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march 30 2010

The Assault of the Amateur

written by: Christian Oth

The New York Times posted an article about how photography is on a shrinking path. It is an interesting assessment of the state of assignment photography, but as far as the aesthetics of photography go, I couldn't disagree more. It has never been easy to 'make it' in photography and the fact that the commercial/editorial landscape has shifted and is undermined by amateurs is nothing new to an ever-evolving industry.

Landing a career in photography is not as easy as just going to college, building a portfolio and, poof you have a career. The photography world is saturated, one has to be not only talented but also extremely hard-working and savvy to have a fighting chance at making this a career. The failure rate has always been enormous. This is nothing new.

What IS new, as the article says, is that the amateurs are undercutting pro photography. But what the article doesn't mention is that the consumption of photography has also increased tenfold.

Verite06photo by Michael Falco


We live in a much more media-rich visual world. It is a well-known fact that people just don't read anymore. Everything nowadays is supplemented with media. There are simply different opportunities out there, than the traditional assignment photography business model.

I would also like to make the statement that photography has never been this good, especially in the wedding world. The pros on the top end of the market have gotten so remarkable, and I simply relish the fact that wedding photography has been elevated to these incredible heights in our little niche.

This has also opened up incredible opportunities for the pros out there who are truly talented: the average couple has now a much higher appreciation for photography than, say 10 years ago. It is absolutely incredible what is happening in the industry right now in terms of aesthetics and vision. The growth of really good, stimulating photography has been enormous. 

Weddings nowadays have become such incredible visual feasts. Anyone who hires an amateur for their wedding is simply rolling the dice.


Read the New York Times Article here



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