com/. Nikon spent $15 millions in the 2011 advertising campaign.
Many of the cell phones companies have similar advertising campaign, from Apple to Samsung. Just point your cell phone and you are guaranteed to be able to “extract” the perfect photo…
Google, Facebook and Yahoo/Flickr do not spend any money on advertising but they use their own websites to encourage people to show their photos on the web. Upload your photos, not just the good ones but all of your photos. Facebook is the most successful at it. People upload 300 millions photos per day, that's 9 billion photos per month. That's 10 photos per day per registered user or 45 photos per day per “real user.” Storage is so cheap and the price is going down every few month. One of these photo could go viral and generate millions with advertising1.
Please note that buying a video camera does not make you a professional cinematographer. Same technology, same camera manufacturers but they are not advertising that buying such and such video camera will make you better than a “professional.”
Forrester Research did a study on Google and found that on average 2 photos, per day, goes viral and each one generates than 1 million dollar in advertising! ↩