Don’t be a Grumpy, Old Photographer

I recently was chatting with a photographer who pretty much blamed all the ills of the industry on Moms in hot pants. Yep, that’s why he no longer goes to WPPI and why the photo business isn’t what it used to be. Moms in hot pants with their toy DSLRs undercutting real photographers. What IS the world coming to?

(ok, so this is from the Sony advert that’s very funny. See post from last week.)

I think mostly what he’s upset about is a new generation of photographers. I suspect when he got out of school there were a bunch of old photographers bitching about all these kids with their Canon AE-1s running around in bell bottoms pretending to be photographers and working for peanuts.

But change happens. A new generation comes along, new ways of marketing appear, and new cameras are released. Just because you think Twitter is the dumbest thing since the Pet Rock, doesn’t mean you don’t have to use it. (At least Twitter doesn’t limit who’s sees your posts like Facebook does now) Marketing has always been critical in photography and it’s even more so now. It’s just the way of doing it has changed somewhat. It requires a little more consistent engagement… like this blog. Which you’ll note I’m not writing on Facebook. I’ll post the link on FB, but because FB limits who sees it, it much more effective to do the writing here and link to it from the various interwebs.

If a few Moms with Canon Rebels are on the verge of sending you out of business, I don’t think the issue is the Moms. Hell, hire one of them. If you can get in with the Mom Mafia you’re golden!

And besides, given the amount of tradeshows I go to that are nothing but geeky guys, I’m having a hard time seeing what the complaint is about a little gender diversity (hot pants or no). But it’s no secret why you’re seeing a lot of women in photography… they tend to communicate better than men, have more emotional intelligence, and are excellent shooters. I mean, who do you think a bride is going to want to shoot her wedding? The energetic gal in hot pants or the grumpy, old guy? It’s all about being a good communicator these days, whether it’s on social media or during a shoot. Don’t be the grumpy, old guy.

One thought on “Don’t be a Grumpy, Old Photographer”

  1. Jim,
    Maybe you are not old enough to understand what it takes to be a professional photographer all of your life. When I started in photography you could actually make a living, buy a house, drive a bmw, and raise a family. The simple fact is now the market share is so diluted you can’t do this anymore. Prices have been depressed, almost everyone works out of their home. Many give away or sell originals. This all has a downward pressure on prices and no amount of volume and marketing will offset this. We have been robbed by digital age. Sure you will find a few exceptions and the liars at trade shows who pretend to make a decent living off shooting pictures but are really out pimping someone’s software or their own gadgets. Give them about 5 years or less and they drop out of photography as a profession completely. So instead of commenting on the what is up with grumpy old men, let’s focusing on making more money. Let me see 10 years tax returns of those who claim to be the leaders of this profession so that newby’s are not misled by fiction. Let’s be more realistic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *